IMHO good advice. You could boot to a liveCD and backup the MBR. Then copy the MBR backup to a memory stick.
So before installing GNU/Linux, but when booting to a GNU/Linux LiveCD, if confident and accurate in your typing, and assuming only one hard drive (with no USB drives plugged in) the MBR can be backed up with root permissions with the command:
Whether one desires to keep windows is a personal choice. I like having 2 different OS on my PCs as it enables me to debug problems easier, in terms of deciding if a problem is hardware or software. I also find for BIOS updates, it is easier to install such an update if one has MS-Windows. Typically I boot my MS-Windows partition once every 3-6 months,and normally that boot is pretty painful. BUT I still keep it around in a small partition.
But consider this, … what if your openSUSE install fails for some reason? … would you not want to be able to go back to the previous functional OS (windows in this case)? IMHO its safer to get openSUSE working the way one wants, and ONLY after openSUSE GNU/Linux is tuned exactly the way one wants, should one ‘blow away’ the OTHER OS.
If one has no use for windows and the computer does not have a proprietary UEFI+GPT BIOS/HD combination, then blowing the Win. 7 away is not a problem, and perhaps desirable (No one here is ecstatic about Windows). The Win 7 restore disk though could be used to create a Windows VM under OS 12.1, assuming the processor has the capability to do 64 bit VM’s. And with this setup, your computer is 100% functional for all uses.
hmmm, what about the fact that windows will be first on the he in terms of partitions? Does it mater where I install opensuse and swap? What about if it all works fine and I want to blow away windows? Will I be able to combine the windows partition to others?
Can you explain a bit more about why you keep windows around? is opensuse that likely to have problems that will require me to drop back to windows? how will windows’ drivers help if i have problems with opensuse?
The friends here are just being cautious for you.
Blow away windows and it’s gone. Because you hardly ever get install disk, just recovery partition. Though you should be able to make recovery disks with windows. So even if you wipe the HD you can still recover to the original windows setup.
Myself. I wouldn’t use windows. So it would go.
But testing a Linux Live CD will give you a feel for how Linux will work. My gut feeling is openSUSE will run well.
I do many installs of Linux in a week and it’s some time since I came up against a real issue. And that was a unit that was pretty much all SIS rigged. Heap of you know what.
Windows drivers do not help with openSUSE
Thank you, this makes me feel much better. What I’m going to do is fire up Windows once (it’ll hurt but, whatever) and create a recovery CD (there’s instructions in the computer box). Then I’m going to blow it away and install openSUSE 12.1. If, for whatever reason, openSUSE just won’t work despite help on the forums (I doubt it), I’ll move to Linux Mint, then Ubuntu, then Fedora and then if all of them fail, reinstalling Windows and returning the computer.