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Advice from Linux experts requested

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Advice from Linux experts requested

Hi All

I have purchased a second hand laptop with a relatively small Hard Drive namely only 5.58GB most of which is taken up with Windows XP professional+SP2 etc which in itself is not a problem.However I was unable to get any restore disc for it so if I need to do a system re-install I am stuck, so i am wondering if there is a version of Linux available thats is as easy to install as Windows ie will format the disc if need be,detect and set up the hardware including a wireless network card.

My only experience with Linux to date has been to set up a dual boot system on my old Win 98 machine with Suse 8 point something proffesional which partitioned the disc automatically.But what I am actually looking to do is completly replace Windows with Linux as easy as possably given that I am not Linux savvy,and had extreme difficulty getting Suse 8 to connect to the internet via my modem, but that was a few years ago now and things have probably changed a lot since then.

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions

Ian & Linda Jordan
11 REPLIES
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Advice from Linux experts requested

Hi Ian,

If you didnt want to go the Linux route download any drivers for the notebook from the manufacturers site and save them to a disc. Then format the laptop with XP and set it up again.

XP should put most of the drivers on during install and any that it misses can be provided from the ones you downloaded.

This way it doesnt matter if you have a manufacturers restore disc or not.

Regards

Mark
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Advice from Linux experts requested

Most linux distros have an option to use the whole of the disk when installing so that should not pose a problem. I would suggest fedora core 3 as I have used all the fedora versions in the past and they have been very good. You can download the ISO images and create your own CDROM install disks from the fedora link above

Your BIG problem is support for the wireless devices which I suspect is very limited (if not nil) so that may be the stumbling block in all this. I'm guessing this is a PCMCIA card (or PCCARD as it is sometimes refered to). Even PCI based wireless cards are not well supported so PCMCIA may be worse. The other issue is not all laptops will support Linux but there are usually some work-a-rounds or fixes to get most working.

What make/model of laptop do you have and what wireless card are you using? I'm not sure if I can state if they will work or not but others may.
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Advice from Linux experts requested

Quote
What make/model of laptop do you have and what wireless card are you using? I'm not sure if I can state if they will work or not but others may.


Hi Peter

The laptop is what must be an antique by now Toshiba Satellite Pro 4200 series with a 500Mhz processor and I would imagine just barely able to run Windows XP, and the wirless card is a D-Link AirPlus Xtreme.

I did visit the Fedora site you mentioned and came to a problem (for me) straight away........ I would not have the first idea what out the many listed to download.My idea was to find an easy to install one and then send "Amazon" a send me this software order :-)

But I really appreciate your reply

Ian & Linda Jordan
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Advice from Linux experts requested

Quote
If you didnt want to go the Linux route download any drivers for the notebook from the manufacturers site and save them to a disc. Then format the laptop with XP and set it up again.


Hi mark

Thanks for the reply but unfortunatly I do not have a copy of XP;and there in lies the dilemma,if XP on the laptop failed for any reason I do not at the moment have any means of getting it going again, and would not want the expense of purchasing a copy of XP just for that hence the thinking towards Linux.

Ian & Linda Jordan
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Advice from Linux experts requested

Fair enough Ian,

Though if the XP license on the laptop is genuine you may be able to D/L a back up copy and use that in conjunction with the existing license.

Speculative I know but maybe an easier option and less expensive. Smiley

Regards

mark
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Advice from Linux experts requested

Quote
Though if the XP license on the laptop is genuine you may be able to D/L a back up copy and use that in conjunction with the existing license.


Interesting thought...... is there a way of checking that? although I did read somewhere (don't know where) that there is a way of finding the licence number hidden in the machine somewhere.As I cannot be sure as to the legitimacy of the version on the machine

Ian & Linda Jordan
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Advice from Linux experts requested

Hi Ian,

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml

The link above was posted in this forum a week or so ago.

Should do the job you need.

As to the legitimacy of the existing license........well thats another story.

Maybe a case of carry on and if anyone shouts plead a case in mitigation. :lol:

I doubt if anyone will worry too much.

Regards

Mark
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Advice from Linux experts requested

Quote
http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml
The link above was posted in this forum a week or so ago.


Ah! thats where I read it...... programme downloaded: number found and saved now the search for XP begins :-)

Thanks for your assistance

Ian & Linda Jordan
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Advice from Linux experts requested

Quote
http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml
The link above was posted in this forum a week or so ago.


Ah! thats where I read it...... programme downloaded: number found and saved now the search for XP begins :-)

Thanks for your assistance

Ian & Linda Jordan
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Advice from Linux experts requested

Sorry all for the double posting not sure how I managed it :-(

Ian & Linda Jordan
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Advice from Linux experts requested

First of, SuSE is one great distro, however Gentoo WILL Be the fastest OS you can run on that laptop, and as "installs" go its either an ass or really easy depending on which stage you install from (you have a choice) so look into it Smiley

Buz