TechSpot

What OS should I install on my 32mb(ram) laptop

By davids
Nov 16, 2006
  1. Hi all.

    I have aquired an old toshiba satalite pro laptop, I dont know what the processor speed is, but it has only 32mb ram and a 2gb harddrive, so Im guessing its fairly old.

    At the moment it has win2000 professional on it - which takes up 3/4 of the hard drive and eats up most of the memory.

    I know the laptop will never be great, but Im interested in getting it running as best as possible- mainly just for the challenge.

    I have been thinking of 3 routes to take:
    1/ speed up win2000 by removing certain things
    2/ install windows 95/98
    3/ install a small version of linux

    I would like your advice on which would be the best route to take and basically which option would be likely to give me the best performance out of the computer - with the intention of using it as a word processor and if possible going on the internet occasionally.

    Many thanks in advance
     
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    You will never make Win2k fast(er) on that thing :)

    Win 9x would prolly run OK with some lightweight word processing thing (Word 97?).

    Any Linux or BSD that agrees to install is OK.
    Just make sure you don't install GNOME, KDE or Xfce. Those are hogs. You should pick a minimal window manager like IceWM or any of the "box" series. You are better off with a less user friendy thing (Debian, Slackware, any of the BSD) that doesn't break when you don't install a whole pile of useless gadgets. AbiWord is the light word processor of choice.

    Web browsing.. Any usable browser will bring your system to a crawl :)
    Use OffByOne in Windows or Dillo unix if you are OK with many webpages not working and looking funny.

    You could use DOS.. There are WYSWYG word processors for DOS and a web browser too. Would take an enormous amount of tinkering to get it working though.

    Windows 3.11?

    All of the above applies when you want to run a GUI. You can so word processing and web browsing in a text console too, in which case any Linux would absolutely fly.
     
  3. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 177

    thanks for the advice.
    very comprehensive.

    And I love the offbyone browser! Im using it right now:)
    shame it hasnt got support for css - but then i guess that would defeat the object.

    I will do some research later on the options you gave, then Il come back here.
     
  4. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,438

    Well... Why dont you upgrade your laptop and get Xp?

    I personaly hate all the Windows OS befor Windows 2000 =P
     
  5. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 177

    Timeparadox,

    If only it were that easy...

    I do already have another laptop running XP (Dell latitude)- and I agree it is a good operating system.

    But thee laptop in question was given to me by a friend- origionally just to get it working as best as possible, but it has become a bit of an experiment to see how well we could get it running!
     
  6. Speedle

    Speedle TS Rookie

    What about Mac?
     
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,630   +321

    You aren't going to get any Mac OS to run on that beast.
     
  8. N1Hawk

    N1Hawk TS Rookie Posts: 248

    I say Windows 98 at best with very little programs loaded
     
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

  10. davids

    davids TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 177

    thanks Mictlantecuhtli.

    That looks pretty cool.
    I will keep that link.

    As for the laptop Im getting fed up of it now because its started randomly turning off and I suspect that the power jack on the board is a bit loose so maybe not much good anyway.

    But I will definatly use win98 lite on something!!
     
  11. zacbraak

    zacbraak TS Rookie

    If you want optimum performace, I would install Gentoo. There are great walkthroughs on their website on getting the install going. One the base install is complete you will want a very lightweight window manager (since gnome and kde will be memory hogs) i recommend xfce
     
     
  12. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 757

    You will never speed up W2K.

    DOS or Linux
     
  13. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 757


    Umm.. You require at least 128mb for XP

    and the HDD will not hold XP with other programs
     
  14. zacbraak

    zacbraak TS Rookie

    obviously you are not familiar with many linux applications...forget ubuntu and the main stream distros...install gentoo, a lightweight window manager, and you will load faster than win 2000, applications will launch faster, and you will not have as much memory and processor being wasted
     
  15. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    And you will also wait for weeks on end when emerging anything in that Gentoo :D
    Also, if the CPU happens to be a Pentium or a 486, i686 binary packages will not work.
     
  16. drawls31

    drawls31 TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Damn small Linux.
     
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