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hand holding instructions for loading Linux via DOS

I have an old PC laptop running Windows XP. I don't know why and I've given up caring but the computer is insanely slow. (I've run Malwarebytes and it finds no malware) I have other computers that are lighter, easier to use, etc. so my original idea was to just trash all the data on this laptop and then hand it in to a recycling center. But then I thought it might be interesting to have a Linux computer around. I've looked online but the instructions I've found are for dual boots. I don't care about the Windows XP OS and its so corrupted I don't believe I can successfully use it to install Linux. I tried just installing a Sourceforge program called Eraser to erase all the windows data and even that didn't work, the computer is just too corrupted.

So what I was wondering is can I download a Linux file to the c drive and then from DOS run a command to just install Linux? Don't care about dual boot or anything like that in fact the more I can just over-ride and get rid of the Windows XP stuff the better. I'm pretty competent when it comes to software at the Java level but I haven't done shell stuff in decades and even then I avoided it as much as possible so I need something that is really hand holding, starting with how to get the Windows machine to boot into DOS and reminders for how to navigate DOS directories.

I welcome any suggestions or ideas both as to loading Linux and how to easily and securely delete all data from Windows XP.

Comments

  • arochesterarochester Posts: 282
    1) How much RAM have you got?
    2) What are the basic specs of your computer?
  • RedDogRedDog Posts: 3
    Its a Dell Inspirion 2.19Ghz and 224 MB of RAM 25.7 GB disc space
  • arochesterarochester Posts: 282
    With that amount of RAM you are going to use a fairly lightweight distro, something like Lubuntu, Xubuntu or Crunchbang Linux. I mention those in particular because the Install disk has an automatic installer, so you don't need to manually partition.

    (Antix is a very good distro for older computers but I can't remember if the disk has automatic installer...)

    Increase the mount of RAM if you can, if it is economically sensible.

    Remember! You can't have a lightweight distro and put a lot of heavyweight apps on top of it because that kind of defeats the purpose.

    You need to download an iso. Either burn it on to a CD or USB stick. Make sure the BIOS/Boot Order is set to boot from the CD-Rom/USB first, before the Hard Drive. Reboot
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    You cannot install a Linux based distro in your windows based C drive. You will need to burn a Linux based ISO to a CD and install from the disk. If you want ot remove all of the windows data then the distro should have an installation option to use the entire hard drive which will remove the windows based data.
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    If you want to truly remove all data from the windows partition then you can run the dd utility on the C drive from a live CD, which will take hours, but multiple runs of the zero fill will remove all data.
  • RedDogRedDog Posts: 3
    arochester wrote:
    With that amount of RAM you are going to use a fairly lightweight distro, something like Lubuntu, Xubuntu or Crunchbang Linux. I mention those in particular because the Install disk has an automatic installer, so you don't need to manually partition.

    (Antix is a very good distro for older computers but I can't remember if the disk has automatic installer...)

    Increase the mount of RAM if you can, if it is economically sensible.

    Remember! You can't have a lightweight distro and put a lot of heavyweight apps on top of it because that kind of defeats the purpose.

    You need to download an iso. Either burn it on to a CD or USB stick. Make sure the BIOS/Boot Order is set to boot from the CD-Rom/USB first, before the Hard Drive. Reboot

    Thanks. That is what I meant by "hand holding" telling me really basic stuff like that which now that you say it makes perfect sense but I wasn't quite getting. The Windows machine is so slow and unreliable I would never even attempt to burn a CD with it but I think what I will do is use one of my computers at home (the windows machine is an orphan I use when at a friend's place) and then bring that with me and give it a shot. If nothing else I'm kind of curios to see how much faster a basic Linux system runs on that box. But I also think it might make a nice little web browsing platform once I remove the Windows virus :)
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