What to do with a HP Pavilion dv2500?

hp-ubuntu-mate-16-10

This laptop has been a hassle since I got it. I picked it up for my wife years ago. At the time I had also had the larger sibling the HP Pavilion dv6700. Both were similar with the most noticeable difference being the dv6700 having a Broadcom wifi chip and the dv2500 having the Atheros wifi chip. These laptops went through many different setups. They came with Windows Vista, were downgraded to Windows XP, and were upgraded to Windows 7. The dv6700 spent most of its life running different Linux installs (which the Broadcom chip always made difficult) until it died from the video card issue that plagued a number of the HP Pavilions from this time. My wife replaced the dv2500 years ago and it became a machine to test different distros on. The Nvidia card tended to require some tweaks to Ubuntu based distros but worked decently. For the last couple years this laptop ran different versions of Lubuntu without an issue. Upon upgrading it to Lubuntu 16.10 though, the video card became a bigger nuisance. It didn’t give me the normal line offset video issues as older version upon install but I could not get anything to actually use the video card (Minecraft would not even launch). After a bit of tweaking I got it to kinda work but never got it working perfectly. I then decided to try another distro, Antergos with Openbox. It installed and worked but it kept trying to add a 2nd screen via the svideo port. No matter how many times I disabled it, it reenabled every reboot and tried to spread the screen across both making it a battle to even login. I also tried Manjaro LXQt which crashed everytime I tried to install  Next up was ROSA LXQt R6. It installed but had the lined video screen like older Lubuntu. I figured I could get it fixed but after installing, everytime I started typing my password the display crashed and all I got was a black screen with the “X” cursor. I then tried Ubuntu Budgie Remix 16.10 and the video crashed at every login (testing on another machine, I now know this has to do with the Nvidia driver). At this point I gave up and installed Ubuntu MATE 16.10 and am not worrying about dealing with the video card. It can do the basic like run Chrome and Firefox so it is good enough for now. I’ll try some more distros in the future but at this point I’m thinking this machine may be ready for retirement.

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