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#1 2023-04-02 03:31

julian
Member
Registered: 2022-10-09
Posts: 6

Q4OS on an old Dell Inspiron 2650

Hello Everyone:

I recently acquired a cheap ($20 CAD) Dell Inspiron 2650 laptop from circa 2010, and tried to get it working again.  It had a bad Hard Drive with an ancient copy of Windows XP on it.  I had a few spare Hard Drives lying around, so I put in a 60 GB HD and tried to set it up.  The machine has a Pentium 4 Mobile processor and 256 MB of RAM.  My efforts to install Ubuntu or Linux Mint were futile.  The Installers wouldn't even start in most cases, or if they did, they would hang part way through. 

Then I remembered...a few months ago I got Q4OS to load on an old Asus Transformer.  Would it work here?  It's one of the very last Linus distros that still support 32 bits here in 2023...and it fits on a single CD Drive.  I went with Q4OS Version 4.10 R2 Trinity R.14.0.2.  Could I get it to work when the others had failed?

Well...yes and no.  The Installer hung half way through....I did a bit of research, found that the laptop allowed up to 512 MB of RAM (Maximum) so I added that from some old RAM Chips I had lying around from a busted machine.  Then I went to install Q4OS.  It took several hours.  Seriously!  It hung at 96% installation for over an hour, so I went to bed and just let it run...by next morning it had installed.  Slow to boot and when I tried running the splash screen for first set up it told me I could not run the full suite of programs, so i chose the middle option (some most common programs/utilities).  Those worked.  Then I installed other software one piece at a time.

Firefox works but takes forever to load/scroll.  I put in Pale Moon instead it is much faster and basically works fine.  Not blazingly fast, but comfortable.  LibreOffice works.  Timeshift works.  Wine installs okay.  So does Thunderbird but it is slow to load.  VLC won't run proper graphics modes all I get is grainy out of sync video.  Audio works fine though.  I downgraded to Celluloid and MPV the base player that works fine, much more steady and easier to watch.

Ethernet was used for the install.  There's no wifi board on this laptop it's too old.  But I am pleased to report a D-Link Airplus DWL-G630 PCMCIA card works just fine right out of the box.  I installed the additional networking software, it saw the card right away and let me login to my wifi network.

So thanks to the great team at Q4OS I have a working 15 year old laptop that plays videos and music, surfs the web, and allows basic word processing/email. 

I have another older Dell Inspiron 8100 from around 2001, but it has issues.  Broken CD and missing Hard Drive connectors (available on Ebay for a few bucks if I go that route).   It's only a Pentium 3.  Would Q40S run on this thing?  Or am I wasting my money?

Just how far back can you get a machine to run Q4OS?  Like what are the lowest specs to allow a functioning operating system? 

Thanks again to everyone here working to keep these old machines alive, as opposed to creating tons of ewaste in our landfills!

Last edited by julian (2023-04-02 04:14)

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#2 2023-04-02 06:57

tlmiller76
Member
From: AZ, USA
Registered: 2016-11-29
Posts: 453

Re: Q4OS on an old Dell Inspiron 2650

Q4os should still be able to install on a Pentium 3.  However, no modern browser will function anymore on it, as they all have SSE2 as a hard dependency for functionality, which was introduced in the Pentium 4.

Technically Pentium 2 (and other cpu's that fully support 686 so AMD's K6/K6-2/K6-3, Cyrix 6x86, Pentium II/III based Celerons) are the oldest machines that will still run.  Bullseye removed 586 support, so 686 is now the oldest hardware supported.

Last edited by tlmiller76 (2023-04-02 06:58)


Q4OS Trinity machine - Crelander E160.  Intel Celeron N5105, 16GB LPDDR4, 512GB m.2 SATA SSD, Intel UHD graphics, Intel 7265 Wifi 5 + BT 4.x

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#3 2023-04-02 10:15

q4osteam
Q4OS Team
Registered: 2015-12-06
Posts: 4,351
Website

Re: Q4OS on an old Dell Inspiron 2650

Is it 64bit install ? We would recommend using install-cd instead of live media for Q4OS installation on older machines, it should go faster.

tlmiller76 wrote:

However, no modern browser will function anymore on it, as they all have SSE2 as a hard dependency for functionality, which was introduced in the Pentium 4.

You are right, however one possibility exists. If you install 32bit Palemoon browser from the Q4OS Software centre, the installer picks an older non-SSE2 version if the target system doesn't support SSE-2.

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#4 2023-04-03 03:47

julian
Member
Registered: 2022-10-09
Posts: 6

Re: Q4OS on an old Dell Inspiron 2650

Thank you all for your responses.  It sounds like it is possible to install Q4OS on a Pentium 3, so long as I accept using a 32 bit browser build like Pale Moon.  To be honest I was expecting to use Midori or Pale Moon or Dillo anyway on something that old.  I will keep you posted; but i gotta get a few parts to fix up the hardware before I can install any software.  Thanks again!

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