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Old 06-08-2014, 09:40 AM   #21
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I have an old EEE netbook as well (1000HE). I repurposed it as a very portable laptop with a long battery life, using Ubuntu. It runs great even today.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:15 AM   #22
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A total newbie question --- I've seen Linux and Ubuntu recommendations above. Which is simpler to install and use (as I'm a very practiced computer user, but a complete newbie on the tech side of things)?

I'm game to try this (switching from XP to something open source), but don't want to make it a "new career" aka lengthy learning process.

omni
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:22 AM   #23
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I found Ubuntu easier to install than mint. Major difference came in the installation of printers. Both, like most Linux distros, can be run from a DVD prior to installing on your HD. Both come in 32 and 64 bit versions. For simplicity I used the 32 bit version. They can also be put on a USB flash drive. There are instructions on how to do this, google it. I think the Ubuntu site has the data. For a DVD you have to be able to write a disk image I.e. ISO file to a DVD.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:27 AM   #24
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I loaded Mint in a separate, bootable partition on this XP machine I am posting on. When I start the computer, a bootloader gives me a choice as to which OS I want to boot into. That way, you can practice in Mint and still retain your XP/Win 7, etc partition.

Or you could install Mint in a Virtual drive which is a bit more complicated to do if you are new to this.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:34 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
A total newbie question --- I've seen Linux and Ubuntu recommendations above. Which is simpler to install and use (as I'm a very practiced computer user, but a complete newbie on the tech side of things)?

I'm game to try this (switching from XP to something open source), but don't want to make it a "new career" aka lengthy learning process.

omni
Ubuntu is a 'type' of Linux (called a 'distribution' or 'variant'), similar to XP or Vista or Tiger, Panther, etc are 'types' of Windows or Mac OSX.

Ubuntu, Xubuntu (my preference), or Mint (and many others) are all variations of the Ubuntu baseline release. They all use the same installer, so really no difference in effort.

My preference is Xubuntu, especially for an older, lower-powered computer. It has a more stripped down user-interface that I prefer to Ubuntu (which by default is more like a tablet/tile sort of desktop - the graphics take more horsepower, and I prefer the 'older' menu style of selecting apps in Xubuntu).

Mint was also mentioned, I loaded it to experiment a bit a year ago, and it I liked it, but I think it may be a little less well supported than the more 'mainstream' Ubuntu/Xubuntu releases.

You need to determine if you need the 32 or 64 bit versions, DL (probably 32 bit for older computers, list the model info if there is any question), and then burn to a DVD. Especially since you have an external that you can use on the netbook. I gave a link for that earlier, straight from the Ubuntu web-site. Here it is again:

How to burn a DVD on Windows | Ubuntu


Again, this really should be pretty simple since you are willing to just wipe the old Windows install. I'd be just a little nervous walking someone through this if they want to keep Windows, there's a chance they could do something wrong and mess up their windows install. But by eliminating Windows, there's really almost nothing to go wrong.

Go for it!

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Old 06-08-2014, 11:44 AM   #26
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One more thing - it is always best to fully verify the download before burning to DVD, just to be sure it downloaded correctly with no errors/corruption.

This is easy, each file (.iso) will have a checksum published, called an MD5SUM. From Windows, you'll need to load a utility that can re-create the checksum on your file, a few suggestions are here, and a brief excerpt:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HowToMD5SUM

Quote:
MD5SUM on Windows

Windows does not come with md5sum. You must download one from another location, preferably one that you trust. ....

There are also graphical tools such as the one used in the walk-through provided below.

Download and install winMD5Sum, a free and open source hash verification program.

Right-click the ISO file.
Click Send To, then winMD5Sum.

Wait for winMD5Sum to load and finish the checksum (this may take a significant amount of time depending on your computer's performance).

Copy the corresponding hash from UbuntuHashes into the bottom text box.

Click "Compare"
That page provides links to a few different MD5SUM tools. Any should work fine.

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Old 06-08-2014, 12:46 PM   #27
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A total newbie question --- I've seen Linux and Ubuntu recommendations above. Which is simpler to install and use (as I'm a very practiced computer user, but a complete newbie on the tech side of things)?
Technically "linux" is the kernel,basically allows/controls access to system resources and hardware. This is a good overview from wiki Kernel (computing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ubuntu ( and Mint, Suse, RedHat, Slackware etc ) are distributions. Includes the kernel, system configuration and user apps to make a complete system for the end user.

Most people interchange linux with distribution but you would be installing a linux distribution. Distros can be customized for special task and there is a distro for just about anything you want

DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:57 PM   #28
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Thanks all for all the helpful replies.

At this point I'm wondering if the desktop may be on its deathbed and not worth any more effort. I decided to deal with the desktop first. After wasting 2 hours on trying to delete some of the larger files, etc. and get internet access. Neither firefox nor IE (both already loaded) seem to get me there. I know that the computer is able to access the web, as I am getting messages on various systemcare and malware programs about updating definitions and versions. I've run out of ideas as to what the issue may be.

Unless there's some easy 'fix' to gain internet access that I'm unaware of, it's not worth any more time and frustration.

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Old 06-08-2014, 03:12 PM   #29
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Unless there's some easy 'fix' to gain internet access that I'm unaware of, it's not worth any more time and frustration.

omni
If you were going to wipe them, I don't see you need internet access at this point. Did I miss something ?

Another option, depending on the brand/model is to do a factory restore. It will reformat the HD and reinstall the factory image like it came out of the box.

On most Dells, you press F11 during the boot process and it take you to recovery menu.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:14 PM   #30
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Thanks all for all the helpful replies.

At this point I'm wondering if the desktop may be on its deathbed and not worth any more effort. I decided to deal with the desktop first. After wasting 2 hours on trying to delete some of the larger files, etc. and get internet access. Neither firefox nor IE (both already loaded) seem to get me there. I know that the computer is able to access the web, as I am getting messages on various systemcare and malware programs about updating definitions and versions. I've run out of ideas as to what the issue may be.

Unless there's some easy 'fix' to gain internet access that I'm unaware of, it's not worth any more time and frustration.

omni
You're talking about your old (~9) EMachines desktop right?

I wouldn't worry about whether it can get network access now, under Win XP. To install Linux, you'll download the files and burn a DVD using your current Win 7 computer. The old one will boot from that disk, nothing on the hard drive makes any difference, it's all going to be wiped clean as part of the install.

Does that old desktop use a wired connection for Ethernet? If so, fine. If you try to do the install wirelessly, it may or may not support your wireless card straight from the install DVD, and in that case you'll want to connect wired. During the install, it will usually be able to automatically download any drivers needed for the wireless card (if you even use wireless on this desktop).

edit- crossposted with rbmrtn!

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Old 06-08-2014, 03:28 PM   #31
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Omni,
There is no easy fix to remove all of the malware.

Is there anything you need to recover? If so, a Linux boot CD is your best bet. It will boot the system to a graphical interface. You'll likely be able to copy files to a USB stick or removable HD.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:40 PM   #32
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You're talking about your old (~9) EMachines desktop right?

I wouldn't worry about whether it can get network access now, under Win XP. To install Linux, you'll download the files and burn a DVD using your current Win 7 computer. The old one will boot from that disk, nothing on the hard drive makes any difference, it's all going to be wiped clean as part of the install.

Does that old desktop use a wired connection for Ethernet? If so, fine. If you try to do the install wirelessly, it may or may not support your wireless card straight from the install DVD, and in that case you'll want to connect wired. During the install, it will usually be able to automatically download any drivers needed for the wireless card (if you even use wireless on this desktop).

edit- crossposted with rbmrtn!

-ERD50
Yes, the eMachine. It has a wired connection to the internet.

I looked at the DVD-burning instructiuons and was unsure whether to burn it using the Win 7 instructions or the XP instructions....(remember, a total newbie here.) To be on the safe side, that's why I was trying to do the internet connection and burn the DVD on the eMachine.

From what I'm reading here, it sounds as though I should burn the DVD on my Win 7....using the XP instructions.

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Old 06-08-2014, 03:43 PM   #33
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If you were going to wipe them, I don't see you need internet access at this point. Did I miss something ?

Another option, depending on the brand/model is to do a factory restore. It will reformat the HD and reinstall the factory image like it came out of the box.

On most Dells, you press F11 during the boot process and it take you to recovery menu.
See my post directly above.

I don't think I need a factory restore at this point, just a wipe of the XP and then install the DVD that I will burn on my Win 7 machine...correct?

omni
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:47 PM   #34
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Omni,
There is no easy fix to remove all of the malware.

Is there anything you need to recover? If so, a Linux boot CD is your best bet. It will boot the system to a graphical interface. You'll likely be able to copy files to a USB stick or removable HD.
Fortunately, I had a copy of all of the eMachine's files backed up onto a WD My Passport external backup. So that's one less issue at this point.

omni
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:53 PM   #35
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See my post directly above.

I don't think I need a factory restore at this point, just a wipe of the XP and then install the DVD that I will burn on my Win 7 machine...correct?

omni
Download the linux ISO file with windows 7, burn it DVD, boot the XP machine with the DVD and install. Installing linux will "wipe" XP.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:58 PM   #36
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Download the linux ISO file with windows 7, burn it DVD, boot the XP machine with the DVD and install. Installing linux will "wipe" XP.
I'm in the midst of downloading the Cinnamon (Linux Mint) version (link was in an post above).

Will burn a DVD with the Win 7 unit, install DVD on XP machine and start it up.

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Old 06-08-2014, 04:04 PM   #37
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Fortunately, I had a copy of all of the eMachine's files backed up onto a WD My Passport external backup. So that's one less issue at this point.

omni
Torch that beast!

Repairing old computers is no fun. You'll get a large ego boost once Linux is up and running.
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:46 PM   #38
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+1 on Ubuntu, but you really have to decide how much pain you want to deal with vice the processor speed/installed memory. A machine sold with XP is probably on the minimum edge of usability with either current Windows or current Linux, but probably will accept additional memory that will "kick the can down the road" a bit. And, your choice of linux will make a difference; Xubuntu is lighter weight but still functional, and thus a good choice.

I'm currently faced with having to build two machines for my grandkids to do homework and light, supervised web surfing while at our house. Our IT guys at work advised me to use Win8 with Start8 and ModernMix from Stardock; according to them Win8 is more useable than Win7 on light hardware (go figure) and the two Stardock addons ($10 for the two) turn it in to a Win7 work-alike. This, from our senior IT guy who uses Ubuntu at home. I think they should know; they're part of MegaCorp IT with a bazillion IT engineers dedicated to making sure we don't have to deal with computer issues instead of real work, and they're wringing the snot out Win8 right now before foisting it on us. No kidding, the best in the business, IMHO... I'm going to follow their guidance on these machines, simply to leave something supportable for wife/kids/grandkids if I am ever prevented from the task.

I just recycled a bunch of old hardware that I fought with 10-15 years ago; I couldn't even make a single usable machine out of the mess. Re-purposing old hardware is generally more work than it's worth, but there's a limited window in age where it can be worth the time.
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:48 PM   #39
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Gosh, the Linux download is taking a while ...2.5 hours to go.

I've got a social engagment this evening, so the "torching of the beast" continues tomorrow.

Who will be the victor/vanquished? Stay tuned.

Thanks, everyone, for the help.

omni
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:53 PM   #40
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I 'donated' my last three older machines to co-workers who had children and terrible computers at home. Before that, in each case, I had converted them to Ubuntu for my own use. I've tried three different Linux versions, and Ubuntu was the version I could explain to DW the best.
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