[SATLUG] Switching to Linux from Windows XP

Chris Montgomery chrisncats at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 17:49:10 CDT 2015


I've been limping along on Windows XP on a 12-year old Dell Dimenion XPS since 
December 2003. For the most part, I haven't had any major issues. Now, after 
installing some MS updates about 10 days ago I am having crashes and have lost 
all data on my external USB drive (mainly used for backups but there were some 
original media files on the drive). I have been considering moving to Linux on 
my desktop for a long time and it seems the time to make that move is now. The 
last time I had anything to do with Linux was in late 2000 to early 2001 when I 
ran Red Hat 7.1 on my previous desktop for about four months. Had to move back 
to Windows, however, since most of the software I needed to use didn't have 
compatible Linux versions back then. I believe the Linux software offerings have 
evolved quite a bit since then and I could do most of what I need to do on the 
computer these days by running Linux as my primary OS but also having the option 
to dual boot out to Windows for those few softare needs that aren't supported 
under Linux (mostly financial and tax packages).

So, to get to the point, I have a rather urgent need to get a Linux install up 
and running on this machine (don't have the funds to buy new right now) because 
I don't want to lose anymore data. I also haven't been keeping up with what has 
been going on in the Linux world for the past several years other than 
occasionally noticing that there are lots of options for someone to choose from 
who wants to make the Windows to Linux switch. Folks, if you have a good 
recommendation or two that I can look at for making that switch in fairly short 
order, I would greatly appreciate knowing what you think. I have a brand new 
500gb Seagate SATA drive that's been in a shrinkwrapped box sitting on the shelf 
for a few years that I plan to use when making the transition. I will 
temporarily pull the plug on my existing 120gb drive where all of my Windows 
programs are installed and which holds all of my data until I can get Linux 
running on the new drive. After that, I'll hook the old drive back up and 
migrate my data to the new drive and then either try to repair the WinXP install 
or do a fresh reinstall of WinXP to use for running the windows software that I 
will still need.

All thoughts greatly appreciated!

Best regards,

Chris Montgomery

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