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#1
stettybet0

stettybet0

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Alright, let's start from the top.

I have an old compaq machine that I don't really use anymore. I want to install linux on it to see how I like it.

I am looking preferably for a free downloadable version. Any suggestions?

The compaq does not have internet access though. Any way I could put linux on a CD or USB flash drive, then transfer it onto the compaq?

The compaq currently has lots of applications installed, as well as Windows ME. It has 2 harddrives. Best solution is for one harddrive to have windows and the other to have linux, and to be able to change boot order to boot either. Can anyone tell me how to do that? (If possible)

If that isn't possible, how would I go about this? Should I just reformat both hard drives (I have nothing important on them) and then install linux fresh? If so, how would I do that?

Any other suggestions welcome.

Any thing else I need to consider? (Or info I need to provide?)

Thanks,

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#2
Kemasa

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There are many downloadable versions. I prefer Mandriva (formally Mandrake), but there is also Ubuntu, Knoppix and DSL OS. Ubuntu had/has a website where they would ship you the CDs free, an install disk and a Live CD.

DSL OS is the smallest, around 50Mb.

Grub is the boot loader I would suggest, which allows you to select what you want to boot. Multiple bootable filesystems are not a problem. You can select the default boot partition, as well as the time to delay before booting. It is part of the install process.
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#3
stettybet0

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I've actually decided to have one SMALL hard drive (15GB) host linux, and the other be storage for my home network. So I want to reformat my harddrives. How to do this?

I am preferably looking for a version which is very easy to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Also, I do not wish to order a CD. I also want an install CD, not a Live CD. Could I just download a version, then burn it onto a CD.

I am really clueless, so it would be great if someone could help guide me from the steps I need to do to get my hard drives perfectly clean and linux on them.
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#4
Kemasa

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The install process typically asks you if you want to use the existing partitions or if you want to change them. I am not sure of which versions, by default, can deal with NTFS though. If your other machines are Windoze, then you will need to run Samba to be able to access the disks over the network (other than using things like ftp).

Everyone has their own preferences, just like with vehicles. You might want to search the forums to see discussions which talk about the different versions. I know people who really like Ubuntu. Personally, I would use Mandriva. You can download that as a DVD or multiple CDs.

As far as ordering, the Ubuntu is free, so that is a bit different than having to pay something.

If you don't care about what is on the disks, then just use the install disks and answer the questions.
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#5
stettybet0

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Okay... so heres what I think I need to do in order to get this to work:

1. Download Ubuntu install files.
2. Burn them onto CDs (compaq doesn't have DVD-ROM drive).
3. Reformat hard drives on compaq (not sure how to do exactly...)
4. Put in CDs to compaq.
5. Follow instructions to install Ubuntu.

Is that it?

PS. If i don't like Ubuntu down the road, i could always reformat again and install a different distro of Linux, right?
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#6
stettybet0

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Also, one last thing.

I have 2 hard drives. One has Windows ME installed, the other is just for storage.

Could I only reformat Hard drive 1, and install Ubuntu and everything would work? (ie. I could access programs and data on Hard drive 2)

Or must I reformat both?
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#7
Kemasa

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#3 is out of order, the install procedure will ask you what you want to do, so that would be under #5.

Yes, you can install another distro later if you like.

You could repartition only only disk. Your ability to access the data depends on the filesystem type. If it is FAT32, then you can access it. Windoze programs will not work under Linux unless you use a program like "wine" or another program which allows you to run Windoze programs.

You need not repartition both disks (it is not actually formating really, although you would need to create a filesystem on the partition).
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#8
stettybet0

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Alright, well I ended up just reformatting both drives. So now they are both completely empty.

I downloaded Ubuntu and put it on a CD, but it won't work.

When the computer first boots up, it goes to the CD, and I choose "Start and Install" or something like that. It goes through lots of stuff, but it ends at a black screen and nothing else happens.

Any help? I hope it's possible to install Ubuntu without Windows already installed.

Might I need to download the alternate version? It says it is for specialist installations of Ubuntu.
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#9
stettybet0

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Alright, well I managed to get it installed, but now I have some problems.

1. Can't figure out how to make partitions in Ubuntu.
2. I have 2 HDs. One (with Ubuntu installed) is formatted Extended 3. It wont let me format the other without a partition made. When I can format it, what should I make it?
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#10
Kemasa

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There are various programs to create a new partition. I am not sure of which Ubuntu comes with, but examples are fdisk, sfdisk, qtparted, gtparted.

You could try doing "man -k partition" to see which comes up. For example, on my system:

% man -k partition
cfdisk (8) - Curses based disk partition table manipulator for Linux
fdisk (8) - Partition table manipulator for Linux
mpartition (1) - partition an MSDOS hard disk
sfdisk (8) - Partition table manipulator for Linux

After you create the partition, you need to create the filesystem. There can be several types available, but I would suggest using a journal filesystem, either ext3 or Reiser
(mkfs or mkreiserfs).
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#11
stettybet0

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Well, I got everything under control.

I ended up re-installing Ubuntu, and this time manually partitioning the hard drives.

Now it works fine.

Thanks for the help.
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