I will also agree with all the preceding advice about Puppy Linux.
I run an ancient Dell Inspiron laptop of around the same vintage. Originally came with a Celeron (the 'budget' version of the Pentium 4), 128 MB RAM, and a 20 GB HDD. It now runs a 2.6 GHz P4, 1 GB of RAM, and a 64 GB IDE/PATA interface solid state drive. (Yes, you can now get SSD's for machines of this vintage.....and they make a hell of a difference.) This is a good one:-
And a pair of 64 GB USB 3.0 'nano'-sized flash drives permanently plugged into the rear USB ports, giving me a total of nearly 200 GB of storage.....
She triple -boots three different versions of Puppy Linux, and they all run fine, at a highly acceptable speed, too.
Nick's right, though; unless disk analysis proves the HDD to actually be damaged in any way, there's no point in changing it. It boils down to economics; does the machine mean enough to you to be worth spending a sizeable amount of money on....or would you be better off getting hold of a decent, second-hand one off eBay or Amazon? P4's and HDDs are cheap on eBay/Amazon; where you'll start to find things getting expensive is with the RAM. DDR1 So-DIMMs are getting quite hard to locate, if you want good quality. Don't go for the cheap stuff on the web; it honestly is more trouble than it's worth.
Me, I simply like messing around with old hardware, keeping it running, and seeing just what it's capable of..... That's just me. But in a nutshell:-
The P4 and HDD will be fine for Puppy.
The RAM could do with 'expanding' to at least 512 MB.....but preferably 1 GB. This is because when Puppy boots, the entire operating system is loaded into RAM, and runs from there.....and RAM is by far & away the fastest part of any machine. So the more you have, the better..!
I would like to add more speed, memory, and storage to the laptop because it was really slow when I used it last time.
Yeah, well.....that was running XP (probably with 10 yrs-worth of adware, bloatware, malware, and general assorted crap 'installed'..!)
Edited by Mike_Walsh, 24 September 2016 - 08:38 PM.
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.