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dougal
21st January 2015, 07:10
Last sunday I got my hands on an old 12 inch Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook for next to nothing at a car boot sale.

Specswise its a Pentium III 800 (or 700) with a 20GB HDD and 128MB of ram and some rubbish 8MB ATi graphics card (Rage ?). Its got no wifi built-in but it does have a a nice DVD/CDRW combo drive and two USB ports and a LAN port and two PCMCIA/Cardbus slots.

Those specs should be more than enough for XP to run moderately well. In fact it did have an XP installation but I had to re-format as it was password protected.

Anywayz, I re-installed from an XP SP3 cd I have and everything installed fine including all the drivers. Here is where I ran into problems....

The HDD was trashing, almost non-stop to the point that everything was so slow and barely usable. I tried disabling automatic updates and also waited for things to settle, but it still remained trashing, constantly accessing. I tried installing Windows 98 SE and after much hassles with the drivers (especially for the USB flash drive) I finally managed to get it all working in Win98. It works fine and no more HDD trashing but Windows 98 sucks, there is no decent browser for it and drivers are a nightmare.

I'd love to be able to put XP on it and have it run properly.

Any ideas what I should do ?

protek
21st January 2015, 07:59
You'll need at least more RAM. XP SP3 is notoriously slow. I have a HP Compaq NX9005 with AthlonXP and 768 MB and I still wouldn't call it very responsive but it's usable and the hard disk isn't paging all the time.

I had XP on my Compaq Armada laptop with Pentium 2 and 96 MB and it was plain awful to use. I put Windows 2000 SP4 into it. Now it's all right.

dougal
21st January 2015, 08:02
How about if I put a normal XP (Not SPx) ?

The RAM is only upgradable to 256MB and in any case I dont have a memory stick for it and dont want to chuck any money into it.


You'll need at least more RAM. XP SP3 is notoriously slow. I have a HP Compaq NX9005 with AthlonXP and 768 MB and I still wouldn't call it very responsive but it's usable and the hard disk isn't paging all the time.

I had XP on my Compaq Armada laptop with Pentium 2 and 96 MB and it was plain awful to use. I put Windows 2000 SP4 into it. Now it's all right.

protek
21st January 2015, 09:03
Leaving the servicepacks out may make a difference.

I have a 128 MB SO-DIMM that I got for the Armada but turned out not to be compatible. If it matches your specs, it's yours for postage.

And also an extra 256 DDR SO-DIMM PC2700. I could take 5€ plus postage for that.

Let me know.

Sardine
21st January 2015, 09:07
+1 128mb is not enough for XP with service packs (even a vanilla XP would struggle)

dougal
21st January 2015, 09:35
This is what the tech specs says for the RAM


Memory

256MB or 128MB SDRAM pre-installed
Maximum of 256MB (one DIMM slot, occupied with pre-installed memory)





Leaving the servicepacks out may make a difference.

I have a 128 MB SO-DIMM that I got for the Armada but turned out not to be compatible. If it matches your specs, it's yours for postage.

And also an extra 256 DDR SO-DIMM PC2700. I could take 5€ plus postage for that.

Let me know.

demolition
21st January 2015, 10:54
A plain XP (without service packs) should be able to run decently with 256MB, forget it with 128MB. I wouldn't run SP3 with less than 512MB. I wouldn't take a plain XP online though unless you have an properly configured external firewall between it and the internet.
I think I'd probably go with Win98SE on that PC. It will run faster and can run a lot of older games a lot better. Why do you need a modern browser on it?

protek
21st January 2015, 11:08
As I said earlier, Windows 2000 SP4 is pretty mean and lean. Of course it has limited support for some of the latest browsers and other applications.

A regular DIMM in laptop is a bit unusual solution. I think I have a couple of SDRAM DIMMs too but if I remember correctly, they're 64 and 128 MB, so they're not much use for you. On the other hand those should be pretty easily obtainable for pocket change.

zinamo
21st January 2015, 11:12
my advice too is try upgrading the ram, 256 Mb is not much, XP should run fine but internet browsing can be a nightmare since nowdays browsers take a lot of ressources.. An alternative is Win 2000, it is more recent than Win98 but much lighter than XP.. Anyway, Win98 is quite old but with decent software you can use it still today + it is an awesome os. if you want to turn it into a nice retrogaming laptop!

dougal
21st January 2015, 14:35
http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/01/21/756ffb2f39cdeffaf40c1876dbe2b5e4.jpg

This is the ram

According to: http://www.memory4less.com/m4l_itemdetail.aspx?itemid=1444029984

The specs are:



Manufacturer
Samsung


Manufacturer Part #
M464S1724CT1-L1H


Memory Type
SODIMM


Capacity
128MB


Pins
144 Pin


Bus Type
PC-100


Error Correction
Non-Parity


Data Transfer Rate
100Mhz


Voltage
3.3

demolition
21st January 2015, 14:53
Even though the specs say 256MB is max. it might be possible that it would run with a 512MB SODIMM anyway. I have had success with that in some laptops. Try something as close to the original module for best success, so PC-100 non-parity (PC-133 isn't always compatible).

zinamo
21st January 2015, 14:59
ok, these Pc-100 sodimm are quite cheap on ebay, you can get a 256 mb (maybe PC-133 is also compatible as demolition suggested) stick for a couple of € and then you can try with a custom made light version of Xp but don't expect this machine to be usable for heavy web browsing..

dougal
22nd January 2015, 06:40
I installed Win 2000 pro SP4. Its better, much better but still a little slow for a PIII 750Mhz. Must be the RAM.

fitzsteve
22nd January 2015, 08:51
I'm sure I ran XP just fine on my old PII 350 laptop but this was in the old dayz lol. I had 192mb IIRC which was the Maximum for that particular model which still resides in my loft!

UberFreak
22nd January 2015, 17:18
With only 128MB RAM, I would go Win98SE or WinNT 4.0.
Anything else will struggle once you start running apps (forget about a modern Web browser, those are real memory hogs).

With 256MB you can try Win2000, but IMO it wont be very usable either for going online.
I've ran Win2000 for ~10 years on an Athlon XP machine with 512MB RAM. All was fine until I started browsing, which caused heavy HDD thrashing.

jvdbossc
23rd January 2015, 13:05
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Fundamentals_for_Legacy_PCs

zinamo
23rd January 2015, 13:43
jvdbossc (http://www.amibay.com/member.php?1655-jvdbossc) had a nice idea: Windows XP for Legacy PCs is a nice alternative too, I have tried it a few times and it's nice but in my experience it is not a complete alternative to Win 98 as to work properly, it needs almost the same hardware as early Xp versions.. on this notebook should be fine so you can give it a try..