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Hey OCR.

So I got this ancient laptop to fiddle with at work (I work at a hotel, so I get a fair amount of stationary freetime, and with the wireless network too.)

Only, the harddrive went bad on it. OKay, thats cool. I'll just get one off ebay, and ooh, Freespire, a linux version of Windows? Sure. Fuck, this one RATTLES. I'll try it anyway. Great, 50% of the time the computer refuses to acknowledge its there, and the other half it claims a disk controller failure. Its bad too. Alright, okay... another hard drive from ebay. I also got an adapter to connect it to my desktop. Looks good... formatted it just to be safe...

Windows won't load. It starts copying the setup files, and stops every time at 88%, on the file vbscript.dll. Freespire just spams errors on "logic blocks".

Halp?

I've tried all I could, even getting a linux OS to put on it, but it just craps out immeadiately claiming the same errors

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Get yourself a liveCD. And in particular, a low-spec distro. DSL and Puppy both come to mind (both are small, lightweight LiveCD based distros, and both can also be placed on USB stick for a take-anywhere-plug-in PC) however, if for some strange reason you're not fond of either, a few others you could try include Wolvix and Vector Linux (which is my personal favourite of those listed). These both have a LiveCD version.

Now, the reason I'm pushing liveCDs here is simply because they don't need a hard-drive. Same with the USB-based ones. No hard-drive required! However, given the supposed age of the hardware, I recommend you start at DSL and work your way up.

Yes folks, I know I could have said ubububu, but screw that, I don't like gnome :evil:

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Get yourself a liveCD. And in particular, a low-spec distro. DSL and Puppy both come to mind (both are small, lightweight LiveCD based distros, and both can also be placed on USB stick for a take-anywhere-plug-in PC)

I second Puppy. I recently used it to help my sister retrieve her files from a drive with a bad Windows installation. It's quite easy to use (I tried DSL, but it just wasn't as intuitive; I couldn't quite figure everything out with it). If you want document processing ability with Puppy (the default, as far as I know, doesn't come with it), you'll need to get the Open Office Puppy version (aka Chubby Puppy). It can be found here.

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Puppy comes with AbiWord as standard, but yes, can be upgraded to a Chubby Puppy, either by way of getting it straight up, or by downloading OOo as a DotPup or through PET. Yes, the puppy analogies continue throughout the OS. And it's made by an Australian bloke. It's awesome. Saved my sanity in Dubai :)

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Oh, wow, after that first post I had given this topic up for dead.

So uh... What do all those programs... y'know... Do? I really don't have the slighest clue about what either of you just said. :(

They're not really programs. They're distributions of Linux that are small and designed to run off of a CD. The idea of the ones that BlueMage listed above is that they're small enough to fit into the RAM and drain as little power as they can from your laptop, but powerful enough to have word processing, browsing, and IM capabilities, and stuff like that, plus more than likely the tools you need to perform some maintenance on your PC. And if you have a USB stick or a external USB hard drive you can save data from them, if you need to.

Part of the reason this is good is that, if you can manage to get any version of Linux, whether it be a LiveCD or a real install, there's enough tools that you should be able to diagnose or even fix the problem with your hard drive (if you're lucky enough not to have a drive that's just completely gone bad) if you're experienced enough. Maybe you'll be able to find some tutorials or how tos to get you started. Seems like you don't have much to lose with tinkering if there's nothing you can do with that hard drive.

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Just for future reference, never ever EVER buy a hard drive off of ebay. Magnetic storage is so cheap nowadays that its better to buy new and have the assurance that what you are getting will work.

People like to put broken or near-failing hard drives on ebay in the hopes that some schmuck will take the bait.

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Just for future reference, never ever EVER buy a hard drive off of ebay. Magnetic storage is so cheap nowadays that its better to buy new and have the assurance that what you are getting will work.

People like to put broken or near-failing hard drives on ebay in the hopes that some schmuck will take the bait.

QFE & T

THIS CAN NOT EVER BE EMPHASISED ENOUGH THESE DAYS~!

...

got a couple of co-workers who thought using an industrial vacuum cleaner is the right tool to get rid of the dust within a pc... Needless to say it didn't have good results...

edit: what the hell happened to Vector Linux's site..? Did it just crash a good while ago and they;re fixing it slowly...?

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Oh, wow, after that first post I had given this topic up for dead.

So uh... What do all those programs... y'know... Do? I really don't have the slighest clue about what either of you just said. :(

Don't worry none, all these distros have well-written tutorials that'll walk you through what you need and what you need to do to get up and running. Puppy and Vector, in particular, have very friendly communities with a "No-RTFM response" mentality.

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