Recovering an old Linux computer

computer brought to life thanks to a lightweight Linux distribution

I continue with the PC and gadget repairs although this cannot in itself be considered a repair. But it is something that every time they ask me more. Put some operating system that makes them work on computers with older or older hardware.

And although I tell you a little about the decisions I have made in this specific case, it can be extended much more. I will try to update and leave what I have done each time the case is presented.

Follow the series of articles on computer repair. Common things that anyone can fix in our house like when the computer turns on but you don't see anything on the screen.

ACER Veriton L460

They leave me to update an old computer, an Acer Veriton L460. That originally came with Windows Vista Business OEM, and now it had Windows 7 installed. They complain that it is going very, very slowly and since it is going to be used for very basic tasks, they want to try to recover it.

Windows 7 is no longer supported and this computer can no longer move Windows 10. It has become obsolete. At least to use a supported version of Windows

The computer is only used for browsing and for school assignments, use a text editor Word, LibreOffice. Read pdf and print something.

If you see the characteristics of the PC, it only has 1Gb of RAM, which today is almost obsolete.

Windows or Linux

Mysteriously They have asked me to put Linux without me mentioning it. So I forget to look for a Lite version or to put a Windows XP that is no longer supported and to have to install pirated software. I think it's great to put Linux in it. The advantages are many in this case.

Lightweight Linux Distributions for Legacy and Low-Resource Computers

ACER Veriton L460 running Xubuntu, Linux

This needs an article in itself, but here are some options:

Advantages of Install Linux

  • Xubuntu
  • Lubuntu
  • Linux Lite
  • Puppy Linux
  • Ubuntu Mate

There are many more and I will discuss them further in a light distributions item.

Testing Xubuntu Linux

This time I hesitate between installing Xubuntu or Manjaro XFCE, which are two distributions that require 512 MB of RAM. So it should work smoothly.

I ended up installing Xubuntu in its stable version 18.04. The rolling release of Manjaro has scared me, because the idea of ​​this pc is that it be very stable so that they do not get tired of using Linux. Don't give them any trouble.

So we go with the installation. The steps are very simple.

Since the PC already came with its backups made, so it did not have to save any data and could delete all the content.

Create USB with Xubuntu

To install I have created a Bootable USB with Xubuntu iso using Etcher. There are several ways to create a bootable usb but I really like this cross-platform application.

Download the ISO image of Xubuntu from your web

We download Etcher, we unzip it and execute it, we open it by double clicking.

A window with 3 steps opens. Select ISO, USB and flash

make usb bootable balena etcher

First we select the ISO image that we have downloaded from Xubuntu, then we select which unit we want to make bootable. For this you must have put the USB, and be careful in this step do not select a different hard drive and erase everything. Because it formats the drive you select to install Linux.

Finally you hit Flash! and ready.

Install Xubuntu

Once we have our USB ready we are going to install it. For that we put it in the PC, and we start it. If the great USB boots up, you just have to keep going.

If it doesn't boot from USB but it turns on normal, in this case loading Windows 7 then you have to enter the BIOS and change the option to load external disks first.

The BIOS is normally accessed by pressing F2 as soon as you turn on. We keep pressing F2 until it enters. In some computers or laptops instead of F2 it is Esc or some other key, if they do not work you will have to search Google or in the manual of your motherboard which key is used to enter the BIOS.

How it looks

It looks like this. Works like a charm.

Xubuntu, lightweight distribution for Linux

The truth is that it is beautiful. The menus are a bit simplistic, but of course if we want it to be light we can't ask for much at the graphic level.

xubuntu menus

I hope you enjoy it, that you are encouraged to try Linux and if you have any questions leave a comment


Two topics that I have to deal with in depth in another article

  • Create article about the best distributions for old computers or laptops with few resources
  • Explain how to make a bootable USB to install a Linux or Windows distribution.

If you are a restless person like us and want to collaborate in the maintenance and improvement of the project, you can make a donation. All the money will go to buy books and materials to experiment and do tutorials

3 comments in "Recovering an old computer with Linux"

  1. It cannot be explained better with so few words.
    Perhaps I would try to add more Ram memory, in second-hand and second-hand stores you can find 2 Gb DDR2 memory for just €4 or €5


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