replacing Windows

Jared Greenwald greenwaldjared at
Wed Jan 28 04:33:22 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 10:49 PM, Karl Auer <kauer at> wrote:
> On Tue, 2009-01-27 at 22:28 -0500, Matthew Flaschen wrote:
>> Jared Greenwald wrote:
>> > Someone gave me one of their old computers.  The thing still has some
>> > data on it.  I've made a backup of the data to my raid, but in case
>> > they remember about some obscure file they saved somewhere, I wanted
>> > to try to save the Windows area as an accessible partition on whatever
>> > new install I perform.
>> Use GParted ( to shrink the
>> Windows partition as well as to create two new partitions, an ext3
>> (holds the OS and data) and Linux swap partition (virtual memory).  Set
>> the swap size to twice the RAM, make the Windows (NTFS) as small as
>> possible, then allocate the rest of the space to ext3.  Then, when you
>> install Ubuntu be sure /not/ to reformat, and to use the existing ext3
>> and swap.
> I have a far simpler, cheaper and space-efficient procedure.
> Step 1: Ask the original owner if there is anything on the computer that
> they need a copy of.
> Step 2: Inform them that you are about to format the drive, and that all
> data will be irrevocably lost.
> Step 3: Ask them again if there is anything on the computer that they
> need a copy of.
> Step 4: Format the drive.
> If after Step 2 or Step 3 they say "yes", give them the computer back.
> Otherwise you will be adding to the extraordinary amount of digital
> detritus preserved the world over, for ever more, "just in case", amen.
> Regards, K.

Yes, I agree this would be much easier, but seeing as this was my
mother's old system, I'd rather not find out in six months that there
was something on there that she needs to have but forgot to tell me

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