I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

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davonuk
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I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by davonuk »

Someone has given me an old Laptop, currently running Windows XP and I had hoped to replace this with Linux Mint.
The laptop runs, very slowly. Even simple operations on Windows seemed to take ages and there wasn't much software running in the background to slow it down.

Looking at the old machine, I see it has a CD drive, not a DVD drive and it appears this may be damaged is it struggled to read a regular CD.
The device has one USB port, and as I already had a32 bit Mint installation prepared on a bootable memory stick, I thought I could install that way.
However: looking at the BIOS, the option to boot from USB stick is not available. I even set the hard drive as the last boot option with all other possibilities booting before it, and it still failed to find the stick and booted back into Windows.

The USB port works, as does the stick as the system can see the files on the stick when the system is running.

What other options are available to me?

I don't have an external DVD drive so that eliminates one choice
I am not sure if the hard drive is transferrable to any of my other computers and I am sure I read somewhere it only has a 20G capacity.

To see how old the machine is, you could take the CD drive out and insert a floppy disk drive (also supplied) and it still uses parallel and serial ports.
I do have a more modern laptop which uses Mint 18 as its sole OS and it runs perfectly.

Can I get Mint on that system or have I been lumbered with a large, electronic doorstop?

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richyrich
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by richyrich »

The iso of VectorLinux "Standard" Xfce fits onto a CD. :) , Fast, stable, and extremely reliable (from personal experience). They also have a full featured "Light" version with IceWM/Fluxbox, I haven't tried that one yet.

Welcome to VectorLinux
Hardware Requirements:

Standard Edition: Pentium 200 or better, 96MB RAM, 2.1GB hard drive space for system only, more for your data.

SOHO Edition: Pentium 750 or better, 512MB RAM minimum, 5GB hard drive space for system only, more for your data, video and monitor capable of 1024x768 resolution at 24 bits color.

Light Edition: Pentium 166 or better, 64MB RAM minimum, 1.8GB hard drive space for full system - more for your data.

Live Editions: Pentium 750 or better, 256MB RAM minimum, video and monitor capable of 1024x768 resolution at 24 bits colour. For the Beryl version you will need a modern video card.

davonuk
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by davonuk »

Thanks for the suggestion, but this machine advertises itself as not much better than a P100 so it doesn't meet the minimum spec.
Again, I don't think the CD drive works.

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richyrich
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by richyrich »

I've got an old Dell Pentium II 266 with 64 mb ram that I'm going to try installing the Light version.

davonuk
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by davonuk »

Well, I hope your installation efforts prove to be more productive than mine.

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jimallyn
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by jimallyn »

antiX or Puppy might run on that.
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Derek_S
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by Derek_S »

Hello davonuk - What exactly are your machine's specs?

1.) Size of the hard drive - You mentioned 20GB. Are you sure of this?

2.) Memory - KDE requires 2GB minimum. With Cinnamon and MATE, you need 1GB minimum. If you have just 512MB of memory, I strongly suggest trying XFCE. If you have anything less than 512MB, you should consider looking elsewhere.

3.) Processor - I thought I read somewhere that the minimum recommended processor speed for Mint is 1GHz (but now I can't find it :oops:), while Ubuntu recommends 700MHz or higher. It looks like you might have a bit of leeway here, just don't expect blazing speed below 1GHz.
"Truth is becoming rarer and rarer as time passes. It is only a matter of time before it will cease to exist."

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eatenimpinia
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by eatenimpinia »

davonuk wrote:...looking at the BIOS, the option to boot from USB stick is not available. I even set the hard drive as the last boot option with all other possibilities booting before it, and it still failed to find the stick and booted back into Windows.
I just installed onto a similar Dell laptop last week. To get it to boot from the USB Flash Drive, I had to enter the BIOS, select the Hard Drive option in the Boot tab so it expands, and move the Flash Drive to the top of that sub-area. Save and Quit the BIOS and it should boot from that Flash Drive.

EDIT: IOW, it's grouping Flash Drives in the Hard Drive area.

EDIT 2: oh, poo. It wasn't a Dell. But, it's worth trying, anyway.
Distro: (back to) Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa, Kernel: 4.4.0-51-generic x86_64 (64 bit), Desktop: Cinnamon 2.8.8

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jimallyn
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by jimallyn »

If the BIOS doesn't support booting from USB, there is a program called PLOP that will get around that.

https://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagers.html

Where there's a will, there's a way. Um, usually.
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“If the government were coming for your TVs and cars, then you'd be upset. But, as it is, they're only coming for your sons.” - Daniel Berrigan

davonuk
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by davonuk »

Well I managed to boot via USB stick using the plop utility
The display when loading up was not perfect though, and when it got to the screen where it says 'mini will login in 10 seconds', it hung at '8' and didn't get any further.

I was trying to boot into a live version of Mint 18 Cinnamon (32 bit) on my stick.
I wonder if another version would have better results or if the laptop is just too old.
It is only a P100.

Maybe I should see if it'll install lubuntu

Mute Ant
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by Mute Ant »

"Mint 18 Cinnamon" Fruitcake and Bonkers have a job vacancy for you. The real P100 was a 1992 chip, ten years before XP arrived and pre-dating USB and the whole GUI scene. Anyway, no PAE = no Mint. Give it a chance with something lightweight, or find a door you need to hold open.
While you're waiting, read the free novel we sent you. It's a Spanish story about a guy named "manual".

davonuk
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by davonuk »

Lubuntu didn't work either.

It's official, now to find a door that needs holding open.

darry1966
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by darry1966 »

Hello davonuk,

Try this distro it is an updated Puppy Linux 4 fork build it up from a basic iso may run on your machine

https://sourceforge.net/projects/anitaos/

Raptor
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by Raptor »

i cant sayh for shore on this model and it might of had a bios upgrade which would explane the difference from the last, when you boot up press F12 it might bring up a boot sequence list usb. hope this helps

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jimallyn
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Re: I hoped to install on an old Dell laptop

Post by jimallyn »

Does that computer have a model number on it somewhere?
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“If the government were coming for your TVs and cars, then you'd be upset. But, as it is, they're only coming for your sons.” - Daniel Berrigan

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