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Scuba Steve
I am about to format my HDD and put Slackware Linux on it. What information will I need to gather before I format?
Get a good list of hardware you might need drivers for, like video, audio, network card/modem, especially network card or modem. Linux usually doesn't have any problem picking up standard network cards or modems but if it does you are going to want to make sure you can get those up and running. You are especially susceptible because you are completely ditching windows so you wont have another system to get on-line and download with.

It might also be a smart idea to get the latest kernel for Slackware if your disk are old. If you just downloaded the ISOs you should be fine.

I would say the most important this to have ready is your network card/modem. Anybody else have any suggestions?
WinModems are usually very hard (and some are impossible) to setup in linux ...

If you NForce 2 motherboard you will need to download chipset drivers for the 2.4.x kernel

If you have an NVIDIA GeForce 5700, 5900 or 5950 FX video card, you will have to download and install the Nvidia drivers from their website before X will work (unless you choose a generic VESA video card). {5200 FX and GeForce 4 (or below) work ok as is}.

Sometimes builtin (included on the mother board) sound and network cards cause problems .... If you have builtin sound/video/network, then use goggle and search for your specific motherboard (or PC model number) and linux and install.

If you have Windows XP, Windows 2K (and maybe other windows versions) you can go to Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Info and either save as a text file (Win2k) or export to text (WinXP) so you will be able to search and find IRQ, DMA, hardware addresses, etc. later if needed. (Copy the file off and you can search it in linux).
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