[ale] Linux on laptops

David S. Jackson deepbsd at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 5 10:33:21 EST 2004

On Wed, Jan 28, 2004 at 08:25:39PM -0600 Jerald Sheets <jsheets at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > It is a 
> > newbie-type question, but I have little experience in replacing WinXP. 
> > I have found that replaces Win98 to be very easy, but never have dealt 
> > with removing XP.
> > > >
> Again, fear not.  The installer (in the case of RedHat, Disk Druid) will
> easily (and automatically) replace your existing partitions.  Other
> distros might ask you to use fdisk or another utility specific to that
> distro, though. 
> It's automated, and it's easy.  

My only concern would be that you use the latest ntfs-resize tools.
There are two versions of ntfsresize, and only the newer one will
nondestructively resize an ntfs partiton safely, or so I've heard.

Also, some laptops have a hidden "emergency restore" partition that
some tools don't see. You may not want to wipe that partition, which
is usually marked inactive or hidden.  You might want to try booting
one of the distros-on-CD and see whether the tools you intend to use
detect all the partitions and also whether they handle ntfs resize.

A third option is to use the emergency restore partition to reset the
laptop to its as-installed configuration from the factory.  That way
the filesystem will be set back to FAT; XP reformats to ntfs at first
bootup.  So if you boot from a CD instead of from the newly
"restored" hard drive, you'll have an easier time resizing a FAT
partition than an NTFS partition.  

All this assumes that you want a dual boot configuration, of course.
In any event, I would first make sure all your hardware is supported
by Linux (try a Knoppix CD, say) before you install Linux.

David S. Jackson                                dsj at dsj.net
When all other means of communication fail, try words.
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