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Thread: Wiping old Dell

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  1. #1

    Wiping old Dell

    Hey. I'm brand new to Linux. Never used it before but i'm quite curious. I'm a Mac user at heart.

    What I want to know is how would I go about installing Linux onto an old Dell desktop?
    Do I basically 1)download cd 2)burn it 3)insert in pc 4)turn off/on and 5)hold a button down???

    A test recommended using OpenSuse.

    It's a Dell Dimension 4550

    it's kinda slow, but would installing linux wipe it new or would I have to wipe the PC first?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Welcome to the forums BetaLantern

    You should check if hardware meets minimum specification here
    ... if it does then you should be able to follow the steps you indicated - key press info here. Make sure you burn image - and do it at minimum speed - see here or a good tutorial here it's for Ubuntu but method is very similar

    Installer should give you the option to use the entire disc.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Depending upon the memory it has, you should be able to use it just fine. I used to run Linux on both a Dell Dimension XPS-R450 w/ 384MB and a Dimension 8400 w/ 2GB. Download/burn/boot a live CD with the distribution of your choice (CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, Mepis, Gentoo, et al) and try it. If it works, then click on the "install" icon on the desktop, telling it to use the entire disc. It will repartition and reformat it for you very nicely. There shouldn't be any particular reason to "wipe" the disc, unless you really want to. In that case, pull up a comman-line window, su to root, and wipe the disc (unmounted): dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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  5. #4
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Mason Texas
    Welcome to the forum. I'm partial to the *buntu varieties, so would recommend Lubuntu for an older Dell. I put Lubuntu on a Dell with 1.1 Ghz cpu, 384 MB ram, and it runs fine.

  6. #5
    Linux User zenwalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Inland Empire
    According to here --Documentation, therre are a few variables that need addrressing before considering a "heavyweight" distro. However, your machinery looks like a good candidate for peppermint, in any case.

    Best wishes, and

  7. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Maryland, USA
    Another minor variation to the scenario you presented is that the BIOS in the Dell laptop has to be set so that booting from the CD is possible. The "boot from CD" function is not accomplished with a certain key press on boot as it is on the Mac. If the laptop doesn't already boot from a CD, you'll need to modify the BIOS to allow it. When you turn on your laptop, you should see instructions on how to enter the BIOS setup routine. Sometimes it's entered by hitting <Delete> or a specific function key, but it should tell you, though the instructions may go by quickly.

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