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  • Frustrations of a Non-Techy with Disabilities

    Home Forums Tech Accessibility Frustrations of a Non-Techy with Disabilities

    This topic contains 33 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  johnf 1 month ago.

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    • #202684 Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody MVP

      Recently I had to put a new hard drive in my laptop. Note that I didn’t choose to blithely experiment, but that my hard drive had notified me that it was failing… and various tests showed it was failing… which pushed me into having to do something I never would have attempted, otherwise.

      Let me acknowledge my personal limits… presently I’m fairly immobile… and live far from any physical store, so shopping that way was a no-go… and ordering on line with a hand tremor is fraught with difficulty… and every on-line store has its own delivery issues for someone who lives where the US postal service doesn’t offer home delivery of mail… Would you believe that Newegg couldn’t even tell me what delivery service they use (it could be USPS, it could be UPS… and both require a different address). They did offer an option to choose UPS to USPS… but that provided slow delivery only (and my hard drive was failing!), but couldn’t allow me to select one day UPS delivery to my door (’cause it might be USPS, customer service not having any way to control it). Amazon, E-Bay… every single seller has different delivery options/requirements… and selecting the wrong option results in what I ordered being declared non-deliverable and sent back… and I have brain fog that closes in as I’m trying to clear up how to get something that I ordered actually to my house. Grr…

      Just a note on hand tremor… luckily I learned to proficiently touch type years ago, and can quickly touch type required error corrections… but I also have chronic pain and brain fog… and just ordering something becomes an ordeal. Maybe you that don’t have to deal with these kinds of things don’t think it is such a big deal, but after trying to enter some things repeatedly and still not getting it work… its a big deal for me… and voice assistants just don’t help enough, either. I had to have help to actually order the hard drive. I hate being dependent on other people… .

      Then… once the hard drive arrived, I had to wait until a kind person could install it for me. There is no way I was going to attempt pointing a screw driver at some delicate inside part of my laptop, and have it dislodge/scrape/poke random places and break things. I hated waiting (and as I said before, being dependent).

      So… not without effort, I managed to obtain a new hard drive… and have it installed… and those were the things that were physically hard on me…

      Then I had to deal with my non-techy issues.

      I have learned a lot, here at AskWoody. In the time I waited for my hard drive to arrive, I researched what I needed and wanted to do. I backed up my data. I retrieved my product codes. I organized the things I wanted to save. I made hand written notes of how to do what I was about to do. I’m not dumb (and I say that, because when faced with things I don’t know about, I feel dumb… it is actually a positive affirmation). But when looking at my beloved laptop, sitting there with its new hard drive, just waiting for me to set it up, I was struck with anxiety. It no longer had the old drive installed, and the new one wasn’t set up yet, and I couldn’t go on-line, and I don’t have a spare computer that I could use. If I didn’t get it right… I wouldn’t have a computer… and being limited to barely mobile around the house, my computer and the people and places it connects me to has become very important… and having used up all savings from a quarter century of off/on disability while raising kids… and no way to buy another one with the money I’m surviving on… if I messed this up, I’d be without a computer for the foreseeable future… so I had to firmly face that anxiety and get it under control. I do not make good decisions when panicking… and I was panicking…

      I’ve faced this panic when Microsoft is screwing up the updates, and I had to recover from losing my desktop… It fuels my anger that Microsoft is so cavalier about pushing updates to Home users like me, in order to test if their updates work… I may be one of the least able to actually recover if they succeed in pushing an update that leaves my computer not functional… I’m not a natural techy, but circumstances have made it critical that I pay attention to maintaining my connection to the larger world. Anything that threatens my ability to use my computer, its programs, or my access to the internet becomes something I must fend off or overcome… the body, baring a miracle, won’t get better… I can’t replace what I have now, hardware wise, and old as it is… I bought it when I was able to work, and had disposable income… something that doesn’t look like I’ll ever have again…

      So… with this meaning so much for me… anxiety got an upper hand for some time.  Don’t underestimate what a problem anxiety can be! I practiced various relaxation techniques. I tried to do other things, but was still anxious (which makes my hand tremor worse… just try to insert a DVD recovery disk when shaking… it kept flipping off and away, and I had to worry about damaging it) each time I tried to face my computer again. I went through my written notes. I read my “For Dummies” book. I did some more relaxation and positive self talk. I had to really get a hand on the negative thoughts running through my head… (I’d break the DVD or the DVD drive. It wouldn’t work and I wouldn’t know how to recover. I’d never have a working computer again). I was getting very negative, and recognized it.

      STOP! I can relax. I can problem solve. I can do this! My worst enemy, ever, is my Self… and I had to face my Self down, calm down, and move forward. I had to laugh at remembering all the YouTube videos I’d watched on how to change a hard drive, or other repairs, where someone casually opens up a computer and pulls parts out and puts others in, and everything ends up working… that so isn’t me! But…

      There came a time when I could pick up that DVD and insert it into the DVD drive and I did it… and after all that anxiety, my system recovered flawlessly…

      It is another story about the problems that I didn’t anticipate or prepare for. I made non-techy mistakes when it came time to configure my laptop, when I’d tried so hard to find out everything I’d need to know ahead of time. I’m still not satisfied with it… a work in progress…But…

      I did it! I have my computer up and running, configured, and my programs re-installed, and security dealt with, and data transferred over, and a back up of the new system made. My worst fears were banished, evaporating into the ether. For now, all is working beautifully… and I’m happy.

      The feelings of losing control over my body, my computer, my life, can be devastating. Believe me, I’ve had plenty of time to face loss of being physically active and able (and my hobbies were physical, as well as my job). I’m old. I’m disabled, and the tremor is progressive and getting worse. I’ve been in chronic pain for a quarter of a century. I used to think that I could just ignore it and go on, but it is a sneaky enemy, stealing my mind away, and if I don’t treat it, and pace myself, I lose even more of my life to it.

      My world is both smaller and larger. I used to travel, and now have difficulty ambulating past the boundaries of my house. I hiked, I rode horses, I crafted and sewed things, I gardened, I danced, I sang with others, I visited friends and family, I welcomed guests into my home and took care of their needs… I can’t do those things any more.

      But I can’t say that with all those losses, that my world is actually smaller. I have this computer, that opens up the entire internet to my fingers. I have social sites (but not really impressed). Once I wrote letters on onion-skin thin paper in order to keep in touch with friends on another continent. Now we can talk and share, and see each other, whenever we want. Once I bought film with 24 or 36 frames, and sent away the film to be developed. Now I can easily transfer digital photos to my computer, crop and color correct and apply filters, and create digital scrapbook pages that include writing and graphics creatively arranged to my taste, and send them to friends or family, or print them, within hours of an event.

      Now I have this AskWoody Lounge, with all the wonderful people that support my efforts to keep my computer going. I am constantly encouraged and challenged to find out more about this tech stuff, and make it work for me. I am (rather slow and painfully) trying to teach myself to code. I have a taste for what I can do with my computer… and its quite a lot. My world expanded, across borders of countries, across cultures, across limits that no longer exist for me. And (this is important to me, too) sometimes I can help others on their journey, to expand what their limits may be. I’m grateful for that opportunity.

      I asked Woody if we could start this forum. There is a need. But I wasn’t sure how to address the issues and needs… I know I’m not the only one facing challenges… and that each and every person has limitations to overcome. What it comes down to, is I can only share my experiences, and hope that others might find something here that will help them face whatever is challenging them at this time. My hope is that others will share failures and successes, and that we can learn from each other- just like we’ve been doing on straight tech issues, encourage and inspire each other, and that our individual lives will be better for it. Mine certainly is.

      Thank you, Woody, MVPs, Loungers, and all those anonymous contributors that make this a vibrant, productive community, sharing their experiences and knowledge. Thank you… You’ve made a huge difference in my quality of life… Thank you… my beloved laptop is up and working, and I have faced my non-techy self and overcome. Thank you… it feels like I have years of things to explore, to try, to do… Thank you…and I only hope that I can give back some of what has been so generously shared with me.

      Thank you…

      Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

    • #202760 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      I’m impressed by your tenacity and ability. For a non-techy you out-tech many.

      cheers, Paul

      p.s. you should check out the “how to upgrade my HDD” post. It’s for HDD to SSD, but the basic method is the same.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #202769 Reply

      DrBonzo
      AskWoody Lounger

      @elly ” Thank you…and I only hope that I can give back some of what has been so generously shared with me.”

      I think your hope of giving back has just been more than realized with your inspiring post. Thank you so very much for writing.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #202780 Reply

      anonymous

      Elly, you are great! I think you are rapidly becoming (are?) a techy! 🙂

      I don’t know if this would interest you, check out computers4christians.org. They give away a free Ubuntu Christian edition loaded computer. Ubuntu with Christian programs loaded into it.

      Hope this is of interest. Then you would have a Linux computer and a Windows computer, and will be a major linux geek…(as well as increasingly techy Windows user). I think it is in US and I think they would send you one.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #202870 Reply

        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        Thank you, Anonymous! Someone might be able to benefit from that info. Sadly, their method of transfer is in person, and I don’t live near any of the chapters. It is an interesting concept, and well thought out, though.

        There was a time when I was more able that I took computers donated to a women’s shelter and did a fresh install of the operating system already on it. I didn’t do repairs or switch out parts, just cleaned them up and set up them up (adding Thunderbird and Firefox, or whatever they needed)… providing working computers for the women. At the time, that was rather fun, and not stressful, because if it didn’t work, nothing was really lost (as opposed to my stress over my personal computer)… but mostly people had donated older, but working computers, so I only remember a couple of real failures. They might have been salvageable from what I know today, but the shaky fingers thing makes it difficult to manage my own computer now.

        Computers4christians actually lays out problem solving some of the hardware issues, as well as installing an OS and getting it working! And for those who are local to the three listed chapters, they don’t care if you are Christian, or not.

        Then there is the thing, that I do have this one working laptop (having survived the hard drive failing crisis), and an old XP desktop, off-line. Don’t want to be greedy. There are plenty of people that don’t have that much…

        I have let my family know that I’d appreciate any computers that they are getting rid of. But… they have apparently benefited from learning how to avoid GWX, having me reinstall the previous OS if necessary, and following Defcon level updating, here at AskWoody. Their computers are stable, and working well. The majority had been ‘upgraded’ to W10… and had problems… if only I hadn’t helped them out… I’d have a bunch of spare computers today!

        Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

    • #202819 Reply

      geekdom
      AskWoody Lounger

      Several years past, I started a small booklet for coping with motor-skill problems. I can start a separate topic and post the booklet contents here, if you would like and no one in charge, meaning not me, objects. User’s Manual for the Physically Challenged is small, short, simple, and basic.

      Group G{ot backup} Win7|64-bit|SP1|TestBeta

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #202852 Reply

        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        @geekdom- It sounds like a useful addition to this forum! Many thanks…
        (I’m trying to learn anything that will help me keep on keeping on!)

        Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

    • #202882 Reply

      anonymous

      @ Elly

      Good job on saving a bundle of cash by DIY replacing your internal hard-drive with a new one. M$ would prefer most non-techies to buy new OEM Win 10 computers when their old hard-drives fail.
      ___ Cheaper to buy used hard-drives. I have purchased them before from a computer shop. Used ones are OK. I used it to install Linux Mint on an external USB hard-drive as a dual-boot with my old Win 7 laptop. Eg …
      https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_p_36_1/137-6462568-7291245?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A172282%2Cn%3A%21493964%2Cn%3A541966%2Cn%3A1292110011%2Cn%3A1254762011%2Cp_n_condition-type%3A2224373011%2Cp_36%3A1253504011&bbn=1254762011&ie=UTF8&qid=1531328658&rnid=386442011

      Fyi, a Live Linux USB/DVD allows a computer without a working internal hard-drive to be still usable and for getting online temporarily, ie until the hard-drive and install problem is fixed. The Live Linux media can be a valuable backup device in your case = less anxiety about borking the Win 7/8.1 install on the new internal hard-drive = peace of mind. Eg if the Win 7/8.1 install is giving problems and you need to get online immediately, just boot the Live Linux media.

      The Live Linux media allows the user to run the Linux OS off the USB/DVD = no need for the internal hard-drive, which can even be disconnected. Running the Live Linux USB/DVD is slower and could not save anything from the Live session after shutdown, eg no installed programs or updates or changed settings or bookmarks are saved.
      ___ If the user wants to save things, then a different Live Linux USB Flash-drive with persistent storage has to be created.

      An 8GB USB 2.0 Flash-drive costs about US$5. A set of 10 DVD+R discs costs about US$3.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #203060 Reply

        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        Fyi, a Live Linux USB/DVD allows a computer without a working internal hard-drive to be still usable and for getting online temporarily, ie until the hard-drive and install problem is fixed. The Live Linux media can be a valuable backup device in your case = less anxiety about borking the Win 7/8.1 install on the new internal hard-drive = peace of mind. Eg if the Win 7/8.1 install is giving problems and you need to get online immediately, just boot the Live Linux media.

        @anonymous Post #202882- You mean that if my install had gone wrong, I’d have been sitting there with my several live USBs, and no clue that it could help me access help? I was under the impression that without a hard drive, my computer was useless… what a wonderful thing to know! I’ve been experimenting with what Linux distro to migrate to at Windows 7 end of life, and the idea that I could just plug in… WOW!… Happy Dance! There will be a time I will use that information… and it is a relief to find my fears would have been unfounded had I actually talked this through with the right person.

        I had tried to get my hands on any kind of hard drive locally, (asked someone to check the various thrift shops for old computers) before I bought one. I did go with a new drive for two reasons… one, I actually had enough money for one (just not SSD, I do a lot of photo-editing and scrap booking, and have tons of photos and need a fair amount of storage)… and two, I have to find someone to install it for me. Anyone that has to rely on people busy with their own lives knows the frustration of waiting until they have time for what they see as a non-essential help… whereas, for me, my computer is essential for everything from communication to entertainment. There is nothing like laying in bed watching the walls and ceiling just do what walls and ceilings do to absolutely drive me batty… I need my computer! (I don’t have TV).

        I really don’t care what Microsoft or Intel wants. I’m really clear that I use their operating system because it does what I want and need (although the new ones don’t), not because they could use it to extract more money from me. For a quarter century I’ve mostly worked full time, despite disability, and been able to buy a new computer if I wanted. But… I’ve had times where I wasn’t able to work, and I can tell you that the so-called ‘safety net’ in the US isn’t sufficient for daily needs, let alone a luxury like a computer. I also lost everything I wasn’t wearing or carrying in my purse when I had to leave a domestic violence situation. I know what it is like to donate and support charities and do volunteer work… and I know what it is like to be dependent and need help… and there are a lot of people for whom getting any kind of old computer that works is very valuable… so anything I can do to help them (me, now) with the hardware and get it/keep it working is my focus. I guess what I’m saying is that if my computer had totally died, I’d be sitting here without one, not going out and buying a new one. I don’t have the physical mobility, or resources to obtain another one. That is why I was stressing out so much!

        I’m still laughing hysterically at Microsoft using a huge amount of money to work on solutions for people with disabilities, while they ignore the fact that having a stable operating system that doesn’t impose changes would really help old people, people with memory issues, and those dependent on getting someone to physically assist them… for no money at all (they already have such OS, just don’t make it accessible to individual disabled people like me)! I’m sure they got much more media attention for saying they are throwing money at meeting the needs of disabled folk, and the able bodied won’t know the difference… I mean, they are going to invest so much money! But look at what they have already, that actually would be helpful? It doesn’t suit their marketing purposes to make it available, even if the cost to do so would be miniscule… which tells me, they really don’t care. Its all for marketing, and for show, for them… not actual help for people that really need it.

        I really appreciate the information about the live USBs… and I’m sure that I’ll make good use of it in the future… I’m growing my techy side, which I never thought existed… and would really like to experiment more with different computers and operating systems and helping my grandkids learn to code… It really helped to be successful… Now I want to do more!

        So thank you for the information! Not once did I find a video or set of instructions on changing hard drives that included that bit about using a live USB to recover… and that would have been ever-so reassuring.

        Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #203106 Reply

          DrBonzo
          AskWoody Lounger

          @elly – Apologies if you already know all this, but here’s a useful link for creating a bootable Linux usb flash drive. Also, if you scroll just a bit down the page there’s a link for how to create a “live” usb bootable flash drive. The “live” part is useful because it will let you save some – but not all- information from a session. I believe you can save some tweaks to programs, perhaps some downloaded pdf files and wireless login passwords to your router. So, you can have an operating system that you’ve customized at least a bit right on your flash drive that your computer can boot with whether or not you’ve got a functioning hard drive. It’ll be slower than running off a hard drive but really not too bad (in my experience).

          It’s been a while since I set one up so my memory may be a bit foggy. Also, I used Ubuntu, but if you want Mint I would assume that would be very similar since it’s based on Ubuntu.

          Also, in general, I find the howtogeek articles to be very helpful.

          https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/linux/create-a-bootable-ubuntu-usb-flash-drive-the-easy-way/

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #203198 Reply

            Elly
            AskWoody MVP

            @drbonzo,

            I did create one… but I appreciate comparing my experience to others, and I learn something new all the time… and sometimes it is worthwhile comparing different sets of directions and noting the differences and why. So thank you for the link…

            Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

    • #202893 Reply

      HiFlyer
      AskWoody Lounger

      @Anon #202882

      You wrote “…_ If the user wants to save things, then a different Live Linux USB Flash-drive with persistent storage has to be created.”

      Why not just another ordinary USB stick in another USB port (if at least 2 ports exist)?

      • #203241 Reply

        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        Can you do that? Are they just different drives as seen by the OS?

        My current USB sticks are full of the live distro stuff, and I’m thinking I’d need an empty one, just for storage…?

        Hm… obviously there are a lot more possibilities than I’ve ever imagined…

        Definitely not so worried now… 🙂

        Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

        • #203246 Reply

          DrBonzo
          AskWoody Lounger

          I don’t know whether you can do that or not, although I don’t see why you couldn’t.

          The USB sticks I used for live Ubuntu were 16 GB. My Ubuntu computer and the usb sticks are on loan at the moment, so I don’t have physical access to them, but I seem to recall the operating system itself took maybe 2 GB – maybe less since it’s a pretty lean OS – and the rest could be used as storage. You probably wouldn’t want to run off a usb stick as a long term solution, but you can store a lot of 5 MB photos in 13 to 14 GB! And of course you can probably use sticks with larger capacity; I just happened to have a couple 16GB sticks laying around.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #203268 Reply

          anonymous

          @ Elly

          Once I got comfortable running LM 17.3 Cinnamon on the desktop as my daily driver, I have not much use for the Live LM 17.3 DVD/USB except as a backup device, Recovery media or diagnostic tool.

          So, I became disinterested in delving more deeply into the advanced usage of the Live Linux media, eg you can have a portable Live Linux 64GB USB Flash-drive with 60GB of Persistent storage which you can plug into the USB port of any computer and then run the Linux OS like a fully-installed system, with the condition that no proprietary graphics and Wifi drivers and CPU microcode updates are installed.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #202894 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      Elly,

      Probably there are others with disabilities that also visit at Woody’s. It would be great if you had others to discuss this kind of problems and exchange information that can be useful to those in the group and also to those interested in accessibility aids for using computers. Perhaps you could move this to the “Tech Accessibility” forum, if you think this is a good idea?

    • #202945 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:
      Elly, congrats on the new drive a difficult enough a job for anyone. hope it provides you much computing enjoyment. i always enjoy reading your lounge posts.
      If you want to know about building linux (primarily Ubuntu) usb flash drives and\or full install to usb, i’m glad to help with what i know about it. i’ve been puttering around with it since my used to be beloved microsoft went south with winx.
      PKCano, love the blue? jellyfish, and all you bring everyday!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #202948 Reply

        PKCano
        AskWoody MVP

        Mushrooms. They’re blue mushrooms.
        You know – Keep you in the dark and feed you…. Oops, can’t use that here!

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #203013 Reply

          geekdom
          AskWoody Lounger

          Oh…

          Group G{ot backup} Win7|64-bit|SP1|TestBeta

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #203160 Reply

        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        If you want to know about building linux (primarily Ubuntu) usb flash drives and\or full install to usb,

        I managed to make a live USB of Linux Mint, and one for Tails. I am very slow, reading and checking things out. I’m experimenting in VM, too, as that feels less risky. I’ve decided to go with Linux for working on-line when my Windows 7 goes end of life… Just like not knowing that I could get on-line with a live USB if the hard drive was dead/removed… there are things I know I don’t know, so I may, indeed, need help transitioning. Thank you.

        I’ve really appreciated following the adventures of those in the Linux forum… and I know I’m not the only one facing these choices in computing. Personally, slow as I am, I want to be already transitioned before the actual Windows 7 end of life. So… I really appreciate the offer of help, but I’m not ready to transition yet…

        My big (and it is huge) project, now that I am secure with my present hard drive, is going through my data (you know, Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos) and doing housecleaning (eliminating duplicate files, sorting and tagging, getting rid of stuff I don’t need). I collected a lot of stuff, back when… and it is all mixed in with stuff I cherish. I am considering the pros/cons of having a separate partition for the data, especially as I want to see how I can use it in various OS. I’m also thinking that there is some data that I will always want to keep… and then some that is not temporary, but useful for a while, for a project or research… and that I want to separate those more clearly in the future. I hate the library function… I want nice, neat, logical organization of files… where I can go right to the things I need.

        So… any ideas about a separate data partition?
        Or… how to better organize?

        I’m thinking it is better to have all that done with, neat and tidy, before actually moving to Linux. Then I just have to wrestle (configure, get familiar with) with the new operating system, rather than doing it all at once. One of the limitations of testing various distros and programs is that I need to get programs working in it that do what I want, and then play with how it works with my data, before I’m really ready to transfer to it. For example there are distros that specialize in photo editing, that might suit me better, rather than a more generic Mint… but don’t quite have the user friendliness. I’m already using GiMP and other open source programs compatible with Linux… but I want to know how they will perform within the OS, and that takes working on an actual photo or project. I’m doing some serious testing, before hand, because I don’t want to do a lot of jumping around and changing things afterwards. In the end, what I feel like when I’m working creatively matters to me… so the over-all flow and esthetics are important.

        Now… @anonymous… there is a problem… could you come up with a name, so I’d know who to ask for help? You don’t have to register, just give yourself a ‘handle’? Or I may just post a problem, and see who answers, I guess… But thank you for your offer of help…

        People around here are just awesome!

        Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

        • #203192 Reply

          anonymous

          ? says:

          hi elly,

          sorry i have been beating up ubuntu 18.04 since i posted you yesterday. my old acer lappy won’t run the official gnome based version so i found a  18.04 ubuntu-unity iso and i’m writing you from it now. just have to go to the firefox security AKB and make the listed changes. i googled askubuntu for the how to partition during setup. i make mine with a 4GB fat32 “windows” folder so i can use it on windows machines and use the remaining 28GB for the OS. you can customize your installs as is pleasing to you without too much brain damage. if you have already made linux sticks then it is a breeze to make it your way, just takes some looking about. if you get stuck maybe i can help you through so i will look for you in the lounge.

          e

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #203272 Reply

          anonymous

          @ Elly

          Tech-geeks often install Win 7/8.1 with at least 2 partitions or Drives, ie Drive:C and Drive:D, where the OS resides in Drive:C and data storage (= Documents, Photos, Music, Videos, etc) can reside in Drive:D.

          Linux can access and read Windows files (eg NTFS, FAT32) but Windows cannot read Linux files (eg ext4). So, it should be quite easy to transfer all your Windows data files to a Linux system and still be readable.

          In a dual-boot system, the Linux system is able to access and read all the data files that are stored in the Windows system, but not vice versa. If needed, the Windows data files can be directly transferred to the Linux system via copy & paste.
          If you intend to single-boot Linux by wiping away Windows from your computer, afaik you should first transfer all your Windows data files via copy & paste to a USB Flash-drive or external USB hard-drive before installing Linux and then transferring the stored/copied Windows data files from the external USB drive to the Linux system.

          Tech-geeks often install Linux with separate Root(/) and Home partitions where the Linux system resides in the Root partition and data storage can reside in the Home partition.
          LM 18.x or earlier also requires a separate Swap partition for supplementary Virtual Disk Memory/RAM and Hibernation while LM 19.x uses a Swap file (= like Windows pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys).

          For some guidance on dual-booting LM alongside Win 10/8.1 in UEFI and GPT-disk mode, please refer to:
          https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=163126 (Tutorial for dual-booting UEFI computers)
          http://linuxmint-installation-guide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
          https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
          https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/windows
          https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/mint-install
          https://www.tecmint.com/install-linux-mint-18-alongside-windows-10-or-8-in-dual-boot-uefi-mode/ (note step 17 – if Win 8.x/10 could not boot, <sudo update-grub>)
          https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=122276 (manual partitioning Tutorial for Legacy BIOS mode and MBR/ms-dos disks)[use as a guide]

          Ensure that Secure Boot, Fast Boot and CSM (or Legacy BIOS) are disabled in BIOS setup, Fast Startup is disabled in Win 10/8.1 (>Control Panel >Power options) and the Live LM media (DVD or USB-stick) is booted in UEFI mode in BIOS setup.

          To dual-boot, you only need to pre-shrink the Windows partition if you intend to use the manual “Something else” install method, ie no need to do so if you intend to use the automatic “install LM alongside Windows Boot Manager” method, which will be followed by the LM Installer auto-partitioning the disk and auto-installing the Linux Grub bootloader onto the Windows ESP. Only a root / and swap partition will be auto-created with a total default size of about 20GB. The user will be given the option to increase this default size by moving a slider on the colored Partition table, subject to the maximum available free space in the Windows partition.

          For the “Something else” install method, manually partition the pre-shrunk free space accordingly, eg 50GB for /, 1.5X RAM size for Swap(at the end of this space) and 200GB for Home; and ensure that the “Device for boot loader installation” is the Windows EFI System Partition (= ESP = fat32/about 104MB/mount point is /boot/efi) which is usually dev/sda1.

          P S – Certain OEM Win 8.x/10 computers, eg Acer, Asus and HP, have an obstructive or pro-M$ UEFI-BIOS setting for “select an UEFI file as trusted for executing”,(= Linux cannot boot). For the fix, please refer to:
          https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/543729/efi-dual-boot-not-seeing-linux-on-nitro-5-an515-51-78c6
          https://itsfoss.com/no-bootable-device-found-ubuntu/
          https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=236560

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #203282 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody MVP

            Tech-geeks often install Win 7/8.1 with at least 2 partitions or Drives, ie Drive:C and Drive:D, where the OS resides in Drive:C and data storage (= Documents, Photos, Music, Videos, etc) can reside in Drive:D.

            Linux can access and read Windows files (eg NTFS, FAT32) but Windows cannot read Linux files (eg ext4). So, it should be quite easy to transfer all your Windows data files to a Linux system and still be readable.

            That’s the setup I use in my two Windows 8.1 dual-boot PCs.  The data partition (D:) is used by both Windows and Linux, so any data (pictures, videos, text files, etc.) I add while in Windows is available to Linux (or vice versa) without having to do anything other than boot into Linux to access it. You can copy things back and forth between Linux-formatted volumes and Windows-formatted volumes without restriction.

            Great post!

            3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #203267 Reply

        anonymous

        @ anonymous #202945

        It is not advisable to do a full install of Linux on USB Flash-drives because they have very basic wear-levelling circuitry = will fail to work after a short duration, eg a 32GB USB will only last about a few months when the fully-installed Linux OS is run for a few hours daily. A 64GB one will last about 1 year.

        USB Flash-drives are much cheaper than SSDs because USBs are made mainly for data storage and as Install media, ie for write-once-n-read-only operations, and not for lots of write operations. Lots of write operations will gradually and cumulatively cause the data/memory blocks inside the USB Flash-drive to become unusable or worn-off.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #203343 Reply

          Elly
          AskWoody MVP

          Okay- so they are good for experimenting, and to rescue if the hard drive is dead… but otherwise are more suited for storage than running an OS? Do I have that right?

          Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

          • #203376 Reply

            DrBonzo
            AskWoody Lounger

            That would be my opinion. I keep a couple of sticks pretty much as a last resort, just in case I really need a computer and all else fails. Other folks might have different viewpoints.

            • #203525 Reply

              johnf
              AskWoody Lounger

              One or two Linux Live USB’s are great to have in your toolbox, but don’t forget, you can burn a Live Linux DVD as well, if you have an internal or external DVD drive. Those are more durable over time than a USB, though you can’t store data on them (that can be done with a spare USB drive. Worth adding to your collection!

              In windows, I’ve had the best success using this burning tool for  USB (don’t think it works on DVD)

              Rufus

              If you do decide to go to a dual boot or straight Linux install, then here’s some good suggestions for photo and video editing in Linux:

              5 Best Linux Photo Management Software

              9 Best Free Video Editing Software for Linux In 2018

              • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  johnf.
              • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  johnf.
              1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #203378 Reply

          anonymous

          @ Elly … Yes.

          A Live Linux USB/DVD is mainly meant to test-drive the OS for checking user-likability and hardware device compatibility before actual installation on the computer, ie it is not meant to be used as a daily driver(= which is insecure when run online = open to malware attack). This will not wear out the USB.
          ___ *** The user running such a Live Linux session should not install too many updates and 3rd-party programs or download large files as this will cause the Live session to fail. Changes made to the Live Linux system do not persist through reboots, ie nothing is saved by the Live Linux USB after shutdown.

          OTOH, a Live Linux USB with Persistent storage of 4GB(= for fat32 format) or more than 4GB(= for ext4 ot ntfs) that is fully-updated should be used if needed as an alternative daily driver(to Windows) for online surfing, etc. This too will not wear down the USB from daily use.

          This Live Linux USB with Persistence feature can be handy for Win 10 computers because Windows Update will often bork the Linux system that has been installed alongside Win 10 on the same internal hard-drive = dual-booted. Maybe it’s intentional by M$.
          ___### That was why I installed LM 17.3 on an external USB hard-drive as a dual-boot with my old Win 7 laptop about 2 years ago. Linux needs to be separated from the Windows “beast”.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #203066 Reply

      geekdom
      AskWoody Lounger

      elly:

      Here is the user’s manual start:
      https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/users-manual-for-the-physically-challenged/

      Group G{ot backup} Win7|64-bit|SP1|TestBeta

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #203266 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      Using a separate data disk is easy – don’t split the disk into partitions, get a second disk (or a 3rd for backup – I do). I keep Documents on C: and Music and Pictures on D:.

      In Windows you open Explorer and right click on the section you want to move, e.g. Documents. Select Properties > Location, Move, select the new destination and away you go.

      cheers, Paul

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #203340 Reply

        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        If I was using a desktop, that might be the easiest, because no partitioning, etc. But… I’m on a laptop, and already have enough problems dealing with USB and external devices… and trying not to drop my back up drive when it is attached. For me, it is that I need something that is fairly sturdy, and doesn’t require juggling.

        Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

        • #203389 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Lounger

          I have the same problem as Elly, because I only have laptops (I really like them). I am thinking that, probably, for running a different operating system on the same laptop would be best to do it on a virtual machine.

          What I don’t know and perhaps has been explained already but, if so, I missed it, so please, let me know: how easy is to move files from a VM running Linux to the “real” one Win 7 or Mac hosting it, and vice versa?

          (Please, notice that this is not the same question as what Ascaris has explained already here, further up, re. dual-booting.)

           

          • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  OscarCP.

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