LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Linux Power User Bundle
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 10-29-2009, 11:52 AM   #1
scout321x
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2009
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: 0
Replacing Windows Me on an HP notebook...


A friend of mine has an HP notebook that had Windows Me on it. He had never updated his AV definitions so eventually it got so infected that when I got him to install a new AV and do a scan he lost so many systems files that it would no longer boot. He cannot find his Windows CD either.

Neither of us knows anything at all about Linux. And he is only slightly knowledgeable about Windows and he has asked for my help in replacing his WinMe OS.

I see that Linux comes in many many flavors and I do not know how to begin to discover what version to recommend to him.

The HP has 256MB of RAM, a USB port, an internal CD/DVD read-only drive and a 20 GB (if I remember correctly) internal HDD. He only wants to browse the web, get email and pay some bills at his bank while he saves up to get his Mac notebook repaired. Seems the HDD in it went south.

So the questions begin:

1. What version should we install on his HP?
2. I have recommended he use Firefox and Thunderbird for his browser and email client. Will these programs run on Linux OK?
3. I have also recommended he use Open Office (since it is free) from Sun to replace his lost version of MS Word 2003. Will OO run OK on Linux?
4. Where might we source the version of Linux that hopefully you folks will recommend?

Thanks

Doug
 
Old 10-29-2009, 12:09 PM   #2
pixellany
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738
Welcome to LQ!!

There are many versions of Linux that should work well on that laptop. You can just about pick anything in the top ten on the "hit list" at http://distrowatch.com

All the SW you mention is pretty much standard on most distros.

Good luck!!
 
Old 10-29-2009, 12:11 PM   #3
David the H.
Bash Guru
 
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Osaka, Japan
Distribution: Debian sid + kde 3.5 & 4.4
Posts: 6,823

Rep: Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959Reputation: 1959
Check out the DistroWatch top ten page for a rundown of the most popular distributions. These days Ubuntu seems to be the recommended choice for most beginners. Since the memory of the system is a little low, you might consider using the xubuntu variant.

Just follow the links to the distro home page of your choice, where you can download the installers you need. If the distro has a live CD version you might consider trying it first; as it's good for testing hardware compatibility. The Ubuntu install disk also acts as a live CD, for example.

As for your other questions, yes, the programs you mentioned all run just fine on Linux. Most distros either offer them by default, or let you easily install them.

Last edited by David the H.; 10-29-2009 at 12:13 PM.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #4
scout321x
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2009
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thumbs up

Thanks for the quick replies! I now have reading to do. I will return with the results when we have something to report.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
jefro
Moderator
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 16,346

Rep: Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376Reputation: 2376
The 256 meg is the issue that will stop most choices.

Look for lightweight or low resource or low memory type of distros.

Best to try live cd's if you can to get an idea about them.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 04:47 PM   #6
jmc1987
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2009
Location: Oklahoma
Distribution: Debian, CentOS, windows 7/10
Posts: 879

Rep: Reputation: 113Reputation: 113
You might want to stick with minimal installs and install what you need since you only have 256 ram. You can try something like DSL (Damn Small Linux) to get the feel. Its a live CD.
 
Old 10-30-2009, 10:09 AM   #7
pixellany
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738
The 256 RAM does not limit what you can install--it limits what you can RUN...

There are many thing that affect how much RAM is used---eg the choice of Desktop/Window Manager.

We haven't discussed adding some RAM. If the machine will support it, an upgrade to 512M of RAM will make a HUGE difference.

Last edited by pixellany; 10-31-2009 at 07:59 AM. Reason: typo
 
Old 11-05-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
scout321x
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2009
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Progress? Maybe...

I "exercised" some of the hardware with some XP utilities that I have and it seemed to work OK. So now the owner is willing to finance an upgrade of the RAM.

Next we need to locate Linux compatible drivers for it. So far HP isn't much help. It is an Pavilion N5420L-F2404M notebook. Below is a partial list of important hardware:

BIOS: Phoenix 4.0 release 6.0 revision GC.M1.63
HDD: IBM-DJSA-210 10 GB
CPU:Intel Celeron 800MHz
Toshiba CD/DVD reader
2 USB ports
dialup modem of unknown spec
FDD
touchpad
VGA port
PCI card reader

I was unable to discover anything about the video adapter or monitor.
It has a speaker/headset port so it must have some kind of audio card.

The original CD's have long since disappeared and the owner has almost no remembrance of the internal stuff. He is NOT very savvy computers or he wouldn't have assumed that just installing an AV but never updating it or scanning was all he needed to do. That is how his Me OS got so infected it would no longer boot.

Any and all help is very much appreciated. He is a good friend but I am trying to avoid becoming expert in all things for this PC resurrection.

Doug

Last edited by scout321x; 11-05-2009 at 01:49 PM.
 
Old 11-05-2009, 04:07 PM   #9
exvor
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Distribution: Gentoo, LFS, Debian,Ubuntu
Posts: 1,537

Rep: Reputation: 87
Unlike windows when you install a Linux distro it will most likely detect and make all the hardware work fine. So no driver searching will be needed I thinks. You might wanna try Mephis I used it on a laptop not too long ago and it seams to be a bit leaner then some of the others. Or you could use one of the mainstream like ubuntu and use XFCE or something similar. I would recommend using ICEWM but that requires a bit of fiddling that I wouldn't drop a newbie into.

Last edited by exvor; 11-05-2009 at 04:08 PM. Reason: its mephis not memphis silly spellcheck
 
Old 11-05-2009, 04:30 PM   #10
mrrangerman
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: MI
Distribution: Debian Slackware
Posts: 528

Rep: Reputation: 50
From what I have found the video is a S3 if you put windows on it I would recommend win98 before winME any day. HERE is a link to the driver page.
 
Old 11-19-2009, 12:46 PM   #11
scout321x
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2009
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks again for the past help!

I tired DSL but it didn't seem to be capable enough (snap judgment on my part I admit) so I ordered Mepis. Remember all this is a favor I'm doing for a friend. And please be aware that I am virtually in the dark about Linux (I'm a retired big system IT guy and I was also fairly knowledgeable about DOS until I gave it up for Win98SE about 12 years ago then I moved on to XP Pro about 5 years). But this Linux seem way more complicated than I anticipated although not as bad as writing code in octal like when I started in 1962.

Anyway, the subject PC, again, is an HP Pavilion N5420L notebook that has an ESS ES1989 combo audio/Allegro modem chip that turns out to be a WinModen and it appears Linux isn't into WinModems. At least Mepis "sees" the USB ports where my copy of 98SE didn't.

So I suspect my buddy is looking at buying a ~$50 USB modem like my Zoom that I bought for my MSi U123 netbook. However, when I look at my modem CD for Linux there are three different install files. One with an extension of .deb, another with .rpm and a third with .tar.gz. Plus the newest versions of Firefox and Thunderbird that I downloaded from Mozilla also have strange (to me anyway) extensions of .tar.bz2 for FF and .tar.gz for TB.

So far I have been unable to discover how to install new software into Mepis or replace existing (in this case FF) software already in Mepis.

Will we be able to use a USB modem in Mepis?

Is there some fairly "easy" way to add the modem software?

Is there a fairly "easy" way to update the versions of Firefox ans OpenOffice that come with Mepis?

And am I asking these questions in the right place?

Doug

Apparently not, I'll go elsewhere. Judging buy the number of newbie Q's insuch a short amount of I'm not sure Linux is appropriate.

Last edited by scout321x; 11-20-2009 at 03:16 PM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Replacing a Windows Domain Controller with a Linux:OpenLDAP importing from Windows AD mstevensfullarmor Linux - Enterprise 14 02-15-2012 06:05 PM
Need help replacing Windows XP on my comp firefork Linux - Newbie 7 12-03-2004 06:36 PM
Replacing KDE 3.1 with windows Name_Pending General 11 02-11-2004 11:12 PM
Replacing a windows nt server??? mrnikeswsh Linux - Networking 6 12-04-2003 06:01 PM
Replacing Windows AND Novell? westdf Linux - Software 5 05-14-2003 08:55 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:58 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration