New HP laptop Not sure where to begin

Hi there, brand new and can’t even figure out how to respond to this bot. Tried to copy and paste a link and it did not work. Yes, I really am that un- techie. Have a new HP laptop Windows 11 that I’m trying to figure out how to set up and not sign in with Microsoft so far no luck. Is this even able to be done? Overwhelmed already. Really would like to get Linux on the computer but I can’t even set up this new computer because windows 11 insists I sign in with my Microsoft account.


If you do NOT want to use Windows then you can wipe it out and install Linux and not have to worry about Windows. But you may (will probably) have to get into the BIOS and possibly change some setting. Or you may be able to boot directly from a live USB stick with a Linux Distro and install from there.
Do you have another computer to download a Linux Distribution and create a USB drive?

Thanks for your response. I do have an older HP 4 to 5 years old that is extremely slow that I could probably do that on. So I would just take a flash drive and download that onto the old computer and then put it on my flash drive and then put it on my new computer before I install and set it up? It is insisting I sign in with Microsoft before I’m able to completely install. Thank you thank you thank you so much for your help. You’re an angel

Hi Nikki, I know a little about older Windows but nothing about Windows 11.
If you want to complete the Windows setup without setting up a Microsoft account then this tutorial may help you.

Post back here on progress or if you do not even want to use Windows at all.

Thanks! I will try this tomorrow. If I am not successful I just wonder do you think I would have better luck trying to do this on my older 4 to 5 year old HP laptop? It is very very slow and not sure which computer would be more complicated to d? I am not techy at all and this is very daunting so far. Very grateful for your response and help. So happy to have found this group.

Actually, the older HP will probably run better using Linux than it ever did with Windows. If you want to set that up, post back here. If you have the HP model number and Specs for the amount of memory and harddrive size that could help too. And Processor/CPU, Intel or AMD or whatever is in it, if you have that info available. You can do it without all that info but its nice to double check before starting an install.

Your new computer,
Do you plan on finalizing the windows setup?
Will you return it?
Keep it and install Linux after the older HP?

You could finalize the Windows installation and then install Linux alongside of Windows.
You could just install Linux on the New Computer without setting Windows up. That in essence would wipe out Window and leave the entire machine to Linux.

Hi there, I don’t know too much about my older HP pavilion i5 core 7th gen computer as I have not used it in a while as it is painfully slow. By the time it does all its updates and opens everything up it’s probably 20 minutes or so. Will have to try that computer tomorrow when my brain is fresh as it’s very frustrating waiting for it to open. I’m thinking I will probably have to reset it to factory or something like that if I decide to go that route. Bought the newer computer beginning december (just now decided to open it) And then I started hearing about Linux and wondered if it would be easier to start with a new computer. This new HP 1 terrabyte with AMD Ryzen 5000 series and AMD radeon graphics with multi touch screen or use the older one with an older version of windows that might be easier to work around? . I only use it mostly for doing web searches, saving documents, photos etc. I don’t do gaming and just want something that’s fast and private without endless ads and pop-ups. really sick of all the censorship and lack of privacy. I did not grow up with computers so I am a little nervous about all this. Use duck duck go and protonmail, thinking either Linux or Ubintu? would be good? Well open up the old one tomorrow and see what I can find out about it and post tomorrow. Thanks a bunch!

On the older HP you don’t really have to mess with it to find the specs. The i5 is plenty. And being only 4-5 years old most likely has enough memory. Do you know which version of Windows is currently installed on it?

On the newer computer you don’t even need to set Windows up IF you are going to install ONLY Linux on it. So, if you do NOT want window on the new computer then the Linux installation can format the entire harddrive effectively erasing Windows while installing Linux.

My suggestion is to install Linux on the older HP and think about the new computer. If you like the install on the older computer you will REALLY like Linux on the newest computer.

Linux is the operating system Kernel that all of the Linux Distributions are built around. So Ubuntu is a distribution of Linux. As is Linux Mint and many more. One of the more user friendly Distros (Distributions) is Linux Mint and it is based on Ubuntu and uses very similar programs.

If you have time you can look online for Linux Distributions and you will find HUNDREDS.
Here is a site that talks about just a few:

Another website for a quick look. (I don’t much like the picture but the website has some good info)

Great, thanks! That looks like a good site to check in to make a final decision. Initially I thought the older computer would be better to try this out on also, my only concern was that it is so ridiculously slow. Will check into that and post later once I know a little bit more. Have a great day and thanks for all your Advice. Greatly appreciated.

Hi there, so I have had a chance to look at those sites you sent along with a few others and seems to me that either the linux mint or the Ubuntu seem to be the front runners. My understanding is that the Ubuntu option has more of a support system which might be handy for a novice such as myself? I have Carbonite automatic back up and norton on this computer also, will that prevent cause any issues while trying to install either of these options?

Hey @Nikki!
You can get a lot of info from this old post here:

Feel free to let us know what it is you would like to know. :slight_smile:

If you are going to make the computer a ‘totally’ Linux computer without windows then everything including Carbonite and Norton will be erased and gone forever. And should not prevent the installation of Linux. It is very possible that Carbonite and Norton are some (or a lot) of the reason the computer is running so slow.
If you tell the Linux installer to use the entire harddrive for the new Linux install then it will ERASE the entire drive and install Linux on the harddrive.
Anything you want to SAVE from the old computer must be COPIED to external storage BEFORE starting a new install of Linux. So any pictures, documents or other files that you want to keep should be copied to external storage, like USB thumbdrives or SD cards or even DVDs or CDs.
After the new Linux install you can copy your pictures and files back onto the Linux machine. All of your pictures and almost all documents will still be readable in Linux. You probably won’t need anything like Norton but there are backup utilities that could be used in place of Carbonite.

Thanks! I am working on the beginners section right now that you sent. Are you by chance one of the admin‘s on the site? I signed up for the course a couple days ago and when I try to login and register it says my account is inactive. Thank you for the encouragement and the reminder that we’ve all been at the beginning before. I will eventually get this all figured out👍

@vasileios Is one of the admins and he can fix you up. Ask him about backup utilities for Linux. I back up manually and don’t know the current utilities.

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Thanks. I will do that. Again, appreciate your help👍

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Thanks for the info. I am working my way through it and have written down all my computer information and also have a question for you. Thank you in advance for your patience. When I make the switch can i add Carbonite backup to my computer with either the Linux mint or the Ubuntu? They both sound like they would work on my HP laptop but I heard the Linux mint doesn’t have as much support if you have problems, and being a non techie person I am sure I will need support at some point LOL.

Other question I have, I understand you are an admin for this site? I signed up and paid for the course the other day and when I go to sign in, it says my account is inactive. It’s probably something silly that I am not doing correctly but I can’t figure it out.
So glad I found this great site, have had wonderful people reach out with great tips.

If you haven’t heard back about your log in problem for the course then shoot out a quick email to
Give them a short description of the problem and they should be able to fix you right up.

Hey @Nikki!
I had a look at Carbonite and saw that it only supports macOS and Windows, unfortunately. One good solution that has come to my attention, if you need Cloud Backup, is IceDrive ( There is also the IDrive, which can be quite cheap to begin with, but I found myself not having access to my files for 5 days straight before someone got back to me from their support. Naturally, there are also the local options, at which Linux excels.

On the HP side, I’ve successfully installed several Linux distributions on 3 different HP laptops, so the OS works nicely there.

Per your LMS issue, what @dennis said is true. You can either contact (this includes subscriptions), but if you have simple account issues, just as you have, you can Private-Message me here too. To do that, just click on my name in the forum and select Message. All I’ll need is the email address you registered with and I can check it out for you. :slight_smile:

Good morning and thank you. I hope I am doing this right and not public post. Appreciate addy used. XXXXX. Guess that brings up another question, will either of the programs Ubuntu or mint have compatibility issues with proton mail? Thanks