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XP to Mandriva

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Neon Samurai

Mandriva is a great distribution to start with. The draketools are a big help.

As mentioned, start with the Mandriva One 2008.1 LiveCD or the One 2008.0 LiveCD if you prefer the, now more stable, previous version.

If you are ready to install on the hard drive and your work allows you to muck with work issues machines then consider a dual boot off a floppy disk.

I use a floppy disk, the Mandrive Free 2008.1 install DVD and a single physical computer.

- use your prefered Windows partition program like Partition Magic to shrink the size of your existing partitions. Leave the free space without a partition.

- reboot and insure your Windows boot still works as it should; no drive letters should change.

- boot from the Mandriva install CD. When it asks about using drive space, select Custom then you can use the "Auto Allocate" button to set a "/", "swap" and "/home" partition. You can play around to find the sizes of partitions you like; probably big /, default swap and remaining space in /home.

- when asked about the boot loader (after packages are copied to the new partitions), specify floppy drive /dev/fd0. It should write some stuff to your disk.

- Don't download updates until after your first boot when you can go into the system settings and configur your network repositories with the package sources tool.

- Change your bios to boot from floppy disk first then other media.

You should end up with a system that boots from floppy and presents you a Windows or Mandriva boot menu. If you pop the disk out, you should get a strait forward boot into Windows from it's already existing boot loader on the hard drive.

Of course, the middle road would be to use the LiveCD for your first install when ready to muck with your hard drives. You'll still need to create empty space and be aware when going through the file system creation steps but it should be well documented.

- Ask lots of questions
- Expect to do the same function but with a different program (The Gimp = Photoshop functions)
- Expect to get frustraited a few times
- Learn to love internet search like google
- Stick to the repositories for your distribution (Red Hat repositories do not work well with Mandriva)