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  1. #1
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Hi Loungers, My 'Dummy' status has just been updated, I found there was 'life' after Microsoft. I'm talking about Linux etc. I have been reading this forum with great bafflement I mean interest. Having been requested to install ???? on a friends laptop, of which I have no specs. So I want to test the waters on my own laptop. It has no disk drive but I do have a 4gb USB stick, it, as far as I know must be FAT32. Will it be easy to return it to 'normal' after installing some free OS on it. NO info required re free OS's to try please.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    You can do this easily, but be very careful if you have only one HDD on your laptop. In any case, backup your hard drive image before you start. I am not an expert at this but I have done it several times with various desktop and netbook versions of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Suse, and Fedora.

    Assuming you will use something like the Ubuntu netbook version (the desktop version can sometimes be a little flaky on a laptop or netbook until you get it configured properly) read the instructions on the Ubuntu site for preparing a bootable USB with a downloaded Ubuntu netbook ISO. Be sure to set the laptop BIOS to boot from the USB first. In most current versions you can actually run the Linux OS from the USB without installing it to decide whether or not you actually want to install it.

    If you decide to install it, you will have to partition your hard disk during the install. Assuming you already have Windows installed and only one partition and one hard disk, run disk cleanup and then defrag your disk to be sure you have empty space for a new partition. (One more reminder, backup your hard drive image before you go any further). The next choice is about booting and this is the other part where you can get into trouble when reverting back to the original Windows OS. With one hard disk the choice is usually for a dual boot system assuming Linux will remain on the disk as an alternate OS. This changes your MBR (master boot record) so that each time you boot you will be given the choice of which OS to boot. Ubuntu sets itself as the default, but you can change that to the Windows OS which I would recommend if you plan to remove the Linux later. Ubuntu will save your original MBR so that you can restore it in Linux before you uninstall Ubuntu. Since you are planning to remove the Linux OS it might be better to leave the MBR as is and just boot into the installed Linux with a USB for testing before uninstalling it later.

    Uninstalling Linux is easy, assuming your original MBR has been restored (or you can repair it with a boot capable Windows USB). Boot into Windows and expand the Windows partition to include the full disk thus wiping out the Linux partition and installation. The next time you boot Windows it may make some changes concerning the expanded partition before you see the login screen.

    There are other options but this is relatively simple. The most serious things that can go wrong are writing over part of your Windows data when partitioning for Linux (make a backup beforehand) and messing up your MBR (either stay away from the dual boot option or restore the original before you remove Linux)

  3. #3
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Hi Ted B, I put latest Ubuntu Netbook on a USB, only one problem, no Internet. My Netgear router has WPA + WPA2 encryption plus access control. Is this why it wont connect ?
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Hi Roderunner,

    I assume you are running Ubuntu from the USB and you cannot make a wireless connection is that correct? I ask that because I think there is also a Live CD version you can put on a USB that requires an internet connection when you actually start to do a full install. I downloaded the full ISO version (~720 MB) to run on the USB and never tried the Live CD version. I ran the Ubuntu netbook only long enough to see if it would work properly on a Lenova S10 3 netbook then actually installed it. I did not test the wireless from the USB as I was using a wired connection at the time. But after installing the Ubuntu on the hard disk, booting, and updating (w/ wired connection), it had no trouble connecting to my wireless after I put in the wireless key. I have a Linksys router set for WPA2-Personal and a 63 character key. Ubuntu recognized my Broadcom netbook wireless card and connected immediately once I set my connection to WPA2 and pasted in my key on the netbook.

    If your wireless connection works on your Win OS on the same laptop, it should work with the Ubuntu assuming it has a compatible Linux driver. On the left side of the Ubuntu screen click the System tab, then the Network Connections icon. Click on the Wireless tab, then the "Wireless Connection 1" or whatever it is called in the table. Once it is high-lighted, then the edit button. From there you can type in your SSID name then go to the wireless security tab and select the WPA, WPA2, or your preference, and then insert your wireless password key. After you save all that, the little computer screen icon at the top of the desktop screen may still show a red X on it, which means it has not yet connected. Click on it and a drop down will show wired connection and wireless connection. Below the wireless connection it should show your SSID and there you can click connect. The screen icon will show a set of green bars when it is connected.

    Again, I am describing the wireless connection after Ubuntu is installed, and I never tried the wireless while running from the USB. Also I did get all my updates, etc. with a wired connection before I ever turned on the wireless and configured it. Luckily all the drivers worked (either they were installed initially or they downloaded in the updates).

    Like I said before I am far from being an expert on this -- hope this little bit helps.

  5. #5
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

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