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Old 11-14-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
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Unsuccessful install on legacy hardware

I recently acquired a Dell Dimension XPS T450. The owner was going to throw it away because it was old and she said it had at least one virus. So I've been trying to install any version of Linux (that will take) over top of the existing OS. I've been trying different ones because each time I've tried it, the process gets as far as the screen you see when the OS is loading (essentially just the name of the OS, whether it's Mint, Ubuntu, or Pardus, and a progress bar)and gets stuck.

Has this happened to anyone else?
I'm thinking maybe there is a step I've missed in this whole process.
Old 11-14-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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Have you tried Antix or Knoppix if either runs on it?

T450 @ 500Mhz/100Mhz 256 (or 128) Mb RAM. You can build linux on it this is your guide. If Gnu/Linux run in a diskett why not in T450. Take the challenge.

Has this happened to anyone else?
It happened to me over an old 766Mhz/128Mb machine but still I was able to install Absolute Linux V. 12.2!

Good luck.

Last edited by malekmustaq; 11-14-2012 at 10:54 PM.
Old 11-15-2012, 01:18 AM   #3
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Hi, travix!

May I also recommend Alpine Linux in your case? When I decided to revive an old 800 MHz pc (unfortunately not an Intel or AMD but a VIA one!) I ran into trouble as well. I couldn't get Arch or Gentoo started, Lubuntu didn't even display the language selection...

Thanks to Alpine that pc is now working fine again (except for Xorg; however that is not the distros fault but a problem with the problematic graphics chip).

Compared to the mentioned AntiX it's extremely frugal when it comes to ressource usage. You don't need several GB of disk space - much less is needed for a base install. And it could also be interesting for you since it can run a full-blown desktop (Xfce!) with about 40 (!) MB of RAM - honestly. You could actually work with a real desktop environment on a 64 MB system (if you don't consider firefox and tabbed browing a must! )

In general this OS is meant for embedded systems and such but it can also be used as a desktop system. I especially found package management very pleasant and in general it works fine for me without any unnecessary bloat. Thanks to many scripts it's also nice to work with.

Of course there are a few downsides of it. The biggest one probably the fact that there are not too many packages available. If KDE or any Qt applications is a must for you, you're lost. Also building your own packages (with an excellent building system!) can in certain cases be problematic due to the fact that it's not build against the standard glibc but the tiny µclibc library.

If you can live with that, all should be well. Also if you just want to find anything that might be able to ressurrect your box, this distro could do the trick.

Whatever you choose in the end: Please post once more here what distro you got working. I'm interested in Linux on old pcs in general and would like to hear of your experiment again.

Have fun!
Old 11-15-2012, 02:14 AM   #4
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Dell Dimension XPS T450....ancient PIII-450. How much RAM have you got?

Ubuntu and Mint require a fair bit of RAM to run in LiveCD mode or even install (512MB IIRC).

I'd probably junk a system that old if you've got a system running win7.
Old 11-15-2012, 03:26 AM   #5
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I had similar issues when I tried to install Debian on a very old computer (Pentium II actually, older than yours). I had issues finding an appropriate kernel for such an oldie. It turned out that Slackware was the only distro I tried which was installed without any problem. Slackware is not exactly the most friendly distribution ever, but it's not that hard anyway. Maybe it is worth a try. And yes, this oldie is still working today with fluxbox as a window manager, and serves well as a downloading machine.

Last edited by Pap; 11-15-2012 at 03:28 AM.
Old 11-15-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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You've got a Pentium III, which is fine. The question is how much memory you have. The basic model had 64MB and, although AntiX (and other things) will install on that, the problem is finding software you can run. With 64MB, you couldn't get a web browser that could cope with this site, for instance. But if it has 128MB, then put AntiX on it and it'll be fine.
Old 11-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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I recommend recycling it unless you are very short of cash and a pentium 3 is your absolute only hardware option. If you are relatively new to Linux, then install on capable modern hardware and have a fast, easy, stable operating system. That's my vote.


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