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Switching from Vista to Linux on my HP Pavilion dv2000


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#1 gracey2007

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 03:44 PM

Hey!

Sooo, I'm really sick of Vista being super slow and all the problems it has. All the comps at the lab I work in are Macs, and I like those waaaay better. So can anyone help me switch from Vista to Linux? I don't really know how the hardcore computer system stuff works, but I can follow directions lol. And I was wondering if it'll like erase my stuff...like all my files, music, applications, etc. And I have the newest Microsoft office..is that compatible with Linux? I don't know much about it.

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#2 Trio3b

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:44 PM

Do you remember what you had to do to learn Windows? Same concept. If everything in Linux was the same as Windows then it WOULD BE WINDOWS! Expect a learning curve.

No, it won't erase all your stuff unless you do it wrong....just like doing something wrong in any OS would erase your stuff. Now, just to let you know how MS operates..... If Windows is on your hard drive and you install Linux, it (Linux) will play nice and gently make room for itself AND WINDOWS and all your files! If, however, Linux is on your hard drive and you try to install Windows.........guess what? Windows will wipe Linux AND all your files off the disk! That ought to tell you everything you need to know about the MS corporation. :thumbsup:

Try a LiveCD first. This procedure will give you a taste of Linux without touching your hard drive / files and will tell you if Linux will run on your hardware. Remember that it's going to run slow b/c it has to be uncompressed on the fly and loaded into RAM.

Most MS products, filesystem and formats are NOT compatible with Linux. Having said that, you can run many Windows applications and even Windows itself in a virtual machine or an emulator like WINE but it is not recommended for newbs. The problem with doing this is that you are still dependent upon the product that is causing you to consider switching in the first place...........makes no sense.

If you are running a business and HAVE to deal with clients who use Photoshop, Quickbooks and AutoCad its going to be tough, but for the average user and even some enterprise situations, there are plenty of opensource apps that have similar functionality to these proprietary apps and in some cases have features that even surpass those commercial offerings.

My recommendations for full featured distros: PCLOS, Mandriva, Ubuntu, CentOS, Xandros (if you don't mind their "relationship" w/ Microsoft). I have mixed feelings about Suse, Fedora but some people swear by them.

lite distros for less powered PCs: VectorLinux, Puppy, DSL, SAM Linux ( these distros use a lighter desktop environment that may be unfamiliar to new users)

other good distros but not as mainstream: Mepis, Sidux, Kanotix

hope this helps.

Edited by Trio3b, 19 June 2009 - 12:03 AM.


#3 gracey2007

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 10:25 AM

Thanks for the info...I'm just afraid I'm gonna mess something up and wipe out the information on my computer. Are there any step-by-step instructions I can follow?

#4 MadDawg

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:27 PM

First, you have to choose a Linux distro. As you can see, Trio3b has already covered the recommendations. It's pretty straightforward after that.

Next, you need to create a partition.

Most LiveCDs will come with a program called GParted. If your Windows partition is the only partition on the drive, you will have to resize it. Luckily, GParted makes it easy.

After that, you click Install on the LiveCD's desktop and follow the rather simple installation process.

Edited by MadDawg, 20 June 2009 - 01:35 AM.

A penguin broke my windows with a half-eaten apple!

#5 Trio3b

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 01:11 AM

There are tons of Live Linux tutorials.... Google is your friend. My recommendation for the quickest, safest way to learn is to pick up an old Plll computer from your local thrift shop or craigslist. You can pick them up for $50 or less. (Usually $25-$30). This way you have no danger of losing your files. Most Dells, HP, Compaq or Gateways will have compatible hdwr.

order a LiveCD or learn how to d/l and burn a Linux iso file onto CD (learn how to check the file using md5sum). I recommend having several different distros on hand

learn how to enter the BIOS to select boot device from the BIOS menu, put the CD into the drive, save changes and exit

then let the PC continue booting and let the CD find all your hdwr

You should boot into a desktop within minutes...if you boot into a black screen or booting halts then 9 times out of ten there is a graphics card issue. (this is very rare but it does happen). There are simple ways to fix this, but for the brand new user I recommend just trying another distro ( now you see why the assortment of distros!)

most Live CDs have an option to install to HD but don't do that yet. Just play around with Linux. Later you can learn about partitioning so that you feel comfortable doing it on your "real" PC.



good luck

Edited by Trio3b, 20 June 2009 - 01:28 AM.


#6 Miljet

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 05:03 PM

Before you even try to change partitions, make good backups of all your valuable data. Gparted works flawlessly 99.9% of the time, but that is no consolation if you happen to be that .1 percent. Just knowing that you have reliable backups will increase your confidence level.

#7 Trio3b

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 05:21 PM

Yes, Backups are a must under ANY conditions. I have done many Mandriva dual boots with Windows on lots of hardware including two toasters and a roto-tiller :thumbsup: and have never damaged any Windows installs but as Miljet explains there's always that .1 percent.

good luck!

Edited by Trio3b, 20 June 2009 - 05:23 PM.


#8 Capn Easy

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 09:37 PM

I'm in the process of putting together a computer to run Linux. I haven't installed yet, so I can't advise on that, but in terms of preparation I might make a suggestion.

If you have a Barnes and Noble or Borders book store nearby, check out the magazine section for Linux titles. That's how I did most of my research. Many of them will come with a DVD for a particular distro with instructions on how to install it, how to run it "Live," what features it offers, etc.

The search set me back a few dollars, but my brain works better with hard copy. :thumbsup:

Edited by Capn Easy, 20 June 2009 - 09:38 PM.


#9 gracey2007

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 02:26 PM

I have an external hardrive that I've been backing my stuff on. I'm just not sure on whether it'll just like completely mess up my comp to where I need to get a new one. And there seems like a lot of choices for distros...uhhh I don't even know what a distro is haha. But I'm pretty bad at decision making, if you can't tell already.

#10 Miljet

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:46 PM

Rest assured that you are not going to damage the hardware in your computer. The worst that can happen is that you lose your existing data, or Windows operating system. The computer will still be perfectly usable. You would just have to re-install the software.

This is a very good beginner's guide to read before you begin. It is intended for Ubuntu, but the general ideas are also applicable to most distros (distributions or versions of Linux.)

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/index.php

Have fun and welcome to Linux.

#11 Andromeda7

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 08:47 AM

You really should try a live dvd of Knoppix. It comes packed with software: several office suites, all kinds of graphics aps, utilities, etc. This will give you the opportunity to play with some Linux versions of the Windows software you are accustomed to using. Even if you don't install Linux to your hard drive, it's an excellent idea to have a live dvd around in case something happens to Windows, and Knoppix has the biggest selection of utilities. My Vista installation has gone south on me, and if it weren't for Knoppix I wouldn't be able to use my computer at all. I'm actually accessing this website through a Knoppix dvd now. Whatever Linux you want to try, Google the name and find the corresponding forum. Visit there and look around. You'll find all kinds of tutorials, q&a sections, faqs, etc. Good luck with it.




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