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Can I reformat a Dell Laptop w/Vista and install Linux?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 bbunny123

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:38 PM

My mother calls every few days with a virus/trojan/sluggish/non-connecting computer. She's an absolute hazard on the internet and loves her Dell notebook (its' about 3 years old -- a 15-something model, dual core 32 bit Vista). She ONLY uses it for internet email and browsing every day, and I think Linux would eliminate a lot of these problems. Unbutu seems easiest to use for new users, or maybe Mint or PCLinux. Can I get rid of Vista and replace with Linux for her? Anyone know how I can do this? Thanks.

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#2 Ramchu

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:12 PM

TO answer your initial question .........Yes !

Really all that you need to do is, download the linux distro live CD of your choice (I like PCLinuxOS )
and burn it to CD - to burn it I recommend using InfraRecorder if burning on a Windows OS.

Next go into the bios and set the boot order to boot from the CD Rom first.
Put in the Live CD and reboot and let it boot to the CD and then click on the install icon and follow the prompts.

If you are wanting to completely rid the computer of Windows just tell it to use the entire Disk.

#3 1002 Richard S

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 01:30 AM

Hi,
I wiped Vista on my Dell Inspiron 1525 and it works great with Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) and I've also run 8.04, 9.04, 10.04 with no problems at all - it flies!! One thing to look out for is the wireless connection, here's how to activate it in 10.10. Maverick:

http://www.ubuntumini.com/2010/10/broadcom-wireless-driver-fix-in.html

don't worry that it says Dell Mini.

I moved my in-laws to Ubuntu (they're in their 70s) and they had no trouble moving over from XP - if that's any re-assurance?

Mint 10 has a menu that's more similar to Windows. It's based on Ubuntu 10.10 so same wireless fix will work. I'm always torn between Mint & Ubuntu!!

Richard

Edited by 1002 Richard S, 18 November 2010 - 01:33 AM.


#4 Capn Easy

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 02:58 AM

When I got my Acer netbook I was pretty sure I wanted to get rid of Windows ... but I have commitment issues. :whistle:

So-ooo I spent $40 on a new hardisk, took out the existing hard disk (with Windows on it) and installed the new disk -- took about 15 minutes. Fired it up and installed Ubuntu, and no problems. But if I'd had second thoughts, I could always have taken the Ubuntu drive out and put the Windows hard disk back in.

If you're not intimidated by the process, and can afford the extra expense, you might consider this as an "escape clause."

#5 1002 Richard S

1002 Richard S

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 02:39 PM

Two drives is one option if you might need Windows at some point.

Another option is dual boot Windows and Ubuntu. Easiest to do if Windows installed first, useful guide here:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/9059/dual-boot-your-pre-installed-windows-7-computer-with-ubuntu/

Hope this is of use?

Richard

#6 bbunny123

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 03:17 PM

Thanks guys. The info. provided is exactly what I needed!

#7 cryptodan

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 01:11 PM

You will then have to ask this question:

Is my mother capable of learning a completely new operating system?

#8 Capn Easy

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 04:28 PM

Well, if she only uses it for email and web browsing the learning curve will be pretty easy. The actual "brand name" products won't be there, but Firefox and Thunderbird are available and close enough to be useful right away. It won't be too hard to access them.

#9 1002 Richard S

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:55 AM

Well, if she only uses it for email and web browsing the learning curve will be pretty easy. The actual "brand name" products won't be there, but Firefox and Thunderbird are available and close enough to be useful right away. It won't be too hard to access them.



My parents-in-law are in their 70s, they have similar usage and they've quickly got to grips with Ubuntu, so I'm sure it'll be OK.

Richard



#10 bbunny123

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 11:31 PM

If she can get to FFox she'll be fine, that's all she really uses. Thanks again! I was going to buy her a wireless N usb adapter instead of messing around with the Dell half-mini which seems to be on the fritz. If anyone knows of a decent make/model for the Dell 1536 (I think it is) series laptop I'd be appreciative. Thanks.

#11 Capn Easy

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 01:35 AM

Hmmm ... I don't know about "N" ... but the IOGEAR GWU523 IEEE 802.11b/g is pretty cheap and works fine with Ubuntu on a brand new Acer netbook and with wattOS (Ubuntu related) on an ancient Compaq Presario laptop. But it isn't "802.11 N."

Edited by Capn Easy, 24 November 2010 - 01:38 AM.


#12 Luke L

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:30 AM

I'm dual booting with Linux right now and really enjoy it. If my windows partition ever becomes rendered useless by a virus, I have a partition in which I can rescue my files. I use Ubuntu and it seems pretty easy. You sometimes have to install the graphics card, the wireless adapter, and rarely the sound driver. Some laptops are just a pain to get to work with Ubuntu, which includes all macbooks(or at least mine, in which I can't get the left speaker to work!!!)

If you were to install a version of Ubuntu, I wouldn't go with 10.10 but rather 10.04 which is an LTS edition (Long Term Support). Long term Support editions are supported for 3 years while others only 18 months. So, 10.04 will be supported with security updates and stuff one year longer than 10.10. It's also considered to be more stable, according to the ubuntu website: http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download

#13 King1987

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 08:33 PM

When I got my Acer netbook I was pretty sure I wanted to get rid of Windows ... but I have commitment issues. :whistle:

So-ooo I spent $40 on a new hardisk, took out the existing hard disk (with Windows on it) and installed the new disk -- took about 15 minutes. Fired it up and installed Ubuntu, and no problems. But if I'd had second thoughts, I could always have taken the Ubuntu drive out and put the Windows hard disk back in.

If you're not intimidated by the process, and can afford the extra expense, you might consider this as an "escape clause."

I am new to this as well, never knew you could install both. Thanks!

#14 ejames82

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 03:59 PM

i think this is great advice.

So-ooo I spent $40 on a new hardisk, took out the existing hard disk (with Windows on it) and installed the new disk -- took about 15 minutes. Fired it up and installed Ubuntu, and no problems. But if I'd had second thoughts, I could always have taken the Ubuntu drive out and put the Windows hard disk back in.

If you're not intimidated by the process, and can afford the extra expense, you might consider this as an "escape clause."


installations can always go bad. i've had many that didn't work, and also many that did. having that hard drive ensures that you won't be denied a computer.

one day i told my little sister about linux because her windows OS kept getting infected by her teenage sons. she was all for trying linux. i haven't had to do a thing to her computer since installing linux and it's been 2 years. even my older sister wanted linux, because she tried out my little sisters computer and saw how easy it is. she's been happy since installing linux as well.




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