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Installing Ubuntu for REAL REAL dummies?





ratanegra
I have tried everything and I still cannot do it. I put it on a SD card and set the PC to boot from USB first and it didn't work. I put it on a CD. Same thing happened. Placed the .iso file on the desktop with "wubi", and it didn't work (when I did what it asked for and started installing, it said "Could not retrieve the required disk image files"). I inserted a pen drive with a different OS, started the PC and it booted correctly from the OS (a little portable german one that is only useful to open paint, calculator and to move things in and out). The PC is a Dell laptop with Windows Vista (no battery, just a wire). I don't know what I'm doing wrong, so I would like you to explain things to me as if I were a 10 year old.
Josso
Ok so let's just assume you are using a USB stick and that you have selected the USB to boot before anything else in BIOS. I think you can install from SD cards but I've never tried it.

You then need to format the USB stick in a certain way (you need to backup whatever is on your stick as it will be wiped). Once you have your ubuntu ISO file downloaded get this. Once you have the Universal USB Installer downloaded run it and select your specific ubuntu version and the drive letter of your USB stick. Let it do it's thing - reboot your machine. The install should show up automatically or on some systems you may have to press enter if a message comes up telling you to do so.

Once the install boots up you've got like 3 options which you have to choose fast. The one you want is install ubuntu on a new partition or something along those lines. You will get a slider that you can drag and drop at some point in the installation about how much to resize your old partiton(s) by to make way for the new one. I recommend making the ubuntu partition as small as you can make it (aka: 10-20gb) unless you are planning on installing a lot of stuff on ubuntu. You can save stuff in the windows file system from ubuntu but not visa versa.


Be careful when choosing the drive letter for your USB - you wouldn't want to wipe something else. Also ALWAYS be careful when messing around with partitions. If you could be more specific about the issues you are encountering I am happy to help more.



PS: To check how your partitions are setup go to start menu, click run and enter "diskmgmt.msc" (without quotations). Show me your situation because changing partitions depends on your setup. If you don't have a run command on your start menu read this
ratanegra
Installed Ubuntu 12.04 on SD card as you said, set laptop to boot from USB, inserted the card, restarted the laptop... laptop started on Windows. I don't know what I could possibly have done wrong.

And about the partitions:

IMAGE: https://p.twimg.com/AtoCELICMAAwr7w.jpg:large
The 1.8gb disk is the SD with ubuntu
Josso
Ok you will probably want to put that 100gb C partition down to 90 or something to make way for a new partition. Shame the drive isn't bigger really but it shouldn't effect it anything too much.

How many options does your boot menu in BIOS give you? Could you have possibly chosen the wrong option. Also is it a SD card or an actual USB pendrive. From the partitions it looks like the latter. SD cards are those little thin things
Fire Boar
USB option: They provide a tool to make your USB stick bootable. This doesn't work with SD cards, since an SD card driver is not standard in the BIOS.

CD option: You have to burn the ISO to the CD. This does NOT mean copy the ISO file to the CD and burn it. You need some kind of software which can place the ISO image directly on the CD - you'll know if it is done correctly by checking the files on the CD once burning is complete - if you see several files and folders, you've done it correctly. If you just see the .iso file, you've done it wrong.

For real real dummies: Get someone else to install the operating system for you.
ratanegra
Fire Boar wrote:
USB option: They provide a tool to make your USB stick bootable. This doesn't work with SD cards, since an SD card driver is not standard in the BIOS.

CD option: You have to burn the ISO to the CD. This does NOT mean copy the ISO file to the CD and burn it. You need some kind of software which can place the ISO image directly on the CD - you'll know if it is done correctly by checking the files on the CD once burning is complete - if you see several files and folders, you've done it correctly. If you just see the .iso file, you've done it wrong.

For real real dummies: Get someone else to install the operating system for you.


I basically did that... I bought a CD, put it in the laptop, told it to format the C: drive and now I have Ubuntu 12.04

Thanks for your help Razz

Josso wrote:
Ok you will probably want to put that 100gb C partition down to 90 or something to make way for a new partition. Shame the drive isn't bigger really but it shouldn't effect it anything too much.

How many options does your boot menu in BIOS give you? Could you have possibly chosen the wrong option. Also is it a SD card or an actual USB pendrive. From the partitions it looks like the latter. SD cards are those little thin things


It was an SD card (square thin and says 'Trascend - 2GB MicroSD'). Anyway, I couldn't deal with partitions without feeling that I was going to mess something up and destroy my laptop, so I decided to just buy a CD and format the PC... it's the simplest way and it does it all by itself.
Radar
ratanegra wrote:
Anyway, I couldn't deal with partitions without feeling that I was going to mess something up and destroy my laptop, so I decided to just buy a CD and format the PC... it's the simplest way and it does it all by itself.


I understand the thought process you went through, of picking the thing that you knew would work over everything else. Still, it does sound a bit odd, wiping the drive because you're concerned about doing something wrong. I mean, yeah okay partitioning can be interesting, but that's still extreme.

Ah well. If it worked, congratulations.
Fire Boar
The worst that could possibly happen if you mess with partitions is that you end up having to reformat the hard disk. So... even if you do end up messing something up (which would only happen if you choose manual partitioning), you could still just do what you did anyway and get the same end result.
Josso
Fire Boar wrote:
The worst that could possibly happen if you mess with partitions is that you end up having to reformat the hard disk. So... even if you do end up messing something up (which would only happen if you choose manual partitioning), you could still just do what you did anyway and get the same end result.


Yeah if I had known he had everything backed up or was prepared to wipe I would have suggested almost brazenly going ahead with it.

One thing that it is possible to do is corrupt your master boot record. I've done it myself - not directly from an install but it was ubuntu related. That is a tad harder to fix.
ratanegra
Fire Boar wrote:
The worst that could possibly happen if you mess with partitions is that you end up having to reformat the hard disk. So... even if you do end up messing something up (which would only happen if you choose manual partitioning), you could still just do what you did anyway and get the same end result.


Yeah, I thought of it afterwards, but it was too late. Still, I'm liking it a lot, so no hard feelings. Basically the only thing I miss about Windows is the Start menu. Ubuntu is best in the rest of the things I've came across in these three or four days. And well... the possibility of being able to play Age of Empires... though I know that I'll find a way when I really want to do it (probably installing Wine; I heard it's quite useful for that kind of things).
Fire Boar
Josso wrote:
One thing that it is possible to do is corrupt your master boot record. I've done it myself - not directly from an install but it was ubuntu related. That is a tad harder to fix.


That's still no worse than a re-format. The MBR is just the part of the disk that says where your partitions are and what to do when turning the computer on. On installing, most Linux distributions will by default overwrite the MBR in order to set the GRUB bootloader to start instead of whatever was there previously (and other bootloaders, such as the one for Windows, are then chainloaded). A MBR mishap doesn't render the disk unusable to partitioning software.
appsapps
If you know how to install a Windows app and have a Windows based PC already, and you have enough room on your hard drive for it, then Wubi would be good if you really don't know the first thing about installing Linux.

It will set up your pc to dual boot Windows/Ubuntu, and both OS's will reside on the same partition, so you won't need to learn how to partition your hard drive.

Pretty easy to install...easy to back up/restore (just copy one file from within Windows) and easy to remove if you decide you don't want it any more.

It's good for messing around and getting your feet wet. Just make sure you make the image file big enough for your needs. I have mine set at 20G.

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/windows-installer
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