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Need suggestions :: Archived
This is a forum for Software related items such as OS', Virus notices, cool or free programs, etc. Gaming software should go in the gaming folder pertaining to the current info.
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Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 1437
Location: L'Aquila, Italy
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:23 pm
Post subject: Need suggestions

Hi! Mr. Green

Seen the last bad experience (OS collapsing on Xmas, and HD defintively dead on new Year's day), I'm about to buy a new HDD. At first I thought I don't need more than 100 Gb (the old one had 80, and I used only three quarters of it, even with all the add-ons installed), but I'm changing my mind after a thought I just had.

Case I take a 200 Gb one, I'd have enough space to spare some 50~80 for a Linux partition - I read around Windows has been recently attacked by a rather malicious virus, and after weeks a patch is not yet available, I'm neither sure my problems didn't start 'cause I've been infected! Shocked

Now, it seems Linux is less affected by this kind of problems, and as viruses usually come through Internet navigation and E-mail, I'd use it mainly for these. I had already a past experience with old releases, when the graphic interface wasn't yet sophisticated as it is now, so I'm confident there shouldn't be troubles if I make this step, but...

Years ago, when I first met Linux, I was rather updated on different versions and releases, but now I feel really lost - a quick research tells me there's a brand new SuSE 10.0 available, but then there's still the 9.0 Pro. Neutral

If there's any of you using Linux, which is in your opinion the most complete package? Or the most stable, or the most I don't know what but I guess it must be important? Laughing

Thank you in advance!

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Aircraft Demolition Expert

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Joined: Nov 28, 2004
Posts: 4369
Location: Blaricum, The Netherlands ~GMT+1
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:45 pm
Post subject: Re: Need suggestions


Sorry to hear about the Hard Drives demise Marco.

Advice is hard to give as there are a couple of questions open.

a) What Motherboard do you have

b) is the mobo for IDE or has it S-ATA options

c) imho you can better have 3x 80 G HD than 1x 240 (the larger the drive the slower it will get)

Also a option to consider is getting a external Hard Drive, I got myself one of 250 G, and is a nice storage and backup utensil, when not needed leave switched off and when needed it's there, other advantage, if the system goes awol on you, you still have all your files and saved programs and backups at your disposal Wink

just thinking out loud here

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Offline Offline
Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 1437
Location: L'Aquila, Italy
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:34 pm
Post subject: Re: Need suggestions

Gruß, Wolter!

Honestly, I have not the palest idea which motherboard I have, lol - just found a small booklet telling me it's a not better specified "P4SDQ" one Shocked

But inside I found some interesting infos:
- Supports Ultra DMA 133/100/66/33, four IDE HDD, PIO mode 4 and Master mode
- Supports up to 2 DDR 200/266/333 MHz (without ECC) devices, running at 533MHz Front Side Bus frequency (up to 2 Gb)

This latter statement should help be to find extra RAM - 512Mb are decidedly too little, and I suspect the HD suffered from intensive access by paging file, because of lack of memory.

I'd like the idea of a couple of HD's instead of one, too - in such a case the slave might be devoted to Linux - as far as I know, Windows still needs to be on "C:", while Linux is less pretentious - so a 120 + 80 combination should fit my situation.

In the meanwhile, I'm downloading the first of five iso images of the SuSE release... Wink

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Bar Maid

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Joined: Jan 22, 2005
Posts: 2011
Location: Cleveland. UK.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:02 pm
Post subject: Re: Need suggestions

A quick search on Google brought back that the Mobo is a Biostar.

With the specs you posted Marco, I presume you've had this Mobo for quite some time?

Intel P4 533FSB 4xAGP 2gig max memory (S-ATA not supported)
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Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 1437
Location: L'Aquila, Italy
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:29 pm
Post subject: Re: Need suggestions

Mmm, yep, Kit - obviously, it's a matter of points of view: I think I bought this puter three years ago, when probably there were more updated and powerful mobos available, but never had problems so far, so I didn't worry about that.

Anyway, ATA or not, it seems Linux is making the miracle: just as an attempt I tried to see if I could start an install from disk 1: well, Linux saw a previous Win partition, and when I asked to save it, it failed and stopped the process, but when I told it to devote the whole HD to Linux, it started to install, and now I finished with disk 3 - downloading the images for 4 and 5! Smile

When finished, at least I should get a working station: then with the new HD I just need to move the master/slave switches and the game is done! Wink

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Power User

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Joined: Jan 10, 2005
Posts: 583
Location: vernon BC
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:57 am
Post subject: Re: Need suggestions

well I am not really the one for helpful input with your situation but thought I would say more about this virus you mentioned....

during the holidays while I was surfing the internet,,,you know,,,,good and proper like websites about gourmet food, knitting, scrapbooking, you know,,,good wholesome christian stuff.... Wink Wink Wink
I got nailed with a helluva trojan virus........it was very apparent this one was meant to be a backdoor to the ninth degree,,,,,I was getting constant popups from my firewall to allow this and that,,,,I have not had a web popup in years or anything,,,,but this dirty little byatch threw it all at me.....I called up my tech to do do a full reformat ,,his words on this new virus were plain, quik and to the point........all he said was..."WOW",,,,this ones a gooder.......but Im all good now and starting fresh......cant say I am looking forward to installing all my aircraft and scenery in FS9 again,,,about 14 gigs worth..
But I;ll get it.........

so I think my days of checkin' out those certain kinda websites are over.....I guess Ill just hafta go back to good ol' reliable magazines....
you know,,,,,better housekeeping and all that.....




Many thing's in life are dirt cheap.........
is not one of them.....
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Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Posts: 6989
Location: Central Illinois, USA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:09 pm
Post subject: Re: Need suggestions

LOL Hoppa, that is a story I've heard many times...lol

Marco, I've been using Linux for a while now and while I think it's ready for surfing the net, doing some web work or maybe some office business apps, it's not a gaming platform (yet) or a 100% multimedia platform. Let me explain...

Most 99% of the virus' are made for Windows users and won't effect a Linux OS. There are some, but the main target seems to be Windows. So for cruising those 'less than desirable' sites, Linux is great. For overall web surfing, Linux is good at that too. There are several Browsers available for Linux including FireFox which will help in terms of transformation.

Gaming is another issue. For the games that are made for Linux, it works great. For gaming made for Windows, most of them don't port over to Linux very well. There is a company working on that called Caldega, who has started a WINE project, and they've made some great progress, but it's too much trouble to get them to work in most cases.

The great thing about most Linux OS' is they're free and you know how I like FREE...lol I would suggest you not only look at Suse, but Kbuntu and Ubuntu. K and U are based on the Debian Linux platform and makes updating or installing new programs very easy.

This is a link to DistroWatch and Suse: Suse

This is for Kbuntu: Kbuntu

Another word of note is how Linux does the file structure. This is on another post here at CC.

Click HERE!

If you're interested in Dual Booting, let me know as that is what I do. Let's face it, no OS is the best at everything and it's nice to have your options open.. Wink

Last edited by Shadow_Bshwackr on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 1437
Location: L'Aquila, Italy
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:18 pm
Post subject: Re: Need suggestions

Lol, Hoppa, you're right, I thought a good old reformatting could have taken away from viruses - the fact is that it seems like I was more affected after I did it - so, though a virus might have contributed to the general chaos, it wasn't the main reason for the collapsing of my system.

And now things are getting rather annoying - above I was reporting I was installing Linux, eh? Well, that seemed to overcome possible problems on the HD, and up to yesterday night the puter seemed alive again, but this morning I had a very nasty surprise, when booting it I got the dreadful "kernel panic" message! Sad

At that point, I start wondering where was the difference... mumble, mumble, well, yesterday I was installing Linux on the "ill" puter, while I was peacefully navigating on the old one (this one) - I just had moved the USB modem. And that was the news: this morning I had plugged the modem back at its place! Neutral

So I began making some tests: unplug the modem, reboot, Linux starts! Ooh, so it's something with the USB connector... I have two, the second for the MS joystick, so I unplug it and plug the modem in its place, reboot, Linux starts... weee! A step ahead! Now I plug the stick on the "wrong" USB port, reboot - everything works... eh eh!

Now, if it wasn't a matter of HD, I can make another attempt reinstalling Windows, and in fact this time, with the USB peripherals inverted, it runs, reformat again, and the system seems to work again... it seemed, 'cause as soon as I install all the drivers I start getting again error messages, like of driver conflicts or so. Maybe 'cause I was trying an old SP1 version?

At present, I'm making a further attempt with an updated win SP2 version, to see what happens, but I feel rather discouraged Confused

What I could learn so far from Windows' cryptic messages was that somehow the system was wailing about software or hardware newly installed - weird is that there's nothing new since almost a year, unless... the "kids" ("we know how to handle a puter even without a glance to the manual") recently bought those removable HD pens, to pick up files downloaded from my puter for their own computers... I suspect they plugged/unplugged modem and pens without using the "safe uninstall" procedure.

Let's see what's going to happen, I'll report...

Regarding to what you say, Jerry, I'm aware Linux is not exactly the best OS for gamers of our rank, but keeping a partition - or a separate disk - to surf on the net and skid most of the hurdles you meet there is good anyway. More, there's a great deal of free stuff available, like database proggies, for instance, which have nothing less than most of the commercial software around.

At the time I used it - I had a Mandrake release, in a partition on the C: disk, with the boot loader - I even started bungling with C and Python programming. There's also a web-page maker (like Macromedia), NVU, which I surveyed in the Win version, and seems excellent. There's also an Office-like suite that can replace (and convert) the more famous and more-more expensive MS tool and its files.

I'll look at the links you posted - now I have the SuSE 10.0 on CDs, but alternatives are always welcome - by the way, SuSE provides Firefox and another browser - don't remember the name, something starting with "K" - just can't figure out yet how to "mount" an USB DSL modem when it tries to force me to connect through a LAN card Laughing

Thank you very much for your help - and keep connected for more laughs to follow Wink

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Power User

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Joined: Jan 05, 2005
Posts: 5840
Location: Group W bench
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:40 am
Post subject: Re: Need suggestions

Man I meant to bring it up here too when it happened - I also had a similar experience to Hoppas (not from the same website's, I already have recipes and do not sew). In my case I was looking for some guitar tablature and did a google search simply because only infrequently do I go hunt down stuff like that. So anyway, I get a few hits on the song I'm looking for and go to a promising site - don't remember the name, it was like tabnotes.com or something.......I got a few pop-up things and suddenly a warning about how some service was trying to install something to my desktop. I hit "No" and got the hell out of there but my system was completely WHACKED - this tool bar kept popping up and finally I did a complete shutdown and reboot.....when I came up, THERE IT WAS AGAIN!!!!

Mind you, I've been PC'ing for YEARS and am fully current on all my antivirals and anti-spyware.....this got through everything, first time it ever happened.

The ol' System Restore to a previous date yanked it all out - guess the registry got hit.

Nasty experience. Went down to the basement and put the LP on and just poked through the chords the old fashioned way!!!!

"Once your reputation is ruined, you can live quite freely."
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Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Posts: 6989
Location: Central Illinois, USA
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:29 pm
Post subject: Re: Need suggestions

Yep Marco, NVU is a pretty good program and FREE too...:D Also available in a Windows flavor...:wink:

For Linux, I've also used Xandros Linux. This is another distro based on Debian Linux, which, is my favorite distro to be based off of.

I have Xandros if you want to try it. It's the closest to XP there is at the moment. A key feature with Xandros is their file manager. It's better than any other distro on the market IMO letting you 'see' windows partitions on your local machine and it has the ability to log in as 'root' or 'admin', something Kbuntu or Ubuntu lacks. They also make using this OS pretty easy as compared to some distro's out there. By default they don't put on a few, what I would call great software such as Gaim, FireFox, Gimp or FireFTP, but you can get them from Debian. Still, setting up a printer or hardware is pretty easy and much easier than most other Distros.

But, Xandros is a pay for OS, well, the Deluxe 3.0 version is (90.00 USD) but they do have a FREE version. They try to make more money by putting a "Shop Xandros" link on the desktop for installing "premium" programs. Savvy users will go command line and use the "apt-get install 'program name'" to get around all that. And if you go to the Debian web site, you can find tons of software to install and since Xandros is based on Debian, well, you get the idea... Wink

Mandrake and RedHat... Uhm...well, while they made some meager attempts at installing software, they still dropped the ball. The RPM is easy enough, but if you need a package (DLL) or associated file to make your new software run, they don't 'fetch' it for you. That puts you in a state of looking, downloading, installing more software only to find you still need more to complete the job. Apt-Get from Debian is the best out there IMO and 'fetches' any associated files you need. It's all about easy for me...:D

Now a word of note about corrupted hard drives. I have in the past used Linux to 'fix' an unusable HD for Windows. I've done this a few times and while it doesn't always work out, at times it does. I've seen the time that XP says the HD is corrupted and wouldn't install the OS. So, I installed Linux on the drive as a trial to see if it would install. It did and with no problems. That made me think....

So, I put the XP disk back in and WOW....XP installed! Hmmm... That brings up the question of what was wrong with the HD in the first place? I'm thinking the main access points of the drive was corrupted (Possible virus) and since Linux formatted it to their OS, it 'fixed' the corrupted part of the disk. Just a theory...
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