There's 2 main ways you can install Linux.
Originally Posted by TheeOrical
You can allow Linux to use the entire drive, in which case everything Windows related, including the trojan, your data, etc., would all go away. Yes, there's a possibility that the trojan infected the BIOS, as somebody mentioned, the chances of this being the case are so far beyond low I won't even mention it.
The other way would be to install Linux along side your Windows 7 installation. To do this, you'd partition the drive (split it up), and give some space to Linux, and install Linux there. You must have the amount of space free under Windows in order to partition the drive without losing data.
So if you have a 500GB drive, and Windows says you have 200GB free, you can use a partitioning tool, such as Gparted, or Partition Magic to split up the free space, so maybe break off 100GB to use for your Linux installation. Now if you're in Windows, it'll only read 100GB free (drive will appear to have 400GB total). Your Linux installation will tell you that you have 100GB free (minus the space Linux itself uses (like 2GB)).
Now, if you do it the second way, you can still have access to *ALL FILES AND FOLDERS* on your Windows partition. BUT, you will NOT be able to execute the programs on Windows 7. Now media files and such will all work fine, but proprietary files may or may not work fine. If it's a .doc file, it'll probably open fine in Libre Office's word processor. If it's a .docx, the formatting may be off a bit, but nothing major most likely. The hardest part about switching to Linux is stuff like that.
Now unfortunately your problems aren't limited to that, as I said, you can't execute programs that are in Windows binary format (ie. your programs in Windows). This is A LOT of programs, unfortunately. The popular ones (ie. photshop, office, etc.) will have replacement programs (programs that have the same or similar functionality) for free in Linux. Though if they make any special formats (ie. a .psd photoshop file), they may not work 100% with Linux counter-parts.
So the real question is what do you use the computer for, and what types of non-media stuff do you NEED on there? If you need photoshop every day, then switching to Linux probably isn't good (as many graphic designers complain about the way Gimp (the free alternative to photoshop) handles layers) for you.
Also, remember, games are just programs, so just about any game you play in Windows won't exist in the Linux world.
Now as somebody mentioned, there is WINE, which while is not an emulator, has similar functionality to an emulator. This will allow you to run *SOME* Windows programs in Linux..but I wouldn't count on it happening. Though some stuff, like Max Payne, under WINE in Linux works better than it does under Windows, lol.
Regardless of what you do, you'll install Linux the native way, it's simply a matter of choosing where to install it and what prep work you must do to the hard drive before you do so.
Originally Posted by TheeOrical
Something like neckdiagrams will be a crap shoot. It may work fine under WINE, it may not. It certainly won't work natively. That's the main issue with switching to Linux, alternative programs.
Many people NEED programs in Windows, so they take the second method I mentioned above and break off a little chunk of free space from their Windows side and install Linux there. Then they use Linux as their daily operating system, but if they *need* that other program, it takes ~3 minutes to reboot into Windows and use it.
Hope that helps ya some.
OK, first "normal"? Not sure what normal is. I recommend that when you start the install process, you select the manual method of formatting your disk. By default, the system will attempt to save your previous Windows installation, effectively sual-booting your machine. Not only do you not want to dual boot, but it could preserve the virus if it is in the bootblock.
Originally Posted by TheeOrical
Manual format allows you to respecify the partitions and reformat the entire drive, which is the most effective way to insure the virus is gone. I suggest you select root (/) and /home partitions. If you choose to reinstall Linux or if you decide to try a seond version, you can reuse the /home partition, which saves file space and reformatting time.
Finally, regarding neckdiagrams.com, never heard of it. But WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator) will allow lots of Windows programs to run in Linux, so it may be usable for you. You should understand that Wine cannot work hardware-based copy protections, but apart from that it's about 95% effective in running Windows (my experience running Win2000 and WinXP applications. Perhaps less with Win7. YMMV)
@As much as I am a champion of Linux, I believe you might be wise to remove the Windows malware first, the install Linux for dual booting (or use a live CD, as others have suggested) to experiment with Linux.
I don't know this trojan. I have had good.
results from reverting to a saved system
the short answer is yes.
i was glad to finally be rid of windows, after being stuck with it from about 1987 - 1998. i looked after an apple macintosh network of computers for a while (1999 - 2003), which was an improvement over windows, but apple still tries to prevent you from doing things that would let you make the most of your system.
i am finally free of both of them (except at work, where we have windows unfortunately).
Off topic reply to Polypagan, but I note that you joined this forum in November 2006 whereas I joined in July of 2008. Both of us are listed as "Just Joined!" I wonder how long you have to be a member before that upgrades to "Regular Member", "Been Around Way too Long", "Pompous Old Fart", or even "Emeritus Member Died Years Ago". Enquiring minds want to know!
BTW, are you an Infidel Parrot, an Infidel to more than one religion, or just a polygamous non-member of the FLDS? I'm currently in Afghanistan wearing the Major League Infidel patch. Infidels of the World, unite!
You can go to distrowatch.com and download the linux distro of your choice. On the right hand side they list the top 100 distro's, Mint being #1 by a wide margin at the moment. Follow the how to, and try the live cd/dvd to see if linux is something you could get used to. I made the switch 4 years ago and have never been sorry.
Ok, 2 steps need to be done here. Step one, get rid of the trojan and you should be able to do that using Zone Alarm anti-virus & firewall or AVG free, just start in safe mode (press F8 during boot-up) and run the virus-scanner, that should resolve that. Step two, I recommend you try Ubuntu as there is no partitioning just download the wubi file from their website and Ubuntu will install inside Windows by creating a virtual disk it will run off. This give you a dual boot menu on start up and the beauty of this is if you don't like it you can remove Ubuntu in the control panel as if it were a Windows application.
Post back here and tell us how you got on.
Thank's to everyone for the Help. I have my Laptop now running Linux "Mint 13 maya" & got rid of my Windows 7.
So far, im very happy with it. It's fun looking up about what there is in Linux & what you can do :)
I was getting a virus on Windows every month ( was using AVG FREE ) Paying money for Antivirus "tut tut" not for me.
Look's like i can do everything i did before on my Laptop, so Happy Happy Joy Joy :)
Thanks again to everyone for your help.
Here's some info on User Rankings.
@TheeOrical, nice to know that you got it sorted out, and that Linux is working well for you!:)