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Upgrading to Ubuntu from Vista

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January 25, 2010 4:23:13 PM

So I have Vista now and I want to upgrade that OS to Ubuntu and completely get rid of Vista. I don't want to lose all my data and files I have with Vista though.

How can I do this upgrade?

And can I do this upgrade and have the files automatically transferred over to Ubuntu?


I have made the Ubuntu Iso boot cd.

I am not very computer savy. So please be gentle. Thanks in advance!

More about : upgrading ubuntu vista

January 26, 2010 1:14:34 AM

Welcome aboard :) 

What are your full hardware specs?

Sure you can do this, for best results you'll want to grab a 2nd internal hard drive or an external hard drive that you can copy your data to.

Ubuntu can read your vista drive, as long as it's not encrypted, and copy the data to another drive, internal or external. An internal SATA drive or an external eSATA will be the fastest and most reliable way to do this.

Ubuntu can also shrink windows drives if there's enough free space on the drive but that's not recommended without a really good backup of your drive's contents. The shrinking usually works but it's easy to accidentally erase something so why take a chance of losing your data?

You can find new 500gig drives from WD or Samsung for roughly $56, you'll want to read all the reviews carefully and pick out a reliable drive. Even though Newegg doesn't ship internationally they have lots of reviews and info that'll help you choose a nice drive. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ubuntu also has a program that'll let you transfer settings from windows to linux if you're so inclined but I've never used it.

Good luck :) 
January 26, 2010 12:27:58 PM

Motherboard: MSI NF980-G65 AM3
Processor: CPU AMD|PH II X4 955 3.2G AM3
DVD BURNER: MSI | DH-24AAS-17
Graphics Card: VGA MSI | N9600GT-MD1G GF9600GT
PSU: CORSAIR|CMPSU-750TX 750W
Memory: 2Gx2|GSK F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ (4GB DDR3)
Case: CASE ANTEC|NINE HUNDRED TWO
Hard Drive: Samsung SP2504C ATA Device (from old computer with Vista OS-32bit)

I am waiting on a good deal for a WD Caviar Black (32mb cache, 7200rpm).

So I made a mistake an installed ubuntu over my Vista. If I buy a OEM or Retail HD, can I install windows on that while I have Ubuntu running?

I am assuming I will have to put the cdrom as the primary booting sequence and the Samsung HD(current hd) as disabled to be able to install Windows onto my other drive.

What are your thoughts? Thanks for the indepth response, appreciate it.

I am a huuuuuge fan of Newegg, all the parts of the comp were bought from there. Not a single problem.
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January 26, 2010 12:56:45 PM

Nice specs :D 

If you're wanting to dual boot Linux and windows you can do that :)  It's pretty easy with GRUB.

Disconnect your other drives, boot from the windows cd install on an empty disk and then reconnect your other drives and set your Linux drive as your 1st boot device and edit /boot/grub/menu.lst to add windows to your boot menu.

title windoze
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
chainloader +1

This'll look for windoze on your 2nd hdd, hd1. Your 1st hdd is hd0.

run man grub and info grub for more info

You'll also want to take a look at /usr/share/doc/grub-0.97/ after you've installed your docs.

You can read more about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_GRUB there's a bunch of great links and additional info.

Good luck :) 
January 26, 2010 1:01:52 PM

Since my hd0 is the older drive, once I have installed windows on the newer/faster hd (hd01), shouldn't I make that the primary booter?

As of now, it boots very fast with hd0 on linux.
January 26, 2010 1:17:38 PM

Linux boots really fast, Fedora 11 and 12 can boot in under 20 seconds on fast hardware in GUI mode and under 5 seconds in text mode. Ubuntu 9.10 is also pretty fast and Ubuntu 9.04 isn't far behind.

Many windoze versions take well over a minute and doesn't matter that much how fast your drive is :) 

So which drive you choose to boot from isn't that important, it's a matter of personal preference.

You should install GRUB on whichever drive is your first boot device ( /dev/sda aka hd0 ).

sudo su - ; /sbin/grub-install /dev/sda will install GRUB on /dev/sda.

Good luck :) 
January 26, 2010 1:22:02 PM

Thanks! All this ilnux based software is so challenging for me, but fun to try to learn. Again I appreciate all of your help and I will definitely take your situations!

Cheers!
January 26, 2010 1:45:09 PM

You don't have to learn all the commands to be able to use it and enjoy it. There's plenty you can do without 'em.

Linux also has lots of free open source games http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_games and commercial games http://www.tuxgames.com/browse.cgi?&category=all

Some of the commercial Linux games have free demos you can try.

Here's a list of open source games that are completely free and open source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open_source_games

Some of these are a lot of fun even though they don't always have the latest and greatest eye candy.

There's a bunch of apps that are really sweet too, blender, k3d, inkscape, GIMP, openoffice.org, vlc, mplayer and lots more :) 
!