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Which is best for me?

Link to this post 16 Mar 12

I have never used linux before, but have been a windows user for years. I want to try something new, and I know Linux is well liked, and free. I heard I can run linux while using windows from a USB Device. I bought a 16GB SanDisk, will this be suitable? And, which OS would be best fit for a USB and is easy to learn to use? I eventually want to have enough confidence in my use of linux to completely remove windows from my computer.

[EDIT] I decided to try Mint KDE. I watched a tutorial, and decided to use Universal USB Installer and installed mint to my usb but is this the actual OS? or is this to install on my hard drive? I have a 1TB hardrive i've split this into two partitions one 100gb(for windows) and one as 900 GB (for musc, movies, etc.) but both are already NTFS with files. Will partition wizard allow me to resize the 900 GB to 800 GB without loosing my already exsisting files? (creating 100GB free space) If it can I would try to install mint to the third partition.

Link to this post 16 Mar 12

Usually when you download a usb edition of a distro, it's a live version that you can use for testing purposes. It also has an option to install it to the hard drive. YES, it is the actual OS, but, you won't be able to save any of the settings or changes you make while running it. It's possible to actually install it to a usb stick with something called "persistence", that will allow you to use it off of the usb stick just like you would if it was installed on the hard drive, but, that's not something you do until you're a bit more experienced.
Most distro come with LiveCD's/LiveUSB iso's and contain most of what a default install will include. One uses these iso's to test the distro, and see if the hardware you have works before installing.

If Partition Wizard is the Windows app for repartitioning and shrinking the size of your partitions, yes, it will allow you to resize. I always use the Windows app to do the resizing because Windows doesn't always take kindly to third party apps. With 900Gb of space in your media partition, I doubt if there will be any problem, but it's good to be careful. Also, before doing any resizing, make sure you run defrag TWICE before doing the resize. This way you can be sure no files are in the area where the resizing will be done.

Get used to Linux first with the USB stick. Once you're ready, we can talk you through the dual install. Mint will automatically add windows to the bootloader during installation if you choose to let Mint do it. Myself, I use EasyBCD, which, leaves the Windows bootloader alone, and, just adds a boot menu instead of replacing the Windows bootloader with the Linux bootloader.

For a new user, dual booting can be a little tricky. Once your comfortable, just ask and we'll try to help.

Link to this post 16 Mar 12

Thank you very much for the advice and support. I already did the resizing and everything worked perfectly. Although the extra partition is currently unformatted and I'm going to wait till I'm comfortable with mint then I want to try Ubuntu in the unformatted space. I hit ESC during PC boot up sequence to ascess my boot menu (I'm guessing it was factory installed because I never installed one) and selected USB SanDisk and then Mint loads it's own boot menu where I select boot MINT. However, the factory boot menu only displays hardware and the linux menu (probablly because that's the only thing on the SanDisk) only displays Mint and default boot (windows I'm guessing). If I install EasyBCD and select my hard drive from my factory boot menu will EasyBCD allow me to select which partition to boot from? if I were to install Ubuntu in the unformatted space? In the mean time I'll keep fooling with mint and I'll be back with more questions. Thanks again! =)

[EDIT] I am currently using mint on my USB. I seem to be able to do everything I can do in wondows (media, web browsing, etc.) but, when i first boot i get a notification that says ...Local folders: maildir "for collection" is invalid... what is this what does it mean??? Also, Nepomuk is disabled? what is this what does it mean? Also, how can I view my network traffic, is there an app for that? and what is a TOR? do i need one? where do i get it?? As always thanks![EDIT]

[EDIT] Tried to use KTorrent. Got a message saying you tried to download a magnet link try enabling DHT. The download showed in the running downloads but its going VERY slow 23b/s slow then stalling continuously. I don't think it's actually downloading at all. I went into the preferences and clicked use DHT to get additional peers. This had no affect other then saying DHT:0 nodes, 0 tasks in stead of DHT: off at the bottom of KTorrent. Thanks again![EDIT]

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