Author Topic: Dell computer overhaul  (Read 10975 times)

Richard (richard)

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Dell computer overhaul
« on: November 11, 2016, 10:01:21 AM »
The hard drive gave up after 9 years, I can get a refurb for $20 but can I install XP with the original install disks? Don't you have to get a connection to Microsoft to make that happen? I would like to install Linux but don't know anything about that or if the Nividia 8800 video card would work with it.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2016, 12:48:13 PM »
Linux has gotten to the point where you pop in the DVD and boot up.  It asks a couple of questions and you are up and running.

What I'd suggest is download a version of Linux Mint, burn it to DVD and give it a shot.  You already have to reload the OS, why not just give it a shot to see if it works for you.  A brief google search seems to indicate that video card is supported. 

What have you got to lose?  I don't think there are any more security updates coming out of Redmond for XP, so you will get a much more secure computer that will likely work faster than it did when it was brand new.

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 01:31:54 PM »
If you're willing to spend $100 bucks for an SSD, instead of another spinning drive, you'll feel like you have a brand new computer, no matter what OS you put on it.  The increased speed is, literally, almost like night and day.

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2016, 01:42:01 PM »
A 9 year old computer? It's time to upgrade... You *could* fix it, but I honestly don't think it's worth the time.
If you really want to rescue it, I second getting linux (I prefer Ubuntu), burn it to CD, boot off of it, and install it.

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2016, 02:43:00 PM »
You could turn it into a chromebook by downloading the appropriate build for your computer from CloudReady. It's free and you can run it off a thumb drive without replacing the hard drive, or install it on a permanently on a drive. If you can log into your gmail account run a web browser you already know how to use it. The software is designed to allow schools with ancient hardware the ability to get some more life out of them.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2016, 04:46:03 PM »
A new computer is a good idea .. but vector linux would run on that machine .. I played with it once probably 10 years ago on a computer that was old at that time so you're right in the ball park probably .. though I had linux running on machines significantly older than what you have. The article below says it can run on windows 98 machines which is almost getting to be close to 20 year old

In those days I had some time and wanted to play with linux on some old throwaway PCs .. Nowadays we are finally at the point when I can run a half decent linux distro like ubunto on my new laptop just using a virtual box

http://www.osnews.com/story/25808/VectorLinux_7_Fast_Flexible_and_Supported

"System Requirements
VectorLinux requires minimal hardware, so little that I often use it in evaluating Pentium IV's for refurbishing. (Also, Vector is very good at hardware recognition.) The Standard Edition even ran adequately for me on a P-III with 128M memory, so I've never had cause to try the Light Edition. SOHO Edition requires at least 512M of memory since it runs KDE with OpenOffice.

With these low system requirements, you would expect -- and you get -- excellent performance from Vector. It really snaps on current machines. And if you have an old XP or Windows 98 computer lying around, VL is an ideal vehicle for turning it into a secure, up-to-date system. But I don't want to give the impression that Vector is only for older machines, because that's not the case. Let's see what it offers."

==========

At time one back in those days I used knopix which boots off a cd .. This is easier and simpler than vector linux and even smaller I think

http://knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html

KNOPPIX is a bootable Live system on CD, DVD or USB flash drives, consisting of a representative collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a productive Linux system for the desktop, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it (over 9GB on the DVD "Maxi" edition).

===========

Then there's DSL linux which is the smallest I had used ..
http://damnsmalllinux.org/


Damn Small Linux is a very versatile 50MB mini desktop oriented Linux distribution.


=================

 That's the extent of my old forays into those types of smaller linux distros .. I had those old laptops running and browsing the web and everything but I forget some of the details of it all
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 05:07:54 PM by surfivor »

Offline Carl

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2016, 05:04:15 PM »
Windows XP Professional (a bit better communications than XP not pro) can be purchased on CD for as little as $3 on AMAZON.
You can buy a hard drive pretty cheap for IDE and pray the power supply holds up a while,But new power supply is under $20 for average size.
You can make it live again though now is a good time to upgrade as PCs are pretty low cost these days and the technology has really left
your old machine behind. I refurbish many PC's for Hams ,and regular people,on a budget and while UBUNTU LINUX is a good software ...
The system requirements have raised the bar a bit and your current unknown machine,even in good health,might not have the power to
keep up.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2016, 05:19:49 PM »
Here's another article that also mentions vector linux as well as puppy linux.. There's alot of different linux distros that people recommend for older machines ..

http://www.howtogeek.com/172987/revive-your-old-pc-the-3-best-linux-systems-for-old-computers/


the home page of distro watch lists 100 different linux distros and there's probably more than that

https://distrowatch.com/



decision chart, click the link then the plus + sign

http://i.imgur.com/jy1BF.png



« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 05:27:04 PM by surfivor »

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2016, 05:27:04 PM »
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements

The minimum requirements for Ubuntu is 700MHz Celeron with 512MB of memory.

Do you know what is inside that old computer?

On the other hand, eBay is your friend. For $200 you can get a much better computer.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/381807599437

For about $150 you can get the above Dell 690 with two processors and 32GB of RAM complete with hard drive all ready to load your OS  of choice. These things are a beast but they run forever. There are a ton of cheap computers on eBay.

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Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2016, 05:47:31 PM »
DSL linux can boot off of a flash drive that is just a little thing you put into your USB drive.

If you have a USB port you might be able to get a flash 512MG drive for $5, install DSL on that from another computer and then get your machine to boot off the flash drive though it's possible there's a technical challenge there .. I am not sure how great DSL is, I seem to recall it was not bad but it was a long time ago .. I am not 100% sure you can boot off the flash drive when you have no hard drive, but I think it's possible if you wanted to mess with it and didn't want to buy a hard drive or spend the money on a newer machine. I think DSL has a decent web browser but don't quote me on that
 
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/installing_to_a_usb_flash_drive.html


============

If you have a CD drive that works, knoppix is easy to boot into linux from a CD

This article from 2010 said knoppix is the best live CD linux

https://www.linux.com/learn/five-best-linux-live-cds


Richard (richard)

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2016, 07:29:27 PM »
In this Dell Vostro 400 I had considerable $$ and hours invested in Sony video and audio software. It does not transport to the Mac platform which we downgraded to over the last several years. There is virtually nothing to upgrade to from this machine running Windows XP. There is no road ahead with a dead hard drive to run programs like Vegas, is there? Can I run Sony Music Studio, Vegas on Linux? The video software for Mac isn't satisfactory, unless you are a uploading your kids' latest origami projects to Facebook.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2016, 10:30:13 PM »
In this Dell Vostro 400 I had considerable $$ and hours invested in Sony video and audio software. It does not transport to the Mac platform which we downgraded to over the last several years. There is virtually nothing to upgrade to from this machine running Windows XP. There is no road ahead with a dead hard drive to run programs like Vegas, is there? Can I run Sony Music Studio, Vegas on Linux? The video software for Mac isn't satisfactory, unless you are a uploading your kids' latest origami projects to Facebook.

 I don't know about that, what I see is this info

Alternatives to Sony ACID Pro for Linux
http://alternativeto.net/software/acid-pro/?platform=linux

Best Professional Video editor for Linux equivalent to Sony Vegas Pro?
http://askubuntu.com/questions/357196/best-professional-video-editor-for-linux-equivalent-to-sony-vegas-pro

http://filmora.wondershare.com/video-editor/free-linux-video-editor.html

Generally linux is considered a good development platform and a solid platform in general, however the versions of linux I mentioned are not really mainstream linux distros but more stripped down versions that would run on an old machine ..

 It's possible you could run something like ubuntu on that machine, then I would feel like you are going to have more software options for available packages.

 Ubuntu requirements listed:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements

    700 MHz processor (about Intel Celeron or better)
    512 MiB RAM (system memory)
    5 GB of hard-drive space (or USB stick, memory card or external drive but see LiveCD for an alternative approach)
    VGA capable of 1024x768 screen resolution.
    Either a CD/DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media.

==========

 Celeron processors came out in 1998 it appears so that seems good ..


 This article breaks down what it calls the most popular linux distros. It mentions puppy linux. I am not familiar with that, but I noticed it is highly rated to run on older machines

http://www.howtogeek.com/191207/10-of-the-most-popular-linux-distributions-compared/


 Linux tends to be a bit more techy type of platform ..

These seem to be some good comparisons of linux with windows etc

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000575.htm

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Linux_vs_Windowsn

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-fundamental-differences-between-linux-and-windows/

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/should-i-use-linux-or-windows-3-deal-breaker-questions-you-must-answer/

« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 11:03:49 PM by surfivor »

Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2016, 11:15:16 PM »

 Since puppy linux seems fairly highly and popular, perhaps there's a good number of audio or video editing stuff available

http://www.howtogeek.com/191207/10-of-the-most-popular-linux-distributions-compared/

Puppy Linux is another fairly well-known Linux distribution. Previous versions have been built on Ubuntu, but the latest is built on Slackware. Puppy is designed to be a small, lightweight operating system that can run well on very old computers. 

..

Puppy can run on PCs with 256 MB or RAM, although it does recommend 512 MB for the best experience.

Puppy isn’t the most modern and doesn’t have all the flashiest bells and whistles, but it can help you revive an old PC.

===========

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

How is Puppy Different?
..
Runs from RAM, making it unusually fast even in old PCs and in netbooks with solid state storage media.

Very low minimum system requirements.
Boot time is well under a minute, 30-40 seconds in most systems.
Includes a wide range of applications: wordprocessors, spreadsheets, internet browsers, games, image editors and many utilities. Extra software in the form of dotpets. There is a GUI Puppy Software Installer included.
Puppy is easy to use and little technical knowledge is assumed. Most hardware is automatically detected

============

Some links on video editing and multi media on puppy linux as well as puppy linux forums

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/SoftwareMultimedia

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/KdenLive

http://www.puppylinuxfaq.org/add-on-software/29-pet/203-cinelerra-video-editor-pet.html

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=55455&sid=636db86b4a183071dd30125cba79f21c

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/index.php

Richard (richard)

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2016, 07:52:50 AM »
Wow! thanks, I copied your posts and will work on them.

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2016, 08:52:53 AM »
Wow! thanks, I copied your posts and will work on them.

Try UbuntuStudio distribution it has all of the video editing stuff built in and working.

http://ubuntustudio.org/

Jerseyboy

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2016, 01:33:32 PM »
Both puppy linux and DSL are great for older computers, but not as easy to use for a newbie to Linux as Mint or Ubuntu.  If you run into any problems with puppet or DSL, you will have a harder time finding help online.  Any of the Ubuntu based distros are very easy to use and have lots of forum help available.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2016, 03:12:45 PM »

The question is is Ubuntu going to run well on your machine, you could give it a try .. if you where not satisfied with that experience, then try puppy linux

 Ubuntu Studio looks interesting. The wiki lists all of the multmedia stuff it has, but it may need to install from a flash drive

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Studio

"The disk image is about 1.8 GB, too large to fit on a standard CD, and as a result the recommended installation medium for Ubuntu Studio is a DVD or USB flash drive. "

https://ubuntustudio.org/tour/video/

https://ubuntustudio.org/tour/audio/


Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2016, 11:01:15 AM »
If you decide to go Ubuntu, look at the XFCE version.  It's light weight.

I'd also look at the live versions.  Boot off of DVD or USB and you can make sure it runs on your machine.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2016, 11:12:33 AM »

If you use something like ubuntu studio, alot of multi media software will be already installed. In the case of straight ubuntu, puppy linux etc .. you will probably have to install stuff yourself. There appears to be some puppy linux forums but ubuntu is more popular and there may be more easy to find info for that but you may also be able to work things out ok if you use puppy linux

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2016, 12:35:04 PM »
If you use something like ubuntu studio, alot of multi media software will be already installed.
This is why I usually point to Mint.  Studio wasn't always available, so you either had to use Mint or install the codecs onto Ubuntu.

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2016, 09:35:24 PM »
This is why I usually point to Mint.  Studio wasn't always available, so you either had to use Mint or install the codecs onto Ubuntu.

Yep, Mint is a great distribution for first timers. Very Windows-like. A lot of Codecs are installed, some of which are not available in the Ubuntu distribution it is based on. 

Ubuntu studio has the codecs and the video editing software the OP wanted.

They are both based upon Ubuntu with Mint bring a bit more mature.

Jerseyboy

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2016, 01:20:43 AM »
Can you remember the speed of the processor and quantity of RAM
as you did as to resurrect you PC and the LINUX operating system
was an afterthought as Windows XP disks can still be found at LOW COST.

I will add that UBUNTU ,and many other LINUX variants,has a graphic (ICONS)
interface that works and is not uncomfortable to use for those accustomed to
Windows.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2016, 08:08:36 AM »

 Perhaps there are markings on the machine somewhere that identify it's model number and system configuration. Either that, or you may be able to boot the machine into the BIOS system without a hard drive and get the info such as processor info, memory etc ..

If you can get it to boot DSL linux off of the flash drive, you may be able to get the system configuration information from some DSL linux utilities but I am not totally sure on how that would work

 If that's too hard to do, you could just try installing puppy linux and see where that gets you.


Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2016, 08:34:49 AM »
the DSL linux books says:

"Old machines get new life
—DSL can run on computers with as little as
16MB of RAM and a 486DX processor. DSL developers offer versions of DSL
that boot on older machines that need a smaller boot image (using Syslinux). As a result, the PC gathering dust in the closet can find new life as a simple desktop system, or by adding some extra software, a firewall, web server, or music player PC"

===============

Not that DSL would be your first choice or you wouldn't get a newer machine, but it's
still interesting to note. Wikipedia says the 468DX processer was introduced 1989


Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2016, 09:17:26 AM »
ways to obtain CPUand  memory info when booted into linux (could vary depending on linux type)

http://www.binarytides.com/linux-cpu-information/

http://www.binarytides.com/linux-command-check-memory-usage/


here is more info on linux multimedia, it mentions ubuntu studio as well
as ArtistX which does not need a hard drive, but you would need some kind of drive like a removable to save your work to ..

7 Best Linux Distributions for Multimedia Enthusiasts
http://www.junauza.com/2008/08/7-best-linux-distributions-for.html

ArtistX
ArtistX is based on Debian GNU/Linux and contains nearly all the available free audio (Rosegarden, Ardour, TerminatorX, Cecilia/Csound, Gnusound, Mixxx ) 2D graphics (Gimp, Inkscape, Nip2, Krita, Cinepaint, Synfig, Rawstudio, Skencil ) and 3D graphics (Wings3D, Kpovmodeler + Povray 3.6, K3D) and video software (Cinelerra, Kino, Openmovieeditor, Kdenlive, Pitivi, Avidemux) for the GNU/Linux computing platform. It doesn't need to be installed, and boots directly into a running system without touching hard drives.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 09:26:05 AM by surfivor »

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2016, 02:43:31 PM »
Don't over analyze it.  Just download some of the distros and give them a try.  It won't cost you anything but a little time.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2016, 09:37:26 AM »

 I started using Ubuntu a bit more today on my virtual machine. It's easier to set up something like a ruby on rails server on linux or if it gets complicated, linux is a better platform

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Re: Dell computer overhaul
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2016, 09:51:43 PM »
I use a lot of Dells. Most of the data you need has been covered in all the posts before mine. For me to actually add to the discussion I need to know the type of Dell computer we are talking about. is it a home machine or one of the workstation class machines? If your willing to dump windows and use Linux and such then there are a lot of possibilities for you. You can get 6yr and older workstation class Dells for the price of one hard drive now. Something like a dual processor Dell 2600 is a hell of a bargain if your into doing refurbs and like Linux. Decent computer hardware is so cheap now, upgrading may be the better path. Unless you have legacy application that require that specific computer your probably better off dumping it and getting something more modern. Don't forget that you time is valuable too and spending it on an old machine that's likely to lose another critical component may not be a good expenditure of your time.

Regards,
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