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#1 Twiztid78

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 10:09 AM

Where can I get an Operating System install for free. I wiped an old laptop and the back up drive was wiped as well. I have tried to locate a free install but I have been unsuccessful. I want to install it on a flash drive. I have plenty of memory on it. My laptop is a Compaq Presario. I bought it in 2006.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 10:30 AM

Are you speaking of linux?  That sounds like what you are looking for.

 

There are no free Windows installs that are legal.

 

Moved topic from Programming to Linux.

 

Louis



#3 Al1000

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 11:19 AM

Hi Twiztid78,

You can download a free operating system from here:

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

I recommend either the MATE or Xfce desktops, as they are more suitable for running from flash drives and on older hardware.

#4 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 02:51 PM

With a laptop that is already 10 years old, I would highly recommend that you try Puppy Linux;

 

http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview%20and%20Getting%20Started.htm


594965_zpsp5exvyzm.png


#5 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 03:58 PM

With a laptop that is already 10 years old, I would highly recommend that you try Puppy Linux;

 

http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview%20and%20Getting%20Started.htm

 

^^^ +1!!!

 

Couldn't agree more, Rocky.....especially since Puppy was designed from the word go to run from a flash drive..!

 

I'd recommend it to anybody who wants to revive an elderly machine like that. I run 8 Pups on an elderly, 2004/5 Compaq Presario desktop PC (from just prior to the HP takeover).....and 4 more on an even older (2002/3) Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop.

 

Puppy rocks....and kicks ass!!

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, Seagate 'Expansion' 3 TB  USB 3.0 external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Belkin PCI USB 2.0 4-port card, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz P4, 1.5 GB DDR1, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external storage, HP HD2300 webcam.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#6 vacuum-tube

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 06:00 PM

With a laptop that is already 10 years old, I would highly recommend that you try Puppy Linux;

 

http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview%20and%20Getting%20Started.htm

I also agree 11 years old and is running Puppy 64 (tahrpup).

 
sh-4.3# inxi -Fx
 
System:    Host: puppypc10844 Kernel: 3.14.54 x86_64 (64 bit, gcc: 4.8.4) Desktop: JWM 2.3.4 Distro: tahrpup64 6.0.5
 
Machine:   System: Dell product: OptiPlex GX620
           Mobo: Dell model: 0F8096. Bios: Dell version: A01 date: 05/24/2005
 
CPU:       Single core Intel Pentium 4 CPU (-HT-) cache: 2048 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3) bmips: 5984.61 
           Clock Speeds: 1: 2992.307 MHz 2: 2992.307 MHz
 
Graphics:  Card: Intel 82945G/GZ Integrated Graphics Controller
 
Audio:     Card: Intel 82801G (ICH7 Family) AC'97 Audio Controller
 
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 80.0GB
 
Info:     Memory: 303.0/2998.4MB

Edited by vacuum-tube, 22 August 2016 - 06:20 PM.


#7 Twiztid78

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 11:12 PM

Thanks for the advice! I appreciate it. I'm unfamiliar with Linux, but I can learn. If I have questions with it, I'll just re-add them here, or start a new forum. Thank you!! 😊

#8 wizardfromoz

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 12:40 AM

Hi Twiztid78 and :welcome: to the Linux & Unix section, hope you enjoy a good stay here.

 

 

Best is to start a new Topic featuring the name of the Linux Distribution you choose eg "Help installing Puppy Linux" or "Need help Installing Linux Mint MATE", &c. Then persons familiar can zero in to help you.

 

... But if you need help choosing, stop here until you get more advice.

 

My wife's Compaq Presario C300 around the same age as yours, runs two Linux on it fine, with only 512MB RAM. And I am putting on a 3rd next couple of weeks, that is with only 60 GB HDD.

 

Good luck and enjoy Linux

 

:wizardball: Wizard



#9 cat1092

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 02:23 AM

 

 

 
CPU:       Single core Intel Pentium 4 CPU (-HT-) cache: 2048 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3) bmips: 5984.61 
           Clock Speeds: 1: 2992.307 MHz 2: 2992.307 MHz
 

 

vacuum-tube, that was a great CPU for it's day, if only the P4 Northwood 3.06 H/T has a 2MB cache to work with, would be in the Hall of Fame, Shows that raw speed measured in GHz isn't everything, memory (or cache) is also needed for top performance. I have a 2004 notebook with a similar model as yours & the OP's, believe they called it a Pentium M, codenamed 'Dothan', it booted & ran Puppy Precise fine, the last Pup I tried on it. Shame that it's rotting away in storage, though do intend to install Linux Mint 17 MATE on it in Compatibility Mode (guess that's Forced PAE Mode, correct me if I'm wrong). :)

 

There are many uses for these computers, most all designed for Windows 2000/XP anyway. Don't know about any prior to these anymore, because there was a changing of the guard with RAM at some point when DDR (1st gen as many of us knows it today) was introduced. Either Puppy of a Xfce MATE distro, though my guess is that a Xfce based Linux OS is best for a regular install that many improperly terms 'permanent'. There's no such thing on a regular computer, with Windows RT being one exception, don't know about the Intel Compute Sticks & I'm sure there's other locked devices with ARM processors. 

 

The main thing is that the OP has more than one choice, while many prefers Puppy for a bootable OS that requires no install, there's others that wants their OS installed, while this is possible with Puppy, it's far easier with the regular distros. 

 

For now, and this gives some buying of time, there's Ubuntu 12.04 & Linux Mint 13, both supported until April 2017, or midway through. Plus it would provide some needed practice for partitioning, many newbies to Linux are installing everything inside of a single root partition with a Swap area (the auto install method). While not totally bad, without backups of important items, these will be gone with the next install. Rather, it would be important to understand the need for separate root, /home & Swap partitions, this allows the users to preserve their data when choosing any different OS that's Ubuntu based, no matter the brand (say Xubuntu or Linux Mint Xfce). 

 

Here's Linux MInt 13 Xfce, which I feel is worth taking a look at, as well as the MATE version. 

 

https://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=113

 

https://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=103

 

Seeing if I can find Ubuntu 12.04, success! Look closely, under the Desktop CD choices (at beginning of page), select the 32 bit (i386) Desktop CD, right underneath the 64 bit one. It was with Ubuntu 12.04 that the folks at Canonical began to 'push' 64 bit distros to those with 64 bit hardware (though have zero idea why it took 7 years to get there). As that was how long back there was a 64 bit build of XP Pro, and just a couple of years later, Vista. 

 

http://releases.ubuntu.com/12.04/

 

These distros while are limited in support time, can give you lots of practice, and should run fine on your hardware, including on a Flash drive of 8GiB or larger, at today's prices, 16GB is best, and will give lots more space for the money. I do not recommend USB 3.0 USB Flash drives, because some aren't bootable to begin with, and their advertised speeds are bogus (a joke at best for many models). USB 3.0 is supposed to run at up to 5Gbps speeds, and so are the devices designed for these ports, yet I've not ran across a single device that would run at those speeds, many wouldn't meet USB 2.0 standards, except for the plug type. :P

 

Looking back at your OP, you stated you'd prefer to run from a Flash drive, often termed here as USB sticks (I used to call these Flash drives myself). You are going to take a huge hit in performance, unless you're running a very small distro such as Puppy, and while of course you'll receive assistance, there will be a huge learning curve. You won't learn the 'ins & outs' of Puppy as fast as a conventional Linux distro, on the other hand, if you have lots of extra time to kill, you can learn Puppy. There are long term Puppy users such as Mike & vacuum-tube whom posted earlier, and there's other Puppy experience on board who'll happily assist you.

 

Though the link is no longer in his sig, I believe that Al (a Moderator here) has a link on how to create a finalized CD with updated apps of your choosing, am unsure if he has a Tutorial on the site. This is great for making transactions, many sites now requires a modern browser, or mo more than 2-3 versions behind, because each new version patches security vulnerabilities & adds features. 

 

At any rate, Good Luck with your decision & am glad that you've chose to be part of our community. :)

 

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. 


#10 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 04:06 AM

Looking back at your OP, you stated you'd prefer to run from a Flash drive, often termed here as USB sticks (I used to call these Flash drives myself). You are going to take a huge hit in performance, unless you're running a very small distro such as Puppy, and while of course you'll receive assistance, there will be a huge learning curve. You won't learn the 'ins & outs' of Puppy as fast as a conventional Linux distro, on the other hand, if you have lots of extra time to kill, you can learn Puppy. There are long term Puppy users such as Mike & vacuum-tube whom posted earlier, and there's other Puppy experience on board who'll happily assist you.

 

 

Generally speaking, Cat's right. The vast majority of Linux distros, while they'll install to a USB drive, will be fine for a little while.....but before long, they'll bog right down and start running like molasses.

 

A conventional Linux distro installs its folders & files throughout the partition you install it to.....because, as far as it's concerned, it's being installed to a standard hard drive. All the time it's running, it's reading/writing small amounts of data back & forth to the drive; that's normal operation. It will only pull what info it needs from the hard-drive at any given time to run whatever app has been requested.

 

The problem with a flash drive is the NAND flash memory chip it employs. These have a finite number of times you can read/write to and from them, before they start to mal-function & corrupt the data they contain. Okay, so the number of read/writes may well be up in the 100's of 1000's; but believe me, that figure doesn't take long to reach!

 

The big difference with Puppy is in the way it operates. At boot-time, the whole of Puppy is loaded into RAM memory (which is a magnitude faster than your hard drive, and, with the exception of your CPU's memory caches, by far and away the fastest component in your machine.) 

 

Using the recommended 'frugal' install method, Puppy 'runs' from 3 or 4, highly compressed, special 'read-only' files. This way, you're basically loading a brand-new, squeaky-clean Pup every time you boot, since the 'read-only' files can't be written to, and thereby corrupted in any way.

 

TBH, Puppy doesn't 'run' from the flash-drive at all. It runs from RAM memory (which is fast). It may seem as though it takes a while to load, and boot.....but this is only because, like Cat says, real-life data transfer speeds for flash-drives are nowhere near what they're claimed to be. Periodically (and at shut-down), it 'remembers' the entire session, and saves it back to what's called a 'save-file' or 'save-folder' on the flash drive (a special file that contains an entire second Linux file-system inside it). Subsequent 'saves' only save any new material that's been added or altered. Since this only occurs once every 30 mins or so, it minimises the read/writes as far as possible. At boot-time, this data is 'merged' back into the Puppy file-system as it loads.

 

This all sounds horrendously complicated, I know.....but Puppy hides all this stuff from you, the user, so that you're not even aware it's happening. What it boils down to is that Puppy is just about the only lightweight Linux distro that will genuinely run, full-time, from a flash drive, while at the same time maximising the life of that flash drive.

 

Which is a small miracle in itself..! And is also why Puppy runs like greased lightning, even on older hardware...

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 23 August 2016 - 04:26 AM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, Seagate 'Expansion' 3 TB  USB 3.0 external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Belkin PCI USB 2.0 4-port card, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz P4, 1.5 GB DDR1, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external storage, HP HD2300 webcam.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#11 vacuum-tube

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 06:37 AM

I recommend a frugal install on a USB stick and just jump in which is the best way to get started.

You will enjoy learning Puppy while using it just run the cd and follow the prompts for a frugal install.

Puppy already comes with most everything most users will ever need and what it doesn't can be usually found in the PPM aka Puppy Package Manger.

 

If you run into any issues with your Puppy.

The best forum around and some other forums could learn a thing or two IMO. :thumbsup:

 

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/

 

Can't go wrong with having a puppy or two around.


Edited by vacuum-tube, 23 August 2016 - 06:40 AM.


#12 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 09:24 AM

If you run into any issues with your Puppy.

The best forum around and some other forums could learn a thing or two IMO.  :thumbsup:

 

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/

 

Can't go wrong with having a puppy or two around.

 

 

^^^ + 1 !!!

 

It's got a great laid-back,very friendly atmosphere; a fantastic bunch of members (who are among some of the most helpful you'll find anywhere!), and a wonderful ethos.....just dive in and help out, give advice, ask questions, discuss anything you like. The Puppy Forum encourages everybody to contribute, according to their abilities, in whatever way they can....large & complex, or small & simple.

 

You'll enjoy it, and whatever else, don't be afraid to ask for help. Whatever the issue, you can guarantee somebody's run up against it at some point in the last 12 years or so.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, Seagate 'Expansion' 3 TB  USB 3.0 external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Belkin PCI USB 2.0 4-port card, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz P4, 1.5 GB DDR1, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external storage, HP HD2300 webcam.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#13 cat1092

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 04:05 AM

I do recommend, if a Flash drive install, to go with a well reviewed model that has few reported issues, to include booting from the model. While I recommended above to stay away from USB 3.0 models, the Lexar Jumpdrive USB sticks by Micron is a good choice, and if a Costco member, can get a pack of two 32GiB sticks for what many retailers charges for a single drive of the same model. Plus has up to 150 MB/sec read speeds for your RAM to access fast. I still have an unopened pack, always keep plenty of Flash drives, to include SDHC cards that attaches to USB card readers to use when needed. Speaking of which, also have an unopened 32GiB Samsung Pro model (UHS-I) that has read speeds of 90MB/sec & writes at up to 80MB/sec, high quality is important if used as a bootable device (except for installs & running as a Live distro for testing). 

 

Otherwise, inferior Flash drives will be worn out fast, even with the less frequent writes that Puppy uses for save files. :)

 

To summarize things, Flash drives, USB sticks, whatever one wishes to call these, are not the same as SSD's. Even the 'premium' models uses lower cost NAND chips than entry level SSD's, using the Samsung 750 EVO as an example to prove my point. These are guaranteed so many writes measured in TBW (Total Bytes Written) or 3 year warranty, whichever comes first, and the firmware can report the data accurately. This information typically isn't provided with Flash drives, while I have a wide variety for different purposes, and only one has had a partial failure, these wears out faster regardless. Even the Flash chips of the Intel Compute Stick won't last as long as a 2.5" SSD, if used under the same conditions as a notebook or PC. It's certainly not a replacement for either, and on purchase sites, these tends to have lower ratings. From what I've read, these are more of a novelty item than truly useful ones, such as the Raspberry Pi that's more configurable with each new version, that also costs less than the Intel Compute Stick. I suspect that there will be mSATA & M.2 options in future releases of the Raspberry Pi, if not already there. 

 

It would be interesting to install a folding@home client on one & let run non-stop to see the endurance of these Compute Sticks. Can also be used on monitors with a USB port, not just Smart TV's, would be the ideal candidate to run the folding@home client on to save energy & wear & tear on the TV. The monitor can be switched to another port where there's no signal, and the Compute Stick would keep on running. I'd give it 4-6 months, tops under this condition before it literally dies & any warranty may or may not cover replacement. 

 

As far as the Puppy OS's themselves, Mike & vacuum-tube has experience in that area, as does Al & Nick, both Moderators here, though the latter two may have less time to devote due to their duties that covers the entire site, not just the Linux Forum alone. Though I'm sure that either would jump in if & when needed. :)

 

While I use FatDog64 for testing 64 bit computers, and have used these also to make transactions, otherwise am not into Puppy, am a Linux Mint MATE user first & foremost, and if it were me, wouldn't give up on the idea of a real install to your HDD. Linux Mint Xfce & MATE uses little resources, as long as 1GB of RAM is installed, that's enough, if 2GB, even better, you should be able to run lighter editions of Linux Mint & Ubuntu fine. :)

 

You can do that, plus learn Puppy also. :thumbup2:

 

EDIT: Corrected typo. 

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 25 August 2016 - 02:15 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. 


#14 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 06:17 AM

You can do that, plus learn Puppy also.  :thumbup2:

 

 

Excellent advice, Cat. Mint can be installed to the hard drive, and Puppy can live on a flash-drive.....and both will be quite happy co-existing together like that. No chance of cross-contamination, either.....

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 24 August 2016 - 06:18 AM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, Seagate 'Expansion' 3 TB  USB 3.0 external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Belkin PCI USB 2.0 4-port card, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz P4, 1.5 GB DDR1, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external storage, HP HD2300 webcam.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#15 rufwoof

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 09:22 AM

On a Windows PC you'll need to image writer such as https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/ (in Linux there is already a dd command that can do the same by default).

 

Grab a image file such as https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4MbXu8cvE_WZUNjSnplU0EwTGM/view?usp=sharing (around 1.5GB of download, so ideally you need a non metered and fast internet connection) ... uncompress the image file and then write it to a USB (this image requires a USB of at least 8GB or more) and takes perhaps 10 minutes or so to write.

 

That USB can then be booted, provided the PC can boot MSB style i.e. has Windows safe boot mode turned off .. which generally you should do anyway as having safe mode turned on - which tends to be the default nowadays, locks you out of your own computer, you can't boot anything else if the installed Windows system develops a fault. Typically its usually something like pressing the esc key or F12 or F2 after first powering on to get to the relevant screen (you may also have to adjust the BIOS to cater for USB booting, which you usually get to by pressing the DEL key when first powered on)

 

The above image is for Debian 64 bit Jessie. So if you're not on a 64 bit PC you should choose another image from elsewhere. Debian Jessie is the current "stable" version from Debian. The repository (list of programs) available is extensive and work well. A factor with stable versions is that they're not the most up to date versions of programs. Ubuntu and others have tended to use Debian as a base, but include more recent versions of programs i.e. what Debian class as 'Test' versions ... which can introduce problems as in effect you're being a guinea-pig.

 

Updates etc will be presented as and when and you can opt to install or not those updates. That USB image caters for saving changes back to USB by running flush2disk ... or not during a session, which if you run means all changes will be preserved. Saving to USB is however slow. A better choice IMO is to frugally install to a hard disk. Basically you want a partition formatted and made linux bootable (I like ext3 format myself) and then install a bootloader ... a simple one is grub4dos, and then copy the content of the USB onto HDD and boot that way.


Debian and OpenBSD multiboot's





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