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How to install Linux on an old computer?


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#1 freddofrog

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 11:34 PM

Im not sure if Im posting this in the right place but here goes because I couldnt find anywhere else to put it? I have an old no name computer that a mate of mine wants for his music files etc,it has an AMD CPU (I dont know what type) and a GA-7VM400M motherboard with 2 x 1GB memory sticks.It didnt come with a hard drive but I have a few IDE HDDs laying around,one is 80GB and the other 500GB.I downloaded and burnt to disk Ubuntu 10.10 about 6 months ago for another computer and Im wondering how to load this onto one of the HDDs that I have? Ive gone into BIOS and set it to boot from CD but it always says to insert the boot CD even though the Ubuntu disk is already in there? I tried to get the computer to boot from a bootable Kapersky repair disk but that didnt work either? I cant find a way to format the HDDs either. Ive been prompted to install win 10 onto my normal desktop this morning and Im wondering if I could install that onto this old computer?   Could some brave person tackle these thorny questions, give me some advice and tell me what Im doing wrong?



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#2 NickAu

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 11:44 PM

Hi Fredo :welcome:  to BC and Linux.

 

 

Could some brave person tackle these thorny questions, give me some advice and tell me what Im doing wrong?

Lets see what we can do to help you.

 

 

I downloaded and burnt to disk Ubuntu 10.10

That is outdated and no longer supported.

 

Do you wish to stick with Ubuntu? Download the latest Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr)

There are other distros that may be easier.

Such as Linux Mint 17 "Qiana" - Xfce (32-bit) - Linux Mint

 

 

Ive been prompted to install win 10 onto my normal desktop this morning and Im wondering if I could install that onto this old computer?

Who knows.

 

 

I tried to get the computer to boot from a bootable Kapersky repair disk but that didnt work either?

 

Did you burn the ISO correctly?

 

Notice:  This applies only to Windows 7 and Windows 8, earlier versions do not have this.
 
1.  Place a blank CD or DVD in the tray of your optical drive and close the tray.
 
2.  After you have downloaded the ISO image you want to burn right click on the Start orb, then choose Windows Explorer.
 
3.  When Explorer opens click on Downloads in the left pane.  Scroll down till you find the ISO file you want and double click on it.  Click on Burn Disk Image.
 
4.  In the image below you will see Disk burner:, this should be set to the optical drive you want to use.  Click on Verify disc after burning if you want to Windows to verity the disc image after burn.  Click on burn.
 
burndiskimage1_zpsb502b181.png
 
5.  In the image below you can see that the green progress bar, when the image is finished burning the bar will be filled.
 
burndiskimage2_zps17a9d6ff.png
 
6.  After the image has completed being burned click on Close.

 

 

You can also use unetbootin to create a Live USB with Linux on it.

UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads

 

Using UNetbootin to create a Linux USB from Linux | USB ...


Edited by NickAu, 01 June 2015 - 11:48 PM.


#3 freddofrog

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 04:57 AM

OK Ive burnt and verified the Mint 17 ISO to a rewrittable DVD.Ive tried to run it on the old computer but it just wants to know if I want to (as usual) choose Win 7 or XP to boot? Ive checked the BIOS but cant find how to format the HDD? Im thinking it would work if I could find how to do that? Would I be able to format the HDD on my good computer without getting a virus or something from this unknown drive? Oops,I just realized my good computer is SATA and the old one is IDE! So that rules that out.


Edited by freddofrog, 02 June 2015 - 05:05 AM.


#4 Al1000

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 05:31 AM

OK Ive burnt and verified the Mint 17 ISO to a rewrittable DVD.Ive tried to run it on the old computer but it just wants to know if I want to (as usual) choose Win 7 or XP to boot?


Your computer is booting from the HDD, and not from the DVD. If the BIOS is set to boot from the CD/DVD drive as the first boot device, the CD/DVD drive might be faulty.
 

Ive checked the BIOS but cant find how to format the HDD? Im thinking it would work if I could find how to do that?


Formatting the HDD is done automatically during the installation procedure.

Formatting the HDD won't make any difference as to whether the computer will boot from the DVD. When the computer boots from DVD, it effectively ignores the HDD.

#5 NickAu

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 05:35 AM

 

If the BIOS is set to boot from the CD/DVD drive as the first boot device, the CD/DVD drive might be faulty.

If that is the case you might try creating a Live USB.



#6 freddofrog

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 08:04 PM

I tried another burner and it worked,that was the third one I tried because the two that where in it wouldnt work? Thanks NickAu for suggesting I try another dvd drive,that was the last thing I was thinking?



#7 pcpunk

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 08:14 PM

I don't understand, you weren't able to make the LiveDVD properly? on three different Optical Drives, or three different burning software on the same pc?


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#8 freddofrog

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 08:18 PM

Its because the first two drives didnt work.Third time lucky.



#9 freddofrog

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 08:25 PM

I don't understand, you weren't able to make the LiveDVD properly? on three different Optical Drives, or three different burning software on the same pc?

I just read your post again.I think you got confused somewhere,I burnt the ISO on my good computer and then used it on the old computer but because the first two drives that where in the old computer where ratsh@! I got it to install the Mint 17 OS by changing to a good DVD drive that would actually work!.


Edited by freddofrog, 02 June 2015 - 08:26 PM.


#10 pcpunk

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 10:07 AM

That's what I though but was not totally clear to me, the word "burner" threw me off a little.


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#11 freddofrog

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 10:48 AM

That's what I though but was not totally clear to me, the word "burner" threw me off a little.

Sorry about that mate,I should have made myself a bit easier to understand.I couldnt remember what those burners were called for a while.LOL.



#12 pcpunk

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 01:20 AM

No worries, I guess burner is acceptable, but then you said DVD Drive LOL.  I am new to this, I thought it was "optical drive".  I think what threw me off was that you had so many of these laying around lol.


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#13 cat1092

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 04:43 AM

freddofrog,  :welcome: to BC Forums! 

 

We're glad to have you abroad! :thumbup2:

 

It may have been some of those optical drives were 'read only' & why you couldn't burn the images, though one can still boot from these. That is, unless it was for CD's only. It was kind of weird, someone once gave me a computer, a stock Dell, and it had both a CD & DVD drive, though neither would burn disk images, nor write anything, I suppose they installed both to fill the empty slots. :P

 

Though a card reader would have been better, plus it came with a floppy drive. Nothing useful, so I grabbed an ASUS burner on promo for $15 & had a SATA 150 card on hand hook it up to. 

 

As Nick pointed out, a Flash drive or a 2GB or larger SD/SDHC card can be used with a USB card reader for the job, that's what I use for Linux installs. 

 

As to the IDE issue, that doesn't matter, you can boot to the Live install media, to test the OS, there's a partition tool called GParted on there that will let you shrink whatever space you need. Only about 8GB is need for the root (/) partition & as much as you want for /home (though at least 10GB if you can spare), and a 2GiB or so Swap at the end of the drive. Be sure that your Windows partition has been defragmented before shrinking the OS, it makes things a lot easier. 

 

Other than that, just select the OS you want & install. You may find that you'll need to try out at least a couple of distros before install. You can run this in Live Mode (try before installing), that's how you also access GParted as I explained above. 

 

We'd love to hear from you post install to see how things goes, and if you need help with anything, please post & let us know.  :)

 

Good Luck! :thumbup2:

 

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. 


#14 cat1092

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 05:25 AM

Looks to me like it can run a number of distros, depending on what CPU is installed, if it's a PAE one, more options than fewer. Evidently the MB is a good one, based on the reviews (16 five egg reviews), though a bit dated. 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128237

 

There's no 'one size fits all' around here, while we all have our favorite OS, we're open to assist the needs of others. Generally speaking, if the OS will boot & run in Live Mode OK, it's usually installable, otherwise it wouldn't boot to begin with. Though I wouldn't recommend a heavy Linux version with that board, there's more choices than Debian only. 

 

Cat

 

Mod note: this post was a reply to one from a member who was later banned.


Edited by Platypus, 10 June 2015 - 06:15 AM.

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. 





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