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Laptop OS

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February 19, 2013 9:33:26 PM

I wanted to ask what OS to put on my laptop that I am putting back together. It is a HP 6830s with a core 2 duo @ 2 GHZ, and 4 GB of ram.

Windows Vista is what came on the laptop in the first place, but it sucks.

Windows XP is the best choice for me since I can downgrade the product code on the bottom of the machine to get it, and it is stable enough to use.

I want to put Windows 7 on it, but Micro$oft wants too much money for it.

Now what I want to do is multi-boot some form of windows and some form of Linux. Can you suggest what Linux would be the best?

Thanks in advance for the replies :D 

More about : laptop

February 19, 2013 9:35:01 PM

OOPS, my pc glitched out and I ended up double posting, sorry.
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February 19, 2013 9:40:57 PM

now how do I delete this one?
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February 19, 2013 9:55:19 PM

When you install Windows XP, there is a built-in feature that lets you format and partition your hard disk. Simply create two partitions and install XP on one and Linux on the other. You can also download software like partition magic or similar to do this but since your reinstalling windows you might as well do it then.

For the Linux Distro it comes down to taste. For a Beginner I would check out Linux Mint which is based off Ubuntu. Ubuntu itself is also a nice choice.

If you've used Linux before or are comfortable with Red Hat based distros check out Fedora. It is "bleeding edge" or at least as close as you can get with stable releases.
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February 19, 2013 10:24:27 PM

Quote:
When you install Windows XP, there is a built-in feature that lets you format and partition your hard disk. Simply create two partitions and install XP on one and Linux on the other. You can also download software like partition magic or similar to do this but since your reinstalling windows you might as well do it then.

For the Linux Distro it comes down to taste. For a Beginner I would check out Linux Mint which is based off Ubuntu. Ubuntu itself is also a nice choice.

If you've used Linux before or are comfortable with Red Hat based distros check out Fedora. It is "bleeding edge" or at least as close as you can get with stable releases.

Thanks. Ive use a distro called parted magic as a rescue disc to revive dead windows machines. BTW, has microsoft lowered the price of windows 7 since they released windows 8?

P.S. I,m on the laptop in question running ubuntu off of an external hdd :lol: 
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February 19, 2013 10:31:24 PM

Not that I know of. Microsoft wants people to buy Windows 8 and if they drop the price on Windows 7 no one will. They could increase the price on Windows 7 and I would still buy it over windows 8 ;) 
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February 19, 2013 10:51:55 PM

Quote:
Not that I know of. Microsoft wants people to buy Windows 8 and if they drop the price on Windows 7 no one will. They could increase the price on Windows 7 and I would still buy it over windows 8 ;) 

I know that's right! Windows 8 is an EPIC FAILURE. But $300 for windows 7 is ridiculous, no matter which angle you look at it. So that rules windows 7 and 8 out. now I like XP, but it is quite dated, but windows vista sucks. Now if someone can desuckify Vista then I might use that.
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a c 249 D Laptop
a b α HP
February 19, 2013 10:54:07 PM

Hi :) 

XP or 7 home premium (should cost you around $80 ish)

All the best Brett :) 
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February 19, 2013 10:58:42 PM

Quote:
Hi :) 

XP or 7 home premium (should cost you around $80 ish)

All the best Brett :) 

XP I can get by downgrading the Vista key on the bottom of the laptop, now what would be a nice idea is to upgrade from vista to 7. Can that be done without putting $$$ into it?
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February 19, 2013 11:01:10 PM

What specifically do you dislike about Vista? When it launched it got a bad rep because retailers were selling it on machines with 512MB of RAM when the OS requires 1GB (That and Apple spend millions of dollars on their ad campaign to shame it), but on modern 4GB+ systems this is irrelevant. As for the actual OS it was a drastic improvement over XP in regards to stability and allows you to run DX10.

Vista does have a handful of annoyances but all can be fixed in 5-10 min, and most of these (such as UAC) are also present in Windows 7.
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a c 249 D Laptop
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February 19, 2013 11:09:19 PM

Quote:
XP I can get by downgrading the Vista key on the bottom of the laptop, now what would be a nice idea is to upgrade from vista to 7. Can that be done without putting $$$ into it?



Hi :) 

There IS a Windows 7 UPGRADE package... it WILL upgrade Vista or allow a clean install once it checks Vista is legal...

We sell it in my shops in the UK for £99 so you should find it in the US...(Assuming thats where you are lol)

All the best Brett :) 
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February 19, 2013 11:13:22 PM

Quote:
Hi :) 

There IS a Windows 7 UPGRADE package... it WILL upgrade Vista or allow a clean install once it checks Vista is legal...

We sell it in my shops in the UK for £99 so you should find it in the US...(Assuming thats where you are lol)

All the best Brett :) 

Right. just one problem: that cost money, which I don't have. And I do live in the US, in the state of Georgia, in fact.
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February 19, 2013 11:16:38 PM

Back to the point, I think either I will have to live with XP, or find a way to uncrappify Vista.
Any suggestions?
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a c 249 D Laptop
a b α HP
February 19, 2013 11:19:14 PM

Quote:
Back to the point, I think either I will have to live with XP, or find a way to uncrappify Vista.
Any suggestions?



Hi :) 

XP lol...

All the best Brett :) 
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February 19, 2013 11:30:22 PM

Well that solves what Windows OS to get, now for something Linux. I'm on the laptop in question with Ubuntu running off an external hdd, so I can say I have tried Ubuntu. Fedora is kinda cool, but I don't like the "panels and wigets" desktop. Too tablet directed. Once upon a time I use Tiny Core Linux to make a media file server. Other than that, I have not tried a lot of Linux stuff.
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a c 249 D Laptop
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February 19, 2013 11:33:41 PM

Quote:
Well that solves what Windows OS to get, now for something Linux. I'm on the laptop in question with Ubuntu running off an external hdd, so I can say I have tried Ubuntu. Fedora is kinda cool, but I don't like the "panels and wigets" desktop. Too tablet directed. Once upon a time I use Tiny Core Linux to make a media file server. Other than that, I have not tried a lot of Linux stuff.



Hi :) 

Linux is not my thing but I can move this thread to that forum if you wish ?

All the best Brett :) 
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February 19, 2013 11:34:56 PM

Linux and XP in dual boot mode seem to be the way to go.

You could always get the guy down the street to install Windows 7 for you for free but that would be immoral
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a c 249 D Laptop
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February 19, 2013 11:36:11 PM

Quote:
Linux and XP in dual boot mode seem to be the way to go.

You could always get the guy down the street to install Windows 7 for you for free but that would be immoral



Hi :) 

And ILLEGAL :( 

All the best Brett :) 
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February 19, 2013 11:40:08 PM

Quote:
What specifically do you dislike about Vista? When it launched it got a bad rep because retailers were selling it on machines with 512MB of RAM when the OS requires 1GB (That and Apple spend millions of dollars on their ad campaign to shame it), but on modern 4GB+ systems this is irrelevant. As for the actual OS it was a drastic improvement over XP in regards to stability and allows you to run DX10.

Vista does have a handful of annoyances but all can be fixed in 5-10 min, and most of these (such as UAC) are also present in Windows 7.

Vista has given me many a headache. First, it is the almost perfect ability to BSOD when you need it the most. What about UAC? in windows 7 it's not that annoying, but vista bars everything behind a UAC prompt. What about if I decide to do some hardware development? OOPS, no unsigned drivers allowed!!! Shall I continue?
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February 19, 2013 11:45:53 PM

Quote:
Linux and XP in dual boot mode seem to be the way to go.

You could always get the guy down the street to install Windows 7 for you for free but that would be immoral

Yeah, let's not do that. Someone might pull off getting away with some cheesy $5 game or digital wall paper, but trying to rip off windows 7 will get micro$oft coming after you with torches and pitchforks.
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February 19, 2013 11:50:19 PM

Quote:
Vista has given me many a headache. First, it is the almost perfect ability to BSOD when you need it the most. What about UAC? in windows 7 it's not that annoying, but vista bars everything behind a UAC prompt. What about if I decide to do some hardware development? OOPS, no unsigned drivers allowed!!! Shall I continue?



I completely agree lol. I BSOD about 3 times a day when I had Vista. I haven't had not EVEN ONE BSOD With 7. I was working on a friends laptop (Vista) a couple days ago and simply installing IE8 took me about 3 hours to restart the laptop about 8 times and what not.....
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February 20, 2013 12:03:18 AM

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I completely agree lol. I BSOD about 3 times a day when I had Vista. I haven't had not EVEN ONE BSOD With 7. I was working on a friends laptop (Vista) a couple days ago and simply installing IE8 took me about 3 hours to restart the laptop about 8 times and what not.....

I know, right. So Vista is out of the question, now how about my linux options.
Any ideas?
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February 20, 2013 5:20:12 PM

Seriously for day to day use check out Linux Mint. Both Cinnamon and MATE DEs are excellent options. Its fast, simple, and reliable. It has also been the #1 distribution on DistroWatch for a few years now. I run it with MATE on my laptop. Plus since its based on Ubuntu you get access to all of the Debian/Ubuntu repositories.

http://www.linuxmint.com/
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February 20, 2013 6:30:56 PM

Quote:
Seriously for day to day use check out Linux Mint. Both Cinnamon and MATE DEs are excellent options. Its fast, simple, and reliable. It has also been the #1 distribution on DistroWatch for a few years now. I run it with MATE on my laptop. Plus since its based on Ubuntu you get access to all of the Debian/Ubuntu repositories.

http://www.linuxmint.com/

Nice, so Linux mint is one option, sounds pretty good. Any others that are known good for general purposes, besides Ubuntu spinoffs? Nothing against Ubuntu but 10.04 LTS is a little buggy, not as bad as vista but not as good as ms dos (the only thing it knows is "Abort, Retry, or Fail" :lol:  ). I do want the reliability of MS DOS in my machine, but I will settle for less since there is a billion and one things that can go wrong in a full blown GUI OS.
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a c 249 D Laptop
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February 20, 2013 7:00:17 PM

This topic has been moved from the section Laptops & Notebooks to section Linux/Free BSD by Brett928S2
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February 20, 2013 11:50:00 PM

If you want stability nothing beats Debian. I run it on my servers because it is rock solid. Trade off are its not going to be up to date since the release cycle is long. New packages wont make it to Debian until they have been tested, retested, and tested again. Ubuntu is actually a spin off of Debian.

You mentioned you didn't like Fedora because of panels and widgets, but the cool thing about Linux is freedom. In short whatever you don't like you can change. But its understandable if you dont want to do a lot of tweaking.

A lot of people like OpenSUSE because its different. They have done some fairly innovative things in the past. I install it every now and then on one of my spare pc's but personally prefer other distros and never keep it long.
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February 21, 2013 6:01:54 PM

I will try those. I thought I might just install a bunch of them to my HDD and just try one at a time until I find one I like. I could also try them in Virtualbox on my tower (I could probably run 4 copies of windows 7 simultaneously on that machine, if I wanted to). Just one Windows XP question: how will I get it to work with the SATA HDD? I know that SATA was someone's dream back when XP was new, main thing is I don't want to run the HDD out of ACHI mode unless I absolutely have to.
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February 21, 2013 7:27:58 PM

You shouldn't have any problem installing windows XP on a SATA drive. And if you are set against AHCI you can run any SATA drive under the IDE controller. Though there isn't much benefit in doing so.
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a b D Laptop
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February 21, 2013 7:47:32 PM

Choose the xfce version of Fedora if you don't like the Gnome interface. It's a lovely light desktop.
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February 22, 2013 4:54:49 PM

YAY! I finally got my hard drive! I am about to put it in, install XP, and try a bunch of Linux distros.
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February 22, 2013 8:22:51 PM

Gotta quick question, I have a 250 GB HDD, how much should go to Windows and how much should go to Linux? Please respond within the hour.
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Best solution

February 23, 2013 2:20:16 PM

You may find Debian problematic if you're relying on a USB Wi-Fi adapter for internet access. Debian uses the libre kernel, meaning no proprietary drivers to support hardware. Open source drivers are available for very few USB Wi-Fi adapters, which makes it pretty useless for me. I liked it back when I was using wired internet though. Second only to Ubuntu, Kubuntu etc interms of stability and lack of bugs. In a VM via XP, your internet would be fine on it regardless.

If you think Ubuntu LTS is buggy though, I don't think you're gonna be impressed by the alternatives. I found Mint to be pretty buggy, Fedora was extremely glitchy and unstable and SUSE wouldn't even boot (not even a live boot straight from DVD). That's on a modern, capable setup with no unusual hardware. That being said, I've not tried the latest versions of those distributions (I was so put off by the versions I did try). So my vote goes to Kubuntu or Xubuntu. But trying is a bunch and spending a good day or two on each is a good idea to see for yourself what works well.
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February 25, 2013 8:27:46 PM

Well, I ended up with Windows vista on a 120 GB chunk of the HDD, and the remaining 120 GB for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Multiboot done via BURG Bootloader. Why no XP, you ask? Turns out that windows XP does NOT like my laptop, too new for it's taste. I managed to get Vista up and about with no backtalk, and I think it will work. Thank you all for your suggestions.
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February 25, 2013 8:32:00 PM

Best answer selected by tysonwarrior2.
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February 25, 2013 9:56:40 PM

sam_p_lay said:
You may find Debian problematic if you're relying on a USB Wi-Fi adapter for internet access. Debian uses the libre kernel, meaning no proprietary drivers to support hardware.


I think you are confusing proprietary drivers with proprietary firmware
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February 26, 2013 9:38:54 AM

skittle said:
I think you are confusing proprietary drivers with proprietary firmware


Irrelevant. Debian can't get online with my USB Wi-Fi adapter, and it doesn't with most other adapters either. Clear?
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February 26, 2013 9:42:39 AM

And OP, glad it's all running smoothly :-) I'm on Vista at work and it seems pretty much the same as 7 to me (which I use at home) but I know a lot of people don't like it. And even running Windows 7 (which I think is an awesome OS), it's still good screwing around with Linux anyway :-)
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February 26, 2013 11:09:08 AM

sam_p_lay said:
And OP, glad it's all running smoothly :-) I'm on Vista at work and it seems pretty much the same as 7 to me (which I use at home) but I know a lot of people don't like it. And even running Windows 7 (which I think is an awesome OS), it's still good screwing around with Linux anyway :-)

Yeah, seems like most issues were fixed with a service pack. As for linux, seriously look up the BURG Bootloader, with the right theme in it, it will shame the default GRUB menu that comes with Ubuntu. I personally hid the recovery mode and memtest 86 to Ubuntu, leaving only vista and Ubuntu behind.
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February 26, 2013 12:02:41 PM

Haha yeah GRUB is butt-ugly. I don't really mind though - it's only up for a second and I've already had to look at the hideous POST screen anyway. Some distributions actually don't show the GRUB menu as standard (like Scientific Linux) unless you press a key. Think I prefer that approach.
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February 26, 2013 1:15:52 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Irrelevant. Debian can't get online with my USB Wi-Fi adapter, and it doesn't with most other adapters either. Clear?


No, because what you say is incredibly misleading as the kernel, yes even debians, contains a huge number of kernel drivers for wifi chips. all that is required is to separately download the required firmware. This is true for many distrobutions that don't throw every firmware they can find into the default installation...

separate firmware download != wireless does not workt
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February 27, 2013 7:20:16 AM

skittle said:
No, because what you say is incredibly misleading as the kernel, yes even debians, contains a huge number of kernel drivers for wifi chips. all that is required is to separately download the required firmware. This is true for many distrobutions that don't throw every firmware they can find into the default installation...

separate firmware download != wireless does not workt


How the hell do you download it without Internet?! People like you really make these forums a worse place to be. Debian's own site has a page all about how as a result of the Libre kernel and proprietary nature of USB Wi-Fi adapter drivers, most USB Wi-Fi adapters won't work. It's very clear and unambiguous. Get back under your rock skittle, you miserable cretin.
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February 27, 2013 7:22:08 AM

Just to clarify to everyone else, I've used more than 30 distributions with this Wi-Fi adapter with no trouble at all. Debian is one of only two of those 30+ distributions that doesn't work with it. It's also the only one that uses the Libre kernel.
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February 27, 2013 11:03:00 AM

Sounds like a problem I had with Tiny Core Linux one time: no WIFI drivers. No problem, find another machine with internet, find what chipset your WIFI module is using and download drivers. Flash drive them to machine 1, install them, put in WPA password and enjoy. For instance, I bought a $5 usb WIFI dongle for my tower off eBay and it had a Ralink RT2800 chip in it. When I wanted to use it with Linux, I found a package that had both drivers and firmware to make the thing work. Now I keep that package hanging around in case I need it again.
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February 27, 2013 12:06:09 PM

Yeah that is the only solution to something like this - you need another operating system installation to get online with first to grab the files you need. You simply can't get online with it with just what's included in the distribution. Downloading and burning two operating systems to install one seems a bit excessive though (or using a second computer if you have two). Debian would have to be offering something really exceptional over Ubuntu (or anything else) to be worth that added time and effort. Using Ubuntu (or most others), this added work and downloading simply isn't necessary.

I also tried Tiny Core a while back - it's pretty cool but not at all designed to be installed which is what I was wanting to do with it really. Thought it could be a solid base to build up a minimal install on (without the initial complexity of something like Gentoo), but the installer is too basic for what I was trying to do. Not a problem though - Xubuntu works very nicely for me :-)
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