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Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

Old 09-14-11, 01:37 AM
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Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

I have a hand-me-down Dell Inspiron laptop with a 450 MHz P3 chip, 5 GB HD and 128 MB of RAM. Obviously not optimal specs for a modern OS, but I figure it should be able to run Windows 2000 or a lite Linux distribution.

I am looking for an optimal OS to install on the system. I will be using the laptop mostly for web browsing (including Facebook), word processing and viewing the occasional video file (most like .avi). FWIW, I am willing to wipe the drive to install an ext file system if needed. If it makes any difference, I also have a wireless B PCMIA card by Linksys that I will use for the networking signal.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Many thanks,
TAPN
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Old 09-14-11, 02:02 AM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

it is going to be slow. I'd recommend xp, it has some support still,heck my pc at work is on it.
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Old 09-14-11, 02:38 AM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

XP would be fine if the thing had more RAM. After a few service packs, XP really needs more than 128MB RAM. I kept trying to get keep dad's old K6-2 550mhz system running on XP but it became too much hassle..a few taskbar programs and it grinds to a halt. Maybe an Nlited version of XP if you really strip it down?

I'd say Ubuntu, but that seems a little light on specs even for Ubuntu. Maybe Fedora or something?
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Old 09-14-11, 07:25 AM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

Puppy Linux may work, but I can't find minimum specs:
http://www.puppylinux.com/

Lubuntu claims to be able to run on 128MB of RAM:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu#System_requirements

ConnochaetOS claims to work with only 64MB of RAM:
http://www.connochaetos.org/wiki/

Tiny Core Linux is only 10MB in size total, so it should be able to run with 128MB of RAM:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_Core_Linux


In any case, I'd use an up-to-date light version of Linux instead of out-of-date Windows 2000, which is vulnerable to a number of known security exploits.
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Old 09-14-11, 08:24 AM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

I've just installed Lubuntu on an older laptop of mine and it runs pretty well.
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Old 09-16-11, 03:48 AM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

One word: UPGRADE THE HARD DRIVE. Get at least a 30 Gb or better, which would be an older ATA drive you can get anywhere for almost nothing. The existant drive will be a nightmare and a total pain in the ass with so little space.
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Old 09-16-11, 07:41 AM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

you don't have an ipod? it's probably a lot faster
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Old 09-16-11, 08:39 AM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

Originally Posted by TheAllPurposeNothing View Post
I have a hand-me-down Dell Inspiron laptop with a 450 MHz P3 chip, 5 GB HD and 128 MB of RAM.
Scrap it and get something with better specs or do what Jay G. suggested and run a light linux (if you are desperate)

IIRC that model is from 1999 - XP was released in 2001

You are really in the windows 95/98/ME era, yuck and as stated, serious security problems.

It might be possible to run NT 4 on it (barely) but it would still be slow and would be vulnerable to at least 200 security issues that were never patched (officially at least) by MS.


I have seen 'refurb' latitude laptops from DFS going in the low $200's that can run windows 7 and have a 100 day warranty. I have also seen NEW laptops in the mid $300's that COME with windows 7 and a 1 year warranty.

The old junk just isn't worth saving anymore.
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Old 09-16-11, 11:45 AM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

Dos
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Old 09-16-11, 12:27 PM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

Personally, I'd go with Windows 2000 (omg!) - use Firefox (never IE5/6) and only use the system behind a router that has a firewall.

Do get all the windows updates for it, extended support did end last year. Easiest way is to get the ISO, nlite, slipstream SP4, then get the onepiece update pack from the RyanVM forum.

But if you are the type who gets viruses all the time, even on win7, then maybe try Linux.
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Old 09-16-11, 01:02 PM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

Those specs are pretty brutal. I suspect using that thing will be more hassle than its worth no matter what OS you try to put on it. My recommendation would be to chuck that thing and get a laptop with better specs from Craigslist. You should be able to get one that would run Linux Mint 11 LXDE for less than $100.
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Old 09-16-11, 10:47 PM
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Re: Seeking suggestions for OS for an old laptop

Yeah, I wonder if that CPU is even fast enough to play videos. I think a 600Mhz PIII was around the minimum to play DVDs without hardware assistance back in the day, and today's videos use more demanding codecs.
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