Trying to boot for installation

Liam Proven lproven at
Mon Apr 8 20:44:23 UTC 2013

On 8 April 2013 21:20, George Reinhart <george at> wrote:
> At 03:52 PM  4/8/2013 you wrote:
> On 8 April 2013 20:44, George Reinhart <george at> wrote:
>> You are correct.  The 266MHz is "System memory speed".  I'm guessing
>> you're
>> referring to what the setup menu calls "bus speed", which is 533 MHz.
> You seem to be ignoring me and my posts; I am not sure why. So much
> for trying to help.
> Sorry.

Ah, thanks for the reply. I thought perhaps you had blocked me or
something. Glad to know I am not wasting my time. :¬)

> Anyway, no, neither memory speed nor bus speed are the info we are
> asking for, which is *CPU* speed. If you type your asset tag number
> into the form at it should tell you the full
> specification of your PC.
> I'm looking at that on the setup screen right now, and all it says is (and I
> quote) "CPU Speed....NORMAL".  Which didn't seem like it would be much help.

That sounds more like something that might be displayed in a BIOS
settings screen or something.

The asset tag is a roughly 8-character alphanumeric sequence, unique
to every individual Dell, printed on a sticker that is underneath or
round the back.

Here is a guide on how to find it:

When you have found it, go to this page and type it in:

> You have also not specified what model of CPU it has, nor what you
> mean by "plenty of disk space". This would be useful info.
> Don't if this is the CPU model, but "processor ID" is F27.

No. The CPU model is something like a Pentium 4, or a Core 2 Duo, or
something like that. The speed is something like 1.5GHz or 2.6GHz or
some such value.

> Drive model WDC WD200BB-75CAA0
> Capacity 20000MB.  (And at the moment it's completely empty.)

That's 20GB - again, *very* small by contemporary standards. I
seriously recommend trying Lubuntu - it is your best bet. And it will
fit onto a CD-R, whereas all the other versions (Ubuntu, Kubuntu,
Xubuntu) require a DVD-R (or DVD+R) these days.

>> Yes, only a reader, not a burner.  And no DVD reader.
> Then no version of Ubuntu will fit except Lubuntu.
> Alternatively, if you have a fast broadband connection, you could boot
> off the mini-net-install disk and install Ubuntu off the Internet -
> but I do not think that you have the technical skills to do this, I'm
> afraid.
> Any more, possibly not.  I made my living for 30 years in what is now called
> "IT".  Was software engineering.  But that ended about twelve years ago.  I
> think though that this is likely to be the only workable option.
> Do you have a 1GB or bigger USB key spare?
> Yes.
> Using Unetbootin on Windows, you could transfer your ISO onto a USB
> thumbdrive and make it bootable. Copying the ISO file onto it will not
> do this, though.
> Except that (sigh) booting from USB is not an available option.

A common problem with older PCs. There is a way round it though.

Download the PLOP Boot Manager from here:

Extract the Zip. Find the ISO file. Burn it to a CD using ImgBurn, as
I recommended earlier. Boot the PC from it. A menu will appear - one
of the options is to boot from USB.

Your machine might be so old that it only has USB1, though. If so,
booting and installing from USB will be *VERY* slow. As in, several
hours, at least - probably most of a day. Using a CDR is preferable.

With the additional info that you have given me, I am guessing that
your PC is a Pentium 4. A P5 with 1GB of RAM and a 20MB hard disk is a
very old, slow machine today. I really recommend that you do /not/ try
full Ubuntu on it - it will occupy about a quarter of the disk space
before you install anything and it will be very slow in use.

Lubuntu, on the other hand, should work OK. I would suggest the LXLE
version that I pointed out earlier; I have a nasty feeling that
Lubuntu 12.10 will not work on a decade-old PC. It does not work well
at all on my circa 2004 IBM Thinkpad laptop, for instance.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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