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Want to use Linux, but don't want to remove Windows

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Cadet Konstantin, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Cadet Konstantin

    Cadet Konstantin New Member

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    So, I am pretty new to Linux and my knowledge about it is next to none. However, I still want to use Linux to see how exactly it works. The thing is, I can't replace Windows or dual boot it, since the computer I use doesn't belong to me and I am forbidden from touching Windows in any way. What are some other ways I can install Linux and use it without harming Windows? I have read up about booting from a live USB drive or CD. Will booting from a live USB drive or CD affect my Windows? Thanks in advance.


     
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  2. Condobloke

    Condobloke Well-Known Member

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    G'day Konstantin, and Welcome to Linux.org

    Booting from a usb drive or a cd will not affect windows in any way.

    Why..?....because when it boots to either of those, it does so in RAM. It does not touch the hard drive in any way.

    I will post a guide to loading up a usb below....if you get lost or need help, just ask.

    Read....the blurb first....then go through it bit by bit.

    When you run Linux mint in this way....you can make changes,try stuff....blow it up....whatever.......and when you have finished discovering where the browser is and etc etc etc......just remove the usb and everything is back to normal. NONE of the changes you make to Linux will be saved.......so when you plug the usb in and take it for another run, it will be like a brand new thing again.
    (you can choose to 'preserve files across reboots' in unetbootin....but I wont complicate this any more for now)
    i have written in RED....half way down the blurb....down to there should be enough to get you going

    The usb stick?....4 gb is usually big enough.....8gb is sometimes better


    **How to install/try Linux Mint on your Windows PC**

    First, you can -- __and should__ -- try Linux Mint before switching to it. Fortunately, unlike other operating systems, Linux distros like Mint make it easy to give them a test run before installing it.

    First you'll need to download a copy of Linux Mint, which comes with three different desktops: MATE, Xfce, and its default desktop, Cinnamon. If you have a 2012-or-newer PC, I recommend you download the 64-bit version of Mint with Cinnamon and multi-media support.

    If you don't have an __ISO burner program__, download one. I recommend freeware programs ImgBurn for optical drives and Yumi for Windows for USB sticks. Other good choices are LinuxLive USB Creator and UNetbootin. These are also free programs.

    ((( I use unetbootin. I download the iso file separately....I don't use unetbootin to download it for me. I then use the are at the bottom of the unetbootin window to locate the iso on my pc, select the USB stick to write it to....select 4gb of persistence (so that after a reboot most/all the changes i have made will still be there)....and away we go !)))


    **Giving Mint a try**

    Once you've installed the burner program and have the latest Linux Mint ISO file in hand, use the burner to put the ISO image to your disc or USB stick. If you're using a DVD -- __Mint is too big to fit on a CD__ -- check your newly burned disc for errors. Over the years, I've had more __problems with running Linux and installing Linux from DVDs__ from bad discs than all other causes combined.

    You can set it up a USB stick with persistent storage. With this, you can store your programs and files on the stick. This way you can carry Linux and use it as a walk-around operating system for hotel, conference, and library PCs. I've found this to be very handy and there's always at least one Linux stick in my laptop bag.

    **Next, you place your disc or USB stick into your PC and reboot**. During the reboot, stop the boot-up process and get to your PC's UEFI or BIOS settings. How you do this varies according to the system.

    Look for a message as the machine starts up that tells which key or keys you'll need to press in order to get to the BIOS or UEFI. Likely candidates are a function key or the "esc" or "delete" keys. __If you don't spot it the first time, don't worry about it. Just reboot and try again.__


    Once you get to the BIOS or UEFI, look for a menu choice labeled "Boot," "Boot Options," or "Boot Order." If you don't see anything with the word "boot" in it, check other menu options such as "Advanced Options," "Advanced BIOS Features," or "Other Options." Once you find it, set the boot order so that instead of booting from the hard drive first, you boot from either the CD/DVD drive or from a USB drive.

    Once your PC is set to try to boot first from the alternative drive, insert your DVD or USB stick and reboot. __Then, select "Start Linux Mint" from the first menu. And, from there, you'll be running Linux Mint.__

    Some Nvidia graphics cards don't work well with Mint's open-source driver. If Linux Mint freezes during boot, use the "nomodeset" boot option. You set this to the Start Linux Mint option and press __'e'__ to modify the boot options. Then, replace "quiet splash" with "nomodeset" and press F10 to boot. On older PCs using BIOS, press 'tab' instead of 'e.'

    __MINT WILL RUN SLOWER THIS WAY, BUT IT WILL BOOT AND RUN__. If you decide to install Mint, you can permanently fix the problem with the following steps:

    Run the Driver Manager
    Choose the NVIDIA drivers and wait for them to be installed
    Reboot the computer

    SO **FAR YOU HAVEN'T INSTALLED ANYTHING ON YOUR PC, BUT YOU WILL BE RUNNING LINUX MINT. USE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY WITH IT TO SEE IF YOU LIKE IT..**

    Using a DVD drive Mint will run slowly, but it will run quickly enough to give you an idea of what it's like to use Mint. With a USB stick, it runs fast enough to give you a good notion of what working with Mint is like.

    P__LEASE...play with it...explore everywhere....you CANNOT break it...remember it is on a thumb drive....if it goes up in smoke, just reboot and away you go again. No harm done.__

    DOWN TO HERE SHOULD BE SUFICIENT

    Advice : Have a look at **'Timeshift'** it is similar to windows system restore.....just MUCH better. It actually works.

    A good tutorial can be found : https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/tutorials.html#timeshift

    While you are //playing with Linux// on a thumb drive //you will not need Timeshift//.....but after you have **actually INSTALLED Linux...then i HIGHLY recommend you give Timeshift a run**. If you have an __external hard drive as well, this is the ideal set up.__ You are able to send a 'snapshot' of your system to the external hard drive via Timeshift' ....it serves as a 'safe spot' which you can restore from with one click.
    In the case of a (HIGHLY unlikely) bad update, where your normal __Linux__ would not boot.....simply boot the pc to the external hard drive...select the 'snapshot' you wish to run (usually the one made before the bad update)....click on 'restore'....go make coffee.
    It will be done by the time you have made it. __Simple.__


    =+==================================================================================================

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-install-linux-mint-on-your-windows-pc/

    ==================================================================================================

    Read the rest of this article online.

    **PLEASE NOTE...THE MOST CRITICAL CHOICE IN ACTUALLY INSTALLING WILL BE :....HOW TO PARTITION YOUR HARD DRIVE !!!!!!.....GO ONE WAY AND LINUX WILL INSTALL ALONGSIDE YOUR WINDOWS INSTALL......GO THE OTHER WAY AND YOUR WINDOWS INSTALL WILL BE WIPED OUT. GONE. FOREVER. CHOOSE CAREFULLY !!!!!!!!**

    I have always installed Linux in such a way that wipes out windows/whatever else is on the Hard drive/ssd

    **You may wish to dual boot**. The instructions for that are at that link, where it tells you to __"install linux mint alongside..__"...

    This procedure will install Linux Mint next to your existing Windows system and leave it totally untouched. When I do this, I usually give half my PC's remaining drive space to Mint. You'll be asked to choose which operating system you want to boot by default. No matter which one you pick, you'll get a few seconds to switch to the other operating system.

    You'll also be required to give your system a name; __pick out a username for yourself, and come up with a PASSWORD. WRITE THE BLOODY THING DOWN__. You WILL need it....many times over. On many occasions when you type the password into linux.....it will NOT show on screen...not even asterisks etc etc......so have a record of it..... somewhere.

    Set up a regular Timeshift schedule. Easy to do. Peace of mind assured.

    Unless you work for the nsa, don't encrypt your drive. For normal day to day use , you do not need it.

    Drivers : Next, you can have it check to see if your computer needs any additional drivers. I highly recommend you run this. After this, you can choose to install proprietary multimedia codecs such as drivers to watch DVDs. I think you should do this, as well.


    You should also set it to __update your system to the latest software.__

    Unlike Windows, when you update Mint, you're updating not just your operating system but all the other programs such as the default web browser, Firefox; office-suite, LibreOffice; and any other programs you've installed from Mint's Software Manager.
    (software manager :....click on menu...then on software manager (hover over icons, you will find it)...)



    __To update manually, click on the shield icon in the menu bar__. By default in the Cinnamon desktop, the bar will be on the bottom part of the screen and the icon will be on the right. It will then prompt you for your password and ask if you really want to update your system. Say yes, and you'll be ready to give your new Mint system a real try out.

    **PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ. Your updates will be automatically set to ""JUST KEEP MY COMPUTER SAFE""**......DO NOT stop/delay/fiddle with updates. __THIS IS NOT WINDOWS__. Just let the update manager do its thing. It will not destroy your pc and have you spend countless hours trying to resurrect it from the ashes....This NOT windows. Have Faith.

    At some later time after you have become REALLY familiar with Linux, you may progress to the update setting..::Let me Review Sensitive Updates""....That is for **LATER.**
    __(and just in case you select that update policy, and something goes sideways....thats what Timeshift is for !!!)__


    The setup routine also offers to let you look at system settings and find new programs with the Software Manager, but since you're probably a new user, you can skip those for now. Please...__.. skip this FOR NOW.__

    Set up Firefox (if you use that) If you have used F'Fox in windows you may have used the "Sync Settings" in Firefox account. Use that to 'sync' your settings, add ons, history,bookmarks,preferences,logins etc

    Email : You can use Thunderbird to display your email. It seamlessly displays email from Gmail, Yahoo...etc etc
    Thunderbird is included with Linux by default.
    Click on menu...type in Thunderbird....right click to put the icon on the desktop, or to put the icon in the panel.
     
  3. CptCharis

    CptCharis Active Member

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    wow @Condobloke is a huge answer.
    Dear @Cadet Konstantin welcome to Linux.org. My suggestion is to install virtual box or any other similar program to your windows pc so you can ran and test
    as many Linux distros you want till you feel ready to install them!
     
  4. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Greetings Cadet, and welcome! You're right... making a live USB or DVD (not a CD) is probably your best way to go with the restrictions that you have. Booting on the live media will not harm your Windows in any way..... but the capability is there to delete files, or delete Windows itself, so you should not be careless. :eek::D

    You have to use a special program to "burn" Linux to a USB or DVD so that it will be bootable. You can't just "copy" the Linux .iso file that you will download. There are many free programs to do this, and I think that Windows 10 can burn the DVD with built in software. A live USB will be a bit faster than DVD though, and you can set "persistence" with a USB so that it will store some information between reboots.

    It's usually good to try out 2 or 3 Linux distros at least so you can get a feel for the some of the differences between them. Some are more modern, and some are more traditional. Some need more RAM to run well, but others can get by with less. If you're getting ready to try it, tell us more about your computer and we can help you pick out some starter distros. Laptop or desktop? Brand and model number? How much RAM?

    Cheers
     
  5. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    I've put Likes on everything because ... what can I say, I love these guys :p. Their input is well thought out, it has consideration, and caring for the individual new to Linux, such as yourself :)

    (Wizard appears in a puff of smoke, bearing good news)

    Welcome to linux.org @Cadet Konstantin :D

    I would carefully consider, and perhaps implement each or any of the suggestions from Brian (@Condobloke ), Capta (@CptCharis ) and Stan (@atanere ).

    They all have merit.

    But I would not be The Wizard if I did not have an extra option up my sleeve (ran out of rabbits).

    WUBI.

    Wubi is the Windows Ubuntu Installer. It was shipped with Linux Ubuntu for a number of years and then discontinued.

    Now it is back, but as wubieufi.

    You would have to have a fairly modern computer running UEFI, but if you have Windows 10 on board (& we have not yet established this), then it is likely you have UEFI.

    Let us know if you are interested in exploring this option, but for now

    Avagudweegend

    Chris Turner
    wizardfromoz

    BTW - tested wubiuefi a couple of weeks ago, and it works.

    Read https://github.com/hakuna-m/wubiuefi/wiki
     
  6. Cadet Konstantin

    Cadet Konstantin New Member

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    Thanks for replying everyone! I fairly understood the options you have presented to me. I have a LG desktop computer with 4 GB RAM. I think the model number is E2040T - PN.BTR. The PC is pretty old, it was bought in 2011 and has Windows 7 Ultimate version. So probably I can't explore the option of wubieufi :( I would like to try the virtual machine solution. When you use Linux in virtual machine, it's like a Guest OS right? I wanted to try that option but I had hesitated earlier because I have read it's more limiting compared to actually having a Linux on PC.
    Once again, thanks everyone.
     
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  7. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    I might have originally recommended VirtualBox except for this statement.... I did not think that you would be allowed to install anything. Wubi and VirtualBox are different, but each may help teach you the beginnings of Linux if you have permission to install them. Just to be on the safe side, you may want to create a Windows "System Restore Point" before you install anything new.

    Cheers
     
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  8. Priyanshu Verma

    Priyanshu Verma New Member

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    I've HP 15-bs164tu model with Intel i5 8th gen procrssopand 8gb of RAM with 1TB of HDD.....
    I'm new to linux and have no knowledge about it..... Help me to decide which destro will be helpful for me as a beginner to Lear and understand linux easily.
     
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  9. VP9KS

    VP9KS Well-Known Member

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    Hello, and welcome to the group.:) It would be best if you started a thread of your own, in this section. This would make it easier for you to sort the answers to your questions, from the questions that the original poster has asked, and easier for him to sort out also. Kinda reduces the confusion, if you know what I mean, especially with multiple people contributing answers.

    Happy Trails,
    Paul:D
     
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  10. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    That is actually a monitor description.

    If, in Windows 7 you go to start menu and run command

    Code:
    msinfo32
    You will get a screen not unlike this one of mine I show below

    [​IMG]

    SCREENSHOT FROM MY WINDOWS - SYSTEM SPECS

    Now you can from either side of that blue highlight bar that I have Dell Inspiron 5770, it is a Desktop, it is x64-based ie 64-bit supporting, and further down where it says BIOS Mode, it is UEFI, if not UEFI it will likely say Legacy.

    If you can provide some of that, that would be cool.

    Wizard
     
  11. Cadet Konstantin

    Cadet Konstantin New Member

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    What I meant by forbidden from touching Windows is, that I can't remove anything from Windows or delete anything by mistake. I am allowed to install,except it shouldn't touch or do any harm to Windows in any way.

    I had used msinfo32 option at first, and I was confused that the model number wasn't displayed. It seems I didn't see it at first. That's why I ended up confusing the monitor number as the model number itself. Anyway, here are the specifications:

    Settings.JPG
    I couldn't find the BIOS mode in System information, so I instead went to the Panther file on C drive and opened the setupact.log file. That's where I got this:
    BIOS settings.JPG

    I hope this is what you wanted, Wizard.
     
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  12. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    No, that's fine, Mate, and it rules out wubiuefi.

    So your best choices are as previously outlined.

    Bear in mind though, with a VM, that you might have to dedicate eg 2GB of your 4GB RAM to it, and performance might be sluggish.

    However, there are low-key Distros out there that would find 2GB sufficient, I just have not had the opportunity to test them in a VM scenario.

    Some of them are listed with Wikipedia here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-weight_Linux_distribution

    Wizard
     
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  13. Cadet Konstantin

    Cadet Konstantin New Member

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    From what you said, I believe that booting from the USB drive will be the best option. I had thought of taking the risk of dual-booting Linux, but I would rather test it first, and use it freely once I get my own PC. Shall I just follow the steps of booting from live USB like @Condobloke said? However as @atanere earlier, there is capability of deleting files. How shall I take care to prevent that from happening?
    Thanks in advance.
     
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  14. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    1) Don't delete any files that you did not create or download yourself. Ever.

    2) Learn how Linux identifies hard drives and partitions so that you will clearly know where your Windows files are and so you will leave them alone. Linux does not identify hard drives and partitions like Windows does, such as C: and D: etc.

    Linux will not delete Windows files on its own... there is no worry about that unless you are doing a full install and tell it to use the entire disk, or tell it to use the wrong partition trying to setup a dual boot. But using the Linux File Explorer, or the command line, Linux is capable of deleting files... and it may not always ask you, "Are you sure?" Linux is safe to use with a live USB or inside a virtual machine... but it is you who must be careful because Linux is capable of performing operations outside of the USB or virtual machine if you tell it to. :eek::D

    Cheers
     

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