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nice_shoes

old IBM T40 laptop suitable for modern uses

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I just got an old IBM T40 laptop for free, and I'd sure like to be able to use it for the following:

  • surf the internet
  • perhaps install and run OpenOffice, if space allows

Here are the things that I know about this laptop:

  • 1.30 GHz Intel Pentium M
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 26.88 G Fujitsu hard drive
  • wired connection Intel PRO/100 VE
  • wireless connection Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 3B Mini PCI Adapter
  • Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1

I like the machine because it is a 14 inch laptop that doesn't weigh too much........will be used mostly to browse.

 

Here is what I am thinking about this (I do not want to spend very much on this thing):

  • if I can upgrace the wireless NIC card to bring it up to 802.11ac, that would be nice, but I don't know it Windows XP will handle that (also, I might not even be able to access and replace the old NIC due to its location)...........anybody have an idea about how easy/difficult to remove and replace the old NIC with something faster?
  • so......perhaps I can load one of the Linux flavors onto this thing and improve performance without making any hardware changes? Not sure if any of the Linux'es will even support the old NIC card

 

I'm just starting to consider this..........so all ideas will be welcome.

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Replacing a NIC card can be pretty easy. Some older models you usually have to remove the entire outer casing. Others, you just need to remove a compartment on the bottom, or remove the keyboard.

 

Lol, if you really wanted to, you could even upgrade the CPU (which is really easy), with an Intel Penium M 780 2.26GHz from eBay from $10 - $20. :P

 

Also, I would forgo using the existing hard drive (it'll be slow). If you have two flash drives (a 32GB or higher, and a 4GB or lower):

1. The higher capacity flash drive can either have a Linux OS or Windows 8 To Go on it. You'll be able to boot into your desktop within a few seconds.

2. The 4GB or lower flash drive can be allocated as virtual memory to speed up tasks, especially if you're going to use OpenOffice and browse at the same time. This can only be done on the Windows Vista and later.

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First thing  I would do is try and find some used memory , it will support 1gb in each slot , so even if you could get 2 512 sticks (or even 1) it would be a big help. Then I'd upgrade xp to sp3, install open office, a free light anti virus(maybe Panda) and leave it at that. Hard drive should be large enough for all that and use a flash drive to save docs. The wireless card should be fine for surfing and if it isn't just get a usb wireless. That would be the cheapest route imho.

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Funny to see this topic, I'm getting ready to toss one of these in the trash. We have no use for it anymore and it doesn't hold a charge. RAM upgrade and a lite linux OS would probably work fine.

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First thing  I would do is try and find some used memory , it will support 1gb in each slot , so even if you could get 2 512 sticks (or even 1) it would be a big help. Then I'd upgrade xp to sp3, install open office, a free light anti virus(maybe Panda) and leave it at that. Hard drive should be large enough for all that and use a flash drive to save docs. The wireless card should be fine for surfing and if it isn't just get a usb wireless. That would be the cheapest route imho.

How does a person upgrade from xp to xp3? when I go to the Microsoft site that does not appear to be an option.

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If you google around you can get sp2 and sp3 as stand alone updates, you have to install sp2 and reboot and then install sp3 . I'll look around and see if I can find a link for you !

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=24

Try this link, from what I read all you need is sp1 already installed and you can install sp3, just save it to your pc and then run the install, good luck.

Edited by SpikeSoprano

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If you google around you can get sp2 and sp3 as stand alone updates, you have to install sp2 and reboot and then install sp3 . I'll look around and see if I can find a link for you !

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=24

Try this link, from what I read all you need is sp1 already installed and you can install sp3, just save it to your pc and then run the install, good luck.

Thank you SpikeSoprano for the link............it appears to be working and I was not able to find it by myself............this upgrade may be what I need so that I'm not forced to learn to use a Linux distro on this old laptop.

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Happy it worked out for you, xp might not be supported by micro$ any more but it's still a very useable os with a decent antivirus, IE is the weak spot so I would use google chrome or firefox for the browser. :D

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If you're adamant on sticking with XP and don't mind an older laptop's cruddy battery life then more memory and a smaller SSD would do it wonders if you wanted to make two small investments that'd make a HUGE difference.

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