Install Linux on old Laptop

  alternator 10:40 08 Jan 2011

I tried yesterday with help to try to format the HD on an old Laptop without much luck, see link
click here
The OS seems to be in a real mess half of the disk Management facilities aren't working.
I would like to make a copy of Linux from the Internet with an OS I can load from the CD/DVD player, format the HD then load Linux.
I only want to use this old Laptop to surf the web incase my other computers have a problem. I don't want to use it for anything else.
The Laptop is a 10year + old Mesh 7521T with an Intel Pentium III 1200mhz it has a Hitachi DK-23DA- 40 40Gb Hd and a Toshiba DVD-ROM SD -R2002.
If someone would be kind enough to give me a site to download Linux then make a system CD I would be most grateful.

  Grendyl 12:29 08 Jan 2011

I'd try using Ubuntu and run it from the live disk, the newest version probably wont run on your system but you can get older versions which should be ok.

You can get older version from here

click here

you then just burn the image to a disk and boot your laptop from it, you can run it from the disk without having to install anything or you can do the full install.

Hope thi helps

  alternator 12:32 08 Jan 2011

After reading previous posts I settled on Debian. Downloaded to CD the system I went for was Net inst CD image. It downloaded to my current computer and burned to disc fine. I put this in the old laptop and rebooted but it still just booted up from the HD. I have checked the CMOS and the boot order is CD Floppy then finally HD. Any help appreciated

  alternator 12:34 08 Jan 2011

Will give this a go and report back. Cheers

  woodchip 12:50 08 Jan 2011

Its No good just burning a Linux Download to a CD to boot from, You Have to create a bootable Image like using NERO with the Download, and set the BIOS to boot first to CD then Hard Drive

  alternator 12:51 08 Jan 2011

Just looked at the at the file size 2Gb plus. that is why I thought I would try and install via the network. I will try your other suggestion first and try an older version have opted for Ubuntu 5.10

  LastChip 12:55 08 Jan 2011

Debian should work fine, also, Puppy Linux may be an option for you.

Unfortunately, you've not given us a crucial piece of the jigsaw; how much memory has this machine got?

If it's ten years old and not been upgraded, I suspect it won't have enough for modern Ubuntu distributions (known as distros) to run effectively.

Getting back to your problem, it has all the hallmarks of not burning the disc properly. That's not meant to be an insult to you, but I see it over and over again. Did you burn the disc as an .iso file? It is a very specific method.

If there is any doubt, click here for an article I wrote a couple of years ago, explaining how it should be done.

Please come back and let us know.

  alternator 12:57 08 Jan 2011

Thanks for the info. Just reading what it said on the website it gave the information that as it was an ISO file it would boot from that. Can you enlighten me on how I should do it then. I have Ubuntu-5.10-live-i386.iso downloading at the moment, how should I make the bootable disk. It has another hour and twenty to run. It uses Roxio creator as default burning I do have a copy of Nero but not installed on this computer.

  alternator 13:01 08 Jan 2011

I have the time while I wait for this to download. Will also check your post on burning iso file. Also sorry I did mean the BIOS is already set to boot in the order CD Floppy Hd

  alternator 13:02 08 Jan 2011


  alternator 13:27 08 Jan 2011

Total Physical memory is 352Mb
at present with Win XP sp3 installed it has 241.18Mb available memory

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