Re-Using old laptop [Solved]

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Re-Using old laptop [Solved]

Postby excollier on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:08 am

I have an old Compaq laptop (around 8 - 10 years old) a 2138EA, with a small 18GB HDD and 1GB ram, single processor, running Windows XP. My question is would it be sufficient to run Mint 13, completely replacing XP.
This is so I can introduce my mother to computers, at 75 she has never used one before, and I don't want her hampered by the constant slow starts (as XP and AVG updates at every boot up), and Mint is so fast to boot and no annoying Windows updates, so easy to use too (as I found as a recent convert from Vista).
All opinions welcome.
Last edited by excollier on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:51 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby passerby on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:31 am

As long as you use MATE (or better yet, xfce) I think it should run fine. Better than XP, at least.
Have you considered giving Puppy Linux a try instead? It's amazing on netbooks and old laptops.
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby excollier on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:35 am

Would it run Cinnamon? That's what I use and am familiar with,(so easy to use, are Mate and XFCE similarly easy?) and I have to teach my mother the absolute basics of using a computer. I haven't seen Puppy Linux, but I am aware of it.
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby passerby on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:40 am

They're both easy. XFCE is lighter, but I consider MATE to be easier. (XFCE is the sort of DE you customize to death)
Also, the default MATE desktop is similar to Cinnamon's.
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby excollier on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:56 am

Would Cinnamon be too heavy for this laptop? Sorry for being so persistent, but I want to get this right first time. I was just looking at Puppy, seems good too, and a very small download (my broadband is very slow) I do have an iso install disk for Cinnamon that I used myself, but took me nearly six hours to download, and several attempts, so you see I would rather use that for sheer convenience.
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby passerby on Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:11 am

If that's the case, why not install cinnamon, see how well it works, then install MATE if it's no good?
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby excollier on Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:16 am

Thanks, I'll chance it and see.
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby excollier on Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:31 pm

The laptop wont read the live .iso dvd for Linux Mint, but it did load up Puppy, but wont boot from a usb as recommended, looks like I'm stuck with XP.
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby nunol on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:14 pm

You could try to use Plop to boot from the USB drive.
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby wayne128 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:28 pm

excollier wrote:The laptop wont read the live .iso dvd for Linux Mint, but it did load up Puppy, but wont boot from a usb as recommended, looks like I'm stuck with XP.



You can also consider another method, rarely used by people.

That is, use unetbootin, run under WinXP, and use Hard disk install mode.

This is the steps:
1. run WinXP
2. download windows version of unetbootin
3. copy your iso file to WinXP directory, or download from internet
4. run unetbootin
5. choose the path to iso
6. choose the Hard Disk , then OK

unetbootin would copy files for you and 'frugal install' in winXP directory
http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/unetbo ... howitworks

upon reboot, you should have a unetbootin line in the XP boot menu, select that, this allows you to run your Linux ISO in LIVE mode..

http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/unetbo ... stallmodes


Test this live mode first, so that to be sure your old hardware can handle that particular iso.

I did a few installation to an old, , not branded, but younger than your 8-10 year old laptop,
several Mint old DVD ended with bsod. intel graphic issue.
so if you get bsod, do not be surprise, the iso, kernel, graphic are all part of the player.
of course you can still choose different option to boot.. cannot remember how those appear in the boot menu. just try one at a time.
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Re: Using old laptop [Solved]

Postby excollier on Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:21 am

I finally used Puppy Linux, as Mint was simply a non-starter.
I used their Windows Installer, and now the laptop runs from the HDD as a dual boot, so that's great for the intended purpose, thanks for all the pointers though, much appreciated.
Now I need to find out how to reduce the amount of space XP is occupying (even after getting rid of unused and unnecessary programmes, it still takes up 2/3 of the hdd capacity)
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Re: Using old laptop

Postby passerby on Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:51 am

If you don't use the functions, you might save space by disabling hibernate and the page file.
Only if you don't use either, of course. (only done this on 7; I'm assuming it's just as easy on XP)
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Re-Using old laptop [Almost Solved]

Postby excollier on Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:52 am

Ok, I know I have marked the problem solved, but here's the thing, I have discovered that the laptop will only boot from a live .iso on a cd not on a dvd.
I have downloaded lubuntu, slax, and slitaz images and they all seem to work well from the live cd. I am very familiar with Mint, and the only version small enough for a cd would be Mint 12 lxde.
My question is would it be a good idea to install it (Mint 12) to the laptop, as support ends soon. I figure it's a well sorted distro, and shouldn't give any bother for my mother to use.
Or go with lubuntu, or SliTaz? I've decided it would be a good idea to get rid of XP anyway, as it is filling up the hard drive, and then that would release the whole hd to the new os (whichever I choose)
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Re: Using old laptop [Solved]

Postby passerby on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:34 am

That would work. If you install mint 12 lxde from cd you could then point the repos to 13 or 14 and attempt an upgrade, if you wanted, but given your internet speed that might take a while, and it certainly isn't as clean.
I think downloading lubuntu then grabbing whatever mint packages you want would be the fastest, easiest and cleanest method.
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Re: Re-Using old laptop [Almost Solved]

Postby excollier on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:41 am

Reading your reply there, do you think Lubuntu would be the better option,(as opposed to Mint 12) it is based on Ubuntu 12.10, and is lxde too?
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Re: Re-Using old laptop [Almost Solved]

Postby daveinuk on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:43 am

This might be worth a go . .. . mint 13 on a CD . . . . . . . extra packages need installing after as per the post. Might be worth a crack . . . . :)

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=103449
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Re: Re-Using old laptop [Almost Solved]

Postby excollier on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:50 am

I'll take a look, thanks, but for seeding, my upload speed is pitiful.
No seeds online, never mind.
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Re: Re-Using old laptop [Almost Solved]

Postby passerby on Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:38 am

Yes, I think you'd be better off installing lubuntu 12.04 or 12.10, then pointing the repos to mint and turning it into mint 13 or 14.
I'm sure mint 12 would suffice in regards to functionality, but the misc bug fixes and security updates should never be overlooked.
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Re: Re-Using old laptop [Almost Solved]

Postby usbtux on Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:24 pm

1. download and burn the plop boot manager to CD.

2. using image writer/unetbootin burn your mint13 xfce/mate DVD to a usb.

3. Boot with plop point to the Mint usb

4 . Install MINT13
http://goo.gl/DXKgM LinuxMint tutorials.
Running LinuxMint 17 Cinnamon/KDE/XFCE
http://goo.gl/WFu0u Installing Mint - the screen cast videos.
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Re: Re-Using old laptop [Almost Solved]

Postby excollier on Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:03 pm

I finally had to install Mint 12, Lubuntu wiped XP, and the proceeded to hang part way through the install process, just stopped. I made thre attempts, but no go. I was panicking in case I had bricked a good computer!
Mint 12 went ahead and installed with no hitches, even though the install menus are identical to Lubuntu.
So that's the state of play, a Mint 12 laptop, all updated and running well.
By the way Plop doesn't explain how to install or use it, very confusing.
Has anyone heard of or used Slitaz linux? The live cd worked well for me.
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