Convert to Linux FROM Windows XP or Windows Vista
If you have a computer with a faulty Windows installation, or a pc that just runs too slow with Windows, you may want to give Linux a try. Two distributions which have a modern look feel and functionality are Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Generally speaking, you can download the iso and write the image to a USB stick or CD. Then, you allow your BIOS to boot from USB or CD and go through a typical installation.
Installing Linux does have many advantages beyond having a working system. For example, I have a desktop PC with dual hard drives. One hard drive has Windows Vista and the other Linux Mint. The performance is night and day. The Windows Vista is slower all the way around; from boot to general usage. Meanwhile, the performance of Linux Mint on that 1GB memory PC can be compared to my higher end Laptop when it runs Windows 7. The performance of Ubuntu partitions and Virtual machines on the same laptop is much faster too.
With those details in mind, you should have renewed hope with your older, malfunctioning computer. Alternatively, if you are a web developer and need a decent working machine you could skim some costs and turn somebody's junk into your own treasure.
The key with installing Linux could be patience. In some cases, the drivers or graphics could limit your installation. For example, I recently installed Ubuntu on an old HP DV9000 and the graphics did not look desirable at first. After some tweaking, I could get my desired resolution, but the system had a few errors. Being impatient and finding this buggy, I immediately decided to install the latest Linux Mint.
This failed, even though the same version installed fine on my desktop PC. So, I decided to install the previous version of Linux Mint. Ten minutes later, all went well. So, if you don't want to get down and dirty with command-lining, but just want a usable faster Internet surfing device, it should not take you long to be up and running.
Another area where you could have issues with Linux is networking. In some cases, your pc will work upon installation, while at other times the Internet connectivity could cause issues. If you want to be up and running with Ethernet or wireless, a no-brainer solution is to buy USB wireless or USB network adapters that are plug and play compatible with Linux. Then, you can just plugin them in and go.
Otherwise, you may need to find and install drivers. Personally, I find ordering a few of each on Ebay for around $5 each is worth the savings of hunting down and installing drivers. Another option, if you have at least 1 wireless network adapter, is to connect to the Internet and hopefully download your desired driver.
So there you go. The above lesson for converting the Windows machine to a Linux machine had been covered. I would like to remind you that the key points you should remember are to install a Linux installation that works perfectly upon installation. The only minor change you should have to make is to alter the screen resolution. If this is not possible or you have errors, move on and find one that does work better. In addition to that, having external wireless or ethernet adapters will make your Internet connections painless experience.