View Full Version : [all variants] Is Ubuntu a good option for an old Sony Vaio

August 29th, 2009, 04:03 PM
My sister gave me her old Sony Vaio laptop because it was running very slow and the CD drive was broken. I had a look and the cd drive seemed alright but I wanted to load it with Ubuntu. Halfway through installing, the CD drive gave up and now I'm faced with a large useless brick.

I'm hoping I'll be able to install from a USB or figure out how to use a network to do it, but I was wondering if Ubuntu's my best bet or whether another distro's better suited to the Vaio.

Anyone got any ideas?

Thanks for any assistance.

August 29th, 2009, 04:14 PM
Hi Scubdub, it is impossible to answer that question without knowing the hardware specs of the computer. Why don't you find out more info and post back, so we can help you.

Did you test Ubuntu from the Live CD before you clicked install? Running the Live CD is the best way to tell whether Ubuntu is compatible with the hardware. (With the exception that it will be faster once you install.)

Yes, you can install Ubuntu without a working CD drive, for example you can create a "Live USB" (on a different computer) using Ubuntu's usb-creator utility, or the popular Unetbootin application.

August 30th, 2009, 01:38 PM
Hi there. It's a Sony Vaio vgn-a217m with Intel Pentium-M 1.6GHz Centrino Processor, 512MB DDR SDRAM, and 80GB Hard Drive.

I have tried creating an Ubuntu boot USB drive, and went into the Vaio's BIOS and changed the boot order to have "Removable Dev." first, but still get the same error message come up:
"Error loading operating system".

At a bit of a loss here...

August 30th, 2009, 01:43 PM
First, read the system requirements. (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements) Or try xubuntu (http://www.xubuntu.org), which is basicly ubuntu using xfce. It might just work.

Try out Puppy Linux (http://www.puppylinux.org/) or Damn Small Linux (DSL) (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/) if you cant get ubuntu/xubuntu to work.

Hope it works for you.

August 30th, 2009, 01:49 PM
Personally, I wouldnt move to a 'light' distro with system specs like that, Ubuntu should be fine.

August 30th, 2009, 01:58 PM

I cannot get this machine to boot from the USB although it appears this should be possible.

At the moment I am looking at network installation guides (and they are filling this noob with dread - DHCP servers - wtf?)

August 30th, 2009, 02:04 PM
This might help: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-laptop-and-netbook-25/hardware-issues-with-debian-on-sony-vaio-vgn-fs980-702492/ . I thought it might help as Ubuntu is built on Debian.