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Thread: No existing operating system

  1. #1
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    No existing operating system

    I have a 3 year old Acer Aspire Model 5735z laptop. The hard drive has been removed. We do not have the system restore disks and they are not available for sale from Acer.
    I am contemplating installing a NEW hard drive and installing ubuntu as the ONLY operating system. (buying a new Windows 7 plus the hard drive doesn't make $ense.)

    I'm not a geek. I'd appreciate any input or advice before I invest in the cost of a new hard drive.

    Jim

  2. #2
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    Re: No existing operating system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimemitchellsr View Post
    I have a 3 year old Acer Aspire Model 5735z laptop. The hard drive has been removed. We do not have the system restore disks and they are not available for sale from Acer.
    I am contemplating installing a NEW hard drive and installing ubuntu as the ONLY operating system. (buying a new Windows 7 plus the hard drive doesn't make $ense.)

    I'm not a geek. I'd appreciate any input or advice before I invest in the cost of a new hard drive.

    Jim
    Hi there any welcome to the forums!

    Glad to hear that you're considering Ubuntu, or Linux in general at least! I'd agree with you; especially with Microsoft building up to Windows 8, now would not be a good time to purchase a Windows 7 licence unless you needed Windows for something?

    It is worth remembering that somewhere on your latptop you should have a MS product key, so if you new someone with the same version of the key you are well within your rights to use that disk to install with that key - after all you paid for windows with the laptop

    Down to business! I'd say about three years old is a good length of time for linux on laptops, generally speaking they're old enough to have a high rate of supported hardware, and not too old that you'll run into problems... which is nice!

    Would you mind giving a little more info - model, RAM, any known graphics card?

    All the best

    Jon

  3. #3
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    Re: No existing operating system

    Sorry I didn't see your laptop model number in your orignal post - just being a bit unobservant!

    Looked up the specs quickly and nothing really stands out as being a problem - checked the listed gma4500mhd graphics on the forums - looks all good to be honest - couldn't see if it was a broadcom wireless driver or not, but that easy to get running if you did.

    All in all I can't see a problem - I'd advise you just give a live cd a go! We can debate theoretical's for ages, but I think the best way for you to get a feel of what the OS would be like on your hardware would be to burn a live CD - these are install CD's that let you run the operating system before you install it, without a hard drive.

    You can also use a program called unetbootin to install the live CD's to a USB stick over 1GB - saves burning some disks!

    Ubuntu's great (dah!) but since you're trying before you buy as it were, other popular distro's you may like to try as a live cd are
    Fedora
    Linux Mint
    Open SUSE (choose live KDE)
    PCLinuxOS

    OR you may want to try alternate version of ubuntu
    Kubuntu
    Lubuntu
    Xubuntu

    If you don't want to download all that lot, look them up on youtube to get an idea of what you may like to try first

  4. #4
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    Re: No existing operating system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimemitchellsr View Post
    I have a 3 year old Acer Aspire Model 5735z laptop. The hard drive has been removed. We do not have the system restore disks and they are not available for sale from Acer.
    I am contemplating installing a NEW hard drive and installing ubuntu as the ONLY operating system. (buying a new Windows 7 plus the hard drive doesn't make $ense.)

    I'm not a geek. I'd appreciate any input or advice before I invest in the cost of a new hard drive.

    Jim
    Hi Jim,

    look inthe BIOS to see if you can boot from a USB stick with about 4 GB of space or 8 GB you could partition. It is a slow way to load a system, but costs a lot less than an HDD.

    Then you run Ubuntu from it with a persistence file to keep your data, instead of booting from a live CD/DVD (if an optical drive is installed).

    You may be able to get a cheap or used HDD (test it first) from somewhere, too, incase you want to take earlier poster's suggestion to reinstall XP, or arrange a dual boot system.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Re: No existing operating system

    I've had better luck creating bootable Ubuntu USB sticks using the Universal USB Installer from PendriveLinux.com.

    Also, if your PC can boot from that, you can use that to try out Ubuntu. Only thing not present would be a hard drive -- and that's connected through the controller in your PC.

    Booting from LiveCD (or LiveUSB) is really the only way to see how well a particular PC will work with any Linux distro.
    Ubuntu 15.04 Mate, Mint 17.1; MS Win 8.1, Win10 TP.
    Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.

  6. #6
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    Re: No existing operating system

    Quote Originally Posted by gnu/mirow View Post
    Hi there any welcome to the forums!

    Glad to hear that you're considering Ubuntu, or Linux in general at least! I'd agree with you; especially with Microsoft building up to Windows 8, now would not be a good time to purchase a Windows 7 licence unless you needed Windows for something?

    It is worth remembering that somewhere on your latptop you should have a MS product key, so if you new someone with the same version of the key you are well within your rights to use that disk to install with that key - after all you paid for windows with the laptop

    Down to business! I'd say about three years old is a good length of time for linux on laptops, generally speaking they're old enough to have a high rate of supported hardware, and not too old that you'll run into problems... which is nice!

    Would you mind giving a little more info - model, RAM, any known graphics card?

    All the best

    Jon
    Thanks for your input. I have the product key for the Vista OS that was on the laptop. How would one find another person or computer with the same product key? Also; Where is the operating system saved on the computer? (ie can the hard drive be replace without having to do a system restore with the disks?)
    Jim

  7. #7
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    Re: No existing operating system

    I have the product key for the Vista OS that was on the laptop. How would one find another person or computer with the same product key?
    Find a friend who is running the same version of Vista and has the install cd, (not an OEM restore disk) 'cause they are only good with the pc/hardware it was installed on). Borrow the cd and install it with YOUR key.
    Where is the operating system saved on the computer? (ie can the hard drive be replace without having to do a system restore with the disks?)
    On most, there is a small partition. You may see it under 'manage disks'. Will your hard drive boot? Do you remember seeing an option for 'recover system' when comp. starts up? That would be the recovery/restore partition.

    I'm not sure what you're asking about replacing hard drive without doing a restore.
    Is the hard drive dead or just Vista? If the hard drive is still good you can replace the OS by just installing linux. If you want to save Vista, work on that first.
    Last edited by critin; January 13th, 2012 at 06:39 AM.
    Remember When Double-Dog dare ya's and water balloons were the ultimate weapon?

  8. #8
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    Re: No existing operating system

    The OP has stated that the HDD has been removed. That's where the OS is stored, so he has zero chance of doing anything with restore disks. Perhaps as others have suggested, making a Live USB with persistence is the way to go (assuming the lappy can boot from USB)

  9. #9
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    Re: No existing operating system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimemitchellsr View Post
    Thanks for your input. I have the product key for the Vista OS that was on the laptop. How would one find another person or computer with the same product key? Also; Where is the operating system saved on the computer? (ie can the hard drive be replace without having to do a system restore with the disks?)
    Jim
    Hi there as stated by critin, your product ket is personal to you - you just need someone with the same versions of Windows Vista it says on the product key label. The most common for laptops were Home Premium and Home Basic; these were very common, so you may well be able to find someone with an install cd to borrow if you ask nicely

  10. #10
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    Re: No existing operating system

    Quote Originally Posted by jockyburns View Post
    The OP has stated that the HDD has been removed. That's where the OS is stored, so he has zero chance of doing anything with restore disks. Perhaps as others have suggested, making a Live USB with persistence is the way to go (assuming the lappy can boot from USB)
    Yes, but the condition of the HD is unknown. It may be that Vista crashed without the HD being at fault. OP didn't say why the HD was removed. Since mention of restore disks and location of OS, I thought I'd ask.
    Remember When Double-Dog dare ya's and water balloons were the ultimate weapon?

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