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[vox-tech] Data Conversion From M$ to Linux Question
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[vox-tech] Data Conversion From M$ to Linux Question


I am finally getting ready to convert from M$ on my desktop to Linux. I realized lately that I am not using my desktop at all except to listen to music, watch movies and check email. I began to long for the ease of use, configurability, responsiveness, reliability and speed of Linux that I have on my Linux laptop. M$ frequently slows down, programs crash and I do not like it at all. My 800 MHz Celeron laptop running Gentoo Linux is much more responsive and better handling than my desktop which has 3x the RAM and an Athlon XP 1600. Oh well.

I finally was able to conquerer my last obstacle in the conversion. Conversion of all my email into a program that runs on Linux. I found the solution in Mozilla Thunderbird. It runs on both windows and Linux. The import tools on the windows platform are excellent! I was able to convert ALL my email (4 years worth) and ALL my address from outlook 2003 without a problem. Then I was just able to copy all the files from that profile on my windows machine to my laptop running linux. Started up Thunderbird on my laptop and all my emails where there, minus the attachments, but that is not a problem.

So the next hurdle that I have is the conversion of my multimedia data from my desktop. I have 300Gb of data approximately stored on NTFS disks that I would like to keep and I am trying to figure out the best way to do that and then convert my disks to a Linux File System like reiserFS or XFS.

Disk 1 - 80GB ( need 10GB of data from ) *** In Linux use as /
Disk 2 - 120 GB ( need 60GB of data from )
Disks 3,4 - RAID 1 - 400GB ( need 250GB of data from )

So there is too much data to drop it on one disk, convert the other two drives, copy the data and then convert the final drive. So I see several options:

1) Burn all the data to CD-R or DVD-R. Install Linux and then copy back. Drawbacks: will get pricey for all the disks. Slow. I have had problems with CD-Rs getting corrupted in the burn process and loosing the data if I do not verify all the data after burning (slow). Finally, some of the files are GB in size, and so I will have to split the files before burning if I use CD-R. (Side note: I assume that there is a program for joining AVI files on Linux seeing as there are some good utilities for M$.

2) Similar to above. But put as much data as possible on the 120GB drive (Maybe setup another partition on the 80GB drive and store some there), and then burn the rest to CDr/DVDr. Setup the partitions and install Linux. Then mount the disk using NTFS support and copy the data. Problems, do not know what the status of NTFS file support on Linux. Last time I looked into it was 3 years ago and read support was buggy, write support was only if you were crazy. Seems like the most efficient option.

3) Buy another drive that can hold that much data and drop it on there, then use that to handle the data transfer. (Very expensive for a drive of that size).

Any thoughts or comments would be most welcome. My final question is regarding hardware RAID for IDE. Is that best handled by the hardware controller or should I look into some of the Linux tools for accomplishing this through software?

Thanks In Advance,

Dan Hurt
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