Anyone here installed Linux on Dell Inspiron 700m?

angelmpb

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I have no experience with Linux but I want to learn to use it. I have an old Dell Inspiron 700m laptop that I want to use for it, but I don't know where to start, there are too many types of information out there. I'd appreciate if anyone who has experience installing Linux on this type of laptop computer could give me some hints. Thanks.
 


wizardfromoz

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Hi @angelmpb and welcome to linux.org :)

I wonder if you can take a look at this page here and see if it resembles your computer?

https://www.cnet.com/products/dell-inspiron-700m/specs/

Are you running Windows on it currently, and if so, which version, eg XP, Vista, Windows 7, &c?

Do you know if you have a certain amount of Memory in it? For example, if the link I provided is similar to yours, the standard is 512MB, which would limit your options with Linux but not rule it out. However, it is capable of taking up to 2GB of RAM, which in two (2) slots would mean having two by 1GB sticks, if you can get them.

If you can answer these questions first, we can take a look from there, and if I have confused, just ask and we will try to help you find the answers.

I am from Australia, so it may not be me who answers next, but good luck :D

Cheers

Wizard
 

angelmpb

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Hi Wizard,

Thanks for your reply. This is the spec for my computer, but I already did some changes. I installed more memory, now it has 2GB of RAM. I also installed a 250GB hard drive. It is running Windows XP Professional 2002 SP2. I stopped using this computer a few years ago, but now I finally found a new purpose to it. I appreciate all your help.

Angel

...
Are you running Windows on it currently, and if so, which version, eg XP, Vista, Windows 7, &c?

Do you know if you have a certain amount of Memory in it? For example, if the link I provided is similar to yours, the standard is 512MB, which would limit your options with Linux but not rule it out. However, it is capable of taking up to 2GB of RAM, which in two (2) slots would mean having two by 1GB sticks, if you can get them.
...
 

wizardfromoz

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Hi @angelmpb again.

That link friend @arochester has provided looks quite useful, albeit has a lot of old content, I might bookmark that, thanks @arochester :D

But Angel, that 1st comment or question, there, in Discussion appears to be you, is that so?

I'll repeat that link for the benefit of The Viewers - http://www.linlap.com/dell_inspiron_700m

If that is you, then you may want to focus your questions on one site or another, and perhaps let "the other" know to cancel?

You'll understand it is difficult for us to advise accurately and consistently when you might be getting differing advice from elsewhere, I am sure you can see that. So perhaps let us know which way you want to go.

Certainly the addition of the RAM, and the larger HDD is a big bonus for you with Linux, and it boosts your chances of running it successfully, but it also expands the (sometimes bewildering) range of choices available to you.

If you wish to dualboot Linux with Windows, that is one avenue, and we would advise you to have any personal data on the Windows backed up, and a recovery solution in place (eg recovery disk), should something go pear-shaped and Windows heads south for the winter.

Given you say you stopped using it a few years ago, that may not present a problem, and you might choose to blow away Windows as part of the Linux install, and dedicate the entire drive to Linux, or even, ultimately, a number of Linuxes, should you so choose. You have the space.

Given the optical drive is DVD-ROM, it could only be used for the install, if you have another computer you could use to "burn" a "Live" Linux to, then transfer it and install, or you could purchase a DVD with a Live Linux Distribution on it from somewhere such as https://www.osdisc.com/ which a lot of people apparently use.

But the two (2) USB ports look your best option, as a USB stick of course can be reused.

You laptop is likely 32-bit architecture, which we can verify if you do not know, and so you would have to download a 32-bit Linux and we can help with that.

Now that I have given you some choices to bewilder you, I'll leave you to think about them a bit, and do let us know what you want to do about the multiple sites entries, if that is you.

Cheers

Wizard
 

angelmpb

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Hi @wizardfromoz. Yes, I am the one at the other discussion group. I first posted my question there and I was not patient enough to wait for an answer. I cannot remove that post since I didn't register at that site before posting the question :oops: Anyway, I see your point, I will stick to this current discussion and the advice that I get here.

You are right, I want to completely remove Windows from my Inspiron 700m and only install Linux in it. That is a 32-bit laptop, and there is nothing that I need to save in there.

So, now that it's all clarified, which should be a good first Linux to me? Ubuntu?

Thanks for your patience with this Linux newbie :)

Angel
 

Condobloke

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G'day again....

Seeing the laptop is a 32 bit.....Lubuntu. It is light and should run well on a 32 bit system. HOWEVER......read my previous post and 'burn' the iso to a usb....change the boot order and give it a run before fully installing it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
LUBUNTU

THIS PAGE will take you to a priogram called Unetbootin.

At this stage you will have already downloaded Lubuntu and have it sitting on your desktop where you can access it easily.

Open unetbootin. Plug in your USB. At the bottom of its window...click on 'Diskimage. Then go to your right, and click in the box with the three little dots......that opens a window where you will proceed to find the download for Lubuntu. In trhe bottom left hand corner of the unetbootin window it says 'Type"....and that box should already show USB Drive.....then next to that it should have the name of the USB drive......PLEASE CHECK THAT THE USB DRIVE IS NAMED CORRECTLY...AND THAT YOU WILL BE INSTALLING THE LUBUNTU OS TO THE USB......NOT SOMEWHERE ELSE !!!!!
When you are quite certain that is correct,....click OK. Allow it to do its thing....it could take as long as 10 minutes...but typically it takes around half that time.

When finished, you need to change the boot order to boot from the usb.

Let us know how it works for you.

Either Wiz or myself will be around....and if not then someone else will wade in should you require help.

Above all.......enjoy it....there is nothing to be fearful of......everything to gain and nothing to lose.
 
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angelmpb

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After several tries, I was able to create a bootable USB drive using Unetbootin. Still, My computer does not recognize it. I even left the only option to boot using the USB drive, and I get a message that there is no bootable device available. Yes, I formated the USB drive to FAT32, was only able to properly run unetbootin from command line so it would find the drive where my USB drive was mounted.

Here is a sample I used (changed path to my own):
C:\<path>\unetbootin-windows-657.exe installtype=USB targetdrive=E:\

Oh, and after I tried booting from the USB drive, forcing the system to only look at the USB drive, now Windows crashes when Norton anti-virus is being loaded after I log in.

I think I should try booting from the DVD drive now. Any thoughts?
 

wizardfromoz

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;)
I stopped using this computer a few years ago,
I keep coming back to that, don't I? (Wizard appears in a puff of smoke, everybody coughs and clears the room) :D

Hi "Angel". So either you have been on a computer drought, or else you have alternate computer/s likely running more advanced Windows. If so, can you tell us what they are?

I am thinking in terms of identifying burning solutions you have available, should you choose the DVD course, and the fact that you mentioned it lends weight to your having another computer with a DVD burner.

Also, can you tell us if the Lubuntu download was called something like lubuntu-17.10-desktop-i386.iso, or else one in the 16.04's? The exact name would be good.

I am curious about that necessity to invoke unetbootin from the command line, but we can scratch our heads on that later.

The way you describe your efforts so far indicates you have some good experience, so I am not being patronising in any way when I say, I think you will likely get through this pretty easily.

I will be about, have some Distros to blow up and Timeshift Tutorial to work on, but Stan (@atanere ) and Brian (@Condobloke ) have considerable experience with Windows environments, so you are in safe hands with them. And I suspect friend @arochester is no "slouch" either, although I know less of his history. I gave up Windows 7 over 3 years ago and have been running Linux exclusively ever since and have not looked back :p

Cheers

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 
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angelmpb

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Thanks @wizardfromoz . The reason I had to run unetbootin using the command line was to force it to find my USB drive. Just running the app wasn't allowing me to fill the DRIVE field, it just turned up blank. Anyway, the lubuntu download I have is lubuntu-17.10-desktop-i386.iso

I definitely got complacent the last few years, I should had tried Linux a long time ago (sigh!).
 

wizardfromoz

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Glad I got alerted before I nicked off to wreak havoc elsewhere, lol.

Lubuntu may not in fact be the best idea, at the moment. Read the linked article below in context with the rest of my comments.

https://bugs.launchubuntupad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1734147 - Stan (@atanere ) brought this to our attention first, and I am not sure if Brian (@Condobloke ) is aware of it (Is that so, or not, Bri?)

Lubuntu is what we call a " 'buntu-based" Distro. Others include Edubuntu, Xubuntu, and so on. All based nearly directly on Ubuntu. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, but not so intimately so.

LaunchPad is a site run by Ubuntu, but deals with many Debian-based distros.

This only affects the 17.10 series, but for the benefit of The Viewers, some of the computers affected include, but may not be limited to, the following:

Affected Machines:

Lenovo B40-70
Lenovo B50-70
Lenovo B50-80
Lenovo Flex-3
Lenovo Flex-10
Lenovo G40-30
Lenovo G50-30
Lenovo G50-70
Lenovo G50-80
Lenovo S20-30
Lenovo U31-70
Lenovo Y50-70
Lenovo Y70-70
Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad (20C0)
Lenovo Yoga 2 11" - 20332
Lenovo Z50-70
Lenovo Z51-70
Lenovo ideapad 100-15IBY

Acer Aspire E5-771G
Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C1LE (fixed following your new instruction (thank you))
Acer TravelMate B113
Acer Swift SF314-52 (Fixed by 4.14.9)
Toshiba Satellite S55T-B5233
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1R7
Toshiba Satellite S50-B-13G
Dell Inspiron 15-3531
Mediacom Smartbook 14 Ultra M-SB14UC
Acer Aspire E3-111-C0UM
HP 14-r012la

Now, Angel, you'll see a Dell there. And although the site says "This bug affects 131 people" ... that is simply the number of people whom have contacted LaunchPad with their outcomes.

So until this bug is put to rest, prospective 'buntu users might be better advised to use the 16.04 series, which is LTS (long-term support).

The 17.10 series has a shelf life of 9 months for support, and the LTS have 5 years. So 17.10, whilst it has the latest whistles and bells, expires in July, whereas 16.04 is covered until April 2021.

Angel, if you are not shy, let us know your Timezone, and then I will have a better handle on when your times and my DownUnder times intersect.

Cheers

Wizard
BTW I am off to replace my Betas on Ubuntu 17.10 GNOME and 17.10 MATE with the Real McCoy, and see if I can blow up my Toshiba with the bug. Seriously, I can't have any downtime unless the power company goes on the fritz, because I run 65-70 Linux at any time. Call me mad, call me crazy, as long as you don't call me late for dinner.
 

angelmpb

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I'm in the Pacific time zone. I was just thinking about starting all over tomorrow with the 16.04 series,
you just reassured me this is a good try. Thanks again!
 

atanere

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Y'all are doing very well, but I'll butt in anyway (it's the Homer-like thing to do!). :D

Mostly, just words of encouragement... Lubuntu 16.04 series should work well, and it definitely looks like DVD is the way to go in your case. I'm also very confused about needing to use the command line for Unetbootin, but no matter if you move over to DVD instead.

There are still a few distros around offering 32-bit, so if you'd like to look at others for variety, I would also suggest Linux Mint (MATE edition), Linux Lite, and Peppermint 8. All of these are based on Ubuntu and will usually detect all of your hardware... although, for an example, I have found Peppermint to work with very old built-in WiFi on a couple of old laptops where the other distros didn't.

Okay, butting out again....

Cheers
 

wizardfromoz

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Okay, butting out again....
...which allows me to butt back in.

The Lubuntu Distro itself is very good, and its LXDE Desktop Environment is light on resources without sacrificing functionality. That DE is also used with LXLE, the 32-bit version of which runs on my wife Compaq Presario C300, which has only an Intel Celeron M430 single core, 60GB HDD and ... 512MB RAM.

Mind that it is only the kernel that is associated with the 'buntu 17.10 'Artful Aardvark' subseries that is affected by the bug, and does no affect the alternatives Stan has suggested.

Peppermint I have used since Peppermint 6 and I am now on Peppermint 8, albeit the 64-bit. With Peppermint, it is a teensy bit DIY in terms that it does not ship by default with a Productivity Suite, just Abiword (a little like MS Write used to be), but you can easily add LibreOffice as I have.

Peppermint uses an Xfce DE, which is only a little heavier than LXDE.

If you wish to learn a little more about the DEs, try this article - https://renewablepcs.wordpress.com/about-linux/kde-gnome-or-xfce/

Finally, for now, if you go the USB stick route again, Etcher is very simple and effective, Stan and I have found

https://etcher.io/

Cheers

Wizard
 

angelmpb

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Uhu! Before trying etcher I decided to give it a try with an older USB drive (why not? all is old here ;)). Formated this USB drive to FAT32, downloaded lubuntu 16.04.3, ran unetbootin exe, which recognized the drive where my USB drive was installed (good sign!). The bootable USB drive was recognized by my computer, but when I tried running lubuntu without installing it (actually, any option I selected from the menu), I got an error that PAE was not installed.

I found instruction of how to add "loadpae" to command line here:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PAE?action=show&redirect=EnablingPAE

Now I am writing from Firefox using Linux in my Dell Inspiron 700m. Hurray!

Next step, full install. Stay tuned...
 

angelmpb

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I definitely want to get rid of Windows XP in this computer, that is why I want to do full Lubuntu install right away. I found a link about these two install options:

1) Encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security (you will choose a security key in the next step).

2) Use LVM with the new Ubuntu installation (this will set up Logical Volume Management. It allows taking snapshots and easier partition resizing)

But I'd like to know your opinions before I proceed. Thanks!
(here is the link a mentioned above : https://askubuntu.com/questions/429...es-of-the-new-encryption-feature-in-ubuntu-13 )
 

angelmpb

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Hi "Angel". So either you have been on a computer drought, or else you have alternate computer/s likely running more advanced Windows. If so, can you tell us what they are?
Forgot to answer to your question
@wizardfromoz . Well, I wasn't doing much for the last 7 years or so, just helping family and friends around with their basic computer issues, but neglected to deal with my own things. I have a mid 2011 iMac running El Capitan, a couple of laptop computers with Windows 7 and 10, a 2010 or so netbook, three chromebooks, and the Dell laptop you already know. They are not all mine, but since the other members of the family only know how to browse the internet, send emails, and use Microsoft Word, I pretty much am the family IT person, even though I am a software developer, with no hardware formal education. I upgraded most household computers memory, upgraded a couple of hard drives, all just being curious about it. So far so good :)
 

wizardfromoz

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Hi Angel :)

Re #17, I would say neither 1. nor 2., but this is IMO. Another one or more of our Members may have more experience in this regard and I would follow their advice, if they recommend a course of action.

Once you get your Lubuntu up and running, the first thing on your priorities should be to find your way to Terminal and type in and enter

Code:
sudo ufw enable
It will prompt you for your password, enter it (no movement shows, security) and press Enter again.

You will be rewarded with a message saying your Uncomplicated FireWall has been enabled (in real time) and a small script generated which will run at every boot/reboot.

Many of us here don't even have any antivirus software installed, because between the Distro's firewall and one at our modem-router, we are pretty secure. But it is a matter of choice.

Encryption will provide a level of protection, but in the case of that laptop, there will be a cost in performance, making it seem sluggish.

LVM is most often associated with RAID arrays, and it has an ability to take snapshots handy in recovery backup.

You can read about it here https://www.reddit.com/r/linuxquestions/comments/4ls2hw/what_are_the_pros_and_cons_of_using_lvm/ or else do your own research and choose more wisely.

If you are looking for a snapshot facility, you need go no further than Timeshift, I describe here https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

That is a work in progress and takes up a fair amount of my time.

Ask any questions, and someone will be along :D

Cheers

Wizard
 

atanere

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I agree with Wizard... I discourage installations with encryption and LVM for new users. They add complexity that you typically don't need at this point. Simple is better, most of the time.

Cheers
 


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