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Considering making the switch...

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Considering making the switch...

Postby Jazzman » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:26 pm

Hi all. Hope everyone's good.

I'm facing a swiftly dying hard drive (random deaths, loud noise, generally slow despite lots of cleaning and formatting) and out of storage, so about to purchase a nice new (quiet!) hard disk. In terms of an OS for it, I don't want to pay the exorbitant cost for Windows (the old hard disk was given to me with Windows already on it), and I am excited to read about linux being free and so varied.

There are just a few extremely novice-y questions I need answered, that Wikipedia didn't seem to know:

- What happens with my USB devices (webcam, mobile phone, external hard drive, memory sticks, printer, keyboard and mouse...) - will I need new drivers for all of those?

- I note the massive variation in Linux distributions: how do I know what's stable, simple and novice-friendly (i.e. similar to windows)? Any recommendations? Is there a 'dominant' distribution for Linux novices?

- Can one switch to another distribution without losing totally formatting the hard disk?

- Is it easy to get programs to read common file formats - mp3, wma, doc, xls, mpg, mp4 etc?

- Is WINE a viable solution to most or all of these problems?

Thanks - sorry for all the questions, but this is the only forum where I trust the answers I get! I am rather nervous about changing my primary PC in such a massive way...

Many thanks as ever
Jazzman :cool:

AMD Athlon XP 2600+ (1.92ghz)
1.25 GB RAM
7200 rpm 80GB Maxtor HDD
RADEON 128mb Graphics
Windows XP Service Pack 3/Linux Mint
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Postby Gecko » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:16 pm


I think you will not be happy going to Linux unless you want to spend a lot of time finding drivers and learning how to install them.

If you have a working windows OS you can still use it with a new HDD.
When you buy a new HDD it should come with a cloning tool.
This tool will enable you to copy the old drive to the new drive.
All you need is to make sure you get the same type of HDD, IDE or SATA that you already have.
Slave the old drive, master the new drive and let the cloning tool do the rest.
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