Speed Up Your Old Computer For Free!

Posted on August 13, 2009

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Most of us have a couple of old computers kicking around the house. Whether they lie in the garage, basement or attic– these computers waste precious space. However, what may seem like an old junker can actually be a pretty useful computer with the right tune-ups.

What are these tune-ups you ask? Well, it all starts with a complete operating system makeover– you will need to get rid of your old windows operating system (Windows 95,98,ME,2000 and XP) and slap on a fresh batch of Ubuntu Linux. To do this, just follow the steps below.

  1. Back-up your important files (pictures,music,documents) to an external hard drive or a set of DVD’s. Installing linux will delete everything on your system so back-up what you want to keep.
  2. Point your browser to http://tinyurl.com/2cm3o5 to download the Ubuntu ISO (it’s free). This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours depending on your connection (keep in mind that you are downloading an entire operating system here).
  3. Once the Ubuntu ISO file is done downloading, you will need to burn it to a disk in order for it to be useable. Now, you can’t just drag and drop the file to the disk for it to work– you will need to download a CD/DVD burning program and burn the disk using that. My personal favorite is InfraRecorder, which you can get for free at http://infrarecorder.org. Now, just pop a disk into your computer and burn it!
  4. Once you have the disk in your computer, you will need to restart it and enter your setup menu by pressing F8 alot (if that dosent work, then try F2 F10 or F12). Then, select the boot from disk option and hit enter. Now, ubuntu will give you a few options to choose from. The only one that you need to be concerned with is the first one: Start or Install Ubuntu. Just select this option and hit enter.
  5. Now, the great thing about Ubuntu is that you can run the full operating system straight from the disk! This lets you try it out before you install it. Once you play around with it for a while and you are ready to install, just go to your desktop and double-click the “Install” icon. This will bring up the setup dialog.
  6. Setting up Ubuntu is pretty straightforward. The only part that you might have trouble with is when it asks you whether or not to partition  your hard drive. Now, because this is an old computer that isn’t very useful while running Windows we don’t need to partition it. Just select the option to format the whole hard disk, and go on your merry way.

There! Once you have gone through and installed Ubuntu, you now have a quicker computer that is ready to be used! This is great for people who just want to check email, instant message, do simple office work, work with pictures and do other simple stuff.

Got questions? Email me at techtalkwithchad@gmail.com or send a comment in the box below.

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Posted in: How To, Linux