I have an old machine with a VERY infected version of windows installed on it. I'd like to clear it off before I install linux... I'm currently downloading fedora 8. Will it come with an option to format the HDD?
I'm sure this is a major newbie question, but I guess we all have to start somewhere.
Also, is there any other information I need to gather about this machine before I get ready to install linux? (hardware info, etc?)
Welcome to the forums knottshawk
You will be able to install Linux either on its own or with Windows, and will setup a dual boot for you. First you should make up your mind what you want to install. If you want to dual boot with Windows then do a fresh install of Windows first ... its much easier.;)
Try the live CD for the distro and check that internet connections work before you do the install ... that way if you need internet connections to download information you will be able to get this from the live CD.
I dual boot Windows and Linux but only use Linux for net access, that way Windows does not get an opportunity to get a virus.
Ed: if you have not picked a distro yet then check out this link and try a few live CDs to see which distro supports the hardware you have and you like the look and feel of. Just keep in mind that Linux will run a bit slow from CD.
Most installers do have options to partition and format your disk.
Originally Posted by knottshawk
About the hardware part, it's a good thing to know at least some basic info, like the chipset of your motherboard, the layout of your drives (like if they are IDE or SATA and how they are partitioned) and the kind of network interface you have.
But most times this is not needed nowadays, because most installers can autodetect everything just right. In any case, before proceeding, you should visit the home page of your distro and read the docs about installation, because there they will tell you any details that you need to know to sucessfully install the distribution.
Before installing Fedora, make sure your computer has the specs to handle it. If it's an old machine there's a good chance it won't. I think you need around 512 Mb RAM to use it successfully.