From a 77 year old relative

I installed Mint on her HP touchscreen laptop. She got it today, and a couple hours after asking how to get it connected to her Wi-Fi I got this text message.

Linux, baybee! :sunglasses::+1:


This is a great story! Thank you for sharing!

Hey, can I ask you a question? Since I read your post here, I thought maybe you might be able to answer some questions or give me some advice. I have an old HP touchsmart. I bought it brand new from HP and I ended up having to return it to them to fix as the webcam needed something done physically to function. It took months and when I got it back, the OS didn’t work. They wanted to give me a pos replacement they considered of “equal value” and return my touchsmart, as they said it was no longer a system they would service. I know it sounds ridiculous, because it was. Anyways, this laptop had tons of expensive software and was basically BRAND NEW. I tried to get geek squad to fix it but they didn’t want to, said with as fast as the tech was becoming outdated, I should just get a new one.

I don’t want a new one. This laptop was my first, it was a good quality, I had several removable batteries I could swap out, it has a stylus and is touch screen and far better durability, despite its age and weight. I have tried to figure out how to recover functionality for years but I lack the knowledge and resources to accomplish it. I don’t have a windows disc to try to reinstall and break out of the boot loop it seems to be stuck in.

My question for you is… Do you think a computer from 2012-ish could be made worth while still, and function somewhat as the modern ones? Could Linux be installed even if Windows OS doesn’t function? I have wanted to learn and understand Linux but I don’t retain computer knowledge very well, especially if I am not putting it to use. I need a computer and I keep putting off buying one because I don’t want smart bs entrenched in my device. If I could install Linux, would I be able to access any of the old software that I never even got to learn to use?

Sorry, I know this is a lot, but I just came to this site and saw your adorable message from the proud 77 year old and it got me excited! I find it hard to believe that a brand new old laptop is worthless trash after hardly any use. I wish I wasn’t so stubborn, but I literally have wanted to fix it all these years on principle alone. Any insight you could throw my way, I would be very grateful for.

Good morning. :slight_smile:

I would try something like Linux Mint Cinnamon, booting from an external USB device - thumb drive, disk, etc. You can run it from the USB device and not touch anything on the laptop internal storage. Give it a test drive & see if the functionality you’re looking for if available on the hardware.

Regarding old hardware, I have a 2013 Macbook Air which is running Linux Mint Cinnamon & the hardware has new life. I had to replace the battery, for around $60, but that was a small cost for breathing new life into the machine.

If you’re so inclined, give the ‘boot & run from USB’ test a try. Which model is the touchsmart?

Thank you so much for responding! My touchsmart is a tm2t-1000. It is still one of the systems that has external battery as well as other system components that you can access separately with external screws. You don’t have to open the entire thing and risk breaking plastic tabs or anything. :joy::joy:If I get the necessary data onto a jump drive and run the drive on the touchsmart, would I have to proceed with any steps through the BIOS menu, or would it lead me through a separate process automatically?

Yes, you would have to tell BIOS to boot from the USB device.