How to install Linux on my old laptop

JuJuan

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Hi there, I own an old laptop Asus Centrino 1.6 Mhz with 532 Mo (sort of) of Ram that is runing Windows Xp professionnal very well. I'd like to give it a second youth by installing Linux on it (or on usb key preferably). Til now, I tried everything I could, Rufus or Ventoy and at least 5 distros (on 32 bits). The computer boot without any trouble on my usb key and often after I've choosen my distro nothing interresting happen (only text page that I don't understand). Sometime with few distros and after some big minutes, I obtain the following: 'your kernel don't have PAE....'or something like that that I don't remember well. I also looked sideway of virtualisation but I don't see this option on my computer. My laptop is at least from 2005 and I don't want to use too much the command line since I'm moore like a newbie and the computer will be used mainly by a woman that know nothing on computer. Somebody could help please?
 


arochester

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What model of Asus Centrino is it?
 

Brickwizard

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I will only say your M1600 [branded Centrino] is 5 yrs younger than mine [on acer travel mate] and is a 32 bit Piii based cpu
Debian 32 bit, Peppermint re-spin, and MX-32 bit all install and run fine [not fast, but it makes me a spare]

edit I use Balina-etcher
 
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JuJuan

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Try it with AntiX Base, has all the software you need - try it 'live' from pendrive first, & then check out the install instructions, if you want to put it on your disk.

Try it with AntiX Base, has all the software you need - try it 'live' from pendrive first, & then check out the install instructions, if you want to put it on your disk.

Ok, I'm downloading this AntiX Base and as soon as the problem with my usb key will be settle, I'll try it (it was not this distro that I tried before). Anyway now I have new issue with my old pc. Now it can't read anymore my key and offer if I want to format it; while on my newer pc this key remain totally fine. I don't want to abuse, but do you have an idea of what's going on?
 
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Brickwizard

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Now it can't read anymore my key and offer if I want to format it; while on my newer pc this key remain totally fine. I don't want to abuse, but do you have an idea of what's going on?
That could be to do with if the key is 64 bit, or even the file method [Fats32/ Ext and so on] or even the file extension [.doc/exe. etc]
 
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JuJuan

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That could be to do with if the key is 64 bit, or even the file method [Fats32/ Ext and so on] or even the file extension [.doc/exe. etc]
ok thanks. Last time I formated it in Fat32. I didn't know a key could be 64 bits. Anyway, I don't think it's something to do with all that since the computer read on it without any issue for a while and suddently just stop. It's not the first time (at least two other times that occur the exact same thing with the same hardware). These times I formated and everything was ok after; but now that I have a lot of stuff on my key, I'm not that willing to do it again
 

Brickwizard

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its not the key, but it could be what's on it
 
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JuJuan

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What's on it, it's installed Ventoy with 15 Linux distros (iso files). That's all
 

Brickwizard

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What's on it, it's installed Ventoy with 15 Linux distros (iso files). That's all
Ok let me guess they are all 64 bit distributions, your Centrino machine is 32 bit so it cannot run them
 
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JuJuan

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Sorry to contradit but they're all in 32 bits and for my laptop I'm not really sure since I didn't find a place where they tell it
 

Brickwizard

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Sorry to contradit but they're all in 32 bits and for my laptop I'm not really sure since I didn't find a place where they tell it
I did say guess!
As for the laptop. The CPU product code tells me all I need to know, to expand it's basically a Pentium 3 core on a pentium 4 base. P3 are only 32 bit..quote "The Pentium M is a family of mobile 32-bit single-core x86 microprocessors introduced in March 2003 and forming a part of the Intel Carmel notebook platform under the then new Centrino brand."
 

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Brickwizard

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My laptop is at least from 2005
I am just wondering at that age it may not be USB bootable, dose USB show up in the boot menu of the bios?
 

MikeWalsh

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I am just wondering at that age it may not be USB bootable, dose USB show up in the boot menu of the bios?
I'd be surprised if it didn't. Our 2003 Dell Inspiron lappie, when we bought it new, was one of the very first machines to be able to boot from the then still very new USB 2.0 standard. It was a feature Dell had introduced across the range for the 2003 model year.......and this was back in the days when Dell still sold direct to the customer.

It would be a few years still before Dell began selling in the 'big-box' stores.....

Mind you, I have no experience of what USB 1.0 was like, or even if it supported booting. Anyway, surely we're losing sight of the issue here, aren't we? PAE (or lack of) is handled strictly by the kernel. If a PAE kernel doesn't work, then it needs swapping for a non-PAE one. Which is 'do-able'.

Even so, the issue with the 'Banias' Pentium Ms was Intel's doing, nobody else's. The CPU does support PAE, at least internally. But for some reason best known to themselves, Intel built the things to deny that information to any utility that queried it...

The later 'Dothan' models didn't have this issue. Identical architecture, except this one small niggle was fixed.

Should we not be considering the

Code:
--force-pae

.......option on the GRUB kernel line? Because as I understand it, that's ALL it should take with these CPUs.


Mike. ;)
 
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MikeRocor

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I seem to recall having coerced (*) an ancient USB 1.0 machine to boot from USB - sort of. It seemed like it was really trying to boot but was so slow I eventually just gave up on it as it wasn't going to be usable anyway. And that was with Tiny Core, so booting a heavy OS from USB would have been completely out of the question. :)

*) It was years ago and I have no idea what was involved other than that it wasn't straight-forward. I eventually actually discarded those machines (there were three of them, identical except for the amount of RAM I could scrounge up, Win98 vintage Compaqs). The "Home School Hand Me Down Super Computer Center" - think "Super (Computer Center)", not "(Super Computer) Center", there's fundamental difference.
 

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