View Full Version : Install/Uninstall Debian

08-01-2006, 01:50 AM
I have just purchased "Debian GNU/Linux x86" and will partition my C: Drive to install it. When I do this installation will I be prompted as to which Operating System I wish to boot to. My other Operating System is Windows XP.
My question is that if I should not like the Debian is there a way that I can uninstall the program. If so could you let me know the procedure to do that.
Thank You

Harry Kuhman
08-01-2006, 02:24 AM
Purchased? Likely a bad move. I suspect that you may have an older version, and something burnt at high speed as well. What version is this? We already know that you have high speed Internet; I'm not clear why you didn't follow the discussion we had yesterday.

A Debian install should offer you the chance to install Grub on the MBR or the Linux partition. If you put it on the mbr it should be able to boot Linux or Windows. But since you've been cautious enough to ask this before doing the install, let me suggest a simple backup that may make life very easy if you decide to remove Linux: you can use the Linux command dd from Knoppix to make a backup of the hard disk mbr. If all you have is ntfs partitions then you'll need some place to write that bacup, it could be a usb flash drive or even a floppy. Once you have the mbr backed up you should be able to install grub and, if you decide to remove it later, just use dd from Knoppix to put the old mbr back where it came from.

08-01-2006, 02:53 AM
I got this copy of Debian with a LinuxUser & Developer magazine. As far as I can assertain the version is "Debian GNU/Linux 3.1r2 (Sarge)" The more that I look at all of the information on the CD regarding the Installation I feel that I am out of my depth in doing this, but before I do anything I will read more of the information provided.
Thank You anyway for your prompt response.

Harry Kuhman
08-01-2006, 03:41 AM
Sarge is older than Etch, the version that I was trying to point you towards. The installer has improved somewhat over time but Sarge should still install OK for you. It may be worth your time in doing it. if just for the experience, but I would still suggest a net-install of Etch when the beta 2/beta 3 issues are resolved. No additional news on the installer web page today on that topic. At least your CD will be pressed and not a high speed burn.

I doubt that the install is too complex. Lots of things look that way until you get involved and try them. The Sarge and Etch installs are somewhat different; and it's been a long while since I installed Sarge, so I may not remember the exact points as well as I remember Etch, but I'll help where I can.

The thing to decide here is exactly how you want to allocate disk space. You mentioned having two drives. Is one already in use for XP? What is the status of the other? Unformatted? Formatted but empty? Formatted and files on it? Partially formatted but some empty space?

As long as you make that dd backup of the mbr I don't think there would be much reason to be overly concerned about a dual boot configuration, but if you have two drives there is another approach that you could take that should greatly improve your comfort level. You can buy removable hard drive trays (http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=GN210&cat=CAS) that would let you quickly swap between your xp and Linux drive. The link is for a US source but 'm certain you can find an item like this locally. Get two trays and you could swap your Linux drive in and out any time that you wanted. And there would be absolutely no concern that anything you do installing Linux could harm your XP disk if it isn't in the system at the time. With this approach you could safely install any system that you wanted.

One thing that I should mention about the install, you get a lot of choices about the type of install. Someone just installing Linux for a web server might not want a graphical user interface, for example, and could just do a server install. When you get to the question about the type of install, if you select "Desktop Install" it will install a GUI and get everything set up for you. With Etch the default GUI is Gnome, but you can apt-get install kde easily. I think Gnome is the default for Sarge, but I am not certain. And I remember the question being asked somewhat differently. Overall this should not be a problem. Actually, I recommend doing a few diffwerent installs just to gain some experience and see your different options.

08-01-2006, 04:36 AM
I did not want to bore you with any info that may not be relevent, but since you are so helpful this is the layout on my PC. I have 3 hard drives.
My first Hard Disk is partitioned into C:/ and D:/. The C:/ is 20GB and has XP installed on it as well as Installed Programs there is 9GB of free space left. My D:/ is 54GB and has various files, leaving 20GB of free space.
My 2nd Drive is partitioned into 2 partitions The first is E:/ and has 17GB free space and the second is F:/ which has 13GB of free space. My 3rd Drive is G:/ and has 70GB of free space.

I am not too sure when you say "As long as you make that dd backup of the mbr" as to what is involved.

Harry Kuhman
08-01-2006, 05:37 AM
Empty space within a partition is not what you need to install Linux. You'll need to free up some space on the hard drive for a Linux and a swap partition. You might be able to do this by moving some files from one partition to another, when the partition is completely empty then you could remove it from the hard drive, making the space available for the Linux partitions.

As to the backingup of the mbr, I suggest a little Google searching. I don't know your level of knowledge, if you even know what the mbr is or not. www.cpqlinux.com/mbr.html+dd+backup+mbr&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2]Here ([url) is a link[/url] that i found with a quick search that might get you started.