Is defragging the HDD that mandatory before installing Mint?

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Is defragging the HDD that mandatory before installing Mint?

Postby Iunthanaka on Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:25 pm

Hi to everyone again,

Let me explain my doubt.
A colleague of mine is willing to heed my advice and install Mint on his 4-year-old Celeron laptop by erasing his Windows XP because his system is so hopelessly crippled by viruses that nothing works!
His XP is so heavily infected that it no longer allows him to run the poor built-in disk defrag utility.
My question now is: should I install Mint for him on his laptop even without previously defragmenting its HDD? Given the current situation, we don't know how to check its fragmentation level and to eventually perform defragmentation.

Would Mint run in an acceptable way after installing?
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Re: Is defragging the HDD that mandatory before installing Mint?

Postby richyrich on Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:53 pm

If you are planning on running his computer in a dual-boot, then yes, you will need to defrag (more than once), and then create free space on the hard drive to accommodate the Mint install. If you are just going to install Mint, then no, as when you get to the Partitioning step of the Install, choose "Use entire disk", and it will format the entire disk for you.
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Re: Is defragging the HDD that mandatory before installing Mint?

Postby remoulder on Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:57 pm

Iunthanaka wrote:should I install Mint for him on his laptop even without previously defragmenting its HDD?


I assume from your post that you are considering replacing XP with Mint and on that basis your question is not relevant. Fragmentation only refers to the placement of files within the file structure but you would be replacing the entire file structure that is used by XP with another one. IOW you would be deleting the entire XP system and putting Mint in it's place so whether or not the XP system is fragmented is not relevant.

As for whether it would run acceptably I see no reason it would not run as well if not better than XP, however I would check the hardware compatibility before you install to ensure everything is going to work, in particular graphics and wireless cards.
[Edit] your original post and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

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Re: Is defragging the HDD that mandatory before installing Mint?

Postby conslie on Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:49 am

remoulder is right, the problem is not within the HDD, but with the way the infected XP is using it. Use the LiveD as a trial run to see if, as is likely, it just works. Your friend may want to leave some part of the HD unallocated and unformatted in case your friend wants to reinstall and give XP one more try without erasing Mint, or for other uses. Linux doesn't need much HD space and the pinned discussions at the top will give some guidance on how much is needed for this and that.
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Re: Is defragging the HDD that mandatory before installing Mint?

Postby Iunthanaka on Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:38 pm

Thank you very much for all of you for your precious advice.
This morning I installed Mint on my colleague's laptop by wiping out XP completely.
I'm confident that he will be really satisfied by Helena, since he only uses that laptop for surfing the web and downloading torrents.
He doesn't even use an office suite or an e-mail client, because anyway he's also got a desktop PC at home. :D
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