Linux Mint 21.1 install on old laptop


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Aug 21, 2023
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I am trying to install Linux Mint on an old Acer Aspire 3680 laptop. (2 gigs mem, new SSD hard drive)
I have Linux Mint on a bootable USB flash drive.
When I try to install after the GNU GRUB menu, it goes right to the command line. No errors, no requests.
And it will just sit there for hours. I don't believe anything is happening.
Not sure what to try next.

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Is this the 2009 model with the Celeron processor?
If so, it will NOT be UEFI, and will need to be installed in legacy mode [see below]. Don't expect it to be very quick as it is only an entry level machine, If you want to use mint then I suggest you use Mint LMDE5 [it's a tad lighter than Mint 21]
new SSD hard drive)
Is this new and unused? If it has had windows on it, there may be a hidden partition at the beginning of the drive which will stop grub from loading

legacy booting..
The key factor is the partitioning scheme of the HDD/SSD. If you select GPT, that requires UEFI. So for legacy BIOS computers, use MBR.

It may also only be a 32 bit machine, in which case you will need one of the few 32 bit builds still available.
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Some more info:
Intel Celeron M440 @ 1.86 GHz.
Brand new SSD.
I'll try Mint LMDE5.
With two gigs of ram it will not run Mint well if at all. try LMDE5 or xfce. but you may be better off with a distro like MX-xfce.
Resource requirements for Mint Cinnamon are
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 100 GB of hard drive space
  • 64 bit CPU (single core) with 2 GHz speed or better
  • 1440 x 900 resolution or higher
  • High definition graphics card and monitor
  • High speed internet connection
I know I am pushing the envelope on this. Trying to make an old laptop usable for someone who only needs a basic machine. I fix up old ones as best I can and donate them to a local non-profit to gives them to people in need. But I admit, maybe this one is destined for recycling.
with two gigs of ram, this system could use a 32-bit distro. 32-bit mx linux 21 xfce on my old core 2 duo boots with less ram used than the 64-bit version on a different system.
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Ooops. With LMDE5 I am getting the following error:
"Requires x86-64 CPU. Only i686 detected."
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Intel Celeron M440
Sorry to tell you that's a 32-bit processor, so you will need a 32 bit distribution, I have 2 old acers both 32 bit the 2000 travel mate [yes 23 yrs old] runs both peppermint re-spin 32 bit and MX-19 32bit the other a 2008 ZG! runs debian stable 32 bit
OH and if you're still having problems with 32 bit, then it could also be that the laptop is not compatible with SSD
ok. Thanks all! But it seems the SSD is now the problem.
It cannot prepare required partitions. So I think this experiment will not work if it can't handle an SSD.
Thanks again!
it seems the SSD is now the problem.
you can pick up a small plate spinner to fit for next to nothing.
oh and this post is coming to you from my 2000 Acer Travlemate 32 bit with MX 32 bit booted
are you talking about a standard hard drive? I could try that but the slowness might make it useless. (Impressive machine you have though)
It still has its original plate spinner [40 GB traditional hard-drive, ]. Yes it is slow to boot, and would never break any speed records, but as my spare machine it does the job [I think there may be a few members still running 686/Pentium 2 machines. just because they can]
From version 20 only 64bit is available for Mint...with your specs I think it's time to get a newer computer.
I have a HDD sitting around that I will try. But if that doesn't work, I think it is destined for parts. Thanks again!

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