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Replacing your Operating System

  • 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. 😛

    I'm joking. 😃

  • 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??

  • Either that, or the other drive contains your system backup image ...

    I have no idea about the "image". No backups of the system I could see; disc D seems free from that, in any case >_>

  • As in, if you right-click on the drive in Explorer, Properties will say "0 bytes used, xx GB free". You are talking about reformatting it, there had better be nothing you can't lose there.

  • Oh, no! There are lots of stuff there! :awww:

  • What make and model is your computer, laptop (nettop ?) joshl ?.

  • No, not joshl, - Samsung NP N-110(-KA02RU it seems).

  • Ah!/oh!, It's a netbook, and does not have a CD drive.

    http://oi49.tinypic.com/2v17l7s.jpg

    Do you have a 4GB USB flash drive/Memory stick that is empty/blank joshl ?.

  • Most of those take SD cards ... when I installed Mageia to my old netbook I used an external optical drive. But most distros tell you how to dump an ISO to a media card or USB key these days.

  • Most of those take SD cards ...

    That's true.

    So, will I need to throw away/move gigabytes of files to make it for a second OS? Cards and sticks are not tidily enough incorporated to the hard body of the PC. Then - move?..

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