Though Windows is widely used all over the world, it’s not a perfect operating system. Though there isn’t a perfect operating system, there are other computer products that come with fewer security and privacy problems.
Since Windows is used by many, it has become a huge target to hackers, scammers, and other cyber-criminals. Windows is not really a bad operating system in general, but there are alternatives to it.
Linux: The Best Alternative
Ever heard of Linux, the so-called “Free Operating System”? Linux is an open source project, so anyone with sufficient computer programming knowledge can contribute and even modify the system. It can also be used for free.
Just imagine the Linux operating system as a candy. The many distros available on the Internet are merely “flavors” of it but are considered technically the same. For example, Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distros, is aimed at general computer users. It is an all-purpose Linux operating system, while Fedora is there to serve enterprise users.
Why Get Rid of Windows?
Have you ever wanted to get rid of your Windows operating system, be it Vista, XP, ME, or any other version? Well, here are just some reasons why you should:
- Free. Unlike Windows and other operating systems, Linux is generally free. You can simply download your favorite Linux distribution from the main website or through P2P (peer-to-peer) networks like Bittorrent and burn it into a CD or DVD.
- Safe and Secure. You don’t have to worry about malware (Tips on how to get rid of malware) like viruses and trojans since most malware is made for the Windows OS, so even if malware makes its way into your computer, it simply won’t do any damage at all. If there are any bugs or exploits in the system, the open source community will instantly release a patch or update to plug that hole.
- Fast and Efficient. What do you really need to use your computer for? Surf the Internet? (Learn how to search the internet) Create and write documents and presentations? Watch movies or listen to music? Play some games? Linux is a very efficient system. It simply does what it is asked to do. Once you shift to Linux, you will surely notice how fast and responsive your computer really is.
The Live CD: No Risk
If you are afraid that you may not like Linux, you don’t need to worry. A lot of distros today come with a Live CD feature. This allows you to use a fully-functional Linux OS without any risk.
With Live CDs, all you have to do is download the CD or DVD image from the Internet, burn in to a disc, and boot your computer using the CD. Tinker around with the settings and get a feel for the system. Knoppix and Ubuntu are examples of distros that have a Live CD function.
Rid your Computer of Windows
When you finally decide to rid yourself of Windows, here is what you should do:
- Download the Linux Distro of your Choice. Visit the website of the flavor of Linux that you like and download it. The size of the OS may range from 700MG up to 4GB, so that will take quite some time if you use a slow connection. Just be patient.
- Backup your Files. While waiting for your download to complete, it is a good idea to backup all your files, including your mp3 and movie collection. You can either burn your files on a CD or DVD or create a partition on your hard drive and save them there.
- Burn the CD Image. After downloading the Linux OS, burn the image file to a CD or DVD using your CD / DVD burning software.
- Read the Instructions. Linux distros have different installation procedures, though most new ones use an automated “wizard” to guide you through the process. If you have any questions, you can post them at the forum of the distro you chose. The people there will be more than willing to help you out. You may want to print out the installation procedures as you will not be able to access them during the installation.
- Install Linux. Once you have understood how to install your non-Windows operating system, it’s time for you to install it. You will have to restart your computer and configure it to boot from the CD/DVD drive. Place the disc in the drive before you reboot. Consult your BOIS manual to determine how to change the boot priority of your computer.
The installation procedure may take some time. If you really want to get rid of Windows, you can format your hard drive to erase its existence; otherwise, you can simply install Linux on a separate partition or hard drive. (Learn how to format a hard drive)
Dual-Booting Windows and Linux
Some people may still need their Windows system to run certain “Windows-only” software. If you will still be needing your Windows system, then your best option will be to dual-boot your computer. Dual-booting means you install two operating systems into your computer.
This process can be tricky or even difficult for inexperienced users, so if you wish to dual boot, the latest version of Ubuntu Linux makes the process a lot easier. The best part is, you don’t have to partition your hard drive too.
The latest Ubuntu version, Hardy Heron, makes use of GRUB, a boot loader used to dual boot Windows and Linux. All you have to do is insert the Ubuntu CD into your drive, then choose the directory you wish to install Linux.
In essence, you really did not get rid of Windows, but at least you won’t be using it most of the time.
Linux may seem a little bit alien to you at the start, but once you get the hang of it, you will surely love it.
Click here for more information about how to get rid of the Windows operating system