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Old 01-09-2015, 12:08 PM   #1
rmknox
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old dell computer


My friend has an old Dell computer with a failed disk. I don't know much about Microsoft - maybe someone can help me.
He has a sticker - Microsoft - XP Pro - and a product key.

He does not have a distribution cd so he cant install a fresh hard drive.

1)Is there a way he can get a distribution cd from dell or Microsoft based on that product key?


2) I tried to boot my fedora 17 32 bit cd - merely displays a line of comments from the cd and does not boot. Do they do something to dell computers to make them locked to Microsoft?
 
Old 01-09-2015, 12:30 PM   #2
Teufel
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1. If Windows key id valid, you could download and install evaluation version and activate it with this key.
2. Dell doesn't locked to Windows. Just Fedora lacks of support for old hardware or you can't boot it properly. May be it worth to try different kernel options to get it booted. Depends on what a messages do you have at boot.
 
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:35 PM   #3
haertig
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Many suppliers, but I don't know about Dell specifically, install a special partition on their system's hard drives which contains a means to make a set of "restore disks". This data can be burned to a set of DVD's and used to recreate the system as it was initially supplied from the factory, cramware, advertisements, and all. I have only used the manufacturers supplied software app to create these disk sets. If present, you'd have to search for where this app is installed.

However, if the problem is that the hard disk has failed, it's going to be difficult to create a set of restore DVD's from that failed hard drive. You're supposed to do that BEFORE the drive fails. If the drive is indeed toast, I'd say it's time to move your friend to Linux. Windows XP is no longer supported anyway, so that would not be a good choice for your friend to use for their OS these days.
 
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:51 PM   #4
veerain
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Try using a old debian disc.
 
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:53 PM   #5
haertig
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I have an old Dell, very old, that originally came with Windows 2000 on it. Gosh, maybe it even came with Windows 98 initially installed, I can't remember. It is so old that it had one of the original Pentium CPU's in it, before they even came up with the idea of multiple cores. Is it a "Pentium III" possibly? It ran LinuxMint 13 Xfce when I did a test. Installed perfectly. I don't use that computer because I have better options available, but I know LinuxMint 13 installed and ran on it when I did that test, albeit not with the speed I wanted. You might just need to try some other, preferably lighter, distro than Fedora.

Last edited by haertig; 01-09-2015 at 01:54 PM.
 
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:05 PM   #6
rtmistler
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My son had an old Dell and they "claimed" that the recovery/restore disk was included with the system when purchased. I'm eerily remembering the logistics of it, something like I had to SWEAR in writing that I destroyed, lost, or had stolen from me that disk so that I could have the privilege of purchasing a new one. It also involved exchange of written information either via the mail or some other process that took a few days/weeks. Like once I signed, they had to formally enter that information and give me a status change so that it would be possible for me to make the purchase.

Obnoxious beyond belief. I had my kid just saying he wanted the computer back to the way it came and that limited me from just putting Linux on it. Now recalling the other issue was the hard drive failed completely so I replaced that, thus losing/invalidating any existing Windows key or whatever.

In the end, the drive was maybe $30, the replacement install CD was under $20.

I think the other part is once the computer is sufficiently old, you're no longer dealing with normal support, you end up being classified differently.

I'd say "just $0.02" but this is all really more like $10 worth!

So THAT's the answer to #1 and you CAN'T go to Microsoft. Well, you can try, I'm betting you'll have a really hard time.

For #2. No they don't do stuff to lock them to Microsoft, I'd post the EXACT system model and specs either here or in a new thread asking if anyone has recommendations for a Linux distribution to run on that machine. I've found Dell's to be "interesting" because IMHO they buy large quantities of components and thus if they have some part of the system which doesn't have a mainstream driver, then you'll have problems and that's where the system model-based experiences of others will come in handy. Otherwise you should try 2, 3, or 4 of the most common Linux desktop distros. Mint and Mint Debian will cover Debian as well as Ubuntu, with Debian also covering many other distributions.

Another set of thoughts are two-sided. (1) consider the date of manufacture of that Dell, and then seek out older versions of Linux distributions which were within 1-3 years of the release of that Dell. (2) considering that last thought, it's valid to try current distributions always just be aware that the newer distributions will be more current software and run, but you may encounter driver problems due to my thoughts about Dell specific hardware choices.

My case in point, not relevant to Dell, just Intel ATOM systems. I have one which runs Ubuntu and also standard MINT, but has problems with things like the WIFI driver and the sound. Meanwhile when I loaded MINT Debian, all worked like a charm.

Perhaps you also can boot off of USB versus off of a CD/DVD.
 
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:31 PM   #7
John VV
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Quote:
1)Is there a way he can get a distribution cd from dell or Microsoft based on that product key?
NO
xp is DEAD Microsoft will not even allow you to register ti if you reinstall with a disk ( if you had one)
R.I.P XP is DEAD!!!!

Quote:

2) I tried to boot my fedora 17 32 bit cd - merely displays a line of comments from the cd and does not boot. Do they do something to dell computers to make them locked to Microsoft?
fedora 17 is also DEAD
and so is fedora 18 and fedora 19
DO NOT USE !!!!

for a old 2001 era computer
CentOS 5.12 will support the hardware
it is the LEGACY hardware operating system

now
i do have ScientificLinux 6.6 on a dell from 2001
but i have to hack the OS to support the OLD and UNSUPPORTED hardware in it


however i really would not have a NEW / NEVER USED linux person try to use RHEL/CentOS/SL 5.12

but it is an option

rhel5.12 WILL run fine on a p4 with 512 meg of ram
 
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:49 PM   #8
rtmistler
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At what point do you "give up" and just buy a current processor/hardware solution. What's a barebones desktop or laptop cost these days? I got a Linux ATOM netbook for under $200. We bought one of those Acer ATOM tiny boys for about $100. And ATOM's are no longer new.

Just took a brief soiree into Tiger direct. Mostly you can get a current CPU barebones system for under $200 and have 1TB drive with 4G RAM.

Not saying $200 is some drop in the bucket, but over the years, we all accumulate monitors, keyboards, mice, etc and secondary/external hard drives. Plus one's time to deal with older hardware is something to account for over just a day or so of install and run for more than a few years hassle free.
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:30 AM   #9
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmknox View Post
My friend has an old Dell computer with a failed disk.
When you say a failed disk, what exactly has happened? If the HD is dead, as opposed to the filing system being corrupt, then the computer is probably not worth saving with a new disk.
Quote:
I tried to boot my fedora 17 32 bit cd - merely displays a line of comments from the cd and does not boot.
So what are the comments? We're not psychic...
 
Old 01-10-2015, 01:00 PM   #10
haertig
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Just a question here to increase my brain's background knowledge. I have been out of the Microsoft world for a long time, many many years. But didn't XP require you to "activate" it with Micrsoft before it would run, or run fully? So what if someone were to take their old XP disk (I think I might actually have one somewhere), and reinstall XP on their computer or in a virtual machine? Would it run? What about the activation part? I know updates wouldn't be available. But would it run fully other than that? I was actually asked this question by a friend a while back and I told them I didn't know. He was wanting to re-work his computer. I convinced him to give Linux a try instead, and he's been quite happy with the switch. I think a lot of people decided to give Linux a try when XP expired.
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:09 PM   #11
jamison20000e
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http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ml#post5298690
Hi again and again plus still, as always, best wishes and have fun.
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:23 PM   #12
mdlinuxwolf
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Obviously if the HD is bad or questionable, it should be replaced. You can also use this machine as the basis for building a newer computer by adding a new motherboard and so on.

Failing that, add as much RAM as possible and upgrade the CPU to whatever is the fastest.

Getting a newer budget machine and nuking the hard drive to do a clean Linux install might be easier and more cost effective. Just reformat the HD as ext3 and be happy. Unless you want to dual boot windows, the install will likely be trouble free.

Running a live USB or live CD first will help you make sure all your hardware works. Use nvidia type graphics if possible or add a graphics catrrd with nvidia. Linux may not play nice with radeon graphics cards or you could get stuck in vesa mode, blah!!
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:30 PM   #13
jamison20000e
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds
 
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:19 PM   #14
EDDY1
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Quote:
2) I tried to boot my fedora 17 32 bit cd - merely displays a line of comments from the cd and does not boot. Do they do something to dell computers to make them locked to Microsoft?
It's probably giving up due to failed hdd.
Remove the hdd & try booting.
 
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:57 AM   #15
rmknox
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OK - closer to understanding the situation

SHORT VERSION
It wont boot because it sees no memory - the wrong memory is probably installed

LONG VERSION
almost too boring to share
POST diagnostics were turned off
when I turned them on I saw it was rejecting the memory
could not boot because it had no memory installed

they bought it at a thrift shop for $4.95
it was missing drive and memory
they had some ddr2 so they put it in
memory vendors web site says the dell octiplex needs special dell memory
you dont want to hear the whole story

thanks much for all your support and suggestions
 
  


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