Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Linux as an option for old WinXP laptop?


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Julia.G

Julia.G

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts

Hi everyone,

 

I have an old laptop (circa 2003, maybe), and it's still in relatively good shape, but trying to use it is almost painful (it's so slow!). It's an Acer TravelMate 290, with a 40Gb HDD and 240Mb of RAM (or so it says under system properties). It runs Windows XP right now (or more like 'walks' Windows XP), but a friend suggested that maybe I could still use it if I tried a different OS.

 

I have to admit I wasn't sure if I should post this here or in the Windows XP forum, but I just assumed if there is any hope at all of getting this laptop to be useful in some way, my best bet is some form of Linux.

 

I thought about installing Ubuntu myself, but then I ran into so many issues that I figured I was in way over my head, and needed an expert to help me figure out if there's any way to do it. So here is my list of problems:

 

- The CD Drive is broken, so I can't boot from a CD or DVD.

- There are 2 USB ports, but the BIOS doesn't have an option to boot from them. I even tried updating it to the last version they ever released, but it's still not there. I can only choose between HDD, CD-ROM, 'Diskette A', and PXE LAN.

- There are 3 partitions on the disk, but WinXP apparently doesn't have a Shrink/Resize option, so I don't know how to go about changing the partitions. Also, the Windows partition is like 30Gb, the "data" partition is 9Gb (and looks like it's empty, but when you click on it, it says it's only ~90% free space...), and there's a teeny tiny one which I can't access, with Acer stuff.

 

I read about installing Ubuntu from inside Windows alongside it, but I'm not sure that's such a good option since the computer is already so slow. I wouldn't be opposed to having only some form of Linux on this PC, or even to a clean install of WinXP after formatting the hard drive, but I'm a newbie and have no idea how to go about that without booting from a CD or USB stick. Everything I read so far seems very complicated and I'm afraid I'll make the computer even worse. 

 

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

 


  • 0

Advertisements


#2
Dave46

Dave46

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 381 posts

Hi Julia !   I have a Toshiba laptop about the same age with XP on it.  I downloaded Ubuntu in Windows to the HD and installed it as a dual boot system.

 

Ubuntu makes it easy to install and gives you options along the way.  I don't notice a big speed improvement with mine. If you are used to Win 7 or 8 it

 

will still seem slow.  I put it on as a learning experience to see how Linux operates.  I don't know what you plan to use it for but I don't think you'll see

 

a big speed improvement.  You could always add more RAM, but with the age of the machine, it probably isn't worth it.


  • 0

#3
Julia.G

Julia.G

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts

Yeah, I read that was an option, although I'm sad to hear it didn't speed it up. Maybe that's an issue with side-by-side installation? Did you use Wubi for that? Do you know if there's a way to completely substitute my original OS for Ubuntu once it's installed side by side?


  • 0

#4
Dave46

Dave46

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 381 posts

Hi Julia,

 

Ubuntu has an installation program that does the partition and installation. When you do a side by side install only one OS is active at a time.

 

When you boot up you are given a choice of XP or Ubuntu.  Ubuntu is the default and it will start after 10 - 15 sec. if you don't select XP.

 

I've played with Puppy Linux on that XP machine and it is faster but lacks some of the features of Ubuntu.  I was running Puppy off a CD

 

so it would be even faster installed on the HD.  My Toshiba has a 50 GB HD and 500 MB ram.

 

 

I re-read your original post and you may be out of luck without a DVD or USB.  Here is a walk through of Ubuntu installation.

 

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/install-ubuntu-desktop 

 

If you can get your computer to recognize an external CD/DVD player you may be able to go that route.


Edited by Dave46, 06 September 2014 - 06:29 AM.

  • 0

#5
Julia.G

Julia.G

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts

Hi guys,

 

Thanks for all the ideas! :) I'll test those out as soon as I have some extra time on my hands! Let's see what happens!


  • 0

#6
Arklelinuke

Arklelinuke

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts

SliTaz works very well on 128 mb of ram or more, as well, and is surprisingly full featured to run completely off the ram.


  • 0

#7
reach1

reach1

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts

There are ways to install ubuntu with out a cd or usb from the internet. I have not done this my self but here is the link for server and network installations.

 

https://help.ubuntu....ty/Installation


  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP