partition hard disk

Partition hard disk

Congratulations! If you read this then you most likely managed to create the bootable USB stick and had a chance to try Arco Linux B for a bit. An operating system that runs off of an USB stick is slow. Sometimes, this is a wanted feature but most of the time, it should be avoided. Once you know that Arco Linux is right for you, it’s time to install.
*** There are secure Linux distributions such as Tails Linux which should never be installed on a hard drive. Their website explains in great detail why that is

STOP and think!

Excited? I would be but before you install, please back up anything of value on ether an external USB stick or an external hard drive. Equally important is that if this is the first time that you install a different operating system then read the full article.

Here is a check list to help you with grabbing the relevant stuff.

  • My Documents
    I hope that you save what you create to an external disk but if you don’t, then visit your preferred storage locations and grab the files you want to keep.
  • Web browser bookmarks
    My web browser of choice is Firefox. I regularly back up my bookmarks because if I reinstall Linux, then those would be lost. Evaluate if you want to keep them. If you do, export them.
  • Downloads
    Do you download music, PDF books, magazines or similar? If yes, copy them over to your external drive.
  • Custom Folders
    Do you create custom directories on your hard drive to save stuff to? If yes, go over all of your programs and check where they default to when it comes to saving files.
  • Software licenses
    Have you bought software in the past? If yes, then you need to save the account info so that you qualify for updates in case you revert to Windows. It happens.
  • Plugins and themes
    Almost every software we use can be augmented with plugins and themes. Let’s say that you use Blender 3D to create artwork. Did you install plugins which you want to keep? If yes, take down the name of each plugin so that you can reinstall them under Linux.
    WordPress web masters need to backup the themes and plugins if they were purchased. Don’t forget to create a .txt file with serial numbers and account login info. Which email address did you use when you bought the plugin?
    Elementor is a powerful WP plugin. If you lose your login then it’s a hassle to get it back so that you can upgrade the plugin when a newer version is released.
  • Forum logins
    If you frequent forums then you need to keep your username, email address and forum password.
  • Email addresses and logins
    Everyone has multiple gmail accounts. It would be a royal pain to deal with google if logins and passwords were lost.
  • Server login info
    If you run one or more website then you need to log into your hosting account. If you host your domain names with a different registrar (and I hope that you do) then you need to preserve that login data as well.

Be smart. Prepare a simple info.txt file with the Windows Notepad and write down everything that matters. Then encrypt it with 7zip and protect that file with a password. If you don’t have 7zip then install it. It’s free and everything you encrypt on Windows can be opened in Linux. All you need is your password. I have four copies of my info.txt file. Every time I make changes, I update all four copies.

Tip! If you have external hard drives then disconnect them before installing Arco Linux

Time to install Arco Linux B

Hopefully you followed my advise and took your time collecting your valuable data and files. Now it’s time to partition the hard disk.

Start Gparted by pressing the left button in the grey window in the center on your screen. If you closed it, simple go to your start button in the lower left corner (just like in Windows) and click it which will expand the menu. Type “gparted” into the search field and you will have the correct entry pop up at the top of the list. Click it to open.

What is Gparted?
Gparted is the partition manager which is used on most modern Linux distributions. A partition manager performs two tings. The first function is to delete existing partitions and the other option is the create new ones once some space has been made.

Again, be careful. If you have a second internal hard drive then you need to make sure that you are working on the correct partition. It would be a big mistake to overlook this step and then install Linux on the wrong drive. Imagine if all the backups and copies you made got erased by installing Linux on that drive. Probably not a pretty situation. Have a look at the picture below.

linux partition hard drive

Take a moment and examine the above picture. Towards the right upper corner is a small drop-down which is where you chose the hard drive. Mine is /dev/sdb 238.48GiB which is my SSD drive. Besides the SSD disk, I have a secondary (sda) hard drive which holds 1 Tb but is of the older spinning platter kind. SSD is fast and therefore, the operating system needs to be installed onto that drive. If you have two, chose your SSD to install Linux on.

How to erase and create partitions

The hardest step when it comes to installing Linux is the partitioning step. But relax, all we have to do is erase the old C drive. ArcoLinux is happy to take over once it sees a blank drive.
To erase any existing partitions, simply right-click and select delete from the options.
If delete is greyed out, try the unmount option first and repeat the previous step.

Good news

If you are planning on installing Arco Linux B as your only operating system, then you can just delete the existing C drive and the smaller partitions by performing the above steps. If you want to keep Windows 10, then I have good news for you. You can skip the partition step and select “Install alongside existing operating system” when you get to that step.

The last step is to click on the check mark
Gparted will not perform any deletions or other commands if you don’t specifically tell it to do so. The check mark icon which you need to press is found above the white strip. Once you press it and confirm your decision Gparted will go to work and do what you told it to do.
More on that in the next part which shows you all you need to know about installing Arco Linux B

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