Windows vs. Linux

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Well...it appears I may be dead in the water...again!
The Windows 10 Media Creation Tool says that the receiving OS must be some other version of Windows already installed. Apparently you can't use it if there is any other OS (or none at all) on the system.
Rufus appears to only work under the Ubuntu version of Linux. Doesn't say anything about Mint. (Pardon my ignorance if Mint is a child of Ubuntu.). It's apparently written for the Linux OS, and I don't know if downloading it and trying to run it on a Win7 machine will even work. The only other .iso-writer I I trust is Roxio, but that's a moot point if the Win10 MCT needs a version of Windows on the target machine.

I'd break down and try to find a full installation disk for Win 8.1, but every source I've found was sold out months after people converted to Win10 and then wanted to go back. Once the "old windows" files were deleted from their system (Which Microsoft had Win10 do automatically after 6 months), buying an older OS was their only choice. Now they're all sold out. Another act of coercion by Microsoft! Grrrrr.....


Doing a Completely Clean Install of Windows 10



1. Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool (MCT). Run it and choose the option to download media for another computer. The MCT defaults the language and architecture to match that of the machine running the tool. If you need to change either one for your target machine then uncheck the checkbox that controls this and tweak the dropdown for language and/or architecture [32-bit or 64-bit] appropriately. When you arrive at the dialog that prompts for what you want to download, elect to download the ISO file rather than to create a USB flash drive. I say this because if the flash drive creation fails for any reason you lose access to the ISO that was downloaded behind the scenes to create it. If you download the ISO file then if the creation of the bootable media fails you have it right there to try again.



2. Use Rufus (or a similar utility of your choosing) to burn the ISO to a flash drive to create bootable media. The steps that follow presume you’re using Rufus. Attach your flash drive and run Rufus. In the first dropdown box:

A) If you know your machine is newer hardware that uses UEFI as opposed to BIOS, select GPT partition scheme for UEFI. If the machine originally came with Windows 8 or Windows 10 this is definitely the choice to make.

B) If you know your machine is older and uses BIOS, or are uncertain as to whether you have BIOS or UEFI, select MBR partition scheme for UEFI or BIOS. Virtually all machines that came with Windows 7 (and earlier Windows) were produced with BIOS and use MBR partitioning.



Leave the other checkboxes checked or unchecked with their defaults.



3. Find the Create a bootable disc using checkbox and make sure that the option ISO image is selected from the dropdown next to it. Just beyond that dropdown is the Click to select an image . . . button. Activate it and you will be presented with the standard Windows browse dialog that lets you locate and select your ISO file from wherever you saved it.



4. Activate the Start button. The ISO image will now be burned to the flash drive as bootable.



5. Boot your system from the USB flash drive. [Since I don’t know what UEFI or BIOS you’re using it’s up to you to find out how to change the boot device order on your machine to put the USB drive first in the boot order]. When you get to the screen that asks for language, press Shift + F10 (or the Context Menu key if your keyboard has it) to open a Command Prompt or PowerShell (it doesn't matter which comes up). Type the following commands:

diskpart (you will most likely get a UAC dialog, to which you should, of course, respond "Yes")

list disk

select disk X Where X is the disk number on which you wish to install Windows 10. This is usually 0. Make sure you have the correct number as the next step will

wipe the disk of all partitions.

clean Purges the disk of all existing partitions

convert gpt Initializes the disk as GPT required for booting on a UEFI motherboard. If you get an error ignore it. If and only if you know you have a legacy system that

uses BIOS, use convert mbr instead of convert gpt.

exit (to close diskpart)

exit (to close Command Prompt/PowerShell)

The install will now continue; answer any prompts appropriately. When you get to the screen asking on which disk you wish install Windows, activate the Next button. The Windows 10 installer will automatically partition and format the drive using the format you previously specified in the convert command above.
 


atanere

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Okay, go back to the first link I gave you and download the full .iso file. You should be able to use Roxio to "burn image" this .iso file to a DVD. The "burn image" is a special setting in the burning software and is required... you can't just copy the .iso to DVD or else it will not be bootable. This is what I did earlier this morning, but with different burning software, so a DVD works for sure. I can't say Rufus will work for sure to put the .iso on to a USB. The full Windows 10 .iso will do a clean install no matter what. Part of the installation brings up a Partitioning Tool.... use that to delete all the partitions that you see (probably 3 or 4 of them) so that you will be telling Windows to install into "unallocated space."

[EDIT] Reading up on the Rufus website indicates it should work okay to burn the Windows .iso file to USB too, if you'd rather install with that. [/EDIT]

Before you begin, you might want to go into BIOS and reset to defaults like I did too. That is usually available in the last section where you can "Exit saving changes" or "Exit discarding changes." If you have UEFI, resetting to defaults should make choices that are better suited for Windows 10. After resetting to defaults, then choose "Exit saving changes."

Hope this gets you going. You have to watch the Windows prompts... it doesn't exactly say "clean install"... I think it was something more like "Custom install" or "Custom options" or something like that. It was not the default install option.

Cheers
 
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... The full Windows 10 .iso will do a clean install no matter what. Part of the installation brings up a Partitioning Tool.... use that to delete all the partitions that you see (probably 3 or 4 of them) so that you will be telling Windows to install into "unallocated space."...

Cheers
Well, now I have ImgBurn AND Rufus. I know ImgBurn works on my machine. As for the clean install over the Linux OS, I'll give it a try to avoid further headaches, even though it says it needs some version of Windows on the receiving computer. If all else fails, I may have a work-around. I have my old XP installation disks, so I could install XP and then "upgrade" with the Win10 .iso file.
Wish me luck, I'll need it. Hahaha
 

atanere

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I'm wondering if the MCT gave you a different .iso file to install with. The link and .iso file I steered you to does not need any version of Windows installed. I used it to install over Linux this morning.

If the MCT file gave you the same .iso, then you just need to watch the prompts as I mentioned so that you choose "Custom install" or whatever. You won't need to install XP... and Windows 10 will not upgrade XP anyway.

Good luck!
 

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I'm wondering if the MCT gave you a different .iso file to install with. The link and .iso file I steered you to does not need any version of Windows installed. I used it to install over Linux this morning.

If the MCT file gave you the same .iso, then you just need to watch the prompts as I mentioned so that you choose "Custom install" or whatever. You won't need to install XP... and Windows 10 will not upgrade XP anyway.

Good luck!
At this point I have no idea what MCT is doing. It said it will go all the way back to XP, but MS lies a lot, as we know. In any case, MCT took me through the steps to create a bootable USB drive to install Win10, and it says it's writing to the USB with 20% complete. Say, what? We'll see what the flash drive does when I try to boot the Dell with it.
 

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Previously you said, "but I would power it down when Cortana comes to life and starts asking questions to get started."
Are you talking about just pulling the power to the computer when you say 'power down'?
 

atanere

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Previously you said, "but I would power it down when Cortana comes to life and starts asking questions to get started."
Are you talking about just pulling the power to the computer when you say 'power down'?
I let Cortana talk until she expected the first answer. Then I just held down the power button to shut off the machine (a laptop, but pulling the power cord would work on a desktop). It's not something you want to do all the time, but Windows recovers from it, just as it would from any unexpected power failure. After a few minutes, I powered it up again and it came right back to Cortana asking the setup questions. This is a nice state to leave it in for a new owner.

But remember too that I also let it run fully one time first... so that I could confirm the activation. That's up to you if you're confident that it will activate.
 

wizardfromoz

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Crikey a bloke's only on his 2nd coffee for his Monday morning and you blokes have done so much voodoo :D

Mornin' all.

(Wizard appears in a puff of smoke, farts and briefly disappears again)

Paul is your Linux Mint version 18? (and yes, it is a child of Ubuntu, its updates come from its own repositories and also those of Ubuntu).

Even if not, it is a simple matter to install Timeshift and take a snapshot of your Linux. See my Tutorial here

https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

If you save it to an external drive, or even a good-sized usb stick (the latter can be formatted to either FAT32 or EXT4), then if you need to, you can blow away your HDD to reinstall the Windows.

Cheers

Wizard
 

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Thanks, Wiz!
The saga continues. The MCT ran as advertised. It let me turn the primary partition into unallocated space and was happy with that. But when it came time for it to reboot Windows (10-9-8-7...), I let it reboot and the installation came right back up. Rats! Ran it again. This time it showed a Reserved partition. I picked the Primary and let 'er go. Third reboot and the installation started again.
Then that Little Voice whispered to me, "Dumb ass! Take the flash drive out!". "Doh!" I replied in my best Homer imitation. So when the thing finally re-launched Windows, it said "Getting Ready" with a spinner running...forever! Afraid that I'd still be sitting there and miss my own funeral, I pulled the plug and called time on the whole operation. By then I'd ended up with THREE volumes of Windows on the drive, so late this evening I'll start all over again and flush everything.

Back in the day, I wrote SQL for the IBM 360/85, build search routines for my employer under Linux, and programmed with both GW Basic and C++. But now, at 72, I have to admit that some talents are a thing of the past, right along with playing on trampolines, or juggling chain saws......
 

atanere

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"Doh!" I replied in my best Homer imitation.
Now you're speaking my language! :D:D:D

The actual installation process took about 30-35 minutes for me, then a bit longer to mute Cortana and follow the final setup steps. It sounds like you are going through the process all correctly (albeit repeatedly! :eek::D) so hopefully now with a little practice under your belt you will get a good clean installation on your next attempt.

But now, at 72, I have to admit that some talents are a thing of the past, right along with playing on trampolines, or juggling chain saws......
Nah, you're just a bit rusty... you'll be fine. I hope you'll keep on with Linux even after you part with the Dell. If you don't want to make any permanent changes to your HP and Win7 Pro, you can install VirtualBox in Windows and then run Linux as a "virtual machine" inside of that. It's really a nice way to get your feet wet without too much peril to your Windows system. None of us are really spring chickens anymore, so don't let your age be a factor... with that background of yours I am sure you still have a lot left to offer, and you can probably teach us a few things!

Maybe it's about time you finally retire XP... and you can run Linux on that machine! :D

Cheers
 

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Now you're speaking my language! :D:D:D
TA-DA! ZIPPIDY DO DA [drum roll] <happy banana dance>
I'm here via Edge (ugh!) under Win10 (barf!) on the old Dell.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the help, suggestions, links and encouragement. You don't realize how much more leg room I'll have under my desk, once I can see this old hand-me-down Espiron in my rear view mirror!

I have to say, I don't know the last time I was on a forum with so many knowledgeable and responsive members. Thanks again.
 

wizardfromoz

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I don't know the last time I was on a forum with so many knowledgeable and responsive members.
Doesn't get out much, does he guys? :rolleyes:

Only kidding Paul :p. I am sure you are very welcome.

I call Stan (@atanere ) Brian (@Condobloke ) and me "The Three Amigos", but I haven't worked out yet which is the good looking one.

Seriously, though, there are many knowledgeable, helpful and friendly folk at this place I call 192.168.1.1 - Home.

Keep us posted on any new developments via a new thread if this one is winding up, and enjoy Linux :cool:

Wiz
 

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Doesn't get out much, does he guys? :rolleyes:

Only kidding Paul :p. I am sure you are very welcome.

I call Stan (@atanere ) Brian (@Condobloke ) and me "The Three Amigos", but I haven't worked out yet which is the good looking one.

Seriously, though, there are many knowledgeable, helpful and friendly folk at this place I call 192.168.1.1 - Home.

Keep us posted on any new developments via a new thread if this one is winding up, and enjoy Linux :cool:

Wiz
Well, it's a friendly place I fell into, that's for sure.
I won't give up on Linux. I may break down and convert my other Dell (a Dimension 4550 running WinXP) to Linux. That started out life with Win95, if that tells you how old it is. Not as old as me, but then not much stuff is. It has plenty of horsepower to run Linux, which leads me to my last question in this thread:
I obviously have Mint-Cinnamon, and got that because it was recommended as pretty much a turn-key operation to get up and running. But do you have a recommendation for a different version of Linux if I switch?
 

wizardfromoz

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My comments highlighted within yours

I won't give up on Linux.

Good:p

I may break down and convert my other Dell (a Dimension 4550 running WinXP) to Linux. That started out life with Win95, if that tells you how old it is.

Cool. I was at the launch of Windows 95 in Brisbane Queensland Australia around September/October 1995. Rolling Stones "Start Me Up (I'll Never Stop)" :confused: was the theme.

It has plenty of horsepower to run Linux...

How much RAM? I have a couple of links following, and you could tell me if they are close:

https://www.cnet.com/products/dell-...m-4-2-66ghz-256mb-ram-60gb-hdd-xp-home/specs/

and

https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-General/Dimension-4550-RAM-Upgrading/td-p/3172739

If you have 1GB of RAM it broadens your horizons. At the same time, my wife has a 2005 Compaq-Presario, with 60 GB HDD and 512 MB RAM, and I run 3 Linux on it (never say never, lol), with an eye on a 4th.


I obviously have Mint-Cinnamon...

Yes, but which Mint Cinnamon? eg is it 18.3 32-bit? We can help you tell, or you can tell us the name of the install .iso.

Cinnamon is described as the flagship of Linux Mint, who invented it (used by a lot of other Linux now, too, but it is also heaviest in consumption of resources. KDE, MATE and Xfce (in particular) are lighter for older equipment.

For a comparison of DE (Desktop Environments) try here

https://renewablepcs.wordpress.com/about-linux/kde-gnome-or-xfce/



But do you have a recommendation for a different version of Linux if I switch?

How long is a piece of string? o_Oo_O

I run at least 80 of the suckers (Linux) at a time, over three computers.

But I can probably trot out at least 5 - 10 worth a look, once I have a clearer picture of your circumstances and environment. And what sort of use you want to make of it, what checks your boxes?
Cheers

Wiz
 

atanere

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Well, it's a friendly place I fell into, that's for sure.
I won't give up on Linux. I may break down and convert my other Dell (a Dimension 4550 running WinXP) to Linux. That started out life with Win95, if that tells you how old it is. Not as old as me, but then not much stuff is. It has plenty of horsepower to run Linux, which leads me to my last question in this thread:
I obviously have Mint-Cinnamon, and got that because it was recommended as pretty much a turn-key operation to get up and running. But do you have a recommendation for a different version of Linux if I switch?
Linux Mint is a very popular choice, and for many good reasons. I use the MATE edition myself due to lower resources needed than Cinnamon or KDE. And the Mint team is still producing a 32-bit version which is something you may need with the older computer, as it quite likely has a 32-bit CPU under the hood.

But if you decide to play, then check out some others too, if you would like to experiment. Linux Lite is also an excellent choice. And Peppermint OS too. Part of the discovery process is seeing which distros will detect and use your hardware without having to jump through a bunch of hoops to make it work (like compiling drivers from source code... save that for when you've gained a little more experience).

That computer also will likely not boot on USB without some help, so you may need to burn Linux to DVD's for that. Come to think about it: be sure it has a DVD-ROM and not just CD-ROM. But there is a "trick" you can use... you can make a PLOP boot CD (not DVD) and the PLOP utility will allow you to install Linux from USB. I haven't done that in awhile, but it works when needed in cases like that.

Cheers
 

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Linux Mint is a very popular choice, and for many good reasons. I use the MATE edition myself due to lower resources needed than Cinnamon or KDE. And the Mint team is still producing a 32-bit version which is something you may need with the older computer, as it quite likely has a 32-bit CPU under the hood.

But if you decide to play, then check out some others too, if you would like to experiment. Linux Lite is also an excellent choice. And Peppermint OS too. Part of the discovery process is seeing which distros will detect and use your hardware without having to jump through a bunch of hoops to make it work (like compiling drivers from source code... save that for when you've gained a little more experience).

That computer also will likely not boot on USB without some help, so you may need to burn Linux to DVD's for that. Come to think about it: be sure it has a DVD-ROM and not just CD-ROM. But there is a "trick" you can use... you can make a PLOP boot CD (not DVD) and the PLOP utility will allow you to install Linux from USB. I haven't done that in awhile, but it works when needed in cases like that.

Cheers
Thanks for the info. The antique Dimension is indeed a 32-bit machine. If Linux Lite has a 32-bit version, that might be a choice.
Condobloke had a suggestion to just test drive Linux from a DVD instead of installing it. That's what I did on the Espiron before pulling the trigger on the full install.
 

atanere

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Yes, @Condobloke's suggestion is a good one. DVD's are cheap and they are good to keep around even after you install since they are excellent troubleshooting tools (for yourself, or friends needing help).

I think all three that I listed still have 32-bit versions. Sadly, many distros are dropping 32-bit support though, so the long term outlook may not be very good. But it will probably still be much better to run an outdated Linux, if necessary, than Windows XP. And we can hope that some of the distros will keep up support for these aging systems.

Cheers
 

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Yes, @Condobloke's suggestion is a good one. DVD's are cheap and they are good to keep around even after you install since they are excellent troubleshooting tools (for yourself, or friends needing help).

I think all three that I listed still have 32-bit versions. Sadly, many distros are dropping 32-bit support though, so the long term outlook may not be very good. But it will probably still be much better to run an outdated Linux, if necessary, than Windows XP. And we can hope that some of the distros will keep up support for these aging systems.

Cheers
Well, it's a shame there isn't a group of disgruntled Microsoft programmers (who haven't already joined the Linux team) who have an affection and nostalgia for old machines. There are antique car buffs, right? LOL They could probably do pretty will on the side supporting older machines. It really seems a shame to retire a perfectly good piece of equipment only because greedy corporations want to produce software requiring you to upgrade your hardware constantly just to remain productive. It reminds me of game companies that refuse to retrofit their new games to older consoles.
 

atanere

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Yeah, it's frustrating, but i get it. Technology has to innovate with new hardware and software all the time, or it will lose customers ($$$). Maintaining old stuff is a drain on their resources but still necessary to a certain degree (to also hang onto customers).

The antique car collectors will at least spend decent bucks to buy and refurbish their toys. Electronic gadgets quickly head for landfills and recycle centers, barely going through a few battery changes sometimes.

I know I am falling way behind in technology now, especially hardware. But I don't foresee buying a new computer ever again as I have enough "junk" that I should be able to make do with. A couple of desktops and several laptops... and they all run great with Linux!
 



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