Fed up with windows vista....

Hi all. Heard of Linux some time ago, but never really looked into it until now. I am having problems with Vista getting progressively slower, especially Windows Mail and IE, but other programmes too. I would love to ditch windows, but can’t afford a mac, so this looks like a good option. I have been reading various posts on here, but really need this in plain non-geek!! I have three hard drives in my pc, so could load linux onto a seperate one from windows to try it. I have no idea where to start or how to set up the pc to give me the option of both as I’ve seen described. I also have no idea how to download e-mails to Linux or even if Ican. I mainly use the pc to run internet,e-mails, word, excel, and photo editing software. I also need it to talk to my android phone, and network with other pcs. I can move itunes to my laptop, so no bother there! Would appreciate any help or advice on which version of Linux would suit best (not too bothered about fancy features, just the basics I’ve listed) or gaming.

many thanks

if you want to “test drive” Linux, why not download an Ubuntu LiveCD ISO image, burn it to a CDR or DVD-R, then boot to it, and select “Try Ubuntu”.

A LiveCD will boot to a working Linux desktop without making ANY changes to your hard drive… you can then test compatibility, and get a “feel” for Linux without changing your Windows setup at all.
(though obviously it will be slower than a hard drive installation, and you won’t be able to save any changes)

Ubuntu homepage here:

Download the LiveCD image from here:

To burn the ISO image to a blank CD/DVD, Your best bet would be to download ImgBurn on your Windows box (it’s free):
(be aware I don’t think the Ubuntu ISO fits on a standard CDR any more, so use a DVDR)


Install it, then see here for instructions on how to burn an image with ImgBurn:

on the second picture, where it says Write Speed: AUTO … change that to 4X
and put a tick in the Verify box.

Once burned, just reboot to the CD, and when asked, select “Try Ubuntu”, NOT Install Ubuntu.

It is also possible to put Ubuntu (or pretty much any other Linux distribution) on a USB stick for test driving (LiveUSB), which has the added benefit that you CAN save changes … but your PC must be capable of booting from a USB stick.

Then once you’ve test driven Linux, if you decide you want to install it properly … you can use the LiveCD (or LiveUSB) as the installation disk.

If you have any questions… just ask, and we’ll be more than happy to answer them :wink:

If/when you decide you want to install Linux to your hard drive … let us know and we’ll help with the installation (including setting up your system to dual-boot Windows and Linux).

BTW, Linux will do all the things you mentioned (including networking with Windows PC’s) … with one caveat … talking to your Android phone … that depends on what you mean by “talk to” ?

If your system is old and low spec, Ubuntu may not be the best Linux distribution for you … in that case, let us know the system spec.
(most PC’s that were sold with Vista preinstalled will be OK with Ubuntu unless they are very short on RAM)

Thanks for that, in progress as soon as I can get some dvdrs!
By talk to , I mean I need to be able to swap files to and from it. I probably will be able to, when i plug in the usb it acts as a disc drive, so I don’t forsee a problem. Just thought you might know different!

If (as you suggest) your Android phone acts as a USB mass storage device in Windows… it should do the same in Linux :slight_smile:

It’s only if it needs software installing to access it, that there may be a problem.

If you have no DVDR’s, have you got a (preferably 4GB or larger) USB stick ? … and can your PC boot from USB sticks ? … if so, you can put Ubuntu on that.

If you want to know how … just ask.

Welcome to the world of Ubuntu :slight_smile:
I too was sick of Windows, I used to use XP Pro but like you, I was getting sick of how slow it was getting and constantly having to run cleaners and defrag my HD’s.

Converting was the best thing I did. I was going to ‘upgrade’ to Win7 and buy a new PC which would have cost me an estimated £1,200. My PC is 5 years old and now, after switching to Ubuntu (which, luckily I did just days after the 11.10 version came out*) it may live on for another 5 years. And upgrading is going to be a LOT cheaper. I can now upgrade to the full capacity of my MoBo to 8Gb instead of a pathetic 3Gb (as XP was only 32Bit, Ubuntu allows you to choose either 32/64Bit) and I am looking at upgrading the processor to the highest my MoBo will allow.

You may also notice that the best printers to use as they are the better supported ones are HP.

  • There’s a new version out every 6 months, 12 04 being the next one

We all know the pain of Windows, and I think we can agree that Linux will be the best move you ever make.

I do hope you enjoy the Ubuntu distro, if not then you have the choice the change to try another. That’s the beauty of it.

It would be nice if you could give us some specs to work with, that way we can suggest a distro suited better to your PC.

You’ll find that gaming on Linux can be a little disappointing since there isn’t much support for it yet, although with WINE you can play Windows games on your PC bit at a little bit slower rate.

The basics you’ve listed will all work perfectly fine, and with Linux you’ll be fast all the time.

There are applications such as Firefox & Thunderbird which are native to Linux so I’m sure you’ll be familiar with them.

As we say to everyone, we’re here to help so don’t hesitate to ask questions. Fire away and we’ll answer them.


Thanks for all the help guys. Have a disk version of Ubuntu now and I’ve had a bit of a play. I’m pretty close to going ahead with the install, but just need to check a couple of things first.
I have a load of files I want to keep, but no external storage large enough. Will they be safe on a second internal hdd?
Second - music. I can’t persuade Ubuntu to play my music files . It finds them, but won’t play them. I can move them to a laptop for ipod purposes, but it would be nice to play them while I am on the pc as well. What do I need to do?
3. e-mails. I have a large number of e-mails I need to keep. I can export them for now, but can they be imported into Ubuntus e-mail system later? I am assuming I can use it to download from my google account etc?

Yes as long as you don’t format that drive … to be 100% safe, disconnect that drive, install Ubuntu, then reconnect that drive (and make sure it’s not set as the first boot device).

What format are the music files ? … if mp3, you’ll want to install the ubuntu-restricted-extras package (which you can’t do on a LiveCD, but you can once it’s installed on your hard drive).

Which email client are you using in Windows ?

Ubuntu by default (now) uses Mozilla Thunderbird, so if the Windows Thunderbird client can import them, so can the Linux one.