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Getting everything sorted before installing Linux

Link to this post 15 Aug 09

I'm wanting to install Linux Mint as I hear that this is the easiest to use. I mainly use the computer for the internet, downloading and playing film and music. The main thing I'm looking for in a distro is just to be able to switch on the computer and for the operating system to do everything for you.

I was told that its best to use gparted to partition the hard drive. Is this the best way to go about it?

also the situation is that I need to reinstall vista as for some random reason its stopped updating. Is it best to do this before I start putting in a new partition? I'd prefer not to loose all my programs so just wondering if its possible to create a backup with the current situation.

Finally how would I go about downloading mint? Is it the case that I download it to a CD. I looked on the mint site, but I got the impression that it downloads direct to your hard drive.

Hope this isn't to many questions, its just this stuff really makes my head spin.

Link to this post 15 Aug 09

TBH, if you're new to linux and resizing partitions and you'd like to keep your existing partition intact without dataloss, go invest in another drive. Use it for your alternate OS, and Linux Mint as far as I know plays DVDs, audio, etc out of box and obviously probably has a partition manager at setup that will give you the option to shrink the NTFS partition.. Matter of fact, I think Windows Vista has a tool to shrink the drive aswell? under administrator tools in the control panel 'Computer Management' ?

and gparted is a gnome application which entails you have linux with gnome installed to use it

as far as reinstalling windows goes, in your situation install windows first before installing linux so you don't have to go through the trouble of losing your ability to boot linux from the MBR (master boot record), or just make a boot image on a floppy :> . The sane thing to do would be install windows first.

http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/linuxmint.com/stable/7/LinuxMint-7.iso
download, burn it to disk, boot up hit f6 boot from cdrom, install.

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