Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Resurrecting an old laptop

Tags:
  • Homebuilt
  • Laptops
  • Video
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
Share
June 6, 2007 1:46:23 AM

First off, I couldn't find the appropriate section, hopefully this is close or near enough :-\

Anyway, I have a very, very old laptop, 300 mhz, 64mb ram and 2.5mb video ram. This things ancient. I was hoping to resurrect it to at least handle video playback. I don't have a t.v. in my room, and if my roomate's are pulling an all-nighter it'd be nice to retire to my room and throw a movie on or something.

However so far I've been unsuccesfull. It originally had XP on it, which actually ran decently with everything off, however for video playback the video would quickly lag behind the audio and they'd never quite catch up.

After tinkering with that I gave up I figure'd I'd try to linux, renowned for it's efficiency. My first attempt was with Ubuntu (and more specifically Xubuntu). To even run the live-cd you need a minimum of 128 mb ram though, so that failed. I then moved to puppy linux, which is suppoed to be rediculously tiny (the cd-image was 134 mb).

This actually installed and ran, however I had the same issue with video playback as I did in XP.

I was just wondering if anyone here had any suggestions/thoughts.

The laptop is a Toshiba satellite 4030CDT. the drivers for the thing are almost non-existent and even if they are lurking around somewhere, I'm assuming they're only for win98 or older.

Any help would be appreciated. If video playback is impossible, any other ideas? we already have an external to store/backup our files and using it as a firewall/router is kinda meh. The laptop itself can't be disconnected from the wall, the battery's shot and it basically lasts a good 2 minutes or so before it dies.

More about : resurrecting laptop

June 6, 2007 2:22:53 AM

Yeah, that's pretty ancient. Since it only has a 300mhz processor this might be a lost cause, but why not buy a 128mb stick of ram? I mean, you can get a 128mb stick for like $20.
June 6, 2007 3:33:23 AM

Well, you're very limited on what you can do with this laptop. The fastest Celeron you can put into it would be a 466MHz MMC-1 module Celeron, or the (very rare) Pentium II 400MHz MMC-1. Your board has 64MB of integrated memory, and only supports another additional 128MB of sdram for a total of 192MB. By maxing out the CPU and memory, you will greatly increase your chances of getting DVD playback to work. Your best bet would be to run Windows ME on this, and use the following driver:

http://members.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driver...

That seems like a decent driver that SHOULD have the hardware DVD acceleration features of your graphics chipset enabled. If those Windows XP or Linux installs did not have an adequate driver for your laptop's relatively obscure graphics chipset, then it's no wonder why you were having problems. There's no way in hell a 300MHz Celeron can decode DVD in software. I refer you to the defunct Ace's hardware, as they have a nice article on the stress of DVD playback:
http://www.aceshardware.com/Spades/read.php?article_id=...


After this, I highly recommend using a copy of Ravisent's Software Cinemaster as the DVD decoder, but an earlier version of WinDVD or Power dvd may work fine as well, once you upgrade the ram and CPU.
!