Install Linux In Your Old Laptop

Breathe new life in your old Laptop by installing and running Linux. I have a Fujitsu Lifebook S6210 that’s about four years old. It showing its age. The laptop has cracks in the housing unit, several missing screws, worn out edges and a couple of dead pixels on the screen.

It was running Windows XP Home Edition. It was painfully slow. Applications took over a several minutes to fire up. My laptop needs a makeover. Quick. Well, after years of abuse, installing and uninstalling software, system updates, etcetera, the laptop is about to give up the ghost.

I found the original Fujitsu box containing several factory CDs. One of the CD is the Recovery Disk. Perfect. It was time to reinstall the software as if it were new when I first bought it. I ran the recovery, rebooted, then the Blue Screen of Death.

I reinstalled twice. Each time I got the same result, the Blue Screen of Death. This I know for sure, the Factory Recovery CD image does not work. Next move. Install Windows XP Home Edition from another source. The problem is I don’t have one.

My brother has Windows XP Professional. So, I tried that. I found out my OEM Serial Key does not work on Windows XP Professional only with Windows XP Home Edition. It was so frustrating.

Finally, I was so fed up. I switched over to Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron. I even tried Fedora 10. That worked as well. Needless to say, I didn’t have issues with the install. Just a couple of tweaks and I was ready to go.

So, if you have an old laptop that’s dying, don’t chuck it away. Install Linux. Install Ubuntu, Fedora or any other distribution you like. You’ll be amazed how your old hardware has found this fountain of youth called Linux.

6 thoughts on “Install Linux In Your Old Laptop

  1. I had the same issue with my old laptop. I decided to try out Ubuntu Intrepid on it and it works really well (other than not showing the battery status and a strange shutdown issue — it has to be shutdown manually now like the old computers waaaay back).

    The PC is so old that it originally came with Windows ME and I upgraded it to XP a couple of years ago.

    I’ve actually found that this laptop that I didn’t even want to mess with before is now something I actually LIKE using! I’m basically treating it like a rather large netbook. And now my extra copy of XP is freed up to use on another computer!

    1. My sentiments exactly, Justin. I was able to extend the life of my laptop by installing Linux. What was slow and unserviceable running Windows is now acceptable running Ubuntu Linux. That’s one of the many reasons why I love Linux because of the small footprint and low technical requirements. You can’t beat an old clunker laptop that is still running strong under Ubuntu Linux.

  2. Nice work. I have tried Ubuntu LiveCD on IBM T40 but didnt work good. Only Xubuntu go as livecd. So I think other distros with this envy could work. But when I tried to install I have found that hdd is broken :/

    1. It’s always a good to try out your old laptop with Ubuntu LiveCD before installing it permanently on your hard drive. This way you can test it out before writing the OS to your hard drive. This what makes Ubuntu and other Linux distributions a leg up over on the trial department. It’s great to have a `test drive` feature.

  3. There are a few Linux distros that are even more lightweight and would probably make your old laptop even faster. Ubuntu is pretty adipose, generally. I’ve tested a few on my own old laptop and wrote about it on my blog, feel free to have a look.

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