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Windows 7: Want to completely remove Windows 7 Starter and install Linux


09 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Starter 32 bit
 
 
Want to completely remove Windows 7 Starter and install Linux

Hi,

I am currently running Windows 7 Starter on my HP Mini and I would like to completely remove it and install a Linux distribution instead.

My knowledge of computers is very limited in this direction, and I would love some help from one of the many knowledgeable members of these forums.

Is it possible to back up what I need to keep onto an external HDD, wipe the internal HDD, install Linux, and replace all of my files?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

10 Apr 2012   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

! You should copy all your own files to an external disk or USB stick - best would be both. Format the stick in Fat32.

2. I would also take a system image to an external disk - just in case you do not like Linux and want to get back to Windows: Imaging with free Macrium

3. Linux is not all fun and games. I hope you are familiar with it because it is a very geeky OS and not for the faint at heart.

4. The internal disk I would format in Linux because they have different file systems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Starter 32 bit
 
 

Oh, Linux doesn't look all that bad. In fact, many distributions seem to be more user friendly than Windows (there are even some made specifically for children).

I'm not sure what it means to "format the stick in Fat32".

You recommend installing Linux over the top of Windows and then formatting the internal disk?

Thanks for your patience. As I said, this stuff is all well over my head.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


10 Apr 2012   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I think you have the wrong notion of Linux. I am running Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, Puppy, Mint) since years. If you are only doing real simple things (browse the web, look at pictures, create a document) then it is easy. But as soon as you want to do something a bit more advanced (e.g. edit a video or audio), life gets complicated. Even trying to edit pictures with e.g. Gimp is not for the uninitiated. And for anything out of the ordinary, you are on the command line.

Make a test and try to copy a file with a live Puppy CD - Puppy is one of the easiest. Have fun.

Before you format the stick, look which format it already has. Most sticks are Fat32.

If you want to format your internal disk for Linux, use a live Linux CD.

Given that you say that you do not know much about computers, I would strongly recommend to rethink that project. Windows is a LOT easier than Linux. Why do you think 90% of the PC users use Windows and only 1.5% use Linux.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Starter 32 bit
 
 

Point taken, whs. I am a student with very limited money, and if something goes wrong, I cannot afford to replace my computer. Also, I don't have the time or inclination to learn how to use Linux, given it is as complicated as you say.

Ignoring Linux then, I would love to know the quickest, easiest, safest method of starting from scratch, of wiping my hard drive and reinstalling Windows. Now, I don't have any of the original software or manuals that came with the computer, as I inherited it from my late grandfather when he passed. What will I need to make sure the re-installation runs smoothly?

Thanks again for the prompt and respectful responses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit SP1
 
 

simplest distribution of linux would be Ubuntu or mint due to experience of me using it in the past before but does require you to learn some cmd prompts to install certain programs and tweaks. If you want to reinstall windows then you should follow this method, click the following blue letters
Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Starter 32 bit
 
 

Hi M1GU31,

the problem with that tutorial is that it requires a Windows disk to install from. I don't have any Windows disks as I received this computer second-hand from my late grandfather, and I have no idea where he kept the disks.

Is there any way to get around this? Is this what disk images are used for?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit SP1
 
 

Have you checked if there is a recovery partition of some sort in the hdd? Sometimes some machines will have that when they don't give you the disk and would have to burn it your self from the files provided in the recovery partition or install directly from that recovery partition.If you can't get a hold of one i could always help you install ubuntu if you want which is a linux distribution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 7 Starter 32 bit
 
 

There is a recovery partition, but I don't know what to do with it...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2012   #10

Windows 7 Starter 32 bit
 
 

It's alright. I've decided to find the answer myself and do a bit of sleuthing. It doesn't seem all that difficult. Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Want to completely remove Windows 7 Starter and install Linux




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