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PSU_G34
12-03-2008, 20:07
:wavey:

My wife just bought an older notebook from me to play with. It was gently used by one of the physicians at the University.

It is a Dell Inspiron 4100 (2001 vintage)
P-III 1Ghz
256MB RAM
20GB HDD
ethernet and modem
floppy disk dirve
1 USB port
NO OPTICAL DRIVE!

The only software is command.com. I was a little pissed about that, if only because it came loaded with WIN2K PRO originally. If they paid for the OS why didn't they include it with the machine?

So my quandary is this: I have access to MS DOS 5 and 6.22. I own NT4.0. I also have access to a USB CD/DVD drive. How can I get an OS onto the machine for the least cost possible? I might be able to find a swapable CD drive for the machine on ebay.

The machine can run XP, but it would be closer to the low end of the performance band. I can buy 2000 or ME (I know how bad it is) and I do want the USB support (I don't remember if NT added support at some point)but the point of project was to do things on the cheap. I will probably go to a Linux distro at some point, but I want to run windows too.

Thanks in advance.

PSU_G34
12-03-2008, 20:21
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/bjh159/1006287568insp_501.jpg

byf43
12-03-2008, 20:32
:wavey:

My wife just bought an older notebook from me to play with. It was gently used by one of the physicians at the University.

It is a Dell Inspiron 4100 (2001 vintage)
P-III 1Ghz
256MB RAM
20GB HDD
ethernet and modem
floppy disk dirve
1 USB port
NO OPTICAL DRIVE!

The only software is command.com. I was a little pissed about that, if only because it came loaded with WIN2K PRO originally. If they paid for the OS why didn't they include it with the machine?

So my quandary is this: I have access to MS DOS 5 and 6.22. I own NT4.0. I also have access to a USB CD/DVD drive. How can I get an OS onto the machine for the least cost possible? I might be able to find a swapable CD drive for the machine on ebay.

The machine can run XP, but it would be closer to the low end of the performance band. I can buy 2000 or ME (I know how bad it is) and I do want the USB support (I don't remember if NT added support at some point)but the point of project was to do things on the cheap. I will probably go to a Linux distro at some point, but I want to run windows too.

Thanks in advance.

I'm no expert, but, I'd suggest finding XP Pro and using an external CD drive, load it up.
You'll probably want to upgrade the RAM, too.

You will most likely have to go into 'Set Up' and set the USB as a boot option to load.

IMO, DOS (any version) or older Windows will be a PITA and not a viable OS for the laptop.

I had a Dell P-III 500Mhz NT 4.0 machine at work that had USB support.

I acquired an HP/Compaq 1.2 gig laptop from work a couple of years ago for $75.00 (donation to charity) and upgraded the RAM to 1 GB and installed XP Pro.
My wife uses it for school and for remoting in to work with no problems. Stable machine.

IndyGunFreak
12-03-2008, 22:14
That seems on the Low side for almost any version of Windows, so I personally would be looking for a Linux version to put on it. If it can boot a Thumb drive, you could install from a thumb drive, or use the external cd drive.

On a PC with those specs, I'd probably install Debian Etch. I actually have an old Compaq laptop of similar specs(except 700+mb of Ram).. and it runs Etch just fine

IGF

Wash-ar15
12-03-2008, 23:04
I'm using the same thing but in a latitude. looks the same. they make a drive that goes into the right slot.

They probably erased the HD to make sure it was clean.

upgrade the ram,load linux in it and it will be great for surfing the web.

PSU_G34
12-04-2008, 07:44
I'm using the same thing but in a latitude. looks the same. they make a drive that goes into the right slot.

They probably erased the HD to make sure it was clean.

upgrade the ram,load linux in it and it will be great for surfing the web.

I just bought a replacement cd drive on ebay for $10. I think that will be easier than a USB drive.

IndyGunFreak
12-04-2008, 08:18
I just bought a replacement cd drive on ebay for $10. I think that will be easier than a USB drive.

Ebay is great for stuff like that.. The Compaq I referenced above, I got for $199, w/256mb Ram, I bought another 512mb on Ebay for around $20. It doesn't have wireless, and I've never bothered trying to get wireless working on it. It pretty much just sits on a desk anyways...

Good luck getting it going.

Patrick Graham
12-04-2008, 10:34
:wavey:

My wife just bought an older notebook from me to play with. It was gently used by one of the physicians at the University.

It is a Dell Inspiron 4100 (2001 vintage)
P-III 1Ghz
256MB RAM
20GB HDD
ethernet and modem
floppy disk dirve
1 USB port
NO OPTICAL DRIVE!

The only software is command.com. I was a little pissed about that, if only because it came loaded with WIN2K PRO originally. If they paid for the OS why didn't they include it with the machine?

So my quandary is this: I have access to MS DOS 5 and 6.22. I own NT4.0. I also have access to a USB CD/DVD drive. How can I get an OS onto the machine for the least cost possible? I might be able to find a swapable CD drive for the machine on ebay.

The machine can run XP, but it would be closer to the low end of the performance band. I can buy 2000 or ME (I know how bad it is) and I do want the USB support (I don't remember if NT added support at some point)but the point of project was to do things on the cheap. I will probably go to a Linux distro at some point, but I want to run windows too.

Thanks in advance.

Xp will run ok on that system but you'll have to "Skin It" to do it. I've done it on a half dozen systems with specs similar to that.

Google "optimizing XP" and you'll need to become an expert at MSConfig.

Before I retired we were deploying XP on 500mhz 256meg Dell notebooks. It worked but you had to wait for McAfee to settle in after booting before you could use it.

grokdesigns
12-04-2008, 13:49
That seems on the Low side for almost any version of Windows, so I personally would be looking for a Linux version to put on it. If it can boot a Thumb drive, you could install from a thumb drive, or use the external cd drive.

On a PC with those specs, I'd probably install Debian Etch. I actually have an old Compaq laptop of similar specs(except 700+mb of Ram).. and it runs Etch just fine

IGF
I agree with the Linux idea, though I might go with Xubuntu.

Sgt. Schultz
12-04-2008, 14:46
If the laptop still has the sticker with the CD product key on the bottom then it is licensed for W2K pro. If you can find a copy you can legally reinstall the OS if you want to go that route.

PSU_G34
12-04-2008, 14:51
If the laptop still has the sticker with the CD product key on the bottom then it is licensed for W2K pro. If you can find a copy you can legally reinstall the OS if you want to go that route.

That's a good point.

I downloaded Ubuntu 8.10 and am now burning a CD. I also bought 2x512MB of ram from ebay to max it out at 1GB. I got an old copy of DOS 6.22, so I can do a few tasks.

I am excited to see how things are going to progress.

Thanks guys.:wavey:

IndyGunFreak
12-04-2008, 18:29
I agree with the Linux idea, though I might go with Xubuntu.

Xubuntu isn't that much "lighter" than the Gnome/KDE versions nowdays. Its kinda disappointing to be truthful.

IGF