no idea - vicky, i have not been (if not an expert, then) '"conversational/fluent" with the windozer for 6 years, since i adopted a totally linux environment.Do you think that putting in a new hard drive might make this machine usable as a linux machine?
and i am far from being hardware fluent.
the best i can do at this point is to provide some reading and to bounce some ideas off you, as follows:
- on the drive take a look at https://www.howtogeek.com/341268/what-to-do-when-your-hard-drive-fails/ , in particular where it says "How to Get Your Data Off a Failing Drive"
i would try the drive on another machine before expending the dough on a new one.
the SMART feature referred to there is employed across all platforms - windows, mac and linux since around 2010 and if you have not received such a warning, it may or may not mean there is hope for the drive
- on Kepler, if that is the main item of value on Win 7, look at https://astroapex.com/astro-software/ and once there, you can press ctrl-f to find 5 references to linux, worth a look perhaps?
- LUGs - these are Linux User Groups, that have formed all around the world, to meet an swap ideas on Linux. sometimes there is a lot to be said for having someone to sit with who can steer you verbally, or take the driver's seat, and i have been thinking about these for some time for your circumstances.
a Googling of
linux user groups virginia
is a starting point, and it reveals that there are LUGs at
- McLean - NoVaLUG
- RVALUG - at Richmond
- TWUUG - The Tidewater Unix Users Group (Unix being the grandfather of Linux
- and so on
obviously this blessed COVID-19 is an issue and NoVaLUG have
HTH (HOPE THIS HELPS)