Author Topic: old programs & files  (Read 2766 times)

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Offline jdude

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old programs & files
« on: September 08, 2011, 01:15:18 am »
Hi all,

apologies if this has been asked before, but there are too many pages to trawl through & check!

My computer currently runs on windows vista (shite) & has had a trojan attck. The virus is now gone, but it took a lot of my DLL's with it. Also, my dvd writer doesn't work.

I've been considering Linux for a while & wanted to know, if I follow the USB installation will it wipe my computer to basics, or will there be an option to save all my programs & files?
I have a large music collection & personal documents, & my hard drive is full, with nowhere to transfer them to in the meantime.
I also have 2 (also full) x-drives on NTFS- will they work ok or will they need configuring?

Will the Linux installation strip & replace windows?

And while I'm here - when I click the "try Linux" link on the home page of this site, it takes me to an Ubuntu download - I don't get it. Why isn't it a Linux download?
Sorry if I'm being really thick here, but computers are not really my forte!

Thanks :D

Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: old programs & files
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 02:35:40 am »
if I follow the USB installation will it wipe my computer to basics, or will there be an option to save all my programs & files?


This is probably a slightly more complex question than you think... and depends on what you mean by USB installation :) ??

If you mean create a LiveUSB memory stick (pendrive)... NO it won't make ANY changes to your hard drive AT ALL... BUT, not all PC's can boot from USB memory sticks, though I'd take an educated guess that if your system came with Vista pre-installed, it's probably new enough that it can.

If you mean, install it to an external USB hard drive (and Windows is on the internal drive)... again NO, though depending on how you set it up it *may* need to overwrite the Windows bootloader, but you will still be able to boot Windows.

If however you mean install it TO the internal hard drive FROM a USB stick/drive, then it depends on what type of installation you plan... you can:-

a) Resize the Windows partition, leaving room for Linux native partition(s), and install it to that... Linux would then be able to access files on the Windows partition, but Windows will not be able to see the Linux partition
(Be Aware, any partition table manipulation carries a small risk of corruption, so backing up any data you can't afford to loose would be a good idea)

b) Install Ubuntu INSIDE Windows (kind of as an application, though that is an over simplification, it's actually a virtual drive) using the WUBI installer, and if you don't like it you can uninstall it from the Windows Add/Remove Programs control panel applet... there are however pitfalls to this kind of installation... you cannot resize the virtual drive, windows viruses may be able to damage the virtual drive file, and if you decide to fully switch to Linux and delete your Windows partition, well deleting Windows will also kill Linux, requiring a full reinstall.

So the question must be... what do you mean by USB installation ?

Quote
I have a large music collection & personal documents, & my hard drive is full, with nowhere to transfer them to in the meantime.

Well (if installing to the same hard drive as Windows) this boils down to how safe do you want to be ;)

Quote
I also have 2 (also full) x-drives on NTFS- will they work ok or will they need configuring?


What do you mean by X-Drives... Windows Azure drives ? .. AFAIK (and I could be wrong) Azure drives are Windows virtual drives, they can be mounted as network drives, but require Windows to be running to mount them first... so AFAIK they aren't going to work in Linux.

Quote
Will the Linux installation strip & replace windows?


See above... it depends on how you install it, but only if you tell it to.

Quote
And while I'm here - when I click the "try Linux" link on the home page of this site, it takes me to an Ubuntu download - I don't get it. Why isn't it a Linux download?


Hmm... I'm unaware of any "Try Linux" link on this sites homepage (or the Linux.co.uk homepage), but that said Ubuntu is the *leading* Linux distribution, though there are MANY others.

A bit of an explanation -

A Linux DISTRIBUTION (or distro) is a collection of 3 main parts, the Linux kernel, the GNU toolchain, and a collection of applications.

Linux Kernel = Think of it as the *core* of the operating system, the part that directly controls the hardware, it's a bridge between applications and the actual data processing done at the hardware level.

GNU Toolchain = A collection of programming tools, utilities, and libraries necessary for applications to be built and run

Applications = This is *mainly* what changes from distro to distro... the applications included, and the desktop configuration etc.

So "Linux" has come to be used as a blanket term to mean any distribution that includes the Linux kernel & GNU toolchain... Ubuntu ATM being the most widelspread, and *probably* the easiest for new users, if for no other reason than they'll find help/support easier to find :)

But if you want to get an idea of just how many Linux distributions are out there, see here:
http://distrowatch.com/
and that isn't a full list  :o

If you have any other questions feel free to ask... and I'll try not to overload you next time :)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 02:48:31 am by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline jdude

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Re: old programs & files
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 12:08:36 pm »
Hi Mark,

To clarify - I'm going by the instructions given on the Ubuntu site.
By USB installation, I mean from a USB memory stick.
By x-drive, I mean external hard drive.
The link I'm referring to is on the Introduction - Desktop - You could give Linux a try. But I think you've clarified that Ubuntu is a distributor of Linux.

I'm not really sure what I'm doing, but am pretty sure that I can't do a partition on my hard drive as it is full?
I'm looking for something to replace windows, as I've more than had enough of it :D
Dunno if I'm on the right track though, as I don't understand half of your post, lol.
Basically - if my dvd drive was working, I could do a partial windows restore that would keep all my files & programs intact.
I was wondering if the same option would be available with installing Linux instead?
I don't want it to run inside or side-by-side with window, I'm done with windows :D

Cheers, James

Offline jdude

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Re: old programs & files
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 12:11:04 pm »
Oops! Forgot to say:

It was my understanding (from Ubuntu) that I could INSTALL from a memory stick, not just boot... is this not correct? %-\

Offline BkS

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Re: old programs & files
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 02:05:30 pm »
To put Marks post into simple terms, here goes:

You can install from a USB stick, yes. Using the WUBI.exe, you can try any Linux distro (as Ì'm aware) from a USB. Giving your computer can boot from a USB via the BIOS. You can also install/try via CD.

Boot = Starting up your computer.
BIOS = BASIC IN / OUT SYSTEM.

The programs, files etc inside Windows WILL be overwritten if you decide to wipe windows completely from your harddrive. Although if you back them up to your externals anything you save won't be lost. Your harddrive won't need configuring as the Linux kernel can read a lot of filesystems, from Apple's HFS, to Windows' FAT/NTFS, to other one's you may not of heard of like EXT (the main one for Linux). I don't think I can make this post any simpler.

I would like to tell you that as an ex windows user, Linux is totally different ball game. Installing programs is different, everything feels FAR more secure, and NEARLY everything is FREE. Linux is definitely a step in the right direction, and I urge you to become a Linux user like myself. I've never found a more stable OS than Ubuntu. There are tons of Linux OS's but Ubuntu is definitely the easiest to start of with.

Hope this helps.
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Offline jdude

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Re: old programs & files
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 03:05:38 pm »
Wicked!
Thanks very much, guys.
:D

Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: old programs & files
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 03:23:01 pm »
Oops! Forgot to say:

It was my understanding (from Ubuntu) that I could INSTALL from a memory stick, not just boot... is this not correct? %-\

Yes you can boot to it, OR install from it... the same as with a LiveCD, but unlike a LiveCD you can (if you decide to boot to it and run Linux from there) you can save changes, like install software, save files, and make configuration changes.

Quote
By x-drive, I mean external hard drive.

Yes external hard drives formatted as NTFS will be OK with Linux... Ubuntu will be able to read and write to them.

Quote
Basically - if my dvd drive was working, I could do a partial windows restore that would keep all my files & programs intact.
I was wondering if the same option would be available with installing Linux instead?
I don't want it to run inside or side-by-side with window, I'm done with window

If this means what I think it means... NO, there will be no option to copy your Windows user files to your Linux partition during installation... you will need to back them up first if you plan on completely formatting the drive to Linux native partitions.

Though "technically" you *could* boot to the LiveUSB, then delete everything you DON'T need in the Windows partition, then resize the Windows partition, install Linux to the (now) free space... then copy the Windows file you have left to the Linux partition... then delete the Windows partition... then resize the Linux partition to fill the entire drive (maybe having to reinstall the GRUB bootloader)... but a lot of work ;)

OK, maybe I lied when I said I wouldn't overload you next time ;)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 03:39:59 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline Tramlink

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Re: old programs & files
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 05:17:20 pm »
http://linux.co.uk/ If you click on Getting Started you can read about and download to try the 5 most popular distributions.

Only 3 months ago we had 4 Windows PCs in our house.  Now 3 of these run Linux only.

Good hunting.

Offline jdude

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Re: old programs & files
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 02:22:10 am »
WOOHOO!
Well, I've got Typhoid Mary (my virus whore computer) restored to factory, so that's a start - I'll do Linux next.
Thanks for all the help people.
:D

Offline BkS

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Re: old programs & files
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2011, 08:58:07 am »
WOOHOO!
Well, I've got Typhoid Mary (my virus whore computer) restored to factory, so that's a start - I'll do Linux next.
Thanks for all the help people.
:D

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