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  1. #1

    install linux on a new Hard drive

    I am new to linux.
    I want to buy a new Hard drive and install on it Linux only. Then with may actual Hard drive (on which I use Windows Me) I can choose which OS to use At the start up.
    Is this feasible?

    My machine has the followng characteristics:
    - CPU Intel 800 Mhz
    - HD 10
    - OS Windows Me

    Then, I mainly use scientific software. Which kind of linux is the most adapted (redhat, Debian,...)?


  2. #2
    If you install the new hard drive and boot from the install CD, most distros will set up a dual-boot configuration automagically (in other words, leave your Windows drive in the machine). Always double-check the partition info before you let the installer do its thing, but it's usually not an issue you really have to deal with.

    As far as scientific software...not sure exactly what you're looking for, but SuSE, Mandrake/Mandriva, Fedora, or a Debian-based distro would probably have the most packages available.
    There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence.

    - Jeremy S. Anderson

  3. #3
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    CT --> PA
    and if you must repartition the HD, the best bet is to install Linux FIRST and make your partitions w/ cfdisk (or what ever you use) and create a Fat32 partition for the Win install. Once you write that to the table, you can install linux and then install Win whatever you want on that part, and provided you have the bootloader set up correctly...dualboot at will.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Windows like to overwrite the mbr with it's own loader. Also, if it sees other partitions, it will use like F:\ as the windows partition and then some software will not like that C:\ is not the partition which windows resides on (it's even worse if you have another fat32 drive already set up. It will put ntldr et al on this partition and \windows\* on the F:\ partition it creates). It's so much less of a hassle to let windows install first, and then load a linux OS. Just don't use the entire drive when windows formats the drive upon install.

  6. #5
    regarding scientific software, it doesnt matter which distro you use... If you need a GUI, running X suffices... I used SuSE (very windows-like with respect to installing things, in the sense that it's pretty automatic if you set up YaST correctly) and had mathematica 5, surf, GAP, LiDIA, PARI, and REDUCE (all math software) running fine. Most science software don't even need a GUI. Probably your concern for that shouldn't be which distro so much as how much RAM (& swap size) you have. The only think I would take into consideration is how the distro loads its software and how the software is made available... mathematica has a nice gui thing to do all the installing, but an rpm make-install would be necessarry for the other software I mention. The make-install is pretty much distro independent. So, choose a distro that is most comfortable for you to use when not using scientific software, because it won't matter. "Prebuilt" packages couldnt be used as serious scientific software anyway, probably you're getting this stuff for free online or from a vendor.

  7. #6
    Linux Engineer LondoJowo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Richmond, TX
    On both my Thinkpad T40 the hard drive is accessible via the side and can be swapped out with ease. I have the following drives:

    Work (Original) - 40GB WinXP Pro (can't add any programs other than business related, absolutely no games)
    2nd - 40GB WinXP Pro (my drive with games and personal programs)
    3rd - 40GB SuSE 9.3
    4th - 30GB Mepis 3.3.2 Test02

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