Erase Windows XP from an old laptop and load Ubuntu linux.
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When you insert the Ubuntu disk you should boot into a live desktop (running directly from CD) with an installer icon on the desktop click on it and a wizard will take you though the installation to the Hard disk. There should be an option to use the entire disk (The last Ubuntu I installed was 8.04 so if I'm wrong about this someone please correct me) Select this and except defaults they will work fine for most systems.
Use the Live CD first to play around just keep in mind that running from a CD is much slower than an HDD.
You also say that you are using an "old" laptop and Ubuntu is a heavy weight distro although if it used to run XP fine I can't imagine much of a problem but if your looking to get a super light OS you can do better maybe Xubuntu.
If you post stats and what you want out of the system (CPU, RAM, HD etc) we may be able to give more advice
Just a reminder that when Ubuntu reformats your disk that is the end of that windows instation. You can reinstall windows but you wont be able to get your documents and settings back. So Backup anything you dont want/can't afford to lose This is genral advice for when doing any thing with a system containing important data.
Thanks for the information. My laptop is a 10-year old Dell Inspiron, with Intel Pentium lll, Mobile Cpu 866MHz, 863Mhz, 256 MB of RAM. The Linux distribution I have is Ubuntu 8.04 LTS DVD.
"Thanks for the information. My laptop is a 10-year old Dell Inspiron, with Intel Pentium lll, Mobile Cpu 866MHz, 863Mhz, 256 MB of RAM. The Linux distribution I have is Ubuntu 8.04 LTS DVD.
As expected most current linuxes require higher memory capability: this old one may not install just any linux of today. However there is a minimalist distro based on slackware, it is intended to be backward compatible yet fully equipped for every basic applications expected today. Try Absolute Linux 13.03, you can download an ISO installer from here. There is enough documentation included in the CD, you can also browse the home site before installation click this.
BTW, I found it safer and more time-saving if I use torrent in downloading an iso, there is lesser chance of image copying error. Try this torrent link. Version 12.2 is lighter, proven stable and has more package available as of this time. For Absolute Linux usually the Open Office installer is found in the CD2.
Hope it helps.
Last edited by malekmustaq; 11-18-2009 at 11:17 AM.
It may be worth checking out a lighter distro on the system
Puppy Linux - I've only had experience with the live version but worth a check out
Crunchbang - Based on ubuntu but with a lighter (openbox) window manager.
Xubuntu - A version of Ubuntu comes with XFCE Desktop probably a bit heavier than crunchbang I have had experience with this but not on a machine of your spec and really liked it
Zenwalk - Based on Gentoo but more user friendly still not in the same league as Ubuntu.
Slackware - Again harder but the wealth of configuration means that it will run on almost any (x86) system out there today. Also possible the best way to learn pure GNU/Linux short of LFS
Gentoo - Like Slackware a little harder to install and configure than the mainstream distros but can run really fast on old hardware.
Hope this list helps it is in no way exhaustive but its a selection of distros that I like or sound to me like they have potential in this area.
The distro you want depends on what you want the system for the above ones all work well as desktops but if you want it for a specific task then it may be worth ding a bit more research.
To install from CD/DVD
Boot into bios and ensure your boot device is the CD/DVD drive.
Boot from CD/DVD into the installation wizard or onto the live desktop and select the installation wizard.
click though wizard you will be asked to set date, time, language, keyboard etc..
As well as the above you will be asked to create a partition table If there is a default select it otherwise you will want something like this
swap, Linux swap, 512MB - this should usually be double your RAM but depends what you are doing with the machine. It does the same as the page file in windows.
/, ext3, bootable 5GB ~ 20GB - this is your root partition where program files are stored as well as Linux. Its also where the boot loader resides.
/home, ext3, all remaining space - think my documents.
If an alternate set up is recommended take it. If a NTFS or FAT32 files system is in the partition table delete it to get rid of windows.
You will then be asked to set a root password (dont forget it) and a username and password for yourself - Ubuntu is diffrent and will not ask for root
Allow wizard to continue then reboot into your fresh Linux box.
Note these are general installation tips for more specific try the distro website or just play around with it till it works if you break it at this stage you can always reinstall. Just make sure you back up
Thanks again for all the info. I've had so much trouble with the Dell Laptop, so I decided to try an old HP Pavilion 7845. Linux crashed many times while trying to install. From the info you gave me, I checked, and there is insufficient memory for Linux on the Pavilion computer. There are 2 128 MB memory sticks and Linux needs 300 + MB. I purchase 2 256MB Mushkin sticks from Newegg and Linux still won't install. I went into the bios and it says I have 2 128 MB sticks - 256MB Total memory. I tried each one individually switching back and forth between the slots, etc. and bios still tells me I only have 256MB total with the 2 256MB sticksk installed. I thought maybe the memory sticks are mislabled, so I talked to the people at Mushkin. They said to ship the memory sticks to them and they will replace. That was about 10 days ago. I expect to receive the replaced sticks soon and will try again.
Just wondering if anyone has had a similar problem. I don't see how it could be a computer malfunction. I went online and collected all the specs for this particular Pavilion, and it will handle 512MB according to the specs.