Re-Formatting and fresh install question - Linux Mint

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by marthamydear, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    I think I screwed something up with my partitioning. The long-and-short of it is that I believe I still have my old Windows XP bloating one of my partitions and it results in my being nagged by my computer that I am running out of hard drive space.

    So I've lost WIndows XP and thank goodness I backed up everything I wanted to save. This is a flea market bargain laptop so, of course, I have no restore CD HOWEVER I have downloaded all the drivers and burned them to CD. I have also burned a Linux Mint install CD.

    So, am I ready to format?

    Back in the days of DOS (ah yes, DOS...WONDERFUL DOS!) I seem to recall formatting a hard drive with the command format c:

    It would then ask if I was sure I wanted to and warn me that I was about to lose everything. To which I would reply, YES.

    Since my partitions are goofed up and I've really got nothing to lose, how do I format in LINUX? Or do I just hit the "F12" key while my computer is booting up and select FORMAT from there?

    Will this also take care of reformatting my partitions as well as the rest of my hard drive or do I need to append something like a slash and a letter (it seems like I remember in DOS the command was something like FORMAT C: /S but its been a lot of years and I might have forgotten the details.

    Once I have reformatted my hard drive then (and I have already selected the boot to look at my CD drive first) is it just a matter of starting my computer up with the LINUX disk and then downloading the drivers?
    The drivers that I got off the HP website are all "EXE" files that open to many sub-folders...and it is my understanding that "EXE" is a Windows vernacular...so when I try to load my drivers will the "EXE" files even open? Or should I first "unpack" them and load them as batch files without initiating the "EXE" file first?

    I don't care to have Windows on my computer and, even if I did, I don't have a copy of it to load first then do a dual boot or replacement out of LINUX. So I am hoping someone may be kind enough to help me through the steps to reformat my hard drive, freshly install LINUX and deal with the drivers that are all packed in EXE files. (Hewlett Packard Compaq nc6220 laptop).

    Thanks for any and all HHHHHEEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPP !

  2. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

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    Since you do not want to keep Windows, when installing the Linux system, choose "Use entire disc." That will format the entire hard-drive.

    When installing software, it is best to install the packages in your distribution's repositories. In your case, download drivers from Mint's repository if possible. Only resort to other sources if the needed drivers are not in Mint's repo.

    Forget the DOS commands you learned. They will not help with a Unix-based system. Yes, that means starting from the beginning again, but that is the joy of it.:)
  3. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    Thank you so much for the help Cyber Berserker!

    I apologize for the newbie-ness of my questions but I guess I have kidded myself into believing I was farther along in computer operations than I am; maybe using Windows all the time lulls you into a false sense of security with their automation. HOWEVER---
    can you direct me to the "repository" where I might find my drivers?
    I checked and indeed I have a terminal program called, "driversmanager" but it shows "no proprietary drivers installed."
    Are the drivers unpacked from my LINUX MINT 15 installation disk or is there another source where I should download to CD the drivers that is found, say, by using the Software Manager?

    I'm grateful for your "hand holding..."
  4. arochester

    arochester Active Member

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    There is an old addage which goes something like - Linux is not Windows and Windows is not Linux.

    In Linux many of the "drivers" are included in the Kernel. They are already there. The usual exceptions to this are this are video and wifi. It is no good trying to install Windows drivers because they will not work in Linux.

    Is something not working the way you think it should? If it ain't broke don't try to fix it!
  5. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    You're so right, Arochester. And I am a firm believer in "if it's not broke don't fix it." I would rather not be dinking with this laptop but it's got some anomalies that are getting the way of its utility.

    For one thing, somehow, I've screwed up the partitioning and believe I have a portion or all of my former Windows XP files crammed into the LINUX partition. Ordinarily I wouldn't care and just figure, screw 'em...let 'em wither and rot there. However my 40 gB hard drive is constantly warning me that my hard drive is full or nearly full. So I have necessarily delayed installing a lot of stuff on my computer because I won't want to fill it up. Besides...thanks to the terrific economy they've designed for is, I need this clumsy older laptop to job hunt and hardly have the money to buy bigger hard drives or new computers.

    The other matter is, of course, the Seattle cabal and their decision to terminate so-called "support" of WIndows XP. Besides the constant fussing that I have had to do with Windows and their interminable "updates" (read: patches) I am sick of them and want them off my computer. If they were playing fair they would call their software what it really is...BETA...but they want the public to believe their stuff is smoke-tested when it leaves their shrine and they name everything a "security update." I'm just tired of them and the constant tweaking, restoring and fixing that their updates entails.

    LINUX works great on my computer and I would like to remove all the"Seattle stink" from it and have a fresh LINUX OS. I would also like to have my full hard drive back.

    So that's why I am willing to to "fix" what is technically "not broke."

  6. arochester

    arochester Active Member

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    1) Copy everything you want to keep onto an external USB drive or large USB stick (borrow if necessary, if you can) - from Windows and from your Linux Home directory.

    2) As @Cyber-Berserker says do a new, clean install of Linux and tell it to install to the whole disk. Windows will be removed. Return saved stuff into Linux on the Hard Drive.
  7. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    Thanks Arochester. Could I pick your brain once more?
    When I boot with the Linux Mint 15 Olivia disk it goes through its preliminary messages however when it finally arrives at the page in which it offers me options there does not seem to be any "install full disk" verbiage. The only option that sounds remotely like installing a full disk does indeed carry a warning that it will remove everything however that option is to replace Olivia with" Linux Mint." Now I am confused. I thought Linux Mint 15 Olivia WAS "Linux Mint." If I choose to replace Olivia would I be replacing with something that has everything that Olivia offers? I am a little confused by the double names that apparently are different things.

    Sorry to be so dead from the neck up but the more I get into this the more I feel like I am back at Day One with my Timex Sinclair in the early 80s.
  8. arochester

    arochester Active Member

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  9. Daniel Kelly

    Daniel Kelly New Member

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    First, make copies of your documents and files on a separate memory card. Second,
    gather the manuals that came with your laptop, which can usually be found on the laptop makers website. Each version of Linux is a little different and requires different system requirements, so you will need to review your system for compatibility.
    Third, partition your hard drive. Fourth, check if your laptop has a cd-rom.
    Before you can start installing Linux on your laptop, you should first check if your unit's BIOS setting has the capacity to boot from cd-rom.Fifth configure the Bios settings so that your laptop can boot from a cd. If your laptop can boot from a cd-rom, you need to configure the settings by going to the Bios Features sub-menu. Sixth just incase you may need some extra help I would check and see if their isn't any tech support for your distro. Good Luck.
  10. ainteinstein

    ainteinstein Member

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    After you have backed up all your files to let's say UBS stick, if you really want to get rid of the "Seattle Stink" before you install Linux, perhaps you should wipe out your hard drive with a program (free) such as DBAN, Darik's boot and nuke. Okay, I am old school here, but when I use to have to reload the system, I always re-formatted drive C and at the same time checked for any bad sectors. Also, Boot and Nuke will completely clean off the hard drive, in case you have had any viruses from the "Seattle Stink".
  11. marthamydear

    marthamydear Member

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    S U C C E S S ! ! !

    Thanks to all who helped me through my PC's Windows binge-and-purge.
    If I had known how easy it would be to eradicate Windows, clean up the partitioning mess left by WIndows and get a clean and easy install of Linux I would have done it long ago.
    Ainteinsten...your suggestion about DBAN was MARK ON!
    I was making the process way to difficult seeing into it something that I thought would require a lot of key strokes. Here's all it took to fix my computer including fixing my hard drive partitioning mess:
    1. Ran Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) (It took almost 2 hours but it had to be done)
    2. Insert my LINUX MINT 15 CD in my CD drive and start the computer.
    The disk did the rest. No drivers to worry about. No partitioning headaches. No muss. No fuss.
    They'd like us to believe that we'll be lost without Seattle Stink on our computer. HAH!
    Thanks again to everyone who responded to my post.

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