Linux on a Stick

Posted by Dennis April 19th, 2012

For emergencies, it’s a good idea to have an alternative way to boot up your PC (especially if you don’t have quick access to a good IT guy/girl!).  Back when Windows Vista came out, a lot of us in the PC industry were worried about the file system.  They changed it to a mandatory NTFS file system, which meant that a lot of the bootable tools we used were obsolete. Alas, this continued with Win 7.  See, there are times when having some OTHER software besides Windows on your hard drive is very helpful.  If your drive crashes, glitches, or gets infected you need another way to see and manipulate things.  The answer is to have a disk or  other bootable media do it instead.  Back then the vast majority of tools available couldn’t read the new file system.  But that has all changed, thanks to OpenGL projects like Ubuntu and Unetbootin. 1) Ubuntu is a flavor of Linux.  Much like Windows, it’s a very user-friendly way to use your computer.  You can download it FREE from this site, and burn a bootable CD within minutes.  When you start your computer, just choose your CD (or DVD) drive, and VIOLA… you can surf, play movies, and pretty much everything else with a totally different operating system!  Kudos to all the hard-working Linux people out there.  These latest varieties of Linux (there are LOTS more) have come a long way from the early days.  Back then it was NOT for the faint-of-heart, and could be downright frustrating for a newby.  Now here’s the REALLY cool part:  2) Unetbootin is a tool that lets you put Linux on your Pen Drive!  (I call them USB Memory Sticks).  Most PC’s these days support USB boot, and Unetbootin is a quick, easy way to turn your 2 Gb (or bigger) stick into a great boot tool.  You can download it here.  [You might ask “But can’t I boot to Windows on a disk or stick?”  Answer –   Yes, but it’s a lot more difficult to set this up. Microsoft is stuck in the dark ages when it comes to bootable tools]

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