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Help with drivers


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#1 Cjay58

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:12 AM

I am fairly new to computer tech. I have recently made a big transition from being an engineer to learn more about computers so that I can assist others in what will hopefully prove to become a career.
Currently I find the hardest part of this process is getting myself into employment. Even with my engineering background there just aren't companies willing or able to take on an entry level person.
I have however made a name for myself by assisting others free of charge who can not afford the help otherwise. It also provides me with experience that I can't seem to get elsewhere.
Anyhow I take on older equipment which I repair and clean up to re home for others to use. They are far from perfect computers, but as mentioned above these are usually the only way to provide a family a computer whom could not afford one.
Most of these computers are XP era computers and I would have thought it possible to still find drivers so that we could use Windows 7 basic, but this thought process has proven me wrong.
Is there somewhere that offers a 3rd party compatibility package for this type of thing?
I have issues with finding drivers for some newer systems since I am finding it hard to visit every manufacturers website to track down these drives.
 
Could anyone here lend me some advice for driver hunting?
Also as a side note where can I find learning for Apple computers. I live in a small town and there is not training here other then what I find on internet and have not found a thing for Appple tech learning.
Thank you so much for any assistance.

Edited by Budapest, 30 October 2014 - 08:41 PM.
Moved from General Chat ~Budapest


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#2 NickAu

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:42 AM

 

Anyhow I take on older equipment which I repair and clean up to re home for others to use. They are far from perfect computers, but as mentioned above these are usually the only way to provide a family a computer whom could not afford one.

You know Linux would be much better on those machines? And much more secure than XP, All the software is free, And it's not that hard to learn. We would be happy to show you how to set up a pc and how to do the basics.

 

PS.

 

Linux will work on 99.9% of those PC's out of the box no drivers no antivirus or antimalware needed.


Edited by NickAu1, 29 October 2014 - 11:52 AM.


#3 Cjay58

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 12:02 PM

First off thank you for replying to my post and second, Ok where do I start?

I would love to learn Linux.



#4 NickAu

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 04:18 PM

Start a new thread here.Linux & Unix

 

Then  take one of those PC's and give me the specs.

 

Just much ram and type of processor. We can set up 1 pc show you how to use it then you can pass on that knowledge to others.

 

 

 

 

Also as a side note where can I find learning for Apple computers.

Mac OS

 

 

Mac OS X is merely a locked down version of open-source Linux. Its easy to assume that over 90% of Mac owners are not only unaware of this, but don’t have a clue what Linux is. Turns out that back in 1996, after Steve Jobs’ short-lived company NeXT stole its OS base from open-source (read: FREE) BSD Unix, it resold the now proprietary OS to Apple which then became OS X. Perhaps if OS X had the flexibility of Linux, or if Mac fanboys didn’t use Linux concepts (i.e. Terminal) as reasons to brag about OS X, there wouldn’t be so much smearing to do. (Warning: do NOT attempt ask any Mac fanboys about this, or they will ignore your question and start babbling about things like Firefox.)


Edited by NickAu1, 29 October 2014 - 08:00 PM.


#5 Cjay58

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 07:05 PM

Here is what I have now(feel free to pick which ever one you like):

 

1)DEL OPTIPLEX 745-  Intel Core 2 6600 2.4GHZ,  512Mb ram, 64 BIT OS

2)DEL OPTIPLEX 745-  Intel Core 2 6600 2.4 GHZ, 1Gb ram, 64 BIT OS

3)DEL OPTIPLEX 745-  Intel Core 2 6600 2.4GHZ,  512Mb ram, 64 BIT OS

4)DEL OPTIPLEX 360- Intel Celeron E1400 2.0GHZ, 2Gb ram, 64 BIT OS

5)DEL OPTIPLEX GX620- Intel Premium 4 3.4GHZ, 3Gb ram, 64 BIT OS

6)DEL ????                      Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHZ, 512Mb ram, 32 BIT OS

7)DEL OPTIPLEX 745C- Intel Core 2 6700 2.66GHZ, 2Gb ram, 64 BIT OS

8) DEL OPTIPLEX 745- Intel Premium D 3.4GHZ,  1Gb ram, 64 BIT OS



#6 NickAu

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 08:09 PM

 

6)DEL ????                      Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHZ, 512Mb ram, 32 BIT OS

3)DEL OPTIPLEX 745-  Intel Core 2 6600 2.4GHZ,  512Mb ram, 64 BIT OS

1)DEL OPTIPLEX 745-  Intel Core 2 6600 2.4GHZ,  512Mb ram, 64 BIT OS

512 mb ram, Can you upgrade the ram to 1 GB? Otherwise puppy linux.

 

 

 

2)DEL OPTIPLEX 745-  Intel Core 2 6600 2.4 GHZ, 1Gb ram, 64 BIT OS

Ok lets take this 1, I could go with the 2 or 3 GB ram but i wont.

 

First go here and Download Linux Mint XFCE.  This is a full Linux With a light weight Desktop Enviroment.

http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

 

Xfce 32-bit 64-bit An edition featuring the Xfce desktop Yes

Here's a short video that takes you on a tour of Linux Mint XFCE

Linux Mint 17 XFCE - Replace Windows with Ease

 

 

Download the ISO then Burn it to CD, If you have a Windows 7 machine, After the ISO downloads just double click it and Windows 7 will burn it to CD.

 

Now you need to set the PC we are going to use to boot from CD, You do that in BIOS. Set the CD drive as first option in the boot order.

How to Access the BIOS for a Dell Optiplex | eHow

With me so far?

Now just reboot your PC with the CD in the CD drive and wait for linux to boot up, Please note at this stage you have not installed Mint on the HDD, It's just a Live Demo. Play around with it, Install it if you like, There is a shortcut on the desktop that you click and Mint will install itself, Just use the default settings let Linux handle all the partitioning, You will need to create a user name and password  Keep it simple for now. Remember these write them down you will need them to log in to your PC, We can disable it later if you like, HOWEVER the password is your root password this you will need, keep it in a safe place and try to remember it.

 

Once done let me know.


Edited by NickAu1, 30 October 2014 - 11:01 PM.


#7 Cjay58

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 09:33 PM

Ok perfect I will get on this tonight and get back to you.

Thanks very much for your continued time and support!



#8 NickAu

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 09:52 PM

Not a problem, Take your time, If you are unsure of something please feel free to ask, I do not bite. Some of the Admin and Moderators might dis agree.... Animal I'm looking at you. :bowdown:

 

I asked the Moderators to move this thread to the Linux section.

 

Did you like the youtube video? Easy isnt it? Looks a lot like Windows?

 

Thanks to Linux Help Guy for all his hard work making tutorials and promoting Linux


Edited by NickAu1, 30 October 2014 - 09:53 PM.


#9 Cjay58

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 11:03 PM

The video is fantastic. I had some thoughts on exploring Linux but was a bit timid as I have so much to learn being a newb right now but this is great the interface looks a lot like Windows so far.

Yes and thanks to the Linux Help Guy from me as well.

I can't wait to learn!



#10 NickAu

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 11:09 PM

There is some terminal work after install and I will guide you thru that, However the rest of the time it's just point and click just like Windows.



#11 cat1092

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 01:28 AM

The latest Linux titles should run fine on those computers, as I recently purchased a Dell Opitplex 740 for $29 plus shipping (no OS, but a Vista Business COA was attached). Though it has an AMD CPU rather than Intel, that I upgraded twice, one that I had on hand & another that I found on eBay for $10, and also upgraded the installed 2GB of PC2-5300 RAM to two sets of 4GB RAM kits for 8GB total, plus added a 1GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon 7570 (Dell rebranded), which was the GPU my XPS 8700 shipped with laying around serving no other purpose. 

 

Plus added a faster HDD that was already here, and I was in business. It ran Linux Mint 17 LTS 64 bit w/out any changes, but was a bit sluggish, so grabbed the new RAM sets while still available. Except for the $10 for the more powerful CPU, the rest I had. Oh, I forgot to add, also had a nice, like new ASUS DVD/CD RW optical drive (a Newegg 20x Customer Award winner), that I swapped out the old unit with. It likely runs better than the day it was first removed from it's box. 

 

One reason why if you begin to work on computers & find yourself with parts left over, don't trash them. 

 

 

 

Most of these computers are XP era computers and I would have thought it possible to still find drivers so that we could use Windows 7 basic, but this thought process has proven me wrong.

Yeah me too, have had a couple that I thought this could be done on, but drivers are an issue with many older models, with the chipset drivers being critical to other functions. Mint 13 is the latest LTS release for these, supported until April 2017. There is also a less advertised Ubuntu 12.04 non-PAE edition, that Canonical didn't originally want released, and it's still not on their official site, but it's available. The top link is the one you need, the bottom is beta. 

 

http://people.canonical.com/~diwic/12.04-nonpae/

 

Source: Post #4 of this page. Note that the first two posters was trying to talk the OP into watered down versions of Ubuntu & the OP solved his/her own Topic. Rather than a straight to the point answer, those posters was offering the OP a solution that would have involved a lot of work, and still not a fully loaded Ubuntu, what was asked for. Those long term members likely knew of the non-PAE 12.04, falling into Canonical's vision of 12.04 being PAE for everyone. 

 

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2046218

 

Fortunately, the devs of Linux Mint were more sensible & offered one last LTS release, and the last one altogether, that would run on non-PAE computers, of all of their versions, though it's best to have at least 1GB for MATE, and 2GB or higher for Cinnamon & KDE. The 64 bit versions may require a bit more, as I stated, 2GB wasn't quite enough for everyday use. 

 

Though the Optiplex 740 runs Windows 7 Ultimate, Vista Business & Linux Mint 17 perfectly. The RAM & CPU increase paid off, with WEI scores of 6.9 on RAM, and both video scores, those GPU scores were the same as when the card was in the XPS 8700. 

 

My only issue with the machine, the motherboard is a bit odd, it's powered by a NVIDIA chipset & there's been no work on it since 2010. What that means is though it runs SATA HDD's, at the SATA 2 standard, but is officially recognized as IDE, meaning that an SSD install was out of the picture. This, I didn't notice until I installed one to secure erase, and it wouldn't, it was reporting a IDE controller. 

 

It would seem that later versions of Windows & Linux would offer their own SATA controllers for the board, to be in full compliance with SATA specs. In essence, this is like having a native SATA PC running in IDE mode, many ran XP on some earlier model computers with SATA (2006 through 2011) in this BIOS mode, and there was no speed penalty on HDD's. Did it myself on an HP that I finally tore apart. 

 

However, this mode isn't ideal for SSD's & would lead to a much lessened lifespan. So I didn't install one as planned. Maybe at some point, I can find a motherboard that's true SATA that'll fit perfectly at the right price. For now, it's OK as is. 

 

Out of all of those Optiplex PC's you have, the ones with the Intel Core 2's are the best. If possible, swap the larger RAM sticks from the Celeron & Pentium models into the Core 2's, as the Celeron is a waste anyway, it's for Intel cheapskates who doesn't mind a rock bottom CPU. Runs like snail mail compared to email. There's no reason for those Core 2's to be running anything less than 2GB RAM, though looking at the count, one may have to stick with 1GB. 

 

The Pentium was once a great CPU, but in recent years, even their dual core models, doesn't come close to competing with an i3, their mid-line CPU, and the most affordable of the 'i' series. I have a 4 year old i3 that would smoke a production Pentium (or Celeron) of today. 

 

Those Core 2's holds a lot of promise, and would make fantastic Linux computers, or even Workstations. Most of the Optiplex series were geared towards business anyway, so they're built good. I would have bought one of those over the one that I have, but none had the hard drives or caddies, and these were 'as is' only sales, whereas mine has a 30 day warranty. I'm not purchasing 'as is' computers from eBay sellers. 

 

The rest, while they're not a total lost cause, will have trouble running a full version of Linux, and the one with the oldest CPU, the Pentium 2.8GHz of 2002 origin, won't make the cut to run the latest titles. I had one of those a couple of years back. 

 

http://ark.intel.com/products/27447/Intel-Pentium-4-Processor-2_80-GHz-512K-Cache-533-MHz-FSB

 

 

1)DEL OPTIPLEX 745-  Intel Core 2 6600 2.4GHZ,  512Mb ram, 64 BIT OS

2)DEL OPTIPLEX 745-  Intel Core 2 6600 2.4 GHZ, 1Gb ram, 64 BIT OS

3)DEL OPTIPLEX 745-  Intel Core 2 6600 2.4GHZ,  512Mb ram, 64 BIT OS

And these should, with their specs, should have 4GB (or more) RAM out of the box. I have a hunch that someone swapped some components around on these. Same with this one. 

 

 

 

7)DEL OPTIPLEX 745C- Intel Core 2 6700 2.66GHZ, 2Gb ram, 64 BIT OS

 

I see another Pentium with 3GB RAM installed, what a waste of good memory. If possible, and if in two sticks, try to beef up those Core 2's a little, and place one of those 512MB sticks in that one. Or swap the sticks with the Pentium D, that should be another good CPU, the prime of the Pentium days. That other Pentium (2002 model above) & Celeron is the least of the performers. Any good components that can be swapped from those into the ones with the better CPU's, should be. This is to include optical drives, quieter fans, and if you are familiar with backup software, the hard drives too. Though I'd imagine that the one with the 2002 CPU has an IDE HDD. Dell was still using these in 2004 on some models. It likely has plain old DDR RAM. That one, you can play around with, but don't expect to get more than $25, if that for it. On recycle days, there's nicer ones to be found on the curb. 

 

So it appears as though you have 5 PC's there that are capable of running the full versions of the latest & greatest Linux titles & worth something. The one with the Celeron is 100% Xfce only, and it'll fight it way through running that. No matter how much RAM is installed. The oldest Pentium, though can run Mint 13 only, will give the Celeron a run for the money. 

 

Dell must do some funky model numbering, mine's a 740 (lower model number), but newer components. I've noticed this in the past with their Latitude line of notebooks, some of the lower numbers of a series (such as 'C' or D') are newer than the higher ones & wonder if this is a marketing ploy. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#12 wizardfromoz

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 03:32 AM

Cjay58, if someone else has not already said it,

 

:welcome: to BC (Bleeping Computers), and :welcome: to Linux!

 

I'll leave you in the capable hands of NickAu1 and cat1092 for the most part, and drop in from time to time to see what is happening, or to spend my 2 cents.

 

... other than to clarify this:

 

Unix was the grandparent of it all, Linux, Macintosh, and yes, even Windows.

 

There is a good article here at the Open Group, worth the read.

 

Have fun and

 

Keep Smilin' :wink:

 

:wizardball:

 

Wizard

 

BTW - if you come to like a particular flavour or Linux, or try a few, swing over to Which Distro, here. Mind you, when I came in a few months ago, it was only 9 pages long, now it is 25, lol.



#13 Cjay58

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 01:23 PM

Thanks Cat1092 for your input. Thanks for the welcome wizardfromoz and thank you once again NickAu1.

I have installed the OS and have taken a bit os a look around. It is somewhat like Windows, but it will take me a bit to get myself familiar with where everything is again. 

Im assuming that is shares some of the same aspects of Windows but named differently such as event viewer, reliability and resource monitors and other diagnostic  tools?

Only issue that I am having is shortly after opening Firefox the mouse cursor freezes. It seems to only be the actual graphical part of the cursor as I can still move the mouse around and although the cursor remains in the same place I can see that click options highlife as they would if the actual cursor was hovered over them.

Thanks.

I look forward to your next instructions.



#14 wizardfromoz

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 04:35 PM

Hi Cjay, me passing through.

 

Do you know if you have nVidia graphics, if not which?

 

:wizardball:



#15 NickAu

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 06:28 PM

 

I have installed the OS and have taken a bit os a look around.

Ok first thing.

 

Open terminal  press Ctrl Alt T and copy this into it

sudo ufw enable

Then hit enter it will ask you for your password. This will enable the firewall and create a script that will auto start it at boot up.

 

You say you installed it, Is it connected to the net? Did it update itself?

 

 

 

Only issue that I am having is shortly after opening Firefox the mouse cursor freezes

This only happens with firefox?






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