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I just finished setting up Linux Mint for an old buddy of mine on his old dog of a laptop, rendering it useful once again!

Edit 2: to everyone suggesting an SDD: i know. Look, if this guy had enough $$$ for an SSD, he could buy a used lappy less than half the age of this one that has an ssd and 2-3x the memory.

Currently, my buddy has a budget of $0, and, if he ever has money to spend, it will be on a newer computer, not upgrading this one. Thx!

My buddy’s old laptop was useless running Windows 7. I wiped it, put on Linux Mint (MATE), and it’s humming along just fine.

Edit: I really love helping people out like this. This guy is in his late 60s and has no other computer. He told me he hasn’t been able to use it in years (I believe it!), so I told him I could wipe it and make it usable again. He was thrilled!

After trying LM Cinnamon, I found it was a bit too much for this machine (Core 2 Duo “Penryn” @ 2.3GHz, 2.77GB Memory, Intel Series 4 Integrated Graphics). I reinstalled with LM MATE, and found it more responsive. I did the standard secondary installation of all the goodies like multimedia codecs, TTF support, battery tweaks, etc. I set up snapshots and the firewall, and installed UBlock Origin in Firefox. I updated everything. Shockingly, the battery still gets about 90-120 minutes, which blows my mind. The damn thing is 18 years old!

So, it’s still slow to launch stuff, as it’s running off of a slow HDD, but it manages to run most things just fine. It’s certainly far more responsive than Win7, and it enables my buddy to enjoy safe, secure, and modern web browsing (which is pretty much all he uses it for).