December 17, 2014

Does Linux keep my files?

I have Windows 7 (32-bit) OS. I have got multiple files that contain things important. Does Linux keep all of my files if I install it? Or does it delete them? Waiting for a quick answer.

The short answer as you can see is -- maybe. It depends on how you install it...

The short answer as you can see is -- maybe. It depends on how you install it. The most important thing is to back up your files BEFORE you begin anything. Google "dual boot linux windows" and you'll find several sites that will walk you through what arochester said. Either way, back up anything you aren't willing to lose first.

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In case you have only one partition on your hard-drive and to install dual...

In case you have only one partition on your hard-drive and to install dual-boot Linux + Windows in your machine, you need first to resize that partition to free space on the hard disk. Then on the free space you create one or more partitions to install Linux into them and after that you chose (in most Linux distros) the option "something else" when asked by the Linux distro installation program and manually configure Linux to be installed on that (or those) partition(s), leaving the Windows partitions alone and untouched. After you install your Linux distro you will be able to read+write data from and to the Windows partition from inside Linux, as most or all Linux distros provide out-of-the-box support to read and write data in partitions formatted by Windows, being that NTFS, FAT16, FAT32 or EXFAT (which are the most common formats used in Windows partitions) BUT Windows CANNOT natively read (or even "see") any partition formatted as ext2, ext3, ext4, ReiserFS and other typical filesystem formats used with Linux but there are however some drivers for Windows that allow it to be able to read [these drivers are safe to use] and some drivers that also allow Windows to write to a Linux ext2, ext3 or ext4 partition [and those last drivers are COMPLETELY UNSAFE and can cause LOSS of the data stored].

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If you dual boot your Windows files should stay on the Windows partition and...

If you dual boot your Windows files should stay on the Windows partition and any Linux files should stay on the Linux partition. You can within reason move compatible files across the partitions.

If, however, you install just Linux and remove Windows it will remove all of Windows including your files.

You could copy off your Windows files to an external Hard Drive, install just Linux and return the Windows files. There are many Linux applications that will read Windows files --- BUT I cannot guarantee that Linux will read all Windows formats

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