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need advice on whether to combine 2 computers


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#1 denvernative

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 07:22 PM

I have a 2010 emachine desktop and a 2010 lenovo.
I put linux (which I prefer even though I'm just learning how to use it) on the lenovo, and put the emachine harddrive in the lenovo with the idea I could run my windows specific hardware on the lenovo (I tried wince with apple several years ago, I didnt like it then and from what I researched it doesnt work with my genealogy software anyway.

I never could figure out how to alternate boot into windows so I took the emachine drive back out.

 

The emachine doesnt have an extra drive bay. the lenovo obviously does.
 

The two processors were similiar, and they each max at 4 meg ram. Except the lenovo motherboard looks like it has a place where one could solder on another couple ram slots (is that possible?  would it use more than 4megs ram if so?)
 

I am about to take this into a computer shop I cant get the emachine running now.

Should I have the emachine drive put in the lenovo and have the shop tech show me how to boot from it?

is there a program like belarc but for linux so I could post the computer specs here? (If there are even needed)

 

One advantage to putting them together is the lenovo hasnt hardly been used (maybe a hundred hours) while the emachine was my daily computer since I got it in 2010.

I understand I can ask this at the computer shop but want to go in with a better understanding than what I have now.



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#2 Guest_hollowface_*

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 08:20 PM

I put linux [...] on the lenovo, and put the emachine harddrive in the lenovo with the idea I could run my windows specific hardware on the lenovo


Was your eMachine running a pre-installed version of Windows? If so, it's likely an OEM copy, which means the it is licensed specifically to the computer it is installed on, and you may have activation issues if you try running it on another computer. It depends on what hardware components are required. Sometimes you get an OEM Windows running on another computer if it's using the same hard drive (like you're doing).

I never could figure out how to alternate boot into windows so I took the emachine drive back out.


Because your installations are completely seperate you must your system's quick-boot menu. It's a BIOS menu that allows you to choose which device to boot from (but doesn't change your normal boot order). How you get to this menu varies, it's typically done by pressing a specific F# key when the computer boots up, but hasn't yet booted from a device. While I've never done it, depending what Linux distro you are running you can likely manually add a menu entry on it's boot-manager for your Windows installation so that you don't need to use your system's quick-boot menu anymore.
 

I am about to take this into a computer shop I cant get the emachine running now.


You're taking the eMachine to a computer shop, or the Leveno?

Should I have the emachine drive put in the lenovo and have the shop tech show me how to boot from it?


If you have an OEM version of Windows I wouldn't suggest trying to run it on a different machine (unless you have re-install media, or a backup) as Windows will detect the hardware changes, likely ask to be re-activated, and depending how strict your OEM license is you may not be able to activate on the new machine (because technically the license is only for the original machine).

is there a program like belarc but for linux so I could post the computer specs here?


Which Linux distro are you running? I don't have any suggestions, but perhaps someone else does.

I understand I can ask this at the computer shop but want to go in with a better understanding than what I
have now.


What is the issue? I'm not following. Is it that the eMachine isn't working, or that you can't boot Windows on the Leveno? Sorry to hear you're having tech troubles, I hate it when that happens.
 

#3 paul88ks

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 08:24 PM

I have a 2010 emachine desktop and a 2010 lenovo.
I put linux (which I prefer even though I'm just learning how to use it) on the lenovo, and put the emachine harddrive in the lenovo with the idea I could run my windows specific hardware on the lenovo (I tried wince with apple several years ago, I didnt like it then and from what I researched it doesnt work with my genealogy software anyway.

I never could figure out how to alternate boot into windows so I took the emachine drive back out.

 

The emachine doesnt have an extra drive bay. the lenovo obviously does.
 

The two processors were similiar, and they each max at 4 meg ram. Except the lenovo motherboard looks like it has a place where one could solder on another couple ram slots (is that possible?  would it use more than 4megs ram if so?)
 

I am about to take this into a computer shop I cant get the emachine running now.

Should I have the emachine drive put in the lenovo and have the shop tech show me how to boot from it?

is there a program like belarc but for linux so I could post the computer specs here? (If there are even needed)

 

One advantage to putting them together is the lenovo hasnt hardly been used (maybe a hundred hours) while the emachine was my daily computer since I got it in 2010.

I understand I can ask this at the computer shop but want to go in with a better understanding than what I have now.

Denvernative- unfortunately, you  cannot interchange hard drives on different computers with different motherboards.Each hard drive is specifically configured by the motherboard when the operating system is installed.

 

You can however,install the additional hard drive on the Lenovo,but you would have to reformat that drive and reinstall Windows on the Lenovo.Then you could dual boot the machine with Linux and Windows.

 

in regard to both computers having a max amount of RAM of 4 Gigs,that means that you can only run 32 bit software on it,that is the Max the motherboard will support.It would do no good to solder on another RAM socket,actually, you probably would fry the motherboard in the process.

 

There are plenty of people here that have Dual-boot machines and we would be happy to help you set it up,but what you are currently trying to do is not possible--Paul

 

Also, a machine with 64 bit architecture will run much more than 4 gigs of Ram.Some systems as much as 32 gigs of memory,but that all depends on the motherboard!


Edited by paul88ks, 18 May 2015 - 08:27 PM.


#4 Al1000

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:50 AM

is there a program like belarc but for linux so I could post the computer specs here?

There's inxi. Type inxi in a terminal, and if it says it isn't installed:

sudo apt-get install inxi
Then to get your computer's specs:

inxi -F

Denvernative- unfortunately, you cannot interchange hard drives on different computers with different motherboards.

It's certainly not something that I would attempt with Windows, but it can be done with Linux.

Each hard drive is specifically configured by the motherboard when the operating system is installed.

I'm not sure what you mean here, as a hard drive is just another storage medium. Just as a Linux installation, or multiple installations, to a USB flash drive can be used in different computers, the same can be done with a hard drive.

The only issue in doing so that I'm aware of is if the graphics on the two computers are different, the video wizard might need to be run to get the desktop to display, and any proprietary drivers would need to be blacklisted.

#5 bmike1

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 12:10 AM

another good one is:

 

sudo lshw


A/V Software? I don't need A/V software. I've run Linux since '98 w/o A/V software and have never had a virus. I never even had a firewall until '01 when I began to get routers with firewalls pre installed. With Linux if a vulnerability is detected a fix is quickly found and then upon your next update the vulnerability is patched.  If you must worry about viruses  on a Linux system only worry about them in the sense that you can infect a windows user. I recommend Linux Mint or, if you need a lighter weight operating system that fits on a cd, MX14 or AntiX.


#6 paul88ks

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 12:25 AM

AI100- I am sure you can do it with linux- but as you said- don't attempt that with a Windows install- it either won't boot- or you will get a BSOD ! I know - I've tried it. If you are just talking about the hard drive as a storage medium- i.e. pics,docs,music,and the like - of course you can swap out drives- but Win OS's don't like it at all--- :radioactive:



#7 cat1092

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 03:19 AM

denvernative,  :welcome: to BC Forums! 

 

Lets talk about what you propose doing for just a minute, because that's all it's going to take, whether or not you want to hear the answer. No, you cannot 'combine' two Windows computers, at least the OS installs anyway. You can swap other partitions over, such as that for storage, yet not the OS install. Together, both OS's may be deactivated forever, and you don't want to take the chance of that happening, would you? 

 

However, you can repair the Windows install that you have, there should be a recovery partition that you can access at boot, and reload the OS. 

 

Then you can setup a dual boot of Linux, and it doesn't require a shop to do this. Just a bit of willingness on your end to learn. 

 

As to your main question, beyond offering reinstall advise (check out the forums for each to get the exact key needed at boot to recover), we cannot assist you. 

 

Regards, 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#8 DeimosChaos

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 09:54 AM

As everyone else is saying, you will not be able to use the Windows installation from the emachine on your Lenovo. You can use the disk and get a new copy of Windows and put it on there, or if you have recovery media from the Lenovo you can use that Windows installation. Using the Lenovo Windows key/installation would be the way to go, then you can dual boot with Windows and Linux (again if you have recovery media for Windows for the Lenovo, or if you have a Windows CD that is the same version of what your Lenovo had).


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#9 denvernative

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 03:59 PM

thanks for all the answers. I dont know if Ive ever gotten so many responses from an online forum before.

Earlier this week I read that windows 10 would be free to everyone as an upgrade including those with versions that werent activated. Would that make any difference in being able to have both windows and linux on the same motherboard?



#10 DeimosChaos

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 05:47 PM

thanks for all the answers. I dont know if Ive ever gotten so many responses from an online forum before.

Earlier this week I read that windows 10 would be free to everyone as an upgrade including those with versions that werent activated. Would that make any difference in being able to have both windows and linux on the same motherboard?

 

I don't have an answer on the Windows 10 upgrade, but any which way it is very easy to dual boot a PC. You can have two different partitions on one drive with two separate Operating Systems, or you can have multiple drivers with each one having their own Operating System. You can dual boot on pretty much any computer. As to your original question, it really wouldn't make a difference if it is Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, 98... you get the idea.


OS - Ubuntu 14.04/16.04 & Windows 10
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#11 cat1092

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:37 PM

thanks for all the answers. I dont know if Ive ever gotten so many responses from an online forum before.

Earlier this week I read that windows 10 would be free to everyone as an upgrade including those with versions that werent activated. Would that make any difference in being able to have both windows and linux on the same motherboard?

 

As to being able to install or upgrade Windows 10 on an unactivated/improperly licensed Windows, I don't know for sure if this is an option for all parts of the world, or those where piracy is most rampant. Regardless, Windows 10 will require proper licensing for all features to be available to you, including activation of the prior OS. Some of these recent Windows Updates are checking for these things, you may or may not be presented with a 'to do' list before upgrading to 10. So it's best to take care of this now, and not after 10 is released. It may be that we can assist you, if you're willing to follow steps, to save you money on shop repairs. Is the OS properly working & activated on this PC? 

 

Dual booting isn't going away, regardless of if 10 temporarily knocks it out or not, there's always EasyBCD 2.2 to the rescue, which will allow you to 'recover' your dual boot, and choose from between Windows 10 & Linux. It installs on Windows, and you can easily add your Linux OS back. 

 

Does the eMachine not work at all, even with only Linux installed? If not, it would take a mighty inexpensive repair for it to be worth the troubles, and most shops gets $100+ per hour for labor alone. Assuming you were to get it back & it runs, would you be able to sell it & get your repair bill back? I ask because in general, these PC have little value, it's now an Acer brand (as is Gateway), and many of us here knows the standing of that brand. Most are budget models at best, though Acer does have some more costly models, the quality of these are not much better than their budget models. This is because they pinch pennies too much. Many of these units has motherboard failures, and some of these can be attributed to the ultra low cost PSU's installed. 

 

Even if it were a non-Acer model, we rarely hear about eMachines any longer, so these must have had quality control issues of their own. I just cannot justify advising you to carry it to a shop for repair, when you can get a brand new PC from Walmart beginning at $248 (you reuse your monitor/speakers). For $40 more, you can get a model with 6GB RAM pre-installed, plus Windows 8.1 with Bing (that's a packaged bundle). At these prices & for what shops charges, why spend close to the same at a shop for what is still not going to be reliable long term? And worse yet, no way to sell it at a price to get your money back. If it were a high dollar, high configuration PC, I could see this, not for a budget model that's 5 years old. While I feel bad that you didn't get long service out of the PC, I dropped more cash on an HP AIO model that didn't make it to the 4 year mark. No, it didn't go to a shop, rather, I removed the HDD, which was reused, the PSU, and the rest came face to face with a sledgehammer & then the recycling bin. 

 

Now, as to your Lenovo, does this PC run? I would like to think it does, since you're posting from some computer. Of course you can reuse that 2nd HDD, as long as you delete the Windows partitions from the eMachine first, it can be used for data, or your Linux install, or a combination of both. That may be best, because your Lenovo recovery partition may not properly work with a Linux install on the computer, and if you've already installed one on the HDD, it's likely torched anyway. I hope that at a minimum, you did create your recovery DVD set, which would have consisted of 3 to 5 DVD's (same as eMachine above), so that you can clean install your OS if needed. If not, you may can order these, I was able to for one much older. 

 

Finally, to address your question about RAM. Those slots that are present may have been for those whom ordered a Lenovo with more RAM than yours, an AIO type of MB to meet all needs, however these were likely built the way they are from the factory whom produced the MB, and it would take a delicate operation & a lot of good luck for what you're proposing to work. I'm not even sure that an Lenovo authorized shop would take this repair/upgrade on, would likely steer you into an upgraded board instead, which would be a refurb for repairing PC's & would cost less. You're still going to have the same CPU & all, so for any cash spent, which will be a small fortune, don't expect a lot for your money. 

 

If you're looking for more than 4GB RAM, look for another computer. That's the best advice I can give in that regard. The only alternative, which if successful, would require a new version of Windows also, would be an upgraded motherboard from a place such as Newegg or Amazon. Still you have to install it, and hope that your RAM sticks (all of them) are of the same type & timing, otherwise the best set will revert to the speed of the lowest rated set. And there's still the issue of a new Windows install to deal with, as the Lenovo one would be good no longer (unless you get very, very lucky & reach a super sympathetic Windows rep to help you activate what you have). That very seldom happens. 

 

And even if you purchased these components, could you or a knowledgeable friend install a new motherboard? If not, there's no need to bother, as again shop labor is costly, by the time you purchased components & pay for install, a newer, more powerful computer with up to 8GB RAM preinstalled can be purchased, complete with keyboard & mouse & even a true HDMI port (or Displayport, which can be converted into HDMI or DVI if you don't have a monitor with DP input). You supply your monitor & speakers. 

 

Hope that my post at least gets you headed in the direction you want. Should you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask, that's what we're here for.  :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#12 bmike1

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 01:30 AM

Yeah. Use the emachine for linux and the other for windows. or,as was said before, since you don't have any windows programs go for the good stuff and install Linux on both. If you were to do that you could learn Linux-networking....


Edited by bmike1, 21 May 2015 - 01:31 AM.

A/V Software? I don't need A/V software. I've run Linux since '98 w/o A/V software and have never had a virus. I never even had a firewall until '01 when I began to get routers with firewalls pre installed. With Linux if a vulnerability is detected a fix is quickly found and then upon your next update the vulnerability is patched.  If you must worry about viruses  on a Linux system only worry about them in the sense that you can infect a windows user. I recommend Linux Mint or, if you need a lighter weight operating system that fits on a cd, MX14 or AntiX.





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