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Thread: XP on a machine older than time?

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    Lightbulb XP on a machine older than time?

    I've been asked to install XP on an ancient Compaq machine, running a Tbird 1.2Ghz, with 256meg of PC100 SDRAM (ahhh, the memories).

    It will be only be used for email, net browsing, and the odd word document.

    I'll have a rummage around and see if I have any old memory to add, but other than that, any suggestions as to the installation?

    The reason for the XP installation is the machine is currently running WindowsME (don't ask), and I've suggested it might be a good idea to move away from ME.
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    Oh no!I've re-dorkalated! Jiff Lemon's Avatar
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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    Should be trouble free; meets minimum requirements, but a tad more ram would be preferable.

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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    ME? Yikes!

    Well yes it'll work and yes, a bit more RAM will help (a lot). Try and get 512 in there as a min. It won't run very quickly (startup might be very painful) but if you avoid it swapping due to low memory it might not be too bad. Turn off as much of the "pretty" stuff as you can (e.g. choose Windows Classic for theme) too.
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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    Once half the ram has been eaten by the mandatory virus scanner, what's left?

    And isn't an XP license worth several times what this PC is?

    Isn't this a case where a point-and-drool Linux would be safer & cheaper?

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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    My dad runs a similar rig - 1 Ghz CPU and 768 Mb of RAM and it's fast enough in XP for his needs.

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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    xp will run fine with 256mb ram, when xp came out 256 was the norm, shops were selling pc's with 128mb, my laptop was fine with xp and 128mb ram(I did up it to 256 though).

  7. #7
    handscombmp
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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    With the little ram there is and the need for a anti virus program (due to it being XP) i'd go for Linux.

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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    Quote Originally Posted by directhex View Post
    Isn't this a case where a point-and-drool Linux would be safer & cheaper?
    Quote Originally Posted by handscombmp View Post
    With the little ram there is and the need for a anti virus program (due to it being XP) i'd go for Linux.
    If the OP is being asked to install XP on someone else's old PC (that was previously running ME), it might be a safe assumption that the potential user isn't exactly a computer enthusiast... even if they were happy to switch to Linux, a modern distro that's user-friendly enough might carry at least as much system overhead as XP itself.

    OP: XP will run just fine for your purposes on that hardware, although yes, 512MB of RAM would make things go much more smoothly. I ran XP for a couple of years on a 600MHz Duron with 384MB RAM, and it was perfectly OK for basic Office 2003/Internet work even with a resident AV installed (AVG), although a test installation of Office 2007 brought it to its knees.

    You might like to have a look at nLite to see if you can trim the installation down, but I've never found any performance gains to be worth the trouble (still useful for slipstreaming service packs and hotfixes though).

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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCrash View Post
    If the OP is being asked to install XP on someone else's old PC (that was previously running ME), it might be a safe assumption that the potential user isn't exactly a computer enthusiast... even if they were happy to switch to Linux, a modern distro that's user-friendly enough might carry at least as much system overhead as XP itself.

    OP: XP will run just fine for your purposes on that hardware, although yes, 512MB of RAM would make things go much more smoothly. I ran XP for a couple of years on a 600MHz Duron with 384MB RAM, and it was perfectly OK for basic Office 2003/Internet work even with a resident AV installed (AVG), although a test installation of Office 2007 brought it to its knees.

    You might like to have a look at nLite to see if you can trim the installation down, but I've never found any performance gains to be worth the trouble (still useful for slipstreaming service packs and hotfixes though).

    You beat me to it with the nLite suggestion there... as for your point about linux, I think we are now at a point beyond linux being a computer enthusiast (or nerd) exclusive tool. There are some very mature, and argueably more user friendly than xp, distributions available now. I've given copies of Dream, Ubuntu, Mint and Xubuntu to friends just recently all of whom had old PCs and I wouldn't describe them as particularly computer savvy and they are all very happy, most of them love the shiny'ness
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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    I'm not advocating Linux for RAM consumption (that box is still woefully underspecced), but for cost and maintenance reasons - antivirus etc

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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    Thanks for the comments, Linux is a no-no for the moment, perhaps in the future.

    Good to see it'll be able to handle XP, anyone got any PC100 knocking about?
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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    I think you can buy SDRAM from crucial.com - but it's not cheap at about £20 for 256 meg.

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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    It will work fine as it is, and i think you'll be pleasantly surprised. back in 2001/02 these spec's were the norm.
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    Re: XP on a machine older than time?

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    I think you can buy SDRAM from crucial.com - but it's not cheap at about £20 for 256 meg.
    You can still buy it quite readily for a lot cheaper than that. Scan has it at £6 for 256mb, £12 for 512mb... then, erm, £75 for 1gb (but it's ECC). Of course, you'll need to pay delivery on top, or get something else to boost it up to £20 for free delivery if you've got it.

    Most amusingly, they still stock 32mb sticks (£4.50)!

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