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02-19-10, 07:53 PM   #1
Wimpface
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So I'm about to switch to Linux...

So, I'm about to switch to Linux after all the amazing stuff I've read about it. Here's the thing though, I have a bunch of stuff saved on my C drive where my Windows 7 is installed and I'd like to save this. How would one do this without an external harddrive?

I'm thinking of getting the Linux installed on my F drive, as it's quite enough for an OS to run on. My C drive is 1TB and my F drive is 150GB and I have so much things to save on my C drive.
If I was to install Linux on my F drive, would I still be able to access my files on my C drive? Also, would I be able to uninstall Windows 7 from my C drive, keep Linux on my F drive, and still have all my saved images and stuff on my C drive?

I know this is all VERY messy, and I hope I've made my questions clear, else, I'll try to clarify.

Thank you all in advance!
- Wimp.
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02-19-10, 08:33 PM   #2
Aerials
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(not sure about all but generally) all the distro's will install as dual boot by default if you have another os installed already, i have done this with windows 7 and ubuntu (among many many other versions of either windows or linux) but it is ALWAYS a excelent idea to have another backup just incase ..... you really never know if it's going to go as smoothly as it should.

oh, and for some reason.... if you decide to scrap linux later (or remove the HDD), the windows 7 repair tool for some reason doesn't detect that the computer is trying to boot to grub (linux boot loader) rather than the windows boot loader, and will not fix it (thus you'll have to reinstall everything, yada yada...) what I did.... is before removing linux, i used the backup tool in windows 7 (now does a real backup complete with system image and all) to back up the windows hdd then after reinstalling windows i ran the restore utility, all settings, drivers, absolutely everything was back to normal and peachy keen. (the restore did take a few hours though)

good luck in linux!! i LOVE linux, but it can be annoying here and there if you're not used to it (such as using WoW and Ventrilo, etc...)

Last edited by Aerials : 02-19-10 at 08:39 PM.
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02-19-10, 08:33 PM   #3
cloudwolf
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I don't know enough about this but you could always install one of the installer versions of ubuntu linux that creates a partition on your hard drive which allows you to dual boot by selecting which OS you want to start up in through a window when turning on your computer.
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02-19-10, 08:48 PM   #4
Aerials
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actually, come to think of it i don't think it was the default to have it not replace windows, but it's got a big graphical thing, easy to figure out..... one thing though, i'm assuming you want to be able to access the windows hdd in linux, it's easiest to set that up when installing linux, if you're going to use ubuntu, it's pretty easy. you just use the graphical thing still, and when telling it what partition to use, i do custom then set it up to use windows, not reformat and mount the partition at /windows then have it set up 2 partitions on the other hdd, one for swap and one for ext3 or ext 4 for /root...

if that's confusing, just try it out without the access to windows hdd by having it use the other hdd in the non-custom settings.

good luck!!
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02-19-10, 09:38 PM   #5
Wimpface
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Thanks Aerials! I'll see if I can get a hold of it. But, if I were to uninstall my windows (permantently) would I lose ALL of my data on that harddrive or just the Windows data?

Thanks, everyone!
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02-19-10, 09:45 PM   #6
Bornabe
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I love Linux, I personally use Ubuntu v9.10 32bit on a USB Flash Drive and boot to it when I need it. I use Win7 as my Primary at the moment due to all the extensive gaming lately, but use Linux for a slew of things ranging from Programming to some other unmentionables.

Using this method it runs the smoothest, and allows me to not touch my main drive / computer. You can set up Linux with it's own usable & functional storage space on a USB Flash Drive. In fact, it's even on many of the Distro's Main Pages on how to do this. Pick a Distro, Put it on a Flash Drive, make sure to include it's own storage. 4GB seems to be the limit, but you'll be using your Windows drive for 'storage' of your main files, documents, music, photos, etc... so now you can access those files to & from both OSes, and have the Flash Drive with your portable Bootable Linux on it that can be Updated, Enhanced, Add Software, nice utilities for fixing other people's computers, etc... all on an easy to use Flash Drive that doesn't involve messing up anything.

Added Note(s): I used to primarily use Linux, and again, I LOVE it, so use it. Save your face, your data and your stress levels by goin' the Flash Drive route. Pickup a cheap 6GB one and use the 4GB setup, you will be pleased in every way. Keep the Gnome desktop, leave the others alone. You can have it Dual-Boot if you must, but once again, Flash setup is the best setup.

Last edited by Bornabe : 02-20-10 at 04:59 AM.
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02-19-10, 10:50 PM   #7
Rabbit
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Originally Posted by Bornabe View Post
You won't be able to 'replace' Windows with Linux as your OS entirely, and those that say they do are lying, they have to use Windows for a multitude of things.
That is just complete nonsense, I have only used Linux on any computer I own for the past 7 years at least.
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02-19-10, 11:10 PM   #8
Aerials
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i agree..... you really can do everything you can do in windows in linux.... it just takes some work sometimes. there can be some downsides though for gaming, such as hardware cursor in wow, and setting up wow and ventrilo to both work at the same time and be able to PTT can be a total pain (can't remember for sure if i got PTT to work when in the wow window or not, think i did).

i used linux exclusively on my WoW pc for a long time. the hardware cursor ended up annoying me too much though, i still have some computers that are only linux though. there is a work around for the hardware cursor, but imo it's too much effort for too little a problem.

-- edit --

also, i like the free video editing potential in linux (especially if you compare it to the spyware that's avail for windows). i've always prefered to have it installed on the disk, but i suppose if it were able to read and write to the USB drive fast enough (i wouldn't want USB for this) it would be alright. can it install onto anything that's eSATA or w/e? USB supposedly can go fast, but never seems to deliver (IMO).

that was all opinion and is not to be mistaken with any fact (DON'T SUE ME FOR LIBEL (please)!!!). *cough* i hate USB *cough*

Last edited by Aerials : 02-19-10 at 11:15 PM.
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02-20-10, 12:08 AM   #9
Rabbit
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http://www.mangler.org (stable version is in the Ubuntu repos)
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02-20-10, 01:44 AM   #10
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If I was to install Linux on my F drive, would I still be able to access my files on my C drive?
To answer this question, yes. Distros using recent revs of the Linux kernal can read and write to NTFS formatted drives. So if you install Linux to your F: drive, you will be able to access and save files to your NTFS format C: drive.

Regarding using Linux as a Windows replacement completely, for the most part, that is a yes. However there are some caveats:
  • New DirectX based games will have issues or will simply be unplayable. DirectX 10 and up based games will not be functional at all.
  • While there are some video editing programs, they are all still a work in progress. In particular converting to h.264 will be problematic as many FOSS video editors do not have h.264 codecs due to patent issues. However depending your system, you may be able to get editors like Sony Vegas working via Wine.
  • Image editing can be a bit of pain in the tail as the best current FOSS editor (The Gimp) has an "Interesting" UI that many coming from Windows find difficult to work with. However this is changing with a major UI change coming in Gimp 2.8 (currently in testing in the 2.7 testing release). However many commerical image editors such as Photoshop and Paintshop Pro are perfectly happy to operate on Linux via Wine.
  • Some hardware that uses proprietary closed source drivers may not function. This is pretty rare these days however if you got something exotic, you may want to check first.
  • Some interesting MS Office documents may have issues opening (particularly, the format/layout which may be garbled) under OpenOffice/Lotus Symphony/KOffice however this is mostly due to the creator of the document using non-standard formating.
Linux is just fine for every day use and the list I just posted is mostly fringe stuff (except maybe the games if you are a die-hard FPS player). Most of the exceptions have workarounds or replacements.
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Last edited by Zyonin : 02-20-10 at 01:46 AM.
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02-20-10, 01:57 AM   #11
Zyonin
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Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
http://www.mangler.org (stable version is in the Ubuntu repos)
I couldn't find Mangler in any of the Ubuntu repos (at least not any of the official repos nor any PPAs) however there is a handy Debian package on the Mangler site which works nicely.
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02-20-10, 05:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Zyonin View Post
I couldn't find Mangler in any of the Ubuntu repos (at least not any of the official repos nor any PPAs) however there is a handy Debian package on the Mangler site which works nicely.
Yeah, you're right, I got mumble (http://mumble.sourceforge.net) and mangler mixed up.

But anyway there is a mangler PPA at https://launchpad.net/~mangler/+archive/mangler, where you can find development snapshots.

Compiling mangler from source is very simple in any case.
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02-20-10, 11:46 AM   #13
Wimpface
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Thank you all so much! The only thing that I'm worried about right now is if my Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will run smoothly or even at all... Hmm, dual booting seems to be the win here!

I've had many issues since I switched to Windows 7 from XP, mainly with my connection (I've updated drivers etc but it's still screwed up) not being functional at startup and having me reboot the connection all together. This is one of the reasons I want to switch to Linux. Another one is this, and it's going to sound silly, but I want to be able to style my desktop easily and so far I don't think that can be done in Windows 7. Past all the "Mac OSX STYLE THEME" there is nothing.
This was posted on the WoWAce forums, and it got me thinking in the first place. This just looks terrific!
http://omploader.org/vMmxobQ

However, I wouldn't switch only because of looks - but it does play in. I will hopefully make the switch tomorrow if CoD: MW2 turns out to run on Linux!
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02-20-10, 12:16 PM   #14
Zyonin
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Originally Posted by Wimpface View Post
Thank you all so much! The only thing that I'm worried about right now is if my Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will run smoothly or even at all... Hmm, dual booting seems to be the win here!
If you have issues with CD: MW2 and Linux not getting along check out this thread from the Ubuntu forums:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1325021

Originally Posted by Wimpface View Post
Another one is this, and it's going to sound silly, but I want to be able to style my desktop easily and so far I don't think that can be done in Windows 7. Past all the "Mac OSX STYLE THEME" there is nothing.
This was posted on the WoWAce forums, and it got me thinking in the first place. This just looks terrific!
http://omploader.org/vMmxobQ
Let's see, GNOME, KDE, Xfce, Enlightenment, Open Box for desktop enviroments. Then you got window mangers (can be run in conjunction with your favorite DE) such as BMPanel, PekWM, IceWM, etc. Then you got things like Emerald (based on and uses of Compiz) that add extra eye candy to your windows.

With most distros, it's quite easy to install and switch between DEs/window managers. With Ubuntu it's a simple matter of using
Code:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
to install KDE and
Code:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
to install Xfce.

Others can be found in the various Debian/Ubuntu repos, other distros such openSUSE and Fedora have their own repositories and package management systems that makes install and playing with DE/WMs so easy. To be quite frank, package managers such as apt, yum, etc and their GUI front ends make Windows look quite dated when comes to installing, updating and managing applications.

I personally run GNOME, however I have Xfce installed to play with along with PekWM. I did have the KDE beta installed however I was having some issues so I decided to nuke it until Kubuntu "Lucid Lynx" is released. Eventually I want to play with Enlightenment.

The user in that screenshot is using a distro called CrunchBang Linux which is an Ubuntu based distro (which is based on Debian's "Unstable" branch). CBL uses OpenBox as its Desktop enviroment, however since it is an Ubuntu based distro, you can mix and match from packages on the Ubuntu repos until get just exactly what you want. Speaking of mixing and matching, I like that terminal...
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Last edited by Zyonin : 02-20-10 at 01:02 PM.
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02-20-10, 12:45 PM   #15
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Yes, dual boot is definitely the way to take the plunge, especially if you've never tried Linux before. If I were you, however, I wouldn't jump in expecting Linux to be a panacea for all that ails your system. ESPECIALLY if you're an avid gamer.

With that in mind, there are a couple of easy things you can try to smooth out your Win7 experience. First, make sure that you've updated your motherboard's chipset drivers. Failure of these drivers to load correctly can lead to all kinds of odd, persnickety behavior. I'd say these are in fact the most important drivers to update in any recently set up Windows system. If the OS doesn't ship with these drivers then often it will fail to properly detect other hardware until they are installed. The good news is that you usually only have to update them once for the life of your OS. If yours is a built system, then it should be fairly clear which chipset you have. For example, if you have an Intel chipset then just download the appropriate INF update utility and you'll be golden.

What you can do if you're having networking issues is to look into getting a cheap replacement NIC that explicitly lists compatibility with Vista or Windows 7. This shouldn't set you back more than $15-$25 depending on where you get the hardware. This will be a pretty easy step: it's as close to a drop and go solution as you'll find. You plug it in, hook it up, and it will Just Work(tm).

Finally, if you want to extensively customize the look of Windows, take a look at Windowblinds 7.0. It's free to try and twenty bucks to buy. And you won't have to compromise on game compatibility just to have a desktop tweaked to your preferences.

Edit: Zyonin: this guy is thinking of trying Linux for the first time. Think of your audience. A post that laden with jargon is more likely to scare him off than to be enticing. Take it a step at a time.

Last edited by Simbuk : 02-20-10 at 12:51 PM.
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02-20-10, 01:00 PM   #16
Zyonin
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Originally Posted by Simbuk View Post
Edit: Zyonin: this guy is thinking of trying Linux for the first time. Think of your audience. A post that laden with jargon is more likely to scare him off than to be enticing. Take it a step at a time.
Jargon? First timer? I was there myself. I did not have any issues with jargon, if I had a question, an answer was a quick Google search away. Ubuntu in particular is quite newbie friendly and they don't remove your head if you ask a question on the forums.
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02-20-10, 01:33 PM   #17
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All I'm suggesting is not to drown him in terminology that's not immediately relevant. Let him get the wings built before you throw him off the cliff. It's extremely unlikely that he'll know what sudo is, for example, or even how to get to the point where he can use it. Nor is he likely to care just now about the relative merits of KDE versus Xfce, or know what Compiz is. Without context, it's all just jargon. He needs to see Linux live and breathing first. Maybe watch some YouTube videos of various components in action.

I'll definitely agree with you, though, that Ubuntu is a great way to get that start.
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02-20-10, 02:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Wimpface View Post
So, I'm about to switch to Linux after all the amazing stuff I've read about it. Here's the thing though, I have a bunch of stuff saved on my C drive where my Windows 7 is installed and I'd like to save this. How would one do this without an external harddrive?

I'm thinking of getting the Linux installed on my F drive, as it's quite enough for an OS to run on. My C drive is 1TB and my F drive is 150GB and I have so much things to save on my C drive.
If I was to install Linux on my F drive, would I still be able to access my files on my C drive? Also, would I be able to uninstall Windows 7 from my C drive, keep Linux on my F drive, and still have all my saved images and stuff on my C drive?

I know this is all VERY messy, and I hope I've made my questions clear, else, I'll try to clarify.

Thank you all in advance!
- Wimp.
You may also want to consider Wubi (http://wubi-installer.org/) which will allow you to install Ubuntu Linux inside the free space on your C drive, without wiping out windows.
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02-20-10, 02:49 PM   #19
Bornabe
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When you do that though, you won't (at least I wasn't able to) be able to access those Windows files. I still suggest utilizing a small Flash Drive to dive into Linux, with a 4 GB persistance, you'll be able to do all you want to in linux, and utilize your Windows drive fully without partitioning or taking any risks at all.

I was wrong in a previous statement that you can't really replace Windows entirely, but in most cases, making the switch cold-turkey is very hard to do.

Take advantage of the folks here on WoWinterface as many do use Linux, including myself, to do pretty much everything, and WINE, Cedega, Codeweavers will all let you play Windows Games and use Windows Programs you can't live without, right inside Linux itself. Folks here are always helpful and full of knowledge that can help you.
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02-20-10, 02:53 PM   #20
Zyonin
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I really need to get my act together and get that "Linux for WoW Players: tutorial put together. It's going to take a bit as I will have a lot of info to present and I need to do in a way that is newbie friendly. It's just a matter of finding the time as I have seem to misplaced a bunch (time) lately...
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