Noob Linux Girl

Last year I wrote about my experience while upgrading an old 2007 computer to Linux Mint Cinnamon.  What was once an old out-of-date lump sitting in my closet became a useful machine again, running current software.  Not the fastest thing in the world, but plenty for most computing and browsing needs.  Today I am running Mint 20.2 on it and have had no problems whatsoever 🙂

Linux Mint Cinnamon 20.2

I love Mint Cinnamon and have no interest in fiddling around with that, but I began thinking about another useless lump I own.  Back in 2010 I bought a Sony Vaio laptop with a 16” screen.  I carried that around with me for work and vacations and it worked great.  Until it didn’t 😦  One day I turned it on and got a message that the hard drive could not be read.  The bios told me the drive did not exist.  Yikes!  Searching the internet on another computer I convinced myself that the hard drive was stuck.  There were videos showing me ways to fix that, but they involved opening up the drive case and probably ruining it.  Getting the laptop fixed by someone else would be expensive so I stuck it on the shelf for another day.  By then I had a large smartphone and was doing most of my on-the-go work on that, which was more convenient than lugging around a laptop.

Sony Vaio

Now 6 years later my laptop was still sitting there unused.  What if I got a new hard drive and loaded Linux on it?  Brilliant!  I found a matching Samsung drive for only $41.00.  Such a deal.  It was even a larger capacity than the original.  YouTube showed me that replacing it was not that hard, even for me.  Three days later I had a nice new hard drive from Amazon.  Putting on my techie hat, I got out the mini screwdriver and opened the hatch on the back of the computer.  An hour later (yes I’m slow) it was all back together.  Now would it turn on?  That would be a no, since it was just a blank disc.  The bios told me I had a 1 TB hard drive in there though, so there was hope.  If I could boot it off a USB that would work, right?

My old hard drive (sorry no installation pics)

I only had to download Linux like I did once before.  Orca was now using Manjaro so why not me?  I downloaded Manjaro KDE and used the balenaEtcher thingy like she suggested.  Time to start up the laptop.  Remember to hold F2, hehe.  I chose the USB drive and things started happening.  Lo and behold I got the Majaro loading menu!!  Some minutes later I had a brand new computer…wooohooo!  I had to dig out my router password, but finally got it connected to the internet.  I opened Firefox and everything seemed beautiful 🙂

Manjaro KDE

I’ll admit it took me a while to figure Manjaro out, but eventually I got all the different softwares working and a pretty background.  Maybe I’ll even get some widgets?  I don’t like Manjaro as much as Mint yet, but I am still learning.  Maybe I can call myself a Linux Novice now 🙂  

My New Laptop



  1. “Linux Novice”

    Becs, you just swapped the physical hard drive in your lappy toppy for a new one (why no SSD btw?) and installed an unfamiliar operating system, although you were happy on Mint. So you’re running 2 different Linux distros on 2 different machines. Two very old machines you saved from the landfill and gave a new lease on life! They are useful members of the international computing world again.

    You fiddled with your hard- and software! And successfully so! \o/

    I don’t call that a novice, I call that an Awesome! Human! Being! Doing! Awesome! Things!

    This time I won’t fuk around in your article but will write a response separately.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, isn’t it. It’s a bit like Arts and Crafts with computers. 🙂 Only our results aren’t crapola but awesome! \o/
      Becs has not 1 but 2 Linux machines now. IT mistress, calls herself a novice. I’m so proud of that girl! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “used the balenaEtcher thingy like she suggested.”

    I just notice Etcher isn’t even necessary to create a bootable ISO. Like most good distros, Mint comes with its own ISO creator. You could’ve used your first Linux lappy to make the bootable USB stick for the second.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I tried the Minty one only once. No hiccups and very fast as far as I remember. Mint is a real workhorse! Very reliable.


            • I’m not on any distro. I don’t have a computer any longer. As for choice of distro, when I owned computers, I found that Mint Cinnamon was the most polished, stable, predictable, reliable. Even to lay hands on Linux wasn’t very easy. Broadband didn’t exist anywhere near my address, so I used what I could get.

              I can recall downloading LMDE and it took 54 hours.

              Liked by 1 person

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