willem.com

Helping people with free software

Installing Debian GNU/GNU on an old laptop

July 20, 2018 -

This week a man brought his laptop to the community centre where I help people with computer problems as volunteer. The old laptop wouldn't start anymore and had to be reinstalled. Instead of Windows, I installed a free operating system. I think it is important to tell you how and why I did it.

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Laptop as it arrived at the community center
Laptop as it arrived at the community center
The error message was right, quite literally: the boot device is missing!
The error message was right, quite literally: the boot device is missing!
Replacement disk
Replacement disk
Installing Debian involves answering questions like the desired language
Installing Debian involves answering questions like the desired language
Replacement disk tucked way inside the laptop
Replacement disk tucked way inside the laptop
Boot device not found - that's not good
Boot device not found - that's not good

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