BOOT CAMP 500 (13/11/07)

Put a Puppy in your PC, part 2


Last week, in part one we looked at how you could use a version of the Linux operating system, called Puppy Linux, to revive a dead Windows PC, access your files and hopefully carry on working; this week we’re going to do the deed and download and burn Puppy onto a ‘Live CD’.


You will need just four things, a PC with a broadband Internet connection and a CD/DVD Writer drive, a blank CD, and two pieces of software so let’s get started. Step one is to download the two files. The first is the Puppy Linux ISO ‘image’. Don’t worry about the jargon, an ISO image is simply a convenient way of packaging and sending over the Internet all of the files you need to make a bootable or self-loading CD. The download is a fair size so make sure you have at least 100Mb of free hard disc space on your computer and a few minutes to half an hour to spare (depending on the speed of your broadband connection).


The second file is a small freeware program called ImgBurn and its sole function is to burn CD and DVD image files, something that it does quickly and efficiently. In fact most CD/DVD burning programs have an ISO image function but as I explained last week it is quicker and easier to use this program. It also saves me the bother of having to run through the procedure for several different applications (and the inevitable variations between different versions). The ImgBurn download is around 1.5Mb so it should only take a few moments. See also this week’s Top Tip.


For reasons best known to the Linux community downloads are rarely straightforward, you have to negotiate a maze of files with similar sounding names to find the one you want, and Puppy Linux is no exception, so please pay attention. I also apologise in advance for the round the houses approach but Linux files tend to change a lot and web links come and go with alarming regularity so by following this route you should end up in the right place. Incidentally, there are also several versions of Puppy floating around, by all means try one of the alternatives but the one I’m suggesting is a good place to start for novices and it has all of the features most users will want. 


The first stop is the Puppy Linux Home Page ( click the Downloads link in the top left panel then item 1 in the Downloads box ‘Puppy Linux Main Release’. Next click the Download link associated with Puppy Version 2.16 ‘Luv’, 2.16 –Seamonkey-fulldrivers-iso. This takes you the Puppy Download page, click on the first ‘ftp’ link, you should now see the index page of the ftp library, look for  ‘puppy-2.16-seamonkey-fulldrivers.iso’, which should have a file size of around 92160Kb; click the link and the download will begin.


When you have finished downloading Puppy pop along to, click the Download link, select one of the sites from the list and download the program. When it has finished double-click on the file to open it and start the installation. You can stick with the default settings and eventually the program will load and run straight away. When it opens the drive letter of your CD/DVD burner should be displayed in the ‘Destination’ box. If so you are now ready to move onto the final stage.


Load a blank CD in your drive and in ImgBurn click the ‘Explorer’ icon next to ‘Source’ in the top left hand corner and navigate to the Puppy Linux ISO file you have just downloaded. In most case you can leave ImgBurn on its default Write Speed setting (Auto) but if you have any problems creating a working disc try again with a slow speed (x1 or x2). All you have to do now is click the Write button at the bottom of the ImgBurn window and let it get on with the job.


Avoid using your PC for anything else whilst it is creating the disc, which will take anything from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, depending on the speed of your CD/DVD writer. At the end of the burn the tray will be ejected and it should reload (on laptops you will have to manually push the tray back in). The recording is ‘verified’, which only takes a minute or so and if everything is okay you will hear a jolly tinkly tune and ‘Operation Successfully Completed’ will appear on the screen.


That’s really all there is to it. All that remains now is to remove the disc from the drive, label it and put it in a safe place ready for next week’s instalment, where we’ll be having a look around the Puppy desktop, setting up an Internet connection and seeing what it can do.


Oh go on, if you just can’t wait put the disc back in the drive, exit Windows and reboot, you should be able to work most of it out and have some fun with your new puppy!


Next Week – Put a Puppy in your PC, part 3





File Transfer Protocol, Internet system used to move data files from one computer to another



Check of the integrity of files burned to a CD or DVD



The rate at which data is written to a hard disc drive or optical disc




If you are new to downloading large files from the Internet then before you start you should make sure that you know where Windows stores downloads and this will save you a lot of time later on. The location varies according to which version of Windows you are using, and your web browser. If you are using Windows XP and Internet Explorer, for example, downloads are normally sent to the desktop, but you do have the option to save them to a folder of your choosing, which is a good idea with very large files. After clicking the download link select the Save button and in the Explorer dialogue box navigate to your C: drive, click the Create New folder icon on the Toolbar, give it a name (e.g. ‘Puppy), and save your downloads in there. In Windows Vista the default location is C:/users/<yourname>/downloads, but you can use the same procedure to create a separate download folder. 



© R. Maybury 2007, 2410

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