Mint 14 on old laptop?

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Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:56 pm

Hello, I want to install Mint 14 Cinnamon 32-bit on a quite old Sony PCG-5 AIM laptop (2003-2004) currently with Windows XP Professional installed. I changed the BIOS settings to tell the laptop to boot from the optical drive, but it keeps starting with Windows. Is the laptop too old to run Mint 14?
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby cwsnyder on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:42 pm

No, the laptop is not too old, but the drive may be a CD drive and Mint 14 Cinnamon is a DVD image file. If your drive is not a DVD drive, you may need to at least hook up an external DVD drive or copy the .iso file to a thumb drive and use the Plop Linux boot manager or Super GRUB CD boot disk to allow boot from the USB thumb drive.
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby mrwes on Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:12 am

Remember MInt 14 requires a PAE capable CPU -- boot in compatability mode to check for errors. Does it have a Pent M CPU?

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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:23 pm

Thank you cwsynder and Bill.
I looked up the Plop Linux boot manager but I didn't find any instructions to use it. It is a Pentium M (Sony Vaio PCG-5 AIM) which should have a PAE capable CPU but is there a way to check?
It has a DVD drive but it refuses to boot from the optical drive. I can also borrow an external DVD drive. Since it only has 512 Ram (and 60 GB hard drive) could it be faster if I install Mint 13 Maya Mate 32 bits instead?
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby daveinuk on Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:17 pm

Have you thought about downloading the usb creator and making an USB iso image instead? Done this several times using windows and linux and it's a good free little tool . . . . .

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:26 pm

OK, I found out that Vaio laptops don't allow you to boot from CD drive, I will need to boot from a USB drive. Looking at Plop Linux but no idea how to use it and which version. Also what will it be wiser to install Mint 13 Mate (which I already use on my main laptop and is great) or Mint 14 Cinnamon (that looks terrific!)? The laptop is probably one of the first models with PAE capable CPU.
Daveinuk, isn't that to install Linux on the USB drive and run it from there?
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby cwsnyder on Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:18 pm

The Plop boot manager works if you can boot from a CD drive, as will the Super GRUB disk, but, since you say you can't boot from the DVD drive, that shoots that idea in the head.

The Universal USB installer works to install a bootable copy of Linux on a USB drive without having to boot from CD first. You can also make a bootable thumb drive from your main laptop Mint 13 installation using the USB installer included with Mint, or you can install unetbootin from the repositories on Mint or in Windows to do the same as the Universal USB installer, installing a bootable copy of Mint 14 Cinnamon 32-bit.
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby nunol on Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:54 pm

Plop also boots from the floppy, if you have a floppy. You don't give enough information about your system...

With 512MB of RAM you have enough RAM to run any Mint edition but I would recommend something with XFCE or LXDE. MATE, Cinnamon and KDE use more RAM and CPU. Cinnamon also needs some 3D support or a fast CPU to emulate 3D.

Some Pentium M don't support the PAE kernel, we need to know exact CPU model or it's better to stay with Mint 13 LTS or LMDE. Unless you like to upgrade every 6 months it's better to stay with the LTS release anyway.

PAE arrived with the Intel Pentium Pro in 1995, I am pretty sure that laptop is not one of first with PAE (wrong millennium) but if is one of the last without PAE you can't run Mint 14 without some trickery.
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:42 am

Thank you for the advices. I will install Linux Mint 13 "Maya" - Xfce (32-bit) from a USB drive. Will use the instructions at http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/744 for using the Terminal to make the bootable USB stick.

Wish me luck!
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:23 pm

Still not sure about the correct path.

I read:
If you don't know about the target USB drive path, run this command and figure out your destination drive.
sudo fdisk -l


When I type
Code: Select all
sudo fdisk -1

I get:

Code: Select all
Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders, total 312581808 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x084b7996

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048     3074047     1536000   27  Hidden NTFS WinRE
/dev/sda2   *     3074048   158722047    77824000    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3       158722048   240880280    41079116+   7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda4       240881662   312580095    35849217    5  Extended
/dev/sda5       240881664   308408319    33763328   83  Linux
/dev/sda6       308410368   312580095     2084864   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 15.5 GB, 15510536192 bytes
90 heads, 26 sectors/track, 12946 cylinders, total 30294016 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xc3072e18

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1            8064    30294015    15142976    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)


The USB stick is a Kingston 16 GB, so the destination drive should be
Code: Select all
 /dev/sdb


and not
Code: Select all
/media/KINGSTON


as I originally thought?

Also the name of the Linux Mint 13 Xfce .iso file I downloaded is:
linuxmint-13-xfce-dvd-32bit.iso
Is it the correct file to install with a bootable USB drive even if it has “dvd” in the name?

The final command line should be then:

Code: Select all
sudo dd if=~/Desktop/linuxmint-13-xfce-dvd-32bit.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=1048576 


(of=/dev/sdb rather than of=/media/KINGSTON) ?


Below are the instructions from http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/744:

Using the Terminal
It is really simple. Go to a Terminal and type:
 
sudo dd if=~/Desktop/linuxmint.iso of=/dev/sdx oflag=direct  bs=1048576
Where '~/Desktop/linuxmint.iso' is the name and location of your downloaded image (located at the desktop in this example) and '/dev/sdx' is the target USB drive. If your system doesn't support 'oflag=direct', you can just leave it out as it is simply intended to speed up the process a bit.

If you don't know about the target USB drive path, run this command and figure out your destination drive.
sudo fdisk -l
Warning: Make sure to set the correct device path, as this process will delete all data that was on the specified device previously!

Remember, don't include an integer for the USB drive, e.g. '/dev/sdx1', as it would refer to the existing partition on that drive and not the drive itself.

When the USB has been properly created by 'dd', there should be an output similar to this:
sudo dd if=~/Desktop/linuxmint.iso of=/dev/sdb oflag=direct bs=1048576
706+1 records in
706+1 records out
740601856 bytes (741 MB) copied, 91.7024 s, 8.1 MB/s
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby cwsnyder on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:45 pm

@seavagabond: You are mostly correct in following the tutorial, except you left out the
oflag=direct
which was used in the tutorial. I'm not sure that it is needed. You can also use a block size other than the size given, as long as it is a multiple of 512 bytes with the oflag setting, such as 4096 10K 1M or 100M

dd wants either input or output to be from/to a block device rather than a file folder, that is why the /dev/sdb
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:23 am

I created the bootable USB drive OK, with the following output:

Code: Select all
 sudo dd if=~/Desktop/linuxmint-13-xfce-dvd-32bit.iso of=/dev/sdb oflag=direct bs=1048576
811+0 records in
811+0 records out
850395136 bytes (850 MB) copied, 91.1616 s, 9.3 MB/s



@cwsnyder
dd wants either input or output to be from/to a block device rather than a file folder, that is why the /dev/sdb

Thank you, this makes perfect sense.

I didn't know if my system supports

Code: Select all
oflag=direct

but I added it anyway, and indeed it took less then 2 mins to do it!




But when I started the Sony Vaio with the USB drive, it still started with Windows.
I re-started and went to the Bios. The options still are:

Code: Select all
Optical Drive
Floppy Disk Drive
Hard Disk Drive
Network


How do I get the laptop to boot from the USB drive now :?:
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby Jake_UK on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:57 am

It looks from that list as though the laptop will allow you to boot from the optical drive. I know my old (~2006) Sony Vaio does. What it does not have the option to do though is boot from USB - which it seems yours doesn't either.
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:05 pm

My first try with Mint 14 was with a DVD but it still kept starting with Windows and ignoring the DVD. :(
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby excollier on Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:38 pm

I had the same problem with my old laptop, it simply will not boot from a dvd or usb, but likes cd images. I had to go with Mint 12 lxde in the end, or at least until I can find another os that suits it. Working well though.
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:14 pm

excollier, do you mean that if I try with a CD rather than DVD it might work?

P.S. I went to race to the Ulster Grand Prix in 1995 (I think) with Yamaha 750 YZF but gear lever broke beyond repair at the first lap of the first race :-(
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby excollier on Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:35 pm

Well it certainly worked for me, but images that small (Mint at least) are few. I went with Mint 12 lxde, as the most up to date of that size.
Here's my post on the subject
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=123802 or you try for Mint 13 on a cd size iso here
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=103449
Good luck!


And BIG respect for you doing road racing.. I am a mere spectator/marshal, but road racing is the most exhilirating sport out there, I have been going to the UGP for 20 years now, wouldn't dream of missing it, 1995 was a rare hot and dry meeting. I NEVER fail to be totally impressed!
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:40 am

Thank you for the advices.
I will start with trying Gutknecht's CD version of Mint 13 Maya, from excollier old post, (he doesn't specify if it is Mate or Cinnamon), since I really like Mint 13.

From advices and forum posts my options are:

Mint 12 lxde from CD (excollier) viewtopic.php?f=46&t=123802

boot from the USB with Plop and install Linux Mint 13 "Maya" - Xfce (32-bit) (nunol) (but I need to find instructions how to use Plop)

- CD version of Linux Mint 13 Maya 32-bit (Gutknecht) viewtopic.php?f=46&t=103449


Trying to make a decision I summed up what I need the old laptop to do, a Sony Vaio PCG-5 AIM, 512 Ram, 60 GB hard drive, year 2003 or 2004:

I need the computer to connect easily with Internet dongles and WIFI.
I need to set up a LAMP environment since I'm working with CMS websites and Drupal 7.
I use intensively GIMP.
I need the video player to work (I use VLC).
I need to be able to have several programs open at the same time (usually Firefox, LibreOffice/Open Office, Gimp, Blue Fish Editor, Filezilla).


A year ago I installed Linux Mint 23 Maya Mate 64-bits on my Toshiba Portege R500, now a few years old but still my best laptop. Everything worked right from the beginning. LibreOffice is still sometimes slow to start and Firefox will slow down if I have too many windows open, which is a bit of a pain. The Software Manager stopped working after a while so I use the command line to install programs. I'm learning to use the command line so problems are getting easier to deal with. Note: the Toshiba Portege crtl keys don't work which is a real pain now that I use the command line and Drush. Eventually I intend to install Mint 14 Nadia on this laptop. If I install Linux on the Sony Vaio, which has also a larger screen, I would use this for web development.

I had installed Ubuntu on my Toshiba Portege in the past that I really liked but there were always issues that compelled me to buy a Windows netbook (I still refused to re-install Vista).





P.S. excollier Yes, it was a very hot summer, who says that it always rains in Ireland? :-) Road racing is the ultimate bike experience! The Ulser Grand Prix is FANTASTIC! Well done for being one of the wonderful marshals. They killed motorcycling in England, I don't know about Ireland, but you don't see motorcyclists on the roads any more, nobody can afford it, especially young people. Another victory of the car industry. Very sad! Let's be aware that we have Microsoft breath on our neck, before we know it, we might end up in just a few with a Linux laptop. Cheers. francesca
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby seavagabond on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:33 pm

The laptop refuses to boot from the Optical Disk even if, in the Bios, I disabled from rebooting the Floppy Disk Drive, Hard Disk Drive and Network.
I inserted the CD with the CD version of Linux Mint 13 Maya 32-bit of
Gutknecht (viewtopic.php?f=46&t=103449) and nothing happened.
The laptop proceeded to boot from the hard drive and I got the message “Operating System not found”.
The DVD player works properly since I can play current DVDs.
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Re: Mint 14 on old laptop?

Postby excollier on Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:45 pm

Looks like an expert is required!
I can't get either of mine to boot from usb (for MacPup).
And yes, it rains practically all the time here, although the NW200 and the UGP were two exceptional (dry, warm, sunny) days last year, magic. :D
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