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Old 06-08-2014, 08:40 PM   #41
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I have a machine that dual boots win 7 and suse linux 13.1 Suse runs with about 470 mb and 13 gb of disk, Win 7 runs 1055 mb and 67 gb of disk. I also have a vanillia xp virtual box client which (with no anti virus or apps installed) runs about 100 mb and 6gb of disk.
So Suse beats win 7
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:06 AM   #42
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I've just finished burning the Linux Mint DVD on my Win 7.

And now I'm wondering if its sheer size (1.2 GB) might be an issue on the old XP, as ggbutcher mentioned above? (Somewhere along the line, I had added some memory to the old eMachine, but IIRC it was severely limited in what could be added.)

Any thoughts (pro/con) before I proceed? Sounds like Ubuntu might take less system resources?

omni
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:39 AM   #43
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I've just finished burning the Linux Mint DVD on my Win 7.

And now I'm wondering if its sheer size (1.2 GB) might be an issue on the old XP, as ggbutcher mentioned above? (Somewhere along the line, I had added some memory to the old eMachine, but IIRC it was severely limited in what could be added.)

Any thoughts (pro/con) before I proceed? Sounds like Ubuntu might take less system resources?
Keep in mind this is an installer DVD. You can check the minimum HD space required, and see if that fits within your existing HD. How large is the existing HD?
Other issue is RAM--how much RAM does the emachine have?
Maybe try an older release?
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:40 AM   #44
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As one of my goals in this exercise is to learn a bit more about the tech side of things and develop some skills without the risk of trashing a 'good' computer, I thought I'd wipe the disk while waiting for responses as to which software I should install.

I downloaded DiskWipe onto a thumb drive and booted up the XP. As I attempted to wipe the XP's C drive, I am getting a message that says, "Cannot lock the drive. The volume is still in use." "Cannot format." I tried reading the DiskWipe FAQs and instructions, etc but am still lost. Any ideas?

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Old 06-09-2014, 09:05 AM   #45
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Keep in mind this is an installer DVD. You can check the minimum HD space required, and see if that fits within your existing HD. How large is the existing HD?
Other issue is RAM--how much RAM does the emachine have?
Maybe try an older release?

I believe the HD is 160GB and it has 1.93GB of RAM.

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Old 06-09-2014, 09:13 AM   #46
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As one of my goals in this exercise is to learn a bit more about the tech side of things and develop some skills without the risk of trashing a 'good' computer, I thought I'd wipe the disk while waiting for responses as to which software I should install.

I downloaded DiskWipe onto a thumb drive and booted up the XP. As I attempted to wipe the XP's C drive, I am getting a message that says, "Cannot lock the drive. The volume is still in use." "Cannot format." I tried reading the DiskWipe FAQs and instructions, etc but am still lost. Any ideas?

omni
Don't worry about it - you are making this more difficult than it is.

The installer will wipe the drive. Once you boot the old machine from the DVD, that old hard drive is just a piece of HW ready to be used be the installer. It won't be locked, as nothing else will be in control. Essentially, when you boot that DVD, you are running Linux from the DVD and from memory (RAM) - it just isn't installed yet. Linux can run in a small amount of RAM and will install in a small hard drive.

I see your post now - Linux can be very happy in a 160GB HD and 1.93GB of RAM.

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Old 06-09-2014, 09:35 AM   #47
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I believe the HD is 160GB and it has 1.93GB of RAM.

omni
suse 13.1 needs about 500 mb of ram (at a minimum) and would run well at 1gb. It needs about 60 gb of disk. So the laptop should run well. (Assuming you are running it with an ethernet cable. There may well be an issue with wireless adapters.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:37 AM   #48
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As one of my goals in this exercise is to learn a bit more about the tech side of things and develop some skills without the risk of trashing a 'good' computer, I thought I'd wipe the disk while waiting for responses as to which software I should install.

I downloaded DiskWipe onto a thumb drive and booted up the XP. As I attempted to wipe the XP's C drive, I am getting a message that says, "Cannot lock the drive. The volume is still in use." "Cannot format." I tried reading the DiskWipe FAQs and instructions, etc but am still lost. Any ideas?

omni
Diskwipe likley can not reformat a system disk. Since you had xp up, it could not wipe the os out (the os protects itself from committing suicide that way, e.g. it won't let you format C: .
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:54 AM   #49
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I downloaded DiskWipe onto a thumb drive and booted up the XP. As I attempted to wipe the XP's C drive, I am getting a message that says, "Cannot lock the drive. The volume is still in use." "Cannot format." I tried reading the DiskWipe FAQs and instructions, etc but am still lost. Any ideas?

omni
Ooops! When I read your first post I was thinking you had already pulled the drives and just wanted to wipe them. You need them attached to another PC to run the wipe tool. The system drive can not be wipe while it is active, sorry for the confusion.

The linux path will probably be quickest. The size of the DVD is not an issue, it is more of what is running after the install.

There are some linux distros designed for small system, puppy linux is one Puppy Linux Community Home - Getting Started

lubuntu is another lubuntu | lightweight, fast, easier
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:05 AM   #50
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suse 13.1 needs about 500 mb of ram (at a minimum) and would run well at 1gb. It needs about 60 gb of disk. So the laptop should run well. (Assuming you are running it with an ethernet cable. There may well be an issue with wireless adapters.
Yes, as a follow-up to my earlier post, I just booted a fairly fresh install of the most recent Xubuntu (similar to Mint - I have not added much to this installation yet). After a fresh boot, and then opening a couple FireFox web pages (Google news and this site), and opening the spreadsheet and word processor, and File Manager, I'm using just under 500MB of RAM. Of course this will go up as you do more things (browsers in particular seem to leave some memory hanging after many windows/tabs are opened/closed) - but it gives you some idea. You can do a lot within 2GB of RAM (and then it will use swap space - very slow, but it will still work).

The system is only using 3.1GB of hard drive space, and I haven't stored away many of my own files yet, so my 'user' space is near zero.

So 2GB RAM will be fine, and 160GB of disk space means you will have most of that available for storing your own files. Even my highly modified, loaded up with tons of apps, daily system is only using <8GB in the system directory, though some of those apps also add things to my user space.

Summary - you'll be fine.

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Old 06-09-2014, 10:25 AM   #51
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Yay! it appears that I have [finally] gotten Linux MInt installed on the former XP desktop.

Now its showing a message...(abbreviated here): "Running in software rendering mode.....higher than normal CPU usage.....possible problem with drivers. For best experience, recommend you only use this mode for trouble shooting."

Any advice on how to proceed?

omni
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:52 AM   #52
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Yay! it appears that I have [finally] gotten Linux MInt installed on the former XP desktop.

Now its showing a message...(abbreviated here): "Running in software rendering mode.....higher than normal CPU usage.....possible problem with drivers. For best experience, recommend you only use this mode for trouble shooting."

Any advice on how to proceed?

omni
Progress! Not so hard, right?

First, are you certain you are running on what you installed, and not still running off the DVD. IOW, you did go through the "Install" process (asks you a few questions about keyboard, language, a name for the computer, etc), and then re-booted with the DVD removed?

If so, I'm not familiar with this error message. A little googling indicated it might be related to support for older video cards. My googling also suggested that this might be an issue with Cinnamon that does not affect the more mainstream distros (but that might be old/wrong info as well - I don't have time now to deep-dive into that.)

You might need some help from those here who are more familiar with Mint/Cinnamon specifically. In either case, I've got to run for a while. Good luck, I'm (pretty) sure this will be a minor bump in the road.

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Old 06-09-2014, 11:13 AM   #53
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Yay! it appears that I have [finally] gotten Linux MInt installed on the former XP desktop.

Now its showing a message...(abbreviated here): "Running in software rendering mode.....higher than normal CPU usage.....possible problem with drivers. For best experience, recommend you only use this mode for trouble shooting."

Any advice on how to proceed?

omni
If you got the cinnamon desktop version it may not like your video hardware. I've read reports that cinnamon has trouble with some GPUs.

Check the resolution, click menu, then display. You can try lowering the resolution, see if that helps.

Try another version with different desktop. Mate and xfce both been reported to work when this error happened with cinnamon, download links here Editions for Linux Mint 16 "Petra" - Linux Mint

I have not seen that error in person.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:35 AM   #54
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If you got the cinnamon desktop version it may not like your video hardware. I've read reports that cinnamon has trouble with some GPUs.

Check the resolution, click menu, then display. You can try lowering the resolution, see if that helps.

Try another version with different desktop. Mate and xfce both been reported to work when this error happened with cinnamon, download links here Editions for Linux Mint 16 "Petra" - Linux Mint

I have not seen that error in person.
One comment, and then I really do need to run... And I'm afraid we may be getting into the 'too many cooks' area, but...

Is Mint really the best distro for a newbie? From what I've seen, and this error seems to validate, it is a little less well supported than the more mainstream Ubuntu/Xubuntu releases.

So rather than suggest a different version of Mint (like Mint-Xfce), why not go to Xubuntu (which is the Xfce desktop for Ubuntu)?

I could be wrong, but I get the impression that the odds of a successful install, or an easy fix in case of any problems, are better with Xubuntu versus Mint for an older machine? And I did like Mint when I tried it, but it did seem to be more 'in flux' and less stable than Xubuntu, and I didn't see any big advantages over Xubuntu.

Get Xubuntu « Xubuntu

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Old 06-09-2014, 11:52 AM   #55
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Wow. I seldom read about problems running Linux on older machines. Puppy linux is supposed to be good on old hardware, though.

I like Mint over other distros, myself. It is said to have more drivers, etc. , than other Ubuntu distros.

I would prefer PC-BSD, but I have had more problems with it than Mint. Still just playing with them, though.

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Old 06-09-2014, 12:53 PM   #56
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I searched the Linux Mint forum for this issue and several others have run into it. (At least I'm not alone. )

There's a fix for it that I'm in the midst of downloading. If that doesn't work, I'll consider switching to the simpler XUbuntu.

I'll report back after the download is installed.

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Old 06-09-2014, 01:05 PM   #57
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Well, I got the 'patch' downloaded, but it won't let me install it as I need to be a Super User with appropriate authentication.

Perhaps I need something less "cutting edge" (that has most of the bugs worked out of it already LOL)?

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Old 06-09-2014, 01:07 PM   #58
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Linux distros are so easy to install, I would download Ubuntu or XUbuntu, maybe Puppy and try them all. It will only cost you some time and the cd to put it on. I recently put Mint on an old desktop. Then Ubuntu 14.04. I went with Ubuntu. It recognized the usb wireless device I was using and it also recognized and installed my wireless printer.

I played around with Linux about four years ago, and I had about seven different different distros. Like you said, you are doing this to learn, so try several.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:14 PM   #59
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Well, I got the 'patch' downloaded, but it won't let me install it as I need to be a Super User with appropriate authentication.

Perhaps I need something less "cutting edge" (that has most of the bugs worked out of it already LOL)?

omni
OK, this should be easy.

It depends exactly on how you are installing the patch, if from a command line (CLI), or other method, but when you installed Linux, you would have provided a user name, and a password (that you must write down or remember!). Going to admin is just a matter of entering that password.

if from command line, it might just be prefacing the command with 'sudo' and then responding with your password. BUT - before doing anything as 'sudo', make sure the info comes from a trusted source, some joker could put up some malicious code (unlikely, these get deleted from forums before most people would even see them - but it pays to be cautious.)

Do you have a link to the patch, that would probably help people here walk you through it if you need further help.

You're sounding like a Linux expert already!

You could DL and try another release as was suggested, but if you are this close, I'd give it a try. Nothing to stop you from trying another release later, if you want.

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Old 06-09-2014, 01:27 PM   #60
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Linux distros are so easy to install, I would download Ubuntu or XUbuntu, maybe Puppy and try them all. It will only cost you some time and the cd to put it on. I recently put Mint on an old desktop. Then Ubuntu 14.04. I went with Ubuntu. It recognized the usb wireless device I was using and it also recognized and installed my wireless printer.

I played around with Linux about four years ago, and I had about seven different different distros. Like you said, you are doing this to learn, so try several.
Puppy in particular is useful for really ancient systems as it is very lightweight in terms of disk, memory and CPU requirements.

Puppy, in fact, works very well when installed on even an 8 GB USB flash drive, so you can try it installed and booted from a flash drive to test it before wiping out your hard drive. In fact, I've done just that an a very ancient Compaq laptop my work issued to me but never wanted back.

The others are considerably "heavier" than Puppy for the most part, but compared to Windows installs even most heavier Linux variants will take less space, need considerably less memory, and will be much more responsive on limited hardware than Windows XP/7/8 would be. My netbook purrs on Ubuntu when it chugged hard on Windows, and the battery life is around 8 hours compared to 5-6 for Windows with relatively similar settings (wifi on/bluetooth off and same screen brightness usually).
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