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Dell Inspiron 531

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April 21, 2013 2:34:42 PM

My friend found a Dell Inspiron 531 without a hard drive the other day and was wondering if the machine will still work with another hard drive.

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April 21, 2013 2:59:27 PM

MasterBlack said:
My friend found a Dell Inspiron 531 without a hard drive the other day and was wondering if the machine will still work with another hard drive.


If everything else in it works, yes. For free, try to boot and install a Linux OS.
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April 21, 2013 3:33:47 PM

USAFRet said:
MasterBlack said:
My friend found a Dell Inspiron 531 without a hard drive the other day and was wondering if the machine will still work with another hard drive.


If everything else in it works, yes. For free, try to boot and install a Linux OS.



He has some old 80gig harddrives with the old large connectors. Can they work in the Inspiron and be wiped to install Linux on them?
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April 21, 2013 3:46:22 PM

If the motherboard has IDE connectors (likely it does), then yes. Hook them up and try it out.
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April 21, 2013 3:49:45 PM

USAFRet said:
If the motherboard has IDE connectors (likely it does), then yes. Hook them up and try it out.


How exactly do I install Linux on one of those old hard drives?
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April 21, 2013 3:53:51 PM

MasterBlack said:
USAFRet said:
If the motherboard has IDE connectors (likely it does), then yes. Hook them up and try it out.


How exactly do I install Linux on one of those old hard drives?


Go here (LinuxMint) or here (Ubuntu)
Download the relevant 32bit ISO
Burn the ISO to DVD
Put the PC together
Boot from the DVD, just as if you were installing Windows
Follow the prompts

You can also run those Linux variants as a LiveCD...nothing actually installed to the HD. Until you want to.
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April 21, 2013 4:01:42 PM

USAFRet said:
MasterBlack said:
USAFRet said:
If the motherboard has IDE connectors (likely it does), then yes. Hook them up and try it out.


How exactly do I install Linux on one of those old hard drives?


Go here (LinuxMint) or here (Ubuntu)
Download the relevant 32bit ISO
Burn the ISO to DVD
Put the PC together
Boot from the DVD, just as if you were installing Windows
Follow the prompts

You can also run those Linux variants as a LiveCD...nothing actually installed to the HD. Until you want to.


I don't actually have a spare cd. Can I manage the USB way or is that something only newer computers can do?
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April 21, 2013 4:18:14 PM

MasterBlack said:

I don't actually have a spare cd. Can I manage the USB way or is that something only newer computers can do?


Probably, yes. Go into the BIOS and verify that "Removable" is in the boot order.
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April 21, 2013 5:41:27 PM

USAFRet said:
MasterBlack said:

I don't actually have a spare cd. Can I manage the USB way or is that something only newer computers can do?


Probably, yes. Go into the BIOS and verify that "Removable" is in the boot order.


If I use the "Universal-USB-Installer" will I be able to format my usb back to normal after I am done?

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April 21, 2013 5:49:51 PM

MasterBlack said:

If I use the "Universal-USB-Installer" will I be able to format my usb back to normal after I am done?



Yes.
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April 21, 2013 6:00:19 PM

Inspiron 531 is AMD based with AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core as the max.
IT has 4 SATA ports, there are no IDE ports (larger ports).
Do you have small (most likely bluish) sticker on the side of the case, if yes, this sticker contain product key - serial number for the Windows originally installed on this PC, this is free ride to OS, which you can get from Microsoft download page.
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April 21, 2013 6:44:36 PM

Kisianik said:
Inspiron 531 is AMD based with AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core as the max.
IT has 4 SATA ports, there are no IDE ports (larger ports).
Do you have small (most likely bluish) sticker on the side of the case, if yes, this sticker contain product key - serial number for the Windows originally installed on this PC, this is free ride to OS, which you can get from Microsoft download page.


Yep it has a key for vista. So pretty much free vista install on any harddrive?
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April 22, 2013 9:29:55 AM

Yes, free Vista, but only one option for 32 or 64 bit, whichever specified on sticker. Actually, you can install this serial on any Dell PC, however it is not going to work on non Dell PC, FYI. And remember you need SATA hard drive - according to your description you have old IDE hard drives!
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April 22, 2013 9:31:12 AM

Yes, free Vista, but only one option for 32 or 64 bit, whichever specified on sticker. Actually, you can install this serial on any Dell PC, however it is not going to work on non Dell PC, FYI. And remember you need SATA hard drive - according to your description you have old IDE hard drives!
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