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Hi. I've been using Windows for the last 10 years. I am now downloading the 3 .iso's for Linux Mandrake 9.1, but I was hoping someone could answer a couple ...
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  1. #1
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    Using Linux Mandrake - It's a scary new world...


    Hi.

    I've been using Windows for the last 10 years.

    I am now downloading the 3 .iso's for Linux Mandrake 9.1, but I was hoping someone could answer a couple of queries I have.

    I have 2 Hard Drives. A 40gb one, which has Windows XP and all my games and software. I also have an 80gb one which has nothing but music and movies - which take up about 45gb of space.

    I wish to install Mandrake on my 2nd (80gb) hard drive.

    These are the questions :

    1. Can I install Mandrake on my 80gb drive without losing the files that are already on there. Remember - it's only movies and games, no Windows files or software of any kind.

    2. I hear you need 3 partitions or something for Linux. Will this all be done automatically for me during the installation.

    3. I also heard Linux cannot run on NTFS file system and uses it's own kind of formatting. Does this mean that any programs I want to use in Linux need to also be installed on the partitions or can I install them anywhere (the rest of the drive is NTFS)

    4. Following a succesful installation will I get a dual boot screen on booting my computer where I can choose XP or Linux?

    and 5.

    If it all goes wrong, and I decide I hate Linux, can I delete the partitions, and restore everything to how it was before?

    Sorry to ask so much, but it's really confusing me. Linux is more complicated to install and learn than Windows isn't it? Or am I just being stupid.

    I'd really appreciate any help at all. Thanks alot.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the world of Linux, it's a wonderful world.

    1. You won't loose any of the data you have on there. Mandrakes automatic partitioning will recognize the existing partiton and not remove it.

    2. Mandrake I think makes 4 if I remember, and yes it will make them automatically. It will make logical partitions which allows for more than 4 partitions on a drive.

    3. Yes Linux has it's own filesystems. Ext2, ext3, reiserfs ect. You won't be able to install Linux programs on NTFS partitions, you can't even write to NTFS partitions. But you'll be able to copy over or read any music, videos, files ect thats on an NTFS partiton.

    4. Yes Mandrake installs LILO and gives you a nice pretty dual boot screen.

    5. Yes, you can pop in the install cd, start going through the install process again and when you get to the partitioning part just manually delete all the Linux ones previously made and reboot.

    Good luck with Mandrake, it's super easy to install and a great new user distro.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the quick, easy to understand answers! Heh. It's true, Linux users are friendlier...

    Thanks again.

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  5. #4
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    jsut 1 thing u might want to think about. fi that 80gig drive is full of 1 partition u might want to defrag it then resize it in windows (i think xp has a resize thing), before u try installing mdk and wipe out anything on the end of that prtition.

  6. #5
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    Yeah I beleive that resiseing an ntfs partition is still somwhat experimental with GNU/Linux (blame MS's super secretive os) I would strongly suggest resizeing the drive with the windows partitioner before insterting the GNU/Linux disk. GNU/Linux will use one of its own filesystems on the free space.

  7. #6
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    Mandrake's installation disk comes with a NTFS resizing program, which works very well. I have this far used it to resize NTFS partitions on two computers without a hitch, and not only that, but it was really fast as well. I did find that quite amazing.

    However, Linux cannot write to NTFS filesystems yet, not only since M$ refuses to give out any specs, but also since the general ideology of the filesystem is rather incompatible with Linux, so you cannot modify your NTFS partitions from Linux. You can read from them, however.

    I don't think that Mandrake can resize your partition automagically either, so you will have to do that manually before you can let it partition the free space for you. Don't worry, though, Mandrake is probably the most easy to use distro out there.

    Also, I would like to recommend that once you get used to Linux using Mandrake, you should switch away to another distro, like RedHat or Debian. Mandrake isn't really pure Linux pleasure, so to speak; they've added so many modifications for ease-of-use, GUI sexyness, Windows users and the like. That's just my humble opinion, though.

  8. #7
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    All this talk of 'resizing'. I know I am probably being really stupid here, but does that mean it will literally resize my hard drive so it is no longer 80gb?

  9. #8
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    no, if the drive shows up in windows as 80GB of fat32 then mandrake will resise the fat32 part(ition) of the disk to something like maby 5GB depending on what you got on that disk so far, it will also create one or more linux partitions. in total you will stilll have 80gb of space to use (if you have the same sizes of ammount of files on it as i describe then you got 5gb for windows and 75GB for linux) (sorry im a bit partyed out)

  10. #9
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    Think of the Hardrive as a whole pie, 80 gigs worth... lets say you have ntfs on 45 gigs of it, you still have 35 gigs free equaling 80 gigs.

    Now if you make another partition for linux that eats up 10 gigs, you still have 45 ntfs,10 gigs linux. and 25 free gigs.. All equaling 80 gigs. It don't actually take away or add anything, you still have the 80 gigs....

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