Wiping Laptop Question

Discussion in 'Computer Software and Operating Systems' started by Castiel, Dec 23, 2012.

Dec 23, 2012

Wiping Laptop Question by Castiel at 5:31 AM (884 Views / 0 Likes) 21 replies

  1. Castiel
    OP

    Member Castiel GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Ba Sing Se
    Country:
    Canada
    So, I was given this really crappy laptop for free. It really sucks. It came with Windows Vista but only the minimal required parts in order to run it. So I would like to put Windows XP on it so it can run better. The only problem is that I don't know if doing this will destroy the system recovery settings. If I can't find all of the right drivers for XP I would like to revert it back to Vista. Does anyone know how I would be able to put XP on my laptop without getting rid of the system restore option? A friend of mine told me there are ways but he didn't elaborate that well
     


  2. person66

    Member person66 If it isn't edited, it isn't a true person66 post

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,110
    Location:
    Canada
    Country:
    Canada
    recovery stuff is on a separate partition, so as long as you don't delete that partition you should be fine. Most manufacturers also put a program on it that lets you burn the recovery stuff to DVDs, and if you use that, you could safely wipe the whole hard drive and still have the discs to do the recovery if needed.

    BTW, if you can't find the drivers for XP on the laptop manufacturer's site, you should be able to find them from the actual companies that make the parts (I would actually recommend doing this anyway, as manufacturer drivers are usually outdated.)
     
  3. Psionic Roshambo

    Member Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Country:
    United States
    If your a Windows person (I am a OS whore they all work fine for me... lol) you might think about using Windows 7 instead of XP.

    Way more secure and is still being updated, and so on and so forth.
     
  4. Castiel
    OP

    Member Castiel GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Ba Sing Se
    Country:
    Canada
    My friend said that the recovery stuff is on a hidden partition. Is there a way to know which specific partition it is that I don't want to get rid of?
    That's probably how I would be doing it, but there is still no guarantee. Just trying to be safer rather than ending up sorry :)

    I'm trying to downgrade as I don't have good enough parts in my laptop in order to handle what I have now, let alone upgrading. Getting the parts, or just a new laptop both require money that I am currently short on...
     
  5. Psionic Roshambo

    Member Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Country:
    United States
    Windows 7 is an upgrade but the issue with your laptop is that it probably only shipped with 2GB's of RAM Vista sucks up RAM like nothing I have ever seen before in my life, it will run on 2GB's but very slowly.... 7 is by comparison will run just fine on 2GB and even leave you some RAM to load your own programs... lol

    As far as prices go, I think you can get 7 for free if your a student or if you just know what to umm google for... lol

    (To be honest the system requirements for 7 are almost identical to XP SP3)
     
  6. person66

    Member person66 If it isn't edited, it isn't a true person66 post

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,110
    Location:
    Canada
    Country:
    Canada
    Start -> Right Click 'Computer' -> Manage -> (On the left pane) Storage -> Disk Management -> Find your drive in the list, look for a partition a few GB big (usually between 5 and 20 or so GB) that doesn't have a drive letter. -> Remember what size said partition was -> don't delete it when installing xp.

    Also, I second PsionicRoshambo's comment, try windows 7 instead of XP. 7 will actually perform better than vista in most cases
     
  7. The Riolu

    Member The Riolu Emanation Pokémon

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    167
    Country:
    United States
    I'm going to be honest with you and say that if you are just going to use the computer for basic stuff (web browsing, email, etc.) :

    If you are a Windows fan, get Windows 8.
    If you want something different, try a distro of Linux. Reliable + easy to use (at least some distros).
     
  8. Celice

    Member Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,916
    Country:
    United States
    I've heard that Windows 7 is much better to upgrade to over Vista, and personally, when I first upgraded from XP to 27, I saw no real performance hit.

    But I've also heard that Vista's been patched up to not be so resource-hoggy. I never experienced it, as I went back to XP until W7 came out. Give W7 a try, I suggest.

    If you're not much of a computer kind of person, I'd suggest staying away from Linux. It can take a certain amount of user initiative to make sure everything works right, especially with program compatibility, whereas a Windows OS will be a bit more forward in its support, letting the user be less responsible with how it operates.
     
  9. Castiel
    OP

    Member Castiel GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Ba Sing Se
    Country:
    Canada
    I thought there was 2 GB's, but no. This laptop sucks so hardcore it only came with 1 GB...
    In my info tech class we used Ubuntu. I really enjoyed it but I think I'm going to just stay with Windows for now as I don't fee like using up all my time getting used to how Linux-type operating systems work
     
  10. kisamesama

    Member kisamesama GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    270
    Country:
    United States
    windows 7 is much better than vista. But if your laptop is really underpowered, it would be better to try xp.
     
  11. Psionic Roshambo

    Member Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Country:
    United States
    1GB wow!!! lol

    7 will run better for you than Vista by a mile in that configuration....

    But you might consider getting some more RAM even spending like 20 bucks would get you like 4GB and you would enjoy your laptop so much more.

    XP, Linux, 7 will still chug a little on 1GB but at least they will do better than Vista... That pretty much describes a war crime.... lol

    Edit: The person who gave you this laptop for free.... are they using video to record your decent into madness? lol
     
    Castiel likes this.
  12. Castiel
    OP

    Member Castiel GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Ba Sing Se
    Country:
    Canada
    It was my grandparents (guess that explains everything right there...). They are like the most tech illiterate people I have ever seen and my dad just recently helped them pick out a better laptop. They passed this one on to me as they had no use for it anymore.
     
  13. Psionic Roshambo

    Member Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Country:
    United States
    It's still useful but the only money I would spend on it at all is to get some more RAM, I looked into it as best as I could (I am guessing 200 pin DD2 since that was in 99% of the laptops when Vista shipped.) 2GB's is running about 23.99 on newegg with free shipping. After that any OS you put on it will run so much better it will feel like a new machine. (If you are super lucky your machine has 2 slots and only 1 of them has a 1GB stick in it.... or it has 2 slots with 2 512MB sticks, or has 1 slot with one stick in it...)

    But like I said that is the only money I would spend on it, any thing more and you start getting into buying a cheap laptop used for a hundred and getting more RAM and better specs off the bat.

    For my personal use if I was given something like that, I would put some super light Linux Distro on it. Probably Puppy Linux to be honest...

    That might be a recommendation for you. check out Puppy Linux it's super easy to use and works on machines that are light on RAM.

    Download a live distro CD or bootable thumb drive and check it out see if you like it, if you don't its a live version so no install the only thing lost is some time and maybe a blank CD.

    http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview and Getting Started.htm
     
  14. person66

    Member person66 If it isn't edited, it isn't a true person66 post

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,110
    Location:
    Canada
    Country:
    Canada
    I got a desktop with vista a while ago from my parents that had 1GB of ram. Upgrading it to 4gb really made a world of difference. I would really recommend spending the 40 or so dollars on some more ram.


    Darn, beaten to it by Psionic. Although I would go with ubuntu or one of the more supported distros if you do decide to go with linux, just because they have better hardware and software support (not that puppy is bad or anything)
     
  15. Castiel
    OP

    Member Castiel GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Ba Sing Se
    Country:
    Canada
    Here is where the biggest issue comes in. I have a Compaq Presario C700 Notebook. My bro has also been trying to help me, and the highest support the laptop has is 2 GB's, so he is checking right now, but we assume that there are two slots that only hold 1 GB.
     
  16. Psionic Roshambo

    Member Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Country:
    United States
    Yeah I just noticed that Puppy switched from Ubuntu based back in April and is now using a Slackware base... Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I am actually downloading the latest ISO right now to test it on an old P4 laptop I keep around for testing light weight distro's lol

    It's an old Dell P4 with Hyper Threading, 512MB's of RAM and a 32 meg Geforce something or other... lol
     
  17. Psionic Roshambo

    Member Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Country:
    United States
    It does look like it has 2 slots... Probably 2 sticks of 512MB in it right now. If it is running dual channel mode you might get 2 2GB sticks. I don't see any 2GB system limit unless your on the Vista started edition and that's not a hardware limitation that's an OS limitation... :(

    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00820047&lc=en&cc=us&product=3559331
     
  18. Castiel
    OP

    Member Castiel GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Ba Sing Se
    Country:
    Canada
  19. Plainscript

    Member Plainscript GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    110
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Yupp, lot of older Compaq/HP laptops have such limitation, even though the chipset might support 4GB.

    Remember: if you really want XP, either put your SATA operation mode to IDE in your BIOS or slipstream SATA drivers using nLite or such tool. Otherwise it probably won't recognize any disks.

    But I would recommend Win7 all day errrrrrrr day.
     
  20. Castiel
    OP

    Member Castiel GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Ba Sing Se
    Country:
    Canada
    So, I am currently making the back-up disks for the system restore. I'm going to put XP on it, and then some time after Christmas I'm going to go buy more RAM. I may try Windows 7 or a Linux-type OS on it later. Thank you all for the feedback :)
     

Share This Page