Which Linux distribution should I use on a computer that used to run Windows Vista?

Anonymous May 9, 2014
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Need some help, I know almost nothing of Linux. I have a machine with 4GB memory and used to run Windows Vista. Some how this machine got trashed.

When it starts ups it checks the DVD/CD before trying to boot. Boot up from the C drive does not go far. It asks for my backup. My backup was an external hard drive. That hard drive apparently has a bad sector and will not completely load to my computer.

Long story short, there is no data on the computer I care about. I want to turn the whole machine into a Linux machine. I am trying to figure out which Linux to use. I would appreciate any help.

Thank you very much!

  1. Ehab N
    May 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I am sure you are a little confused now :D
    I think this quiz might help you :D [Broken Link Removed]
    just one thing that I think you must note Linux is about freedom. you get to choose what best suits you and if you don't like a destro just switch to the other :D it's not a big problem :D what is great about Linux is that you are free to play around, and if you are stuck the community will help you a lot there are a lot of Linux forums that will help you just post a question and they will answer you almost immediately :D

  2. Marvin Hollander
    May 17, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Linux mint 16 has good hardware support. And it looks pretty slick. But to start with Linux can be pretty daunting at first. You could also try Ubuntu. Installing software on Ubuntu is a breeze

  3. Felipe
    May 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    You should definitely read this article. I would recommend you to take a look at Ubuntu and elementary OS, maybe watching some reviews on YouTube. They're the only ones that I recommend to people who only used Windows before and want to move to an open source OS. Believe me, Linux Mint, Zorin and PCLinuxOS aren't serious alternatives. I recognize the hard work that their communities did, but they don't seen to want to be more than niche Linux distributions.


    • Bruce E
      May 17, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      You do realize that the installed base of Linux Mint systems is growing faster than Ubuntu and it took over the number one spot on DistroWatch a couple of months ago, right? How can you say that it isn't a serious alternative? When I give users the option, that have ALL selected Mint over Ubuntu.

    • Felipe
      May 18, 2014 at 3:35 am

      Mint took over the number one spot in 2011, actually. But you know that the number of a Distrowatch page hits says nothing about the installed base, right? People think that Mint have this huge user base but they only have a fraction of Ubuntu's base.

      It isn't a serious alternative simply because it doesn't want to be an alternative. You're supposed to pay if you want to ship your OS with Flash, Java and support for DVD out-of-the-box, but it seems that Mint don't care about this stuff. They don't have a company or a foundation that ensures continuity of the development, they're sponsored by any random company that wants to sponsor them and even elementary, a much younger distro, have better plans about being shipped by default with laptops and desktops. They're not an alternative because they don't want to be more than a popular distro between people who already used Linux.

  4. Susendeep D
    May 14, 2014 at 11:37 am

    If your HDD has a bad sector be aware that it can hinder your linux installation or else can corrupt your Linux installation.So,it would be better to keep maintaining your data backup if you don;t plan on replacing the HDD.

    Now,if you want a distro which would run out of box i.e. no need to install flash and popular softwares (meant for windows users)then Linux Mint is good for you.This distro would be helpful in getting through learning it.

  5. Pawan B
    May 12, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    You can use centos, it is similar to Red Hat Linux and easy to use.

  6. Rajaa C
    May 10, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Easiest and best for me when I made the switch of my Vista to Linux was Ubuntu Linux. Easy to use and visually appealing also. Get it from http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop

  7. dragonmouth
    May 9, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Your machine is capable of running any distribution of Linux very well. I agree with hovsep that of all Linux distros Zorin will be visually closest to Vista. However, Mageia, Puppy, elementary OS, PCLinuxOS or Manjaro will be just as easy for you to install and use.

  8. Hovsep A
    May 9, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    did you try to log into BIOS and check that the primary boot order is on the hard drive containing windows. Also you can disconnect your cd/dvd and try boot.

    which kind of machine you have.

    for linux you can try zorin
    Make Switching From Windows To Linux Easier With Zorin OS

    • Bearcatphoenix
      May 10, 2014 at 12:20 am

      Thank you for your response. The machine's boot order is DVD and then C. The machine does what it is suppose to do and checks the DVD, and finding nothing there it does try to load Windows from the hard drive. So I am sure the problem is that the hard drive has a virus that wiped something on the boot sector. I think the best thing I can do is to totally wipe the hard drive and install some version of Linux. I have never heard of Zorin before but I will check it out.

    • Hovsep A
      May 10, 2014 at 10:39 am

      well wiping the hard drive and installing a new operating system is a good choice if you do not want to keep your older operating system. Good Luck with your Linux operating system

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