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Replacing your Operating System

  • Replacing or adding (dual-booting issue)?

    Windows XP is no more generally supported by Microsoft, apart from rare security patches.
    <abbr title="Microsoft Security Essentials">MSE</abbr> is supposed to last till next summer (~July).
    So the question of replacing either the OS or computer, or both, is currently actual for many people across the Globe (if you care the use of Windows XP is considered of a fairly high share with Microsoft/PC users).
    Many people use machines that are not capable of running "advanced" Windows 8, while Windows 7 seems to me a sort of BS. Others - are highly reluctant to give up on XP, 'cause the OS is good - let alone many are accustomed to it very much (not least because it's good!).

    Some people will eventually choose to replace XP with 8, some won't.
    The latter can fall into two categories: 1) those who won't want to part with their XP and need to consider dual booting - i.e. adding a new OS while preserving the old one (for whatever purposes), 2) those who will say goodbye to XP (in fact, to Windows) and get another operating system in place of the current one (like XP).

    <hr>

    Our thread is thus supposed to become dual booting:

    1. we'll discuss various issues with a) migrating from one OS to another and(or)
      b) making your device bootable with more than one OS;
      and
    2. we'll discuss possible options for current XP users...
      Which two "boots" are gonna overlap and intersect, no doubt.

    <p title="from 'Replacing Windows XP'">If you want to keep your old PC and not upgrade, there are other options such as ‘dual booting’ with one of the many versions of the Linux operating system. This would enable you to carry out all online tasks from Linux, and offline tasks like word processing, spreadsheets and photo editing in Windows. This solution does take some time and effort to install, but there are a large number of websites offering advice and guidance.
    http://www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-yourself/replacing-windows-xp

    What I am particularly interested in is
    a) dual booting
    and
    b) alternative operating systems for "modest" laptops (or generally - slow or 'weak' devices).

  • LinuxMint 17 (MATE). :D

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMHjUqRfmC8

  • YouTube sucks (wanted to say this for ages).

    Do you perhaps have your own words?

    The main question of the thread overall (along with dual booting) is - what issues a user should consider when going to replace their operating system?
    (Still the other one is about the dual booting configuration and possible issues with it.(It'll follow when raised, I reckon.))

    As to my question (needs), I could give you the specs of my nettop - in case somebody interested ;)

  • LinuxMint 17 (MATE).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMHjUqRfmC8

    Cinnamon is better B)

  • Linux is not Windows. Installing Linux will require reformatting (part of) your disk, you really can't reformat and transfer at the same time. If you want to transfer stuff, you'll need someplace to store your data during the reformat - on another disk (as backup or with mirroring software), "in the cloud", whatever. Unless you - at least temporarily - dual boot.

    If you plan to dual boot, run some drive optimizer first to defragment your disk - to be sure you actually have enough contiguous space at the end of the drive for Linux to create new partitions. Other than that, most versions of Linux have been designed to coexist - they try to make dual boot installs as painless as possible. But dual booting - or at least setting up for it - means you don't have to store your files somewhere else.

    By coincidence I actually dual-booted into Mageia 4 today, no big deal. Linux will install a boot-up menu with a 5-second delay (or maybe 10), either let it boot into the default or use the keyboard to make the alternate selection. If you accept the default options they'll probably make Linux the default, but you can change it later if you wish. (Doesn't every software set itself as default?)

  • LinuxMint 17 (MATE).

    Cinnamon is better

    On what grounds?
    And anyway, "better"-"worse" is lyrics - gimme figures (or alike).
    Besides, we would need to presume that Windows users are not "power" users - right? So it's better to consider such a "parameter" like "better for starters" :idea:

  • ...run some drive optimizer first to defragment your disk...

    Wow, one of the recent confusions I was about to consult... about.
    What is defragmentation exactly? (Oh, just don't tell me it's antonym to "fragmentation"! :P )

  • Click XP's 'Start' menu button, then 'My Computer', right click 'Local drive c:' and select 'Properties', then click the 'Tools' tab, then locate the 'Defragmenter' option and click it.

    The defragmenter window will appear. Select the C: drive from the top part of the window and click the 'Analyse' button at the bottom of the window. Once done, click the 'Defragment' button next to it, wait until it finishes.

    What is defragmentation.

    http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-defragmenting-a-computer.htm

  • When a disk has been used for a long time, it can get hard to find enough space in a single block to store a file ... especially if the file gets stuff added to it. As a result, the file may have to be stored in separate fragments or pieces. The process of things becoming fragmented over time is fragmentation, or of course they can assign a number to the degree of fragmentation. Defragmentation involves - at minimum - moving some of the smaller files to make large enough spaces for the bigger files. Disk optimization involves moving everything so that files are stored together at the start of the drive - on an actual hard drive this will reduce delays while loading a file since the actual drive head won't have to move as far.

  • since the actual drive head won't have to move as far.

    Waits for joshl to ask if the drive has eyes, mouth and a nose too. :P

    I'm joking. :D

  • Wait till I'm joshing! :/ ;)

    Steve, when I saw the word "дефрагментация" there, I thought it was something vicious - because even much less viciously sounding "formatting" makes.. uhm.. You know. No side-effects?

  • No joshl, there are no side-effects, that is unless you turn your computer off or have a power cut while it is doing it.

  • Reformatting? Side effects are not out of the question, but that is why you need to optimize the disk first. The Linux installer doesn't really check what part of the disk (and how much) Windows needs. So also make note of how much free space you have, and make sure you leave enough for Windows when you resize the partition. That is, if you're just experimenting with Linux then you should use less than half of the free space for Linux. If you're planning to use Linux predominantly, then you could use more for Linux, but if you want Windows to run and use a web browser (which requires a cache) and so on you need enough free space for that cache and for saving files. If you have one of those 500 GB drives and still have 400 GB free you can do pretty much what you want - 100 GB free is plenty for XP, but also plenty for Linux. If you have one of those 50 GB drives and only 10 GB free you may be in trouble ... while there are versions of Linux that'll work okay in less than 5 GB you won't have too much space left for your own files.

    Make sure you check with the distributor of your Linux and see what they recommend as far as minimum space on the drive. If space is tight, get rid of unneeded files - empty your browser cache(s), delete programs you don't use, etc. After freeing as much space as you can, then optimize the disk and see what you have.

  • I guess I can put the new program onto another [logical] disc. Can't I?

  • If you can arrange to boot it, you can put it anywhere. The menu has to be on your primary (physical) drive, if you don't have some way of changing primary drives. And the menu doesn't actually all fit in the boot sector, so Linux has to be on the same physical drive. But Windows itself doesn't recognize non-Windows partitions, hence logical drives in the Windows sense don't matter - if you install Linux in place of some existing logical drive, Windows will act like the drive no longer exists.

  • Best thing to do (for Linux anyway) is burn a live-CD from some of the more popular, accessible and easy to use distributions (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, PCLinuxOS etc), boot from it and try them out for yourself. See which one/s you like and go from there. No point discussing how to install/dual-boot Linux when you haven't even tried it (in it's many forms) as you may not even like it.

  • If you can arrange to boot it,...

    What does that mean?

    But Windows itself doesn't recognize non-Windows partitions, hence logical drives in the Windows sense don't matter - if you install Linux in place of some existing logical drive, Windows will act like the drive no longer exists.

    I'm not sure...
    If I remember correctly, I was somehow informed that the drive is physically one, but divided into two logical discs. All the current operational (for the Windows and other stuff) seems to be on disc C, while the other one is o'k - not used by any soft, has enough memory and doesn't need defragmentation (checked).

  • Best thing to do (for Linux anyway) is burn a live-CD from some of the more popular, accessible and easy to use distributions (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, PCLinuxOS etc), boot from it and try them out for yourself. See which one/s you like and go from there. No point discussing how to install/dual-boot Linux when you haven't even tried it as you may not even like it.

    It seems irrelevant now whether I like it or not. As I'm not going to have an "advanced" Windows instead, and the only other way for a PC is to get Linux.

    So what do you say? I don't need to install-install Linux for now - but can rather do something - what is it exactly?

  • What does that mean?

    I've heard of computers computers which could be set in BIOS which HDD to boot from, if you only have one physical drive it does not matter.

    Are you sure the other drive is empty, and large enough? Most systems do have 2 or more partitions, but that's because the BIOS can't actually boot drive C. The other drive is what the BIOS boots, which has enough code to actually boot Windows. Either that, or the other drive contains your system backup image ...

  • Are you sure the other drive is empty, and large enough?

    Not empty. Should it be EMPTY?? Like empty-empty??

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