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Thread: Old pc, HP 521n

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Beans
    4

    Old pc, HP 521n

    Hey everyone I am here because of some problems I ran into while trying to install lubuntu 13.10 on my old pc.

    The computer is a little over 10 years old and is an hp 521n. It has an amd Athlon 1.4ghz processor, 256mb ram, and a 60gb hd. It came with windows xp. It was our only computer until a few years ago. When we got a new one I saved this old one just to have but a few days ago I decided to hook it up and use out in my garage. It's primary use will be when I'm out working on my truck or something for reference. Really just basic Web browsing and a couple YouTube videos and stuff. That and to play music while I'm out there.

    When the computer was new it was decent and could handle what I wanted it to do. Well I hooked it up and it is so slow it's basically unusable. I decided to give Linux a try and downloaded lubuntu. I tried the alternative installer because of my low ram and it worked. However, all I get is something that looks line ms-dos. I'm guessing this is the terminal. There is no gui.

    Well I went back and burned the regular lubuntu iso. It says it requires 384mb ram. I tried to install it but it won't do anything. I get a screen that let's me choose to install it and pick english, but after that is says lubuntu 13.10 for a while and then the screen turns off.

    I'm a little discouraged but hoping to find a solution. I am not opposed to using a different version of Linux (is that a distribution?) like puppy Linux but I think I'd prefer lubuntu.


    Thanks,
    Joey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    London, England
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: total green newbie

    What you are getting with the mini ISO is Linux without a desktop environment sitting on top of it. That is my guess. The Lubuntu web site claims a minimum of 128MB of RAM. What version of Lubuntu did you download. AMD64? or i386?

    The AMD64 ISO image is for machines with either an Intel or an AMD 64bit CPU. The Lubuntu i386 ISO image is for either an Intel 32 bit CPU or a AMD 32 bit CPU. The 32 bit Lubuntu or Ubuntu will run on 32 bit CPUs and 64 bit CPUs but a 64Bit Lubuntu or Ubuntu will only run on a 64bit CPU. Could your confirm that this problem is not caused by having an OS incompatible with the CPU?

    Regards.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Beans
    4

    Re: total green newbie

    I downloaded the i386 32 bit version. It recommended that I use the alternative installer because of the low ram of the pc.

    I have no idea how to do anything from the terminal though. Ideally I'd like to remove everything and just start over.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Beans
    4

    Re: total green newbie

    A little update...

    I ended up trying puppy linux (slacko 5.6) I have installed it to the hard drive. My next thing will be to set it up so that when I turn the computer on it boots just like windows did.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Beans
    4

    Re: total green newbie

    Final update-

    I am posting this from my old worn out garage computer. Puppy Linux is up and running and I got GRUB setup so it boots like I want it to. I feel like I've accomplished something since I've never done anything like this. I think this will work out just fine for what I wanted it for. Youtube videos are pretty hard to watch, but my main goal was to be able to browse the internet.

    Anyway, thanks to those who tried to help me, I ended up going a little different route.

    Joey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Funky Town, AUS
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: total green newbie

    Excellent work and good news! Puppy is the perfect choice for that machine (there are others but good place to start).

    Yes, you have achieved something so good way to start the new year. To help others, please mark the thread as solved by following the instructions in my signature.

    (PS: Puppy, though, is not officially supported in the main areas of this forum. Post any issues with it in Other OS/Distro Support section or the Puppy forums. Good luck. )
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; January 2nd, 2014 at 08:24 AM.

  7. #7
    squakie is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Beans
    2,238
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: total green newbie

    Congradulations!! It doesn't matter to most of us what OS you choose, as long as it is what works for you. I am glad you made the switch to Linux, and you should be proud of what you did to get the old hardware working! A lot of people would have just given up.

    I hope you enjoy you new entry into the Linux world. There are a lot of online references for help, but I think you'd find people here willing to help you as well - just post in the cafe (I think that is platform-independent).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Reykjavík, Ísland
    Beans
    11,247
    Distro
    Lubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf

    Re: Old pc, HP 521n

    Though it works you will get a much better performance with more RAM regardless of the distro.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Funky Town, AUS
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Old pc, HP 521n

    Quote Originally Posted by squakie View Post
    ... just post in the cafe (I think that is platform-independent).
    No. The Cafe is a non-support area. As I mentioned previously, Other OS/Distro Support is your best bet here.

    Quote Originally Posted by mörgæs View Post
    Though it works you will get a much better performance with more RAM regardless of the distro.
    +1. But Puppy works on a sniff of RAM, so if you're happy, all good. With a couple of Gb of RAM though, you would not be restricted to Puppy and the lighter distros, but does it really matter? The thing has a new life already! Better than landfill.

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