[conspire] Preparing dual-boot system

hirohama at gmail.com hirohama at gmail.com
Sun Jan 20 10:51:20 PST 2008

Thanks for responding, Daniel.

On Jan 20, 2008 10:17 AM, Daniel Gimpelevich
<daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us> wrote:
> On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 14:42:53 -0800, hirohama wrote:
> > Hello.
> >
> > I'd like some recommendations on how to prepare my hard drives so that
> > I can install a multi-boot system next Saturday; I'll probably arrive
> > around 8 PM, so I'd like to do whatever preparatory work that I can
> > ahead of time. I'll probably just go with a few flavors of GNU/Linux
> > and maybe a free version of BSD. I'm new to GNU/Linux, so I don't know
> > what distributions might appeal to me most. I won't need to make a
> > final decision, as I can experiment and revise as I learn more about
> > what's available.
> As long as you bring the machine itself when you arrive, the rest may be
> decided on the spot.

I was concerned that it might take a long time to reformat the disks
before getting started with the installations as I'm bringing some
friends who might not want to stay too late.

> > I primarily used BSD-flavored UNIX systems with X Windows as a
> > programmer during the decade of the '80s. I've only used Windows XP
> > and Windows 2000 for a few years, but have accumulated some data files
> > that I'd like to access via some Windows freeware applications. Is
> > there an Windows emulator under GNU/Linux up to the task for most
> > simple applications? As long as most work, I will be happy as I can
> > borrow a Windows machine to view and print out the few things that
> > might not work. Is there good support for burning disks under
> > GNU/Linux? Limitations?
> Sure, it may be possible for the Windows "freeware" apps to work, but in
> most cases, there will be no need even to bother, because there may be
> native apps that can replace them altogether.

I just wanted to be sure that I could access the legacy data when
needed without too much difficulty.

> > The system is a eMachine T6520
> http://www.e4allupgraders.info/dir1/motherboards/socket754/msi7145.shtml
> As with any eMachines that has a 250W Bestec PSU, you MUST replace the PSU
> before it fries your motherboard, because it always will.

What power supply would you recommend instead?

> > CPU: AMD Athlon™ 64 3400+ Processor (512KB L2 cache, 2.4GHz, 1600MHz FSB)
> > Chipset: ATI RS480
> > Memory: 1024MB DDR (400MHz)
> (Also supports Dual Channel RAM)
> > Video: ATI Radeon(R) Xpress 200 (PCI-Express(R) ) with 128MB DDR
> > shared video memory
> The 128MB gets deducted from the 1024MB total you have. You can probably
> change that amount in the BIOS setup to 64MB or less for most uses. If
> not, you may have a crippled BIOS, but that's easily fixed with a BIOS
> replacement from MicroStar International for their MS-7145 motherboard:
> http://download2.msi.com.tw/files/downloads/bos_exe/7145v15.zip
> The video chipset should be supported out-of-the-box in any modern
> GNU/Linux distribution.


> > Sound: AC '97 audio, Dolby 5.1 (6-channel)
> > (I'm not too sure what the following means.) Media Reader: 8-in-1
> > digital media manager [Secure Digital™ (SD), Smart Media, Compact
> > Flash, Micro Drive, Memory Stick(R), Memory Stick PRO, Multimedia
> > Card, USB 2.0]
> > Network: 10/100Mbps Integrated Ethernet LAN
> All of the above should work just fine.
> > Modem: 56K ITU V.92-ready Fax/Modem
> This may pose a problem if you need it; eMachines, more often than not,
> used Lucent LT Winmodems, and the driver for those will not work with
> kernels capable of taking advantage of multi-CPU computers. This may not
> sound like it applies to you since yours has only one CPU, but some
> distributions only have multi-CPU kernels on a "just in case" basis. If
> it's not a Lucent, the above does not apply, and it may either easily work
> or not work at all, as well as anywhere in between.

The modem won't likely be used as I expect to use the local wireless network.

> > I'll be in an environment with a wireless network signal. I don't know
> > whether I should get a wireless network card or an external receiver
> > that will connect to the Ethernet port. I'm wanting to reduce my
> > exposure to wireless signals, so the external receiver via the
> > Ethernet port might be my preference. Specific peripheral
> > recommendations would be highly appreciated.
> I'm having trouble parsing what you said here. Where the receiver is can
> only minimally impact your exposure to the wireless signals, unless you
> either use a specialized antenna to concentrate the signal, or are in
> physical contact with the antenna. If you had asked about a specific
> peripheral recommendation a year and a half ago, the answer would
> definitely have been the D-Link DWL-G550, which came with an external
> antenna on an extra-long cable. What's available today has changed many
> times over, and the best choice may be quite different, even if that model
> is still available. What kind and/or speed of wireless network signal will
> you have? How far away will it be? What kind of encryption will it have?

I'll try to find out what I can about the network.

> > Hard Drive 1: 200GB
> > Hard Drive 2: 80GB
> > Optical Drive 1: 48x CD-ROM
> > Optical Drive 2: 16x DVD±RW multi-format double layer
> >
> > Possible OS if needed: 1: Genuine Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Media
> > Center Edition 2005 or 2: Windows XP Pro. Currently, a fresh install
> > of the XP Media Center 2005 is on the 200GB disk. I don't know how the
> > disk is partitioned--it could be a 200GB NTFS, and I can check if it
> > is important to know.
> What's on the 80GB disk? Will you want to be wiping Windows out entirely,
> or keeping it around for some odd reason?

Both disks are empty or have data that I don't need to save. I'm
thinking of wiping out Windows completely. I also have an external USB
disk on a NTFS filesystem whose data I would want to copy to the
internal disks at some point in the future. I'm guessing that there
should not be a problem with reading NTFS USB disk.

> > Thanks for being there and helping support the transition away from Microsoft!
> Don't forget to thank Microsoft for driving you away in the first place...

I definitely could have lived without the trauma; I think I now have
more sympathy for folks who suffer using Windows.

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