So I decide to give installing something a try.
After reading a bit on distrowatch.com I decide for a mandrake distro. The three CD set seems to have a fair amount of application and a fair level of newbiee friendlyness.
My machine has two harddrives, the primary (a 40gb) has to partitions (windows and applications) and the secondary (a 25gb) is used mainly as a cache between me and the internet. Downloaded stuff that can be downloaded again. All partitions run NTFS.
So I decide on the second harddrive and free a 3gb partition on it with partition maqic. So I should be ready.
Boot on the first cd.
Wait a bit.
So I get to a series of questions. I like my OS to speak english, so I select that. Which means that I cant select a danish keyboard, until much later.
Anyway. Wide selections of applications to select from. I select as widely as possible, making sure that there's a mysql and an apache. No option for php, but I'm hoping that comes with the apache.
Remenber to use the "select individual packages" option on the buttom of the screen, which lets you select what to install.
Selecting the right partion:
Well. It didn't excatly have to be easy, but does it have to be this hard? Couldn't some descriptive names be used to select between these partitions? Anyway, I survived.
My ATI All-in-wonder Radeon video card wasn't regonized, so I selected standard video.
The installation process went fine. Setting up Lilo (the bookmanager) was easy.
select stuff about desktop, that I know nothing about ("please choose one of these desktops - no we will not tell you the difference between them2). I selected KDE. Seems to be the thing these days.
Hey it works. It seems fast. Mozilla works like a dream. It's definitly faster than on windows.
No sound, though. I've an onboard sound system on my crappy ecs K7S5A. Easily found a place in the config program where I could select another driver, which worked. Can't change the volume though. Will work on that later.
So things seem to work. I can browse the 'net (adsl connection configured it self, with out problems).
I can browse my NTFS partitions (read only) and play mp3 and divx files.
So I reboot to check that my windows is still working. It does.
Except that the NTFS partition on the secondary drive is dead. Windows keep on telling me that it's unformattede and if I would like to format it? Hell NO! I fool around with chkdsk and stuff for a bit, ending up with Partition magic, which sees the errors on the partition and fixes them.
Rebooting windows brings my partition back. Weew!
Rebooting back to Linux gives me... an error during boot. Something about the super-block in hdb7 (the NTFS partition on secondary drive). It thinks that the partion is something it calls "ext2". Do I want to fix it? No! Reboot and try again.
Same shit. Okay, this time I'm brave and answer yes to the "fix-it?" question. Automatic fixing procedure fails.
Reboot linux. Still no go.
Reboot Windows. Partition still good.
I guess that I'm going to have a problem as long as linux thinks that that the partition is ext2 and not ntfs. It annoys me, no end that it, can't just boot and leave the stupid partition alone. It really is a rather unimportant partition.
As a last thing before I go to bed, I boot on a Knoppix 3.2 CD just to see what happens. Everything is fine and I can see all partitions, both the ntfs ones and the ones created during the Linux install.
So if I could only find the boot script or whatever it's called, maybe I could remove or fix the mounting of hdb7.... but I got no clue.
So that was interesting.
I'll probably give the mandrage distro another hour or so and then wipe it, unless I get it to work.
So what Distro should I try next? I'm kind of thinking Debian or Gentoo...