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Burning distro to 700mb CD and formatting it to autoinstall in drive.

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August 15, 2008 4:02:52 AM

I need a light distro of linux that can be burned to a 700mb disk and formatted to install when put into the cd drive of a new computer- with a blank hard drive (new hard drive too). It needs to accept all of my hardware which is...

E8400 woldale processor
Western digital hard drive
4 gigs g skill ram (although if it only recognizes two that is not a problem)
Biostar t force motherboard
hd 4850 graphics card (the motherboard has no onboard video so this is a must).

This distro needs to be easy to install, easy to unistall, and not give me a headache. It is a temporary operating system until I can purchase vista 64bit. I just need to be able to access the internet and download files. Files that won't be corrupted or uninstalled when I attempt to remove the distro. Do guys now of a distro that can serve that purpose? Is it possible to format one to install in the way that I need?

Thanks I appreciate the help.
August 15, 2008 6:33:33 AM

It would be nice to specify the motherboard and chipset.

A good all-rounder is properly Ubuntu... Pretty much all Linux is lightweight.
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August 15, 2008 8:21:30 AM

amdfangirl is right on, use an Ubuntu or Fedora Live CD, make a partition on your HDD and store your files on there.

Boot from the Live CD, partition and format your disk and you're ready to roll.

Your drive is likely to be /dev/sda split it into 2 or 3 partitions

Partition Filesystem Size

/dev/sda1 NTFS 100-400GB

/dev/sda2 ext3 100-200GB


Format /dev/sda2 as ext3 ( default Linux filesystem ), store the files there, when you get whatever OS you get from the evil empire copy the files from the ext3 partition to the NTFS partiton and you're all set!

You can remove or shrink the ext3 partition later on if you don't need it, although I would suggest you keep it and install a Linux distribution on it as another OS. Linux is awesome to have around in case your other OS decides to go crazy on ya.

GL :) 
August 15, 2008 8:47:43 AM

Can you make your own live CD?

Also, do you now of any good tutorials that could help me partition my hard drive?

+1 thanks for the help.
August 15, 2008 11:11:35 AM

http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/downloadmirrors

http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora

Find a download mirror near you and download ubuntu-8.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso for Ubuntu and Fedora-9-x86_64-Live.iso for Fedora.

Burn them to CD-R, flip a coin and put one of them in your CDROM drive and set your BIOS to boot from CD, boot up and enjoy :) 

Ubuntu, Knoppix and Fedora have some of the best Live CDs or DVDs you can get and they have done all the hard work for you.

If you want to make your own custom disk you can remaster an existing Live CD / DVD ISO -- the process can get complicated though.

The easiest, fastest, most hassle free way to do what you want to do is to use a premade Live CD or DVD image from one of the 3 major distributions mentioned earlier.

Ubuntu, Knoppix and Fedora have point and click graphical paritioning tools such as gparted or qtparted that you can use to partition the disk if the command line versions of parted and fdisk are not your style.


fdisk may look intimidating but is really not that bad at all

fdisk /dev/sda

p to print

m for help

n to make a new partition



Command (m for help): m
Command action
a toggle a bootable flag
b edit bsd disklabel
c toggle the dos compatibility flag
d delete a partition
l list known partition types
m print this menu
n add a new partition
o create a new empty DOS partition table
p print the partition table
q quit without saving changes
s create a new empty Sun disklabel
t change a partition's system id
u change display/entry units
v verify the partition table
w write table to disk and exit
x extra functionality (experts only)


GL :) 
August 15, 2008 11:22:56 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gparted

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/64/GPar...

As you can see gparted is self-explanatory.

Make your partitions similar to the ones in the screenshot and adjust the size to fit your drive. The swap partition is optional. Ensure all partitions are primary partitions /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2 and optionally /dev/sda3


Partition Filesystem Size

/dev/sda1 NTFS 100-400GB

/dev/sda2 ext3 100-200GB

/dev/sda3 swap 2GB optional

GL :) 
August 15, 2008 6:35:35 PM

Thank you. Although I have no idea what this means, I will be refering to your links often as I go about the process.

There is another option I am conisdering though (if you will allow me one more question). I a pretty sure that I could take my old hardrive and boot it up first, and do a data transfer to my second hard disk (the one I wish to keep). I would probably install ubuntu to the new disk and remove the old one later. I am downloading the iso image for ubuntu now. How could I install it on my new hard disk and set as my OS (with all the patitioning you mentioned) and then safely remove my old hard disk with my windows xp (Posting a guide could be sufficient. You have been incrediable helpful so far and I appreciate it)?

Thanks so much again :)  +2
August 16, 2008 12:24:27 AM

Pull the old drive out, leave only the new drive in, make sure the new drive is the only drive in the computer and connect it to the 1st sata connector on the mobo.

Boot from the Ubuntu disk

Wait for it to boot and drop you to a desktop

On the desktop click the install icon

There's a 7 step installation process, follow the prompts and instructions

When you get to the partitioner make sure the drive has nothing on it, if it has partitions on it stop right there you could have the wrong drive hooked up, the last thing you want is to blast the wrong drive with your data on it

If the drive is empty create 2 or 3 partitions NTFS, ext3 and swap

Partition Filesystem Size

/dev/sda1 NTFS 100-400GB

/dev/sda2 ext3 100-200GB

/dev/sda3 swap 2GB optional


Make sure the NTFS partition is the first partition on the disk /dev/sda1

All partitions should be primary /dev/sda1 - 4 do not create more than 4 paritions

After the partitioner follow the rest of the prompts and finish the install

When the install is done reboot and have fun with ubuntu

If you want to copy your old data connect your old drive to the 2nd connector on your mobo boot up ubuntu and copy the data from the old drive to the new drive, you can copy them to the ext3 partition if it's large enough and then to the NTFS partition after you install whatever OS you decide to slap on there

Don't boot your XP drive if it came from a different system because xp will probably get all screwed and may even lock you out of the OS and demand that you reactivate it which you may not be able to do if your network drivers aren't working, Vista may do the same thing if you change your hardware thanks to the anti-usability features ( anti-piracy features that don't actually stop any pirates )

GL :) 
August 16, 2008 4:49:19 AM

Oh good, I am really glad you told me that. I think I am going to buy a live cd and just use it. Less complicated and its like 2 dollars. Your help has been great thanks again.
August 16, 2008 5:31:41 AM

Buy a live CD?

You can simply burn one from a disc image from the internet. All it'll cost is about 50c. Also Canocial the company backing Ubuntu gives out free CDs although this takes quite some time to arrive.
August 16, 2008 6:06:03 PM

As amdfangirl said you can download the live CD images for free from the internet and burn them to CD-Rs or DVD-Rs

That's what the links were for, here's those links again

http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/downloadmirrors

http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora

You'll need ubuntu-8.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso and or Fedora-9-x86_64-Live.iso

There are download mirrors all over the planet, pick one near you

If you have a fast connection it won't take more than 15-45min to download the whole 700MB ISO CD images

The remastering stuff is only relevant if you want to make your own fully customized Live CD from scratch ( as in Linux from scratch ) so forget about all that

GL :) 
August 16, 2008 10:09:53 PM

I downloaded a nero trial version and burned the iso image to a cd. Suprisingly easy. Thanks again, I'll post one more time if I need help getting it to load from the bios.
August 16, 2008 11:03:05 PM

Pop the disc in before you shutdown and restart. It should automatically boot into Linux. Otherwise if this doesn't work (in BIOS) set the CD drive as first boot device, before the Hard Drive which should be second...

reboot and see what happens.
August 16, 2008 11:29:19 PM

For those that don't have ISO capable software

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm works great for recording ISOs.

If you have problems with your Ubuntu install you can actually go online under Ubuntu, since it's a Live CD, and ask questions here.

GL :) 
August 17, 2008 2:41:13 AM

I believe the OP has used Nero...

But remember, whatever you do on the live CD won't be saved ;) 
August 17, 2008 3:29:12 AM

Yes using a trial version of Nero which will probably stop working after a while.

ISO recorder is free and won't expire on you :) 

On Linux you gotta use K3b, good stuff :D 
August 17, 2008 3:32:17 AM

All hail to Linux_0 the most knowledgeable Linux guy
August 17, 2008 3:39:53 AM

Back at ya amdfangirl :) 

I'm not that good but thanks :) 
August 17, 2008 8:25:37 PM

You're too modest, linux_0. You not only know more than arguably anyone on the board, you're here to answer (and usually quite quickly) any questions or give sound advice. I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment.
August 17, 2008 10:27:57 PM

I have to agree, Linux_0 is probably the most knowledgeable guy I know and has helped me out on several occasions. He has also gone above and beyond the call of duty by helping me try to get ATI drivers working on my old box back in the day. He has acted as a good guide and a good friend and has made my learning experience a LOT easier than it would have been otherwise!

-Zorak
August 19, 2008 7:03:28 PM

I came to the conclusion some time ago that he is actually BORG.
August 19, 2008 7:52:33 PM

But Linux_0 is a good guy! He can't possibly be Borg!

-Zorak
August 19, 2008 8:39:03 PM

Have you seen the way he recruits converts to the open source collective?[/Resistance is futile. You WILL be assimilated]
August 20, 2008 6:43:03 AM

I am starfleet and we already defeated the borg!

Starfleet is open source by the way :D 
!