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Crgky127
02-11-2012, 09:17 PM
A popular alternative learning method to books/courses etc, is learning through day to day use, especially for software and operating systems. For those that wish to use this path for learning linux, the great variety of distributions may provide a gradual "upgrade path". I haven't tried this, and don't necessarily intend to, this is just for discussion purposes, and based off of descriptions of distros rather than anything official.


Here's an upgrade path that should provide good overall knowledge, through day to day desktop use:
LinuxMint (or possibly an even simpler descendant, and then LM) - based on Ubuntu
Ubuntu - based on Debian
Debian - very popular for servers
CrunchBang - based on Debian
ArchBang - similar feel to CrunchBang
Arch - more prep work than ArchBang
<possibly a missing link>
Whichever desktop distro is closest to what you want to end up working with
The distro you want to end up working with

What are some other paths that you can think of? Perhaps something geared towards a specific direction, such as web servers, RHEL, file servers, firewalls. Or a more distro agnostic question would be, which activities or programs would be good practice (ie: being able to resolve package dependency issues over SSH)?

SilverLeaf
02-12-2012, 10:18 PM
I'll try not to sound like too much of a fanboy here. But, I was a distro-hopper about 6 or 7 years ago. I tried dozens of distros. I'd stick with one for a few months, and then move on to something else...until I found Arch! Never looked back. Arch linux has been my only personal O/S since.
One of the biggest benefits that I received from using Arch, was the education. Arch is not a "click and go" distro; it forces you to work under the hood and to learn how things work. But, if you want to learn linux, I can't think of a better way to start. It's a challenge, but the Arch wiki, documentation, and forums are robust, and the community is dedicated.

sct
02-16-2012, 08:04 PM
If you are coming from Windows, Mint will be the easiest to move to. Its very nice runs great. Arch is a lot more hands on and you have get in there and learn a lot more. But from what I have read and seen on it most who use it love it. Ubuntu, Fedora and Suse is all fine also.

PCX
02-21-2012, 11:50 PM
It really depends on how much time you have and what your intended purpose for learning Linux is. I personally run a shop full time and I no longer have the time to learn distributions like Arch Linux. However, every computer but one in my shop runs Linux Mint as its main distro. We use this for diagnostics, cloning, data recovery, backups, transfers, scans and general all purpose uses. There is very little I cannot do with Linux.

On the note of diagnostics software: The software available for Linux is typically better and more accurate than those available for DOS or Windows.

Oh, and I may get flamed for this but . . . in my opinion, if you do not have a general understanding of Linux, then I question your ability as tech.

coreyspeed
02-22-2012, 07:14 AM
It really depends on how much time you have and what your intended purpose for learning Linux is. I personally run a shop full time and I no longer have the time to learn distributions like Arch Linux. However, every computer but one in my shop runs Linux Mint as its main distro. We use this for diagnostics, cloning, data recovery, backups, transfers, scans and general all purpose uses. There is very little I cannot do with Linux.

On the note of diagnostics software: The software available for Linux is typically better and more accurate than those available for DOS or Windows.

Oh, and I may get flamed for this but . . . in my opinion, if you do not have a general understanding of Linux, then I question your ability as tech.

It would be intresting to see what software you run on your linux machines this will help give people an idea of the alternatives to windows based machines.

adrian
02-22-2012, 07:23 AM
It would be intresting to see what software you run on your linux machines this will help give people an idea of the alternatives to windows based machines.

Looking to go down the Linux route so would also be interested in seeing what software you use

Sent from my HTC Vision using Tapatalk

coffee
02-22-2012, 01:54 PM
It would be intresting to see what software you run on your linux machines this will help give people an idea of the alternatives to windows based machines.

Totally linux shop here. Infact, To toot my horn a bit, I have been actively using linux since the Redhat 4.0 days. That would be kernel 2.0.36 I do believe.

I run a AMD HEx core system with 8 gigs of ram. Software wise Im running fedora 15 with the lxde desktop.

Virtualbox ---> win7 premium (quicken 2011 home business, just learning it)

Evolution for email
Kdenlive for video creation
Avidemux for video editing
Firefox 10
Mplayer / Gmplayer frontend for video viewing
K3b - for cd/dvd burning awsome!
Audacity - for sound file work.
Skype - communications (logitech webcam 9000 pro cam)
Warzone 2100 - for taking out my frustrations after a busy day :D

My most popular tech tools for linux? -- ddrescue, fdisk, partimage. Most all tools are common on linux flavors.

Hows that?

DCGPX
02-22-2012, 02:55 PM
Oh, and I may get flamed for this but . . . in my opinion, if you do not have a general understanding of Linux, then I question your ability as tech.

You probably will..! I use Linux as Live CDs only, tried to mess with it but got too frustrated with it, still try distros every now and then but I've never been asked to look at a Linux PC, dont worry about that and dont believe that makes me any less of a tech!

Thats MY opinion.:D

altrenda
02-22-2012, 03:04 PM
I have also been using Linux for many years, but unlike you, I haven't found a way to make money from it other than as a rescue disk.

I believe in the Learning Through Daily Use idea, though so I bought myself a Mac and used it exclusively for several months. It now represents more than half my income.

But, I'm back to using Windows 7 as my main OS.

SilverLeaf
02-22-2012, 03:49 PM
Oh, and I may get flamed for this but . . . in my opinion, if you do not have a general understanding of Linux, then I question your ability as tech.

Despite being a linux enthusiast, I'm not sure I agree with this assessment. Granted, using linux has taught me a lot; but there are plenty of non-linux-using techs out there that are far better techs than I am.

SilverLeaf
02-22-2012, 05:58 PM
Totally linux shop here. Infact, To toot my horn a bit, I have been actively using linux since the Redhat 4.0 days. That would be kernel 2.0.36 I do believe.

I run a AMD HEx core system with 8 gigs of ram. Software wise Im running fedora 15 with the lxde desktop.

Virtualbox ---> win7 premium (quicken 2011 home business, just learning it)

Evolution for email
Kdenlive for video creation
Avidemux for video editing
Firefox 10
Mplayer / Gmplayer frontend for video viewing
K3b - for cd/dvd burning awsome!
Audacity - for sound file work.
Skype - communications (logitech webcam 9000 pro cam)
Warzone 2100 - for taking out my frustrations after a busy day :D

My most popular tech tools for linux? -- ddrescue, fdisk, partimage. Most all tools are common on linux flavors.

Hows that?

I too find linux to be perfectly functional for primary use. My current setup:

Arch 64bit running on a G530 with 8GB ram with XFCE desktop.

I have 6 virtual desktops, each used for a specific function:

Personal Use
Business Use
Remote Support #1
Remote Support #2
Maintenance & Monitoring
VM's hosted in VirtualBox

Browser: FF for personal use, Chromium for business use
Email: Thunderbird for personal use, Gmail (http) for business
RSS: Liferea
Torrent: Transmission
Back-Up: rsync, spideroak
Graphics: Gimp
Music: Audacious and Audacity / also Squeezebox Server for networked audio player
Video: Parole and VLC
CD/DVD: Brasero & RubbyRipper
Office: Libre Office
Tech Tools: Various live CD's, ddrescue, fdisk, partimage, GSmartControl, lshw, VirtualBox

Very functional (for my needs), lightweight, and fast. I don't run A/V; and I can keep all of my software (O/S and apps) completely up to date with a single command every morning. What's not to like?

Also have a older file server and thinkpad running linux with LXDE desktops. I have plans to re-purpose an old P4 for a bench PC, and it will run linux as well. If I do need windows for something (testing, WSUS offline, Ketarin, SAD2, etc), I have XP and Win7 in VM's.

Some caveats:

The learning curve can be pretty steep on some distros. Pick one with good documentation, active forums, and a strong community.

Things will break occasionally, especially after updates. So, don't use linux as your primary machine until you feel confident enough to handle these issues, choose a distro renowned for stability, rather than being cutting edge, or just use VM's with snapshots (in case something goes horribly wrong).

While there are plenty of cool games playable on linux, if your a hard-core gamer, windows is still probably your best bet.

Although I have far less driver issues with linux than windows, it is possible that you may have hardware that requires a closed-source driver that might not be available for linux, or provides less features/performance than the windows equivalent.

Berk
02-22-2012, 09:02 PM
I have also been using Linux for many years, but unlike you, I haven't found a way to make money from it other than as a rescue disk.

I believe in the Learning Through Daily Use idea, though so I bought myself a Mac and used it exclusively for several months. It now represents more than half my income.

But, I'm back to using Windows 7 as my main OS.

I will first say, that whatever you are most comfortable with. That being said I also add that I use Mac OS X, Win7, and Linux concurrently.

As to making money off of linux, I would recommend starting your own Linux Users Group (LUG). Make the basic classes for free, i.e. showing some of the software that you can use. Then offer training courses that people can pay for at reasonable prices.

I personally am a fan of Ubuntu for home users, and all my servers run SUSE. I think the thing to remember is you use what gets the job done. I most prefer using OS X for myself, but that comes from 12 years of physics programing and needing something more user friendly than a linux machine can be at times.

PCX
02-22-2012, 09:26 PM
It would be intresting to see what software you run on your linux machines this will help give people an idea of the alternatives to windows based machines.

Well, you can do just about anything on Linux that you can do on Windows. Most programs that you use on Windows either has just as good of an alternative or better on Linux. Unless your a heavy gamer, Linux should suit most of your needs. However, since this is primarily a computer repair forum, here are the utilities I use

Live CDs: Helps to quickly determine if an issue is software or hardware. Also allows you to test hard drives for those computers where you have to completely take apart the computer to get to the drive.
Kaspersky Rescue Disk: Gentoo linux, not sure why you would scan a virus infested HDD from another Windows machine.
ddrescue: data recovery, cloning
fdisk: data recovery
gsmartcontrol: SATA HDD SMART test
disk utility: quick bad sector count. Also, if gsmartcontrol keeps aborting test, often time this utility will catch an electro mechanical error.

Other General Uses

Data Transfers: No permission issues (on a Windows HDD, must be root for Mac), no need to worry about viruses
Data Backup: Same as above
File Manipulation: Can again easily modify or edit files without worrying about viruses or permission issues.
Just about anything else you can think of.

That covers a great majority of the tools we use on a regular basis, not to include our motherboard diagnostics and memtest86+


You probably will..! I use Linux as Live CDs only, tried to mess with it but got too frustrated with it, still try distros every now and then but I've never been asked to look at a Linux PC, dont worry about that and dont believe that makes me any less of a tech!

Thats MY opinion.:D

I understand, but when you understand and know how to use Linux, you will know where I am coming from.

Despite being a linux enthusiast, I'm not sure I agree with this assessment. Granted, using linux has taught me a lot; but there are plenty of non-linux-using techs out there that are far better techs than I am.

You are right, obviously Linux is not going to teach you everything about hardware and how it works and how to troubleshoot those issues. Its also not going to teach you the ins an outs of Windows. However, Linux makes a technicians job way easier and more efficient once he knows how to use the tools. Besides, having a good grasp of Linux, how it works, and having the ability to use it to your advantage does say a lot about how much you understand technology.

I have also been using Linux for many years, but unlike you, I haven't found a way to make money from it other than as a rescue disk.

I believe in the Learning Through Daily Use idea, though so I bought myself a Mac and used it exclusively for several months. It now represents more than half my income.

But, I'm back to using Windows 7 as my main OS.

All I can say is the Linux has made my job as a tech and shop owner easier, safer, and more efficient than Windows ever could. If you can't make money off it, then your doing something wrong.

pc-quebec
02-22-2012, 10:53 PM
Well, you can do just about anything on Linux that you can do on Windows. Most programs that you use on Windows either has just as good of an alternative or better on Linux. Unless your a heavy gamer, Linux should suit most of your needs. However, since this is primarily a computer repair forum, here are the utilities I use .

I have a Linux station in my shop for clone HD, and do stuff with customer HD, but as a desktop no way, the Office suite of Linux are dam to slow for my taste, browser take forever to open, I have Mint install on a i7-965 with a GTX 480 liquid cooled and it's not as responsive as any of my Windows PC. For me, Linux as a tool yes, as a desktop NO WAY. But I must say that I have quite few distro in VM as all my WS have VMware WS. But not for my daily usage.

If Windows is not enough hard core for you ; Have you try the core version of the Windows 2008 servers without GUI ? What about PowerShell? this is a very nice tools to make scripts, I use it for special need my customer have.

PCX
02-22-2012, 11:13 PM
I have a Linux station in my shop for clone HD, and do stuff with customer HD, but as a desktop no way, the Office suite of Linux are dam to slow for my taste, browser take forever to open, I have Mint install on a i7-965 with a GTX 480 liquid cooled and it's not as responsive as any of my Windows PC. For me, Linux as a tool yes, as a desktop NO WAY. But I must say that I have quite few distro in VM as all my WS have VMware WS. But not for my daily usage.

If Windows is not enough hard core for you ; Have you try the core version of the Windows 2008 servers without GUI ? What about PowerShell? this is a very nice tools to make scripts, I use it for special need my customer have.

I have no clue what you are doing wrong, but Linux is way quicker and more responsive than Windows, unless you have a bad distro. With that being said, the last few Linux Mint Distros have been pretty bloated and has had their share of bugs, however, a lot of that is due to the whole Gnome moving away from their roots and everyone scrambling around to find a solution to the problem.

Oh, and I would try my best not to use Windows Server for obvious reasons to include security. There is a reason why multi-billion dollar corporations, banks and the government uses Linux servers.

BTW, been using Linux as a main desktop for about 6 years. Obviously I have worked on thousands of Windows systems, and trust me, even my older computers running Linux will beat most of the newer computers running Windows in responsiveness and efficiency. Just about anyone who has a really good working knowledge of Linux can tell you that.

pc-quebec
02-22-2012, 11:26 PM
. There is a reason why multi-billion dollar corporations, banks and the government uses Linux servers.
.

Ya but I leave in the reality me, my small business customers use Windows, Microsoft Office and I have 0 Issues with my Windows SBS servers. So if you don't mind I will keep it that way.

......and trust me, even my older computers running Linux will beat most of the newer computers running Windows in responsiveness and efficiency. Just about anyone who has a really good working knowledge of Linux can tell you that.

Ya its all they say, I have few of them around here, no job no money to purchase Windows and new systems. Something sure my new baby still in construction will run Windows 7 and any of the bloated Distro in VM very responsively


http://s554.photobucket.com/albums/jj432/dataxpert/?action=view&current=590x700px-LL-e6d37bb9_6754925605_32a2f94748_b.jpg

a very small i7-3960X with 4 x 7970

.

PCX
02-22-2012, 11:31 PM
Ya but I leave in the reality me, my small business customers use Windows, Microsoft Office and I have 0 Issues with my Windows SBS servers. So if you don't mind I will keep it that way.



Ya its all they say, I have few of them around here, no job no money to purchase Windows and new systems. Something sure my new baby still in construction will run Windows 7 very responsively


http://s554.photobucket.com/albums/jj432/dataxpert/?action=view&current=590x700px-LL-e6d37bb9_6754925605_32a2f94748_b.jpg

a very small i7-3960X with 4 x 7970

.

Well, to each his own. The simple matter of the fact is, Linux is a great tool for techs. And when it comes to stability, responsiveness, and just plain common sense, Linux beats Windows hands now. I doubt Microsoft will ever put out anything decent that will actually be secure, unless they completely rewrite the kernel. With that being said, Windows 7 is by for the best "piece of crap" that Microsoft has ever created to date.

coffee
02-22-2012, 11:47 PM
I have Mint install on a i7-965 with a GTX 480 liquid cooled and it's not as responsive as any of my Windows PC.

Thats kinda hard to believe. Or rather suprising I should say. I have ubuntu (which is a bit of a mem hog) on just a lenevo dual core with 3 gigs ram. Runs great.

If Windows is not enough hard core for you ;

I think linux is pretty much hardcore. But opinions differ.

http://www.gpugrid.net/forum_thread.php?id=2150


Running the Nvidia driver for your card?

pc-quebec
02-22-2012, 11:59 PM
Well, to each his own. The simple matter of the fact is, Linux is a great tool for techs. .

Agree 110 %

.And when it comes to stability, responsiveness, and just plain common sense, Linux beats Windows hands now. .

My PCs run 24/7 and I have 0 stability problems, my business customers too , now the other one I don't serve anymore, they have tons of problems with their Windows, our should I say the craps they but in it. I'm sorry but unless youare Linux literate, installing some applications are a real pain in the a$$ with linux. Average users are not ready for that, so for this reason Windows is the Winers.


Windows 7 is by for the best "piece of crap" that Microsoft has ever created to date.

I tough it was Me or Vista or probably Windows 8 ?

I don't disagree with some part of what you say, it's just that Linux are not ready for the common user, until then, Linux as is place on servers and tech bench, also it have is place for enthusiast , but that's it. No need to argue and try to sell it, I use it, but customers canít use it as desktop, have you try to make Facebook Farmville work on Linux ?

PCX
02-23-2012, 01:24 AM
Agree 110 %



My PCs run 24/7 and I have 0 stability problems, my business customers too , now the other one I don't serve anymore, they have tons of problems with their Windows, our should I say the craps they but in it. I'm sorry but unless youare Linux literate, installing some applications are a real pain in the a$$ with linux. Average users are not ready for that, so for this reason Windows is the Winers.



All I can say is that if Windows as so stable or secure, we would have probably half the work load . . .


I tough it was Me or Vista or probably Windows 8 ?

Have no clue what you are saying . . .


I don't disagree with some part of what you say, it's just that Linux are not ready for the common user, until then, Linux as is place on servers and tech bench, also it have is place for enthusiast , but that's it.




Well, that statement is mostly wrong. Yes, I would say that Linux is probably not for the common user, but then again, this is not a forum for common users . . . are you a common user? Regardless of that, no one here is trying to convince the common user to use Linux, I don't.

On a side note, ever heard of Android . . .



No need to argue and try to sell it, I use it, but customers can’t use it as desktop, have you try to make Facebook Farmville work on Linux ?

To answer your question, yes and no. Personally, I have a life and I do not play farmville, however, I do not have any problems running anything that requires flash. And as far as facebook goes, yes, that works just like any other site.


Again, this is note a forum for the common user. This is a forum for techs. As a tech, you should not only be familiar with Linux and know enough to use it on a daily basis for repairs.

And to be completely blunt, many of the things that you have said only tells me that you tried Linux, had no patience and gave up. It also tells me that you really don't know much about Linux and have very little place to be in this particular thread. Just saying . . .

kevinjhaag
02-23-2012, 01:43 AM
I doubt Microsoft will ever put out anything decent that will actually be secure, unless they completely rewrite the kernel. With that being said, Windows 7 is by for the best "piece of crap" that Microsoft has ever created to date.

But really...Would we want them to create anything decent, more secure and stabile. If it wasn't for Microsoft Software; I'd be flipping burgers :D

PCX
02-23-2012, 01:47 AM
But really...Would we want them to create anything decent, more secure and stabile. If it wasn't for Microsoft Software; I'd be flipping burgers :D

LOL, good point . . . .

pc-quebec
02-23-2012, 02:15 AM
Why Iím in this tread, because, you said that a guy is not a tech if he donít master Linux , How can it be, what is the use, I donít have customers who have it. I donít need to master Linux to use Clonezilla or other disk utility, do I need to master Linux to setup a Cisco router ? or a Dell PowerVault san ? Do I need Linux to configure a ESXi server ( itís a Linux kernel call vmkernel ) I donít think so, itís fair easy. I will say 99% of the forum members donít need Linux at all. Time will be better spent learning PowerShell, very useful to debug Windows, As for Windows not be perfect, well Iím quite happy with it, itís bring food on the table no ?

I think the problem is not me not knowing Linux enough, it's probably that you use too crapy PC to run Windows, If you use a Sandy Bridge i5 or i7 with a SSD , I do see what can be faster. I click my Word icon 1 sec. to open, I click ie 1 sec. How long it take to open Firefox in Linux ? Tell the truth please. Not the second time you open it, the first time after you let your OS load.

Anyway enough playing with this, I donít need Linux to be a good tech, proof of it I have a very good living since 30 years I do this job. Letís say for my Linux is just a curiosity.

PCX
02-23-2012, 02:17 AM
Why Iím in this tread, because, you said that a guy is not a tech if he donít master Linux , How can it be, what is the use, I donít have customers who have it. I donít need to master Linux to use Clonezilla or other disk utility, do I need to master Linux to setup a Cisco router ? or a Dell PowerVault san ? Do I need Linux to configure a ESXi server ( itís a Linux kernel call vmkernel ) I donít think so, itís fair easy. I will say 99% of the forum members donít need Linux at all. Time will be better spent learning PowerShell, very useful to debug Windows, As for Windows not be perfect, well Iím quite happy with it, itís bring food on the table no ?

I think the problem is not me not knowing Linux enough, it's probably that you use too crapy PC to run Windows, If you use a Sandy Bridge i5 or i7 with a SSD , I do see what can be faster. I click my Word icon 1 sec. to open, I click ie 1 sec. How long it take to open Firefox in Linux ? Tell the truth please. Not the second time you open it, the first time after you let your OS load.

Anyway enough playing with this, I donít need Linux to be a good tech, proof of it I have a very good living since 30 years I do this job. Letís say for my Linux is just a curiosity.

Sorry, but . . . . LOL

Crgky127
02-23-2012, 03:28 AM
This is not a linux vs windows thread.

This thread is just for people that are already fairly well versed in linux, so that they can discuss an evolution of distros from beginner to 'hardcore', to aid in learning linux.

Whether you need to know linux is another thread. This thread assumes a situation with a need for linux knowledge. This is more likely to be a corporate server situation as opposed to break-fix, but that's besides the point. And yes, linux can be used in a break-fix situation (another full time linux shop here), but data recoveries and virus removals aided by linux do not require knowing how linux works, they just require knowing how to boot it up and run some tools (at most how to mount a partition).



Now, what distro do you recommend as a good first for beginners? What distro is a good second? Third?.....

SilverLeaf
02-23-2012, 03:47 AM
Now, what distro do you recommend as a good first for beginners? What distro is a good second? Third?.....

Years ago I had a lot of luck with PCLinuxOS. At the time it was heavily rooted in Mandrake, very user friendly and an easy transition from windows. It was super fast too, even with a full blown KDE desktop. It's been many years since I've played with it, but I have fond memories of it. It also had a fairly robust and knowledgeable community at the time.

PCX
02-23-2012, 02:26 PM
This is not a linux vs windows thread.

This thread is just for people that are already fairly well versed in linux, so that they can discuss an evolution of distros from beginner to 'hardcore', to aid in learning linux.

Whether you need to know linux is another thread. This thread assumes a situation with a need for linux knowledge. This is more likely to be a corporate server situation as opposed to break-fix, but that's besides the point. And yes, linux can be used in a break-fix situation (another full time linux shop here), but data recoveries and virus removals aided by linux do not require knowing how linux works, they just require knowing how to boot it up and run some tools (at most how to mount a partition).



Now, what distro do you recommend as a good first for beginners? What distro is a good second? Third?.....

Sorry. :D

To answer your question, ubuntu or linux mint is a great way to start out, but I would probably start out with a version about a year old, before they started to replace gnome. You can then move on to Debian and from there it just depends on how much you want to learn and what your intended purposes are.

coffee
02-23-2012, 09:19 PM
If I were working in an I.T. Room I would say - Yes, It would behove you to learn and know linux. After all, Alot of rooms run linux boxes now. Linux's big inroads are the i.t. rooms and such. Not the desktop. With the switch to Unity and Gnome3 I dont see the desktop enviroment any time sooner. Its a step back IMHO.

However, learning and knowing linux does help even if all you do is service windows boxes. Its very versitile and does a fantastic job.

I get the opinion from alot of teks that "They tried it and hated it because they had some problem with it". Have to remember that linux is not well supported by the hardware driver industry. They have to reverse engineer alot of stuff and that takes time. For what it is, Linux is a great tool in the field and I use it everyday and prefer it over windows.

Do you need to know linux? Not really. But its nice too.

Are you a poor tek if you dont know linux? No. Lots of people make great livings just doing windows. But I can tell you that knowing linux has helped me ALOT to overcome alot of problems and limitations. Its a valuable tool.

coffee

PCX
02-23-2012, 09:40 PM
With the switch to Unity and Gnome3 I dont see the desktop enviroment any time sooner. Its a step back IMHO.

Agreed.......................

dbdawn
02-23-2012, 11:05 PM
Maybe some interesting info over at Hard Forums regarding Linux and which distros to try.

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1646914
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1672684

slpctec
03-14-2012, 03:24 PM
Oh, and I may get flamed for this but . . . in my opinion, if you do not have a general understanding of Linux, then I question your ability as tech. Well I agree with PCX myself because if windows goes down and you need to recover data off a HDD or you cant get to the Windows GUI you need to know how to navigate linux' command line to recover data off of the HDD or run a virus scan from the Linux command line.And this is my own opinion, but I think most computer repair tech's have become too comfortable with windows and prefer not to venture into unfamiliar waters when they should.At the least just to see how the other operating systems work.Really Linux is a real cool OS.It can read iso images right out of the box.Windows can't do that.I'm right with you PCX!