Linux install..One for Taran, maybe?

  Dumfy 20:20 15 Jan 2003
  Dumfy 20:20 15 Jan 2003

Hi one and all.
I hope all the Linux experts here will be able to help me out with this if they don’t mind. From previous posts that I’ve read, I noticed that Taran has some experience with Linux and was hoping for some advice, but please, everybody join in as this isn’t meant to be at all exclusive!

I have a copy of Linux Mandrake 9 which was free with a recent PC magazine and would like to try it out, but was a little concerned about the installation of it on my multi-boot system and it affecting the Master Boot Record. The set-up I have is outlined below and a lot of thanks and gratitude go to Flecc for helping me get there. I have a 6 GB partition available on which I’d like to install Linux.

I have 2 x 40 GB hard drives with an Athlon 1.5GHz XP and 512Mb PC2100 DDR memory. The motherboard is an MSI K7T266 Pro2 and the graphics card is an ATI All-In-Wonder. The soundcard is Creative SB Live 5.1

Drive 1 (primary master) has five partitions on it. In order they are:

· XP on NTFS, WinMe, 98SE and two logical partitions for data & imaging.

Drive 2 (primary slave) has four partitions on it:
· Unallocated space, WinMe and two logical data partitions again for data & imaging.

I’d like to put Linux on the unallocated partition on Drive 2 and I’m using Boot Magic for the boot manager. The system is running sweet, so I hope to install Linux without too much bother. My main concern is that XP will try and take control while doing the Linux install and my first thoughts were to image everything prior to starting and secondly to physically disconnect Drive 1 – both power and IDE cable - so that the system “sees” only Drive 2.

Is this the best way to go, do you think? Can any problems be foreseen when re-connecting Drive 1?

Other questions that have cropped up in my mind are these:

· What’s the difference between Linux versions? THIZ Linux which came with a motherboard from a recent PC build, Mandrake 9 & Red Hat? Is Mandrake 9 the best to use and why?

· Driver availability. Are these readily available for printers, scanners, soundcards etc?

· Will the Linux install allow me to only partition the area I want and leave the Me and data partitions following it intact on Drive 2..that is will it respect the partition boundaries? I guess the install programme will format also?

· Does Linux come with software/office type applications? What software is available for use with Linux? MP3 and DVD players etc?

· What about running things like CD and DVD players? Are the drivers for these part of Linux?
· Finally, any tips or suggestions as to the best way of doing this? All information will be greatly accepted.
· Mandrake 9 on the cover disc is a little unusual in that the magazine says that it comes as 3 ISO (?) images which must first be written to CDR. Do I just copy the images to the hdd and then write them to CD?
· Will the Linux boot manager conflict with Boot Magic?

Many thanks for taking the time to work your way through this! Sorry for so many questions….I’m just trying to pre-empt any disasters.

Best regards,


  woodchip 20:30 15 Jan 2003

Remove the partition so you have free space left on your hard drive, set your computer to start with cdrom as the first boot device in cmos setup put the cd in the drive if you have copied to a new cd and start your comp it will start linux setup just follow instructions on screen. BUT do copy the linux to a new CD first to save any probs at boot

  woodchip 20:31 15 Jan 2003

PS mandrake will find the free space and will ask you were you want to install to, choose free space

  zanwalk 21:07 15 Jan 2003

Firstly, Mandrake 9 is a very straightforward install, it asks you for confirmation of each step, and as long as you are careful when it comes to partitioning and formatting, it shouldn't be a problem. It will ask you if you wish to have Grub/Lilo as a boot manager, and where to install it, you should install either Grub or Lilo to the root partition (Linux) and not to the MBR (it gives you the option of using a third party boot manager such as BootMagic - which you say that you use). I have a similar set up to you and found no problems, even though I am a newbie. You will find that it should automatically recognise most hardware and install the necessary drivers, it certainly seems the easiest distro to install so far.

As far as writing the images goes, yes, copy them to the hard drive and then use the option of ISO image in your CD writing software. If you need more info post back.

  Taran 03:09 16 Jan 2003

Burning your ISO images to CD is your first priority.

If your CD authoring software is Nero click here or if you use WinOnCD click here or for Adaptec/Roxio EZ CD Creator click here

Consulting your CD burning software helpfiles using the search field ISO will give you the relevant information as well.

I always suggest that newcomers who want to experiment with Linux do so without using the bootloader that all Linux distributions ship with. If you must use the Linux bootloader I'd highly recommend choosing the option to write it to a bootable floppy disk rather than risk your current bootloader/mbr setup. Rather than XP trying to take over, you'll find that Linux will, given half the chance.

All mainstrean Linux distributions have more included application software than you will know what to do with. You get Office suites, programming languages and interfaces, graphics editors, web editors, DVD and media players, CD writing software and so on. You'll be spoiled for choice.

Most different named versions of Linux feature their own interface and default features. Some are lean and very fast (Slackware is a good example) while others include more features and are a bit more demanding of your system. Mandrake was originally based on Red Hat, but now they are very different.

Read all about Mandrake, including "How To" articles at the Mandrake website: click here

You can find all you need to know on installing, configuring, what is included, how to use it and so on. There are also some good tutorial articles and support features on Mandrake at the excellent Mandrake User site: click here

And now I'm off to bed.



  Aspman 11:36 16 Jan 2003

I had a play about with Mandrake 9 a while ago.
It didn't suit my needs but I thought it was very nice. Big improvement over a lot of older distros much easier to use.

  Dumfy 19:39 16 Jan 2003

Thanks for replying and the info. I'll give this a go on my days off next week. I'll report back with problems/successes.............probably the former!



  fitcher 23:22 16 Jan 2003

like they say your granny can put suse linux on /and to get it of your hard drive just remove in fdisk. the none dos partition yes i admit i had trouble getting red hat on but although it recognised my graphics card ,,that was the blinking trouble .my graphics card .changed it and on it went

  MAJ 02:39 17 Jan 2003

Just for reference in My Postings.

  Dumfy 05:33 18 Jan 2003

Hi All,

Right, I've taken note of all the help given. Thanks to everyone. I've read up on the Mandrake sites from the links given by Taran, but there's one question still bugging me...given that my system is set up as described above at the start of the thread, do I disconnect Drive 1 from the system before doing the Linux install or not?

If so, could it affect Linux when it's reconnected?

And finally, a question about the LILO bootloader.
If, as suggested, I don't install it, will Boot Magic see it instead and allow me to boot to it?
If I don't install it, is it a case of creating LILO on a floppy and using it whenever I want to use Linux?

Best Regards


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