David A. Wheeler's Blog

Wed, 30 Nov 2005

How to revive an old laptop

A relative gave me an old laptop with Windows 98, Which led me to the question: can you take a castoff laptop and, with zero or very little money, improve it so it’s more useful and can run more “modern” software? The answer is: yes! In fact, this turned into a little game/project for me, and I learned a few things along the way. So I wrote down what I decided to do, in the hopes that you may find these ideas useful for reviving an old laptop yourself:

How to revive an old laptop

I think it’s a shame that older machines sometimes rot in closets instead of helping people, and I hope that this document will help change that. With a little elbow grease (and adjusted expectations), you can still get mileage out of an older laptop.

I talk about getting new hardware (keep it cheap!), buying a wireless card, making backups and moving windows to a new disk, installing GNU/Linux, updating a Windows 98 System, and making a boot floppy for windows.

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