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!