Hi, I have an old compaq armada 7792DMT and would like to make it a usable laptop- even if only for basic internet browsing and word processing. The laptop currently runs Windows 95 plus, has no usb ports, but it does have 2 pcmcia ports.
The hard drive is 2 gb and i'm assuming about 32 mb of ram.
My initial thoughts on upgrading are a light-weight OS and pcmcia adapters for usb ports and wifi.
Please recommend some OSs.
Also, would I be able to use any PCMCIA cards if I use a different OS? Or would I have to look at specific cards for whatever OS?
My computer knowledge is somewhat limited so please be detailed or send me somewhere with detailed info.
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Compaq Armada 7792DMT is usually a Pentium 266MHz CPU, 800x600 screen resolution, 32-64 MB RAM, 2-5 GB Hard Drive, floppy drive and CD Drive.
I think the highest system you could go to is Windows 98 or 98SE... it is possible to run Windows ME with 150MHz+ CPU and more than 64MB RAM (also Win2000 or XP with CPU above 233MHz)... but I wouldn't recommend it. 98SE will blow away ME, 2000, and XP for speed on that kind of hardware. All the current Linux flavors I'm familiar with will not really be pleasing on this hardware unless you don't want a GUI and like the command line interface. Since you do not have USB, PCMCIA cards are becoming hard to find also. Many PCMCIA Wifi chipsets no longer support anything below XP... look closely for Win98SE support.
So my call would be search around eBay or ask your friends to see if they got any Win98SE CDs sitting around. ME and XP are way to taxing for this hardware, and Windows 2000 will be very hard to find drivers for your system.
Also... when searching for PCMCIA cards... just look very closely about the system requirements they list on the box, Win95 support will be nearly impossible to find unless you buy second hand. But Win98SE support for PCMCIA Wifi, LAN, or USB adapters is still viable, just the read the box twice.
Windows 95 can only make use of IE 5.5... which may not work with a lot of websites. Windows 98 can make use of IE 6, which has much better compatibility. Firefox requires at least Win 2000 or better.
Given the tiny amount of RAM in that laptop, however, it probably won't serve your purposes regardless of the OS. Linux might be a viable option (maybe a distro like DSL), but I wouldn't hold out much hope.
LOL, it's funny to see a thread with someone talking about this model of machine. I actually have a 7790DMT that I use on a regular basis. It's a Pentium 233, 80mb RAM, 6.4gb HDD, and it's running Windows ME.
It lives out in my garage, and I use it to store info for things I regularly use like tap drill charts, thread pitch charts, conversion tables, and it also runs my OBD-II data logger (that uses a serial port). I added a PCMCIA WiFI card, and it actually does a half-way descent job as a basic web browser, and streams internet radio out in the garage just fine. It's ancient, but it still has LOTS of uses for me, and being that's already an ancient laptop, I don't care if it gets dusty / dirty / whatever.
I don't paricularly care for Windows ME, and if I actually cared enough, i'd probably reload it with Win98 given the chance. But I don't, and it does it's job just fine, so it's been using ME ever since. I use an Avaya WiFi card in mine, but any PCMCIA adapter (just make sure you don't get a CardBus adapter, since these laptops don't support cardbus) that supports 98/ME should be fine. You can also get USB PCMCIA adapters, but the same goes for them, don't get a cardbus one, just standard pcmcia.
3) Insert card into PC slot (Windows 95 will detect it)
4) Install driver from floppy.
5) If necessary, reboot, then install Networking from Control Panel. YOU WILL NEED YOUR WINDOWS 95 DISC (OR "DISKS") If Networking is already installed you will still need to reinstall so it can configure the adapter driver files.
6) Reboot and you will see the Netgear icon in your system tray.