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Tech Helproom


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What is the easiest and quickest way to try Linux Mint


Graphicool1
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WinXP SP3

As the title says, what is the easiest and quickest way to view/try Mint and make the move if I like it.

Reasons:

My eleven year old PC MoBo went belly up a month ago. So I decided it was time to move onward and upward. I built a new PC (online) and now I'm awaiting delivery. In the meantime I needed to be able to connect to the Net, for emails etc. A friend was chucking out an extremely old Gateway PC, the max ram it can take is 512mb. It's megga slow, still, I thought that would do for the interim.

I installed WinXP from my other PC's disk, knowing I would have 30 days before it would need to be 'Activated'! I thought that would give plenty of time for the new PC to arrive. At the time the PC builders said it would take 14 working days. However. I hadn't taken into consideration two, four day weekends.

Now my back is against the wall, with NO new PC on the horizon. I have 5 days left to activate WinXP!

Do you think that when I click to activate it, they will think well, it isn't the same machine, but he hasn't upgraded, he's downgraded? We'll let him activate?

Anyway, my solution, till the other PC arrives is to give Linux Mint a try.

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Graphicool1

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rawprawn

Yes you're right, I do like to dabble in things and at times I've been known to takes blind leaps into the unknown. However, on this occasion I am being driven to the edge of the abyss by Microsoft! Because I have to press the 'Activate windows' button in ~ yesterday I had 5 days left? today though it's telling me I have ~ 3 days!?

Why am I concerned about this, because the disk I've installed, didn't come with this PC and when i press that button I think that ~ although it's older and clapped out ~ they'll deactivate Windows. Which will mean, I'll be cut off in my prime.

Yes I could reinstall Windows again from the same disk and go through the long winded reinstall of all the updates etc. But I don't know if they'll then give me another 30 days grace?

Then there's my wife's laptop, with Vista, yes I could use that and have done at a pinch. But I just can't get on with Vista. Also because ~ as you say ~ I like to tinker, I'm not sure I could stop myself from messing with it for very long.

UBUNTU or one of it's siblings was a short term answer, to keep me online and in touch, while waiting for the new PC. Also it is a chance to see if I could get along with it, as I also have another PC, only 4 years old, that was given to me without an OS. If I like UBUNTU enough I could put it there and use that PC as a back up to me new one.

So you see, there is method in my madness...this time!

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robinofloxley

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I am also a fan of Puppy since it puts a nice row of Drive shortcuts on the Taskbar. But Mint is much prettier.

I would thoroughly recommend starting again with a Flashcard or USB stick and boot and run from that. (4GB or better) I don't think you can go wrong with this guide and download.

Universal USB Installer

Ensure your BIOS has USB boot enabled before C: drive and after CD/DVD.

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Graphicool1

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robinofloxley

Thanx for your input 'G', I'll have a look at the link you've provided.

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Graphicool1

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Something to look at while I'm checking out G's link. My new ~ built online ~ PC...

System Base Price: £ 332.50

Mini-Tower uATX Chassis - Black

550W HEC Desktop Power Supply [upg £ 17.50]

Asus P8H67-M Pro Mainboard - Intel Core™ i / LGA 1155 / uATX

14x USB 2.0 Ports + 2x USB 3.0 Ports - P8H67-M PRO

Intel® 2nd Generation Core™ i3-2100 Processor (3M Cache, 3.10 GHz) - LGA1155

4GB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM - (2x2GB)

1024MB ATI Radeon HD5450 Graphics Accelerator GDDR3 [upg £ 41.67]

NEW 22" Wide LED Monitor - Full HD 1920 x 1080, VGA+DVI-D [upg £ 99.38]

500GB SATA 3Gb/s 7200rpm 16MB Cache Hard Drive - Samsung F3

22x SATA Dual Layer DVD-Rewritable Super Format ±R/±RW/RAM

7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound

Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium pre-installed

Free Microsoft® Office 2010 Starter Edition

Free Cyberlink Video Editing Suite - 7 titles (oem)

Cherry Deluxe Keyboard & Optical Mouse (Corded) - Black [upg £ 8.33]

Free 3 Years Gold Warranty - inc 3 Months Free Collect & Return

This little lot comes in just shy of £600

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Graphicool1

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Can a LINUX OS be installed directly onto a blank HDD, from scratch? Or does it need Windows or MAC to be present?

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LastChip

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Two things.

Yes, Linux is designed to be installed on it's own hard drive without any other system being present.

Just load the CD or DVD and click install - that's it, other than the normal of selecting language etc.

If the computer you're dealing with is as old as you suggest, there is a high probability that it will not have an option to boot from a USB stick.

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Graphicool1

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LastChip

Intel Pentium III processor 930MHz 512MB RAM

I've just heard that my new PC should be delivered middle to end of next week. So if push comes to shove, what's a few days off line.

I have made a Linux UBUNTU disk, using your link. Although as yet I haven't tried it out. I also have a new 8GB USB Flash Drive on which I was intending to install either 'PUPPY' or 'Mint Gnome'.

This whole Linux spin off thing is like a minefield to the uninitiated, everyone has their own preferences, suggestions and rejections. To be perfectly honest my mind is in a whirl, not knowing which way to turn for the best. Presumably though whatever way I go I'll be able to change my mind if I don't like that choice?

I've already installed and am using 'THUNDERBIRD' because I believe that works with Linux. However, I have tried it before and never liked it then and like it even less now. My thoughts are that rawprawn's diagnosis of me and my preferences are all too correct. Linux on a back-up PC will get me by in a pinch, but for all time use I'm not so sure, but I'm prepared to keep an open mind. For some reason though I think that the Linux OS's are going to be pretty basic, I hope I'm wrong?

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woodchip

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If you put the UBUNTU Disc in you Drive, and boot with it, it will give the option on run from disc or Load it. Why not try it running from Disc.

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Graphicool1

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woodchip

Thanx for the nudge, I think. This ho it went...

I put the disk in and rebooted - UBUNTU 11.04 four dots beneath changing from white to red. Waited, waited, waited black screen. waited, screen filled with white writing, the word that stood out the most was ERROR. White writing changed to red! Black screen waited, black screen with white cursor in the middle.

Patience isn't my strong point but i held on, then the UBUNTU desktop appeared. Of course though, it didn't fit on my screen, until I re-adjusted it. Mouse moves very slow. Everything is alien to me so I am unable to adjust anything.

There are two folders on the desktop, one is titled 'Install Ubuntu 11.04' the other 'Examples' I clicked on this one, after some while it opened. There are 8-10 other folders inside, of which only one contains anything. but it won't open.

I thought i would be able to access some of my programs, but it looks like everything will have to be reinstalled. Before rebooting with UBUNTU I didn't unplug any of my external hardware. I expected Ubuntu - like Windows - to find them. But it hasn't. So I plugged in my new 8GB USB Flash Drive to see what would happen. A pop-up window opened...

Unable to mount USB disk - Not Authorized

Then I tried the same thing with an external 1TB drive, same result??

The only thing I've been able to do is get on the Internet hence this posting. It also asked me if I want to set up my mail.

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Graphicool1

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To Whom It May Concern - or interest

Three times in the past 15 minutes FF4 which I'm using to get on line via Ubuntu has cleared itself from the screen and says this...

Well, this is embarrassing.

Firefox is having trouble recovering your windows and tabs. This is usually caused by a recently opened web page.

You can try:

Removing one or more tabs that you think may be causing the problem Starting an entirely new browsing session

I never had any trouble like this with FF using Windows.

My thoughts on why Ubuntu won't/can't use external USB hardware, is that perhaps it's beacause it's only running from the disk and not fully installed on the HDD?

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