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Before you start, make sure to back up every file that is now on your system. The installation procedure can wipe out all of the data on a hard disk! The programs used in installation are quite reliable and most have seen years of use; still, a false move can cost you. Even after backing up, be careful and think about your answers and actions. Two minutes of thinking can save hours of unnecessary work.
Debian makes it possible to have both Debian GNU/Linux and another operating system installed on the same system. If you plan to use this option, make sure that you have on hand the original CD-ROM or floppies of the other installed operating systems. If you repartition your boot drive, you may find that you have to reinstall your existing operating system's boot loader2.1 or the entire operating system itself.
If your computer is connected to a network 24 hours a day (i.e., an Ethernet or similar LAN connection - not a PPP connection), you should ask your network's system administrator for the following information:
John Goerzen / Ossama Othman