Dell Latitude D630
The Dell Latitude D630 is the first computer we refurbished and installed Linux Mint 18.2 on. We purchased it without a hard drive, battery, or power cord, and it only had 2 GB of RAM.
The computer, with a Duo Core 2 processor, received a 1 TB 5400 RPM hard drive, and the RAM has been upgraded to 4 GB.
Usually this requires simply connecting the computer to a modem through the Ethernet port or connecting a USB WiFi adapter. However, initially the internal WiFi card was not recognized.
For this computer, the internal card was turned off at the BIOS level. So the BIOS settings needed to be accessed when the computer first booted.
After it was rebooted and connected to the Internet through the Ethernet, the Broadcom driver was downloaded through the Driver Manager application that came with Linux Mint. Now the computer can connect to the Internet through its internal WiFi card.
The computer is for sale at Bonanza.
Ports and components
The D630 has many ports and connectors found on new computers. It also has a few that new ones do not have.
One feature that it has that is missing on most laptops built in the past few years is two types of mouse-like devices. In addition to the standard trackpad it has a trackpoint, a small pencil eraser-like stick, that users can move the cursor with.
- 4 GB RAM
- 1 TB hard drive, 5400 rpm
- 1 PCMCIA slot
- 1 Smart Card slot
- 4 USB ports 2.0
- 1 Ethernet port
- 1 RJ-11 phone line port
- 1 DVD±RW drive
- 1 serial – RS-232 – 9 pin D-Sub (DB-9)
- 1 IEEE 1394 (FireWire) – 4 pin FireWire
- 1 display / video – VGA – 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
- 1 audio – line-out/headphones – mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
- 1 microphone – input – mini-phone 3.5 mm
The 4 GB of is standard for computers now. Linux Mint runs exceptionally well on computers with this amount of RAM. The minimum requirement for the operating system is 512 mb, but 1 GB is recommended.
The hard drive has much greater capacity than any one that Dell originally installed. This D630 has a larger hard drive than most computers that cost twice as much. A new laptop with 1 TB hard drive typically cost at least $500.
This is not seen on many modern laptops, but the cards can still be purchased online. They can add USB ports and Bluetooth to your computer among other things.
These are cards with micro-circuits that are about the size of a credit card. They store various information, that can include personal information and private keys. They are typically used on computers when a secure login is required.
This feature is mainly used with computers running Microsoft Windows, but Linux distros also can be set up to handle smart cards.
Most modern laptops have two. The D630 comes with four USB 2.0 ports, two on the right side and two on the back.
More can be added with the addition of a USB PCMCIA card.
These ports were on computers since the 1980s. Through an Ethernet cable, it provides high-speed connection to the Internet. Many laptops still include Ethernet ports, but some modern thin ones, like the the MacBook Air do not have one built in.
Linux Mint can recognize and handle just about any computer’s Ethernet port. It recognized the D630’s port without the need of installing any special drivers.
Phone line port
Many computers no longer have this port. The D630 was one of the last models to have one.
Many modern computers do not come with DVD drives any more. Movies still come on the format, but many people back up their data online or on USB and external hard drives rather than use DVDs for data storage. DVDs can be purchased inexpensively.
There are still many who burn music on DVDs, so they can play them through a car’s audio system. While many cars built in the past seven years can handle smart phones and MP3 players, older vehicles typically come with DVD players but not the ability to connect to phones and MP3 players.
Through Linux Mint, Hollywood movies can be watched and data and music DVDs can be created.
RS-232 – 9 pin D-Sub (DB-9)
The most common use for this type of connector is to connect a printer. Most printers created in the past 10 years no longer have this type of connection, but many people still have older printers.
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
This is a connector that was made popular by Mac computers. The connection is typically used for external hard drives and external DVD writers. Firewire 400 is rated slower than USB 2.0, but it typically performs at a higher rate because it does not solely rely on the host processor for power, as USB (Universal System Bus) ports do.
The 15-pin connector is still standard on most computers today except smaller laptops. Monitors have had this type of connector for several decades. Most new displays and TVs still have this connection, so the D630 can use just about anything as an external display.
3.5 mm input and output jacks
These jacks can be found on smartphones, MP3 players, as well as computers. On computers they are typically next to each other because some headsets have both jacks, so you can both hear and deliver sound with them.
Like many other computers, the D630 has them together on the left side of the computer.
Included with the computer
- Power cord
- USB drive with Linux Mint installation**
- DVD-Rom with Linux Mint installation*
*This can be used to reinstall the operating system. It also can be used to install Linux Mint on another computer.
**This can be used to reinstall the operating system. It also can be used to install Linux Mint on another computer. The USB drive is setup to be persistent. This means Mint can be run on the USB without having to install it.