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100 percent newbie

Help for Current Versions of MX
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LinuxNewbee
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100 percent newbie

#1 Post by LinuxNewbee » Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 pm

Hi,

This is my first post, in any Linux forum. I am no computer geek but an ordinary home user with a year 2008 Dell desktop PC 32 bit running intel duo core processor and about 3gb ram. OS is WINXP service pack 2. The PC still runs fine and I keep it bug free, but at times I am unable to do things or execute things which I think must be due to age of the OS. Also purchased a new printer which requires a more recent version of XP that I was unable to install (blue screen error).

So I have been looking at switching to a Linux OS. MX17 I “think” could be an excellent choice for me. Have never used Linux before and not sure of best way to approach it. Ideally I would like to install initially without deleting my existing O/S so that I could try it and get used to it before fully migrating.

It might be a dumb question but what happens to all of your existing files when you change from one OS to another? Do you have to save them separately, such as to usb, and then reinstall into the new OS after it replaces the former OS?

I have read that MX 17 can be installed in a dual boot mode. Does this simply mean it can be installed on the 500GB HDD (plenty of space available) alongside my existing WINXP OS and I can choose at boot up which OS I would like to use? Hopefully I would soon get used to doing everything using MX17 and could then just leave WINXP sitting dormant on it’s own space on the HDD. Would such an installation process be straight forward for me without risk of major stuff up. Have never partitioned a HDD before, if that is what is needed to be done, but maybe not difficult to do?

I am guessing I would need to create similar folder directories in the new OS and copy my files to a USB to transfer them from WINXP to MX17?

My documents are created in Kingsoft. Will they be able to be read and edited in MX17 which lists a different office software package?

I guess I could also try and install MX on a USB stick and try for a while, then install it later on from USB to HDD? Would that be a better first step for me and a simpler, less risky one? I have to be able to use the computer everyday for work.

Thanks for any replies.

James


OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name JAMES-12
System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model Vostro 200
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 11 GenuineIntel ~2660 Mhz
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 11 GenuineIntel ~2660 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. 1.0.16, 20/09/2008
SMBIOS Version 2.5
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)"
User Name JAMES-12\James
Time Zone E. Australia Standard Time
Total Physical Memory 3,072.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 2.11 GB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 4.83 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

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rich
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Re: 100 percent newbie

#2 Post by rich » Wed May 16, 2018 8:57 pm

Hi James, welcome!
LinuxNewbee wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 pm
Ideally I would like to install initially without deleting my existing O/S so that I could try it and get used to it before fully migrating.
This is certainly possible.
LinuxNewbee wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 pm
what happens to all of your existing files when you change from one OS to another? Do you have to save them separately, such as to usb, and then reinstall into the new OS after it replaces the former OS?
You'll have a number of options there. The files would remain on your XP installation unless you delete it. So if you have both MX Linux and Windows XP installed together, you can access the files while using Linux by loading the part of your drive that contains the Windows files. As far as moving your files to the Linux installation, you could potentially copy them to a usb drive, yes, or upload them to a cloud service like Google Drive. The files will remain available until the XP installation is deleted or overwritten.
LinuxNewbee wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 pm
I have read that MX 17 can be installed in a dual boot mode. Does this simply mean it can be installed on the 500GB HDD (plenty of space available) alongside my existing WINXP OS and I can choose at boot up which OS I would like to use? Hopefully I would soon get used to doing everything using MX17 and could then just leave WINXP sitting dormant on it’s own space on the HDD. Would such an installation process be straight forward for me without risk of major stuff up. Have never partitioned a HDD before, if that is what is needed to be done, but maybe not difficult to do?
Yes, MX 17 can be installed alongside your current operating system. This is a great choice for getting used to a new system and testing it out. You would have the option of booting into either system. The process for shrinking an existing windows system to make room for your Linux install isn't necessary difficult but there's plenty of room for error, so I would recommend to definitely be sure to back up your files either on a cloud service or a seperate drive, and to follow instructions carefully. If you decide to go ahead with that route I'm sure someone will be happy to point you in the right direction. I would refer you to this video guide for an overview of migrating from XP to MX https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... ftOsRULPAS
LinuxNewbee wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 pm
My documents are created in Kingsoft. Will they be able to be read and edited in MX17 which lists a different office software package?
It depends what format your documents are saved in, but generally, the standard Linux office suite Libreoffice can handle whichever format with relative ease. I see Kingsoft makes WPS Office which does have a Linux client, I'm not sure if that's specifically what you're using.
LinuxNewbee wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 pm
I guess I could also try and install MX on a USB stick and try for a while, then install it later on from USB to HDD? Would that be a better first step for me and a simpler, less risky one? I have to be able to use the computer everyday for work.
You certainly could! That would probably be the safest bet to take a quick look around, check hardware compatibility, etc., plus you'll most likely need a MX flash drive for installation if you decide to go ahead later on.
I read a book about Narcissism
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It was all about me.

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richb
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Re: 100 percent newbie

#3 Post by richb » Wed May 16, 2018 9:02 pm

We also have an excellent manual that describes installation, applications and function. It is well worth the time to read it. There is a link to it at the top of the Forum.
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Gordon Cooper
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Re: 100 percent newbie

#4 Post by Gordon Cooper » Wed May 16, 2018 9:33 pm

Welcome from me too James. I have been running MX Linux as dual boot with Win XP for several years - starting with MX-14 and upgrading MX when new versions came along. Now running MX 16. The computer is a Toshiba Portage laptop which converts to a tablet if required.

The machine, purchased second hand, came with all the 160 GB hard drive available for XP. Ran Win Defraggler to tidy up the HD then used Gparted to shrink XP's share down to 80 GB. Next, with GParted I setup three partitions for MX - 20GB Root, 45 GB Home and 2 GB Swap. The Linux installation was from a CD (for MX14) and first ran it as a live disk to see it would work properly. It did, so installed following the guide lines.

Yell for help if you need it. Folk on this forum are generous with their time.

Gordon.
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uncle mark
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Re: 100 percent newbie

#5 Post by uncle mark » Wed May 16, 2018 10:37 pm

James: You've been pointed to the various resources available. I'm going to add one specific bit of advice for if/when you decide to resize your Windows partition on existing hard drive and install MX "alongside" it. Doing the following is good maintenance regardless, but it will make the resizing of the Windows partition quicker and allow for sizing it smaller than you would be able to do otherwise:

Install and run CCleaner. It will clear out a bunch of detritus and accumulated crap.

Then, the major thing, install MyDefrag:

https://filehippo.com/download_mydefrag/

Run the Monthly script. It will take forever. But when it's done it will be fully defragged, compacted, and optimized for both Win use and for resizing.
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Gordon Cooper
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Re: 100 percent newbie

#6 Post by Gordon Cooper » Wed May 16, 2018 10:50 pm

uncle mark wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:37 pm

Install and run CCleaner. It will clear out a bunch of detritus and accumulated crap.

Then, the major thing, install MyDefrag:

https://filehippo.com/download_mydefrag/

Run the Monthly script. It will take forever. But when it's done it will be fully defragged, compacted, and optimized for both Win use and for resizing.
Thanks Uncle, I forgot about CCleaner. With the defrag, I started it before bed and it was done by breakfast.
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Re: 100 percent newbie

#7 Post by asqwerth » Thu May 17, 2018 12:32 am

rich wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:57 pm
LinuxNewbee wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 pm
My documents are created in Kingsoft. Will they be able to be read and edited in MX17 which lists a different office software package?
It depends what format your documents are saved in, but generally, the standard Linux office suite Libreoffice can handle whichever format with relative ease. I see Kingsoft makes WPS Office which does have a Linux client, I'm not sure if that's specifically what you're using.
Welcome, LinuxNewbee.

In respect of Kingsoft documents, if you had created documents in WPS Office using their proprietary file format (.wps), you'll probably need to install WPS Office to your MX system to open those files again, although you can then convert them to doc or docx formats. You might also be able to convert .wps files to .odt with the installation of a plugin, although I've never used it.

If you used WPS office to create .doc or docx files (ditto xls and xlsx files), then Libreoffice 6 which comes as default in MX17 will be able to read and edit them. Unless a document has really complex formatting, there should be no problem with the layout looking wonky in LO6.

LO6 is much more compatible with doc and docx formats than previous versions, and I actually found that a few text documents opened better now in LO6 than they did in WPS Office, which never happened before.

However, if you really need to install WPS Office on MX Linux:
Due to their licence terms, MX does not carry this package in its repos. However, you can download and install their .deb file from WPS's Linux Community site: http://wps-community.org/downloads

Although it's stated to be Alpha software, it works on MX17. You may get a strange message that some font sets are missing, which you can ignore. I got rid of most of their message by installing the microsoft corefonts (which were released as open source) from MX's Repo, and then also copying over some Microsoft fonts I had backed up from my old XP partition before wiping the same.
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Re: 100 percent newbie

#8 Post by LnoyBoy » Thu May 17, 2018 12:59 am

My advice for a total linux newbie:

Be sure that you understand that linux is not windows... Some windows software can be run, but there's a process...

Play with the live DVD... A lot :D

Backup anything irreplaceable off the computer... dvds, flash sticks, etc. So if something goes wrong it's not lost forever.

Don't be afraid to ask questions here... folks would probably post examples of how they set up their own dual-boots.

Hope this helps.

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Re: 100 percent newbie

#9 Post by LinuxNewbee » Thu May 17, 2018 1:29 am

Thank you each to rich, richb, Gordon, uncle Mark, asqwerth, & LnoyBoy for your time and your excellent advices.


rich…….I have decided, for 100 percent peace of mind to back up my files on two usb’s.

Then I will install MX17 initially on a separate new USB that I will purchase today. I’m not into games and won’t be running large movies from the usb so I am half guessing a 16gb 2.0 usb should be ok for the purpose, or do I need to get a larger and higher speed usb eg 32 gb 3.0 ?

My hope is that within a short period of time I will decide to install MX17 to my HDD for use as primary OS, either to fully replace or separated from existing WIN XP.

Yes, my docs & spreadsheets are created in Kingsoft Office. Thanks for your advice, and it was slack of me not to have researched it myself, but is very good to learn that Kingsoft does have a Linux version. I have spent many hours in recent days researching the question about whether to change from windows to Linux and then which Linux system to try.


Richb ………….Thanks. I have downloaded the manual and read little pieces, trying not to get overwhelmed on my initial intro to Linux. I have historically just been a windows user who downloads ordinary software programs though I am thinking & hoping I will end up a happy linux user, same as you guys.


Gordon ……………Do you still keep the two operating systems on HDD and if so, for what reason? Are there some things that you prefer to access or use with your WINXP?


Uncle Mark………I used to use C/C cleaner but had some problems with it. Think I started getting a blue screen error msg from memory. So switched to another product Slimcleaner, and have a defrag utility as well. I will use them as you advised. Thanks.

asqwerth…….Thanks for this information. It is very good to know that being able to access and use my docs and spreadsheets won’t be a problem and that several choices exist to ensure it is not.


LnoyBoy…….. Very wise advice. First thing to do is back up my files in duplicate. As Linux is not Windows is probably why I hesitated to change for so long. However some linux versions, including MX17 I think, are said to be a little similar in appearance to WinXP for users, so was one reason for my choice of MX17.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Therefore, after backing up files, first step for me will be purchase new USB and have a go at installing MX17 on it. I think “usb persistence” and “frugal mode” could be relevant though am unsure what they mean, but will read up. At least on PC start up I do know how to go into bios and instruct the pc to boot first from a usb. Little by little one travels far.

regards,
James

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Gordon Cooper
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Re: 100 percent newbie

#10 Post by Gordon Cooper » Thu May 17, 2018 4:16 am

James wrote "Gordon ……………Do you still keep the two operating systems on HDD and if so, for what reason? Are there some things that you prefer to access or use with your WINXP? "

Hi James, sorry I should have explained that XP is on my backup machine. Most work is done on an elderly desktop running MX-17.1. The dual boot Toshiba sits next to it ready
for use. I have retained XP because for several years I was moderating a group that used a Windows based programme for fabric graphic design, and although I have handed the job on, I still get the odd question where I need to fire up XP to seek an answer. There also are a few Microsoft applications there, that get used occasionally, plus some databases that I wrote in Turbo Pascal years ago. If I manage to live long enough, I might even re-write these in Lazarus/Free Pascal.

Note that you live in OZ. East or West ? I am just across the ditch in Tauranga NZ.
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