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Solved Converting Windows 7 to Linux on a Dell Optiplex 3030AIO

Discussion in 'Linux and Unix' started by Epervier, Jul 12, 2019.

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  1. Epervier

    Epervier Thread Starter

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    Adam
    Hullo,

    I should be grateful to receive advice on converting my OS from the current (sunset) Windows 7 to Linux. I run Windows 7 on both a Dell Optiplex 3030AIO desktop (my major concern) and an old, but serviceable Compaq 610 laptop used for occasional outside assignments. Connected to the Dell desktop and in daily use is a WD "My Passport Ultra" 1 TB external HD. Could I, to begin with, partition the external HD and then install a Linux distribution on it?

    In particular, can anyone advise on reliable, snag-free software for partitioning the "host" hard disk? Sadly, Norton Disk Doctor is either not around or hard to get, and some Mandriva software for the purpose damaged the motherboard of an earlier Toshiba Qosmio laptop.

    To give you some idea of the scale of my needs, I should state that I am semi-retired, but still running a small translation business under a rather severe, government-imposed earnings limit.

    Advice on the right Linux distribution and the correct procedure - in outline, or by means of references to reliable links - would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Johnny b

    Johnny b

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    The easiest way to become familiar with Linux is with a Live distribution that can boot off of CD/DVDs and USB flash drives.
    It allows you to keep using Windows until you are ready to commit fully to a Linux OS, or use both Windows and Linux with out the fear of corrupting the Windows installation.

    I am posting from a computer that boots off of a USB flash drive, with no hard drive.
    Xenial Puppy is my choice for all Internet activity.

    It has been said, Linux isn't for everyone.
    So trying out Live Linux distros allows you to keep your Windows install in case you don't find a Linux distro to your liking.

    Info on ways to install Puppy:
    http://puppylinux.com/install.html

    If you want to install Linux on your hard drive, Mint would, imo, be a good choice to start with.
     
  3. mohittomar13

    mohittomar13

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    Mohit Tomar
    As far as I know when you partition and install some OS on the disk then the OS creates some specific config files that pertain to the particular hardware that the OS has recognised is currently attached to the system. You might be able to install the OS on the external HDD but I doubt it will work with some other Laptop or Desktop other than the one on which it was originally used to install the OS.

    But you might still find someone who can provide you with a way to install and use it on an external HDD, as nothing is impossible with Linux... That's what I think.. :)

    Have a nice day..(y)(y)
     
  4. plodr

    plodr

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    Top linux distributions:
    https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

    that said, no one can recommend one for you. My advice, get a few USB sticks, "write" the ISOs to the stick. Boot up from the USB stick and see what you prefer. You have 6 months to try a few and see what feels comfortable to you.

    Grab a copy of unetbootin
    https://sourceforge.net/projects/unetbootin/
    if you downloaded an ISO, after unetbootin is on the stick, point it to the ISO and wait while it writes to the stick.

    Personally, I like one that connects to wifi easily, has a "desktop" similar to Windows, includes some programs and is small in size. (I no longer try anything KDE or gnome)

    My current favorite: https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=lxle
     
  5. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Epervier likes this.
  6. Epervier

    Epervier Thread Starter

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    Thank you all for your advice. I think I have enough to go on now with all your different points of information and leads. I shall feel a little more confident about a Windows-less future:) - I wish if possible to avoid "spy-in-the-cab" system software upgrades.

    Thank you all again.
     
  7. Epervier

    Epervier Thread Starter

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    Thank you Johnny, this is excellent information to get me started. Have a good day.
     
  8. Epervier

    Epervier Thread Starter

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    Thank you, Mohit Tomar, for your help. Have a pleasant day.
     
  9. Epervier

    Epervier Thread Starter

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    Thank you , Liz, for your advice. Have a good day.
     
  10. Epervier

    Epervier Thread Starter

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    Thank you, Allan, for your timely caveat. Have a pleasant day.
     
  11. Epervier

    Epervier Thread Starter

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    I have succeeded in installing Ubuntu on the external hard disk I talked about. The Gpart partitioning software proved simple to use. One needs to remember the check for which this software prompts at the end of the process, otherwise the system installation software fails to recognise the root file system (or some similarly-worded entity). I am still wrestling with the boot sequence, which theoretically gives me the option of choosing between Windows and Ubuntu. Sometimes it fires, and at other times, I have a dark screen that looks as though it may burst into life... and does so fruitlessly for a quarter of an hour! I daresay I shall iron this minor wrinkle out in due course. Anyway, thank you again, you and all who contributed.
     
    mohittomar13 likes this.
  12. Epervier

    Epervier Thread Starter

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    Thank you, Mohittomar, for your "like". Further to my previous posts, I have installed Ubuntu as a dual boot with Windows 7. Lucklessly, however, I am now confronted with a dark, dead-end screen when I choose any of the Ubuntu options at the boot. After trying various keyboard combinations, I must perforce stop the machine manually. I think the boot menu worked for a short while, and now the only fruitful option is to boot Windows. Pertinent suggestions on how to overcome this barrier will be welcome.
     
  13. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522

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    A few questions. First, you title says you want to convert your current 7 OS to Linux. But in your post you're want to install it on a external drive. So are you want to convert/replace 7 with linux? Or are you wanting to dual boot 7 and linux? (Which is what you have now).
     
  14. Epervier

    Epervier Thread Starter

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    Hullo bassfisher,

    First, I want to run Linux alongside Windows 7, so that I can get used to running Linux so as to prepare for Windows 7 becoming unsupported. I have installed Ubuntu 19.04 on an external hard disk, in dual boot with the Windows on the internal HD. As I stated in my previous post, after some successful Ubuntu sessions, I have reached an impasse with that distro, which doesn't boot, while I can boot in Windows.
     
  15. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522

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    What you have is a combination of a dual boot and a multiboot setup.....Yes there is a difference. As it stands the GRUB has over written the MBR.

    Dual boot - is 2 OS's on the same drive
    Multi boot - is 2 OS's on different drives.

    Each has it's own way to setup....

    Essentially you have a dual boot setup.....and now your MBR for windows has been taken over by the Linux GRUB. If one doesn't know how to uninstall the linux distro correctly users end up where they can't boot up at all....as you have found out.

    So now you have to fix the MBR with a Linux GRUB repair using a live CD/USB. All that is is launching the Unbuntu OS off of the CD/USB with out installing it.
    https://www.maketecheasier.com/fix-windows-mbr-from-ubuntu/
     
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