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Most Acer Aspire 5740 models have the slow, stupid, and outdated operating system called Windows Vista. Nobody likes any of the devices powered by the OS. That’s why the solution to the problem is overwriting Vista with another OS. In this scenario, Windows Vista is overwritten with Debian 9 Linux. This guide is particularly for those people that want to learn how to do this because they have the exact same issue as many of these laptop models have, being slow and frustrating. This guide also goes over upgrading from Debian 9 (after installation) to Debian 10 without removing user data.


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  1. Requirements:                                                               Memory stick of at least 4 GB                          At least 160 GB of space on a SSD
    • Requirements: Memory stick of at least 4 GB At least 160 GB of space on a SSD

    • To install Debian 9 to your Acer Aspire 5740, you need to download the ISO first. It is recommended to use Debian 9, as opposed to Debian 10, because Debian 10 does not automatically support the old-gen video drivers. You can do this at

    • Note: This is the DIRECT download link. Click on the link and the ISO will be downloaded IMMEDIATELY! Only click if you want this and are ready. This goes for all links on this guide.

    • Next, you need to have software installed to your laptop that will unpack the Debian 9 ISO image. You can get Rufus from

    • Note; This is also the direct download link.

    • After you have installed Rufus to your Windows Vista laptop (you should not have mad any changes to your computer yet) you can choose the Debian 9 ISO image.

    • Eject your memory stick after Rufus has unpacked the ISO image so that you will be ready for the next step.

    • Note: You need an internet connection to install Rufus. It is recommended to use an internet connection for installing Debian.

  2. Since you have created the bootable medium on the last step, you can now proceed to the installation of Debian 9.
    • Since you have created the bootable medium on the last step, you can now proceed to the installation of Debian 9.

    • Turn off your laptop. Turn it back on again and press rapidly press F2 while your laptop is starting up (You do not need to rapidly press it if you can time it right!)

    • Since F2 will get you into the boot menu, change the boot order and force USB booting to boot option one, with HDD/SSD as option two.

    • Follow the instructions to your configuration.

    • Now, turn your laptop off again, plug in your memory stick, and turn your laptop back on.

    • When your computer starts up, the Debian GRUB first boot screen will pop up. Click either graphic install (If you do not want the boring regular install) or install.

    • Clicking on the install options will install Debian 9 on your laptop. If you plan on connecting to 4G internet, I suggest installing Cinnamon, Debian, and GNOME. The GNOME desktop environment looks like Ubuntu. The Cinnamon desktop environment is Debian with a Windows 7 look.

    • After you have let the install wizard do it's job, you will have to choose other packages that you may need or want. The installation usually takes about an hour and a half to complete. It is suggested to have an internet connection in order to be able to install additional packages. Good luck!

    • To upgrade to Debian Linux 10 (from Debian 9), from the command line, is a relatively simple process that will not delete any user data. It also keeps the pre-loadeed drivers that Debian 9 has installed for the purpose of properly running the Linux kernel on the old-gen console.

    • It is recommended that you purchase 4 gigabytes (2x2GB) of DDR2 PC2-6400 for a quick and speedy Linux computer. It is fairly cheap, and (from this website [ebay] starts at about $12.00 USD) 4 GB of RAM is beyond the specifications for running Debian 10 Linux, so 2 GB (2x1GB) of RAM is acceptable, Debian will just run better with 4 GB of RAM.

    • Press CTRL+ALT+F3, in order to enter the TTY x-window terminal. Sign in to SU by entering your username (when it prompts you to), then press enter, then your password (then press enter again)

    • Then, enter the command: vim /etc/apt/sources.list. Then, press :i once vim starts to edit the file. Replace all instances of stretch with buster by using the arrow keys to select the text. Then, after you have changed the file, you must save the file and exit vim by entering the command: :x

    • Now, after you have edited /etc/apt/sources.list, and saved and exited vim and the file, run the command sudo apt-get update (this may take a while), then run sudo apt-get upgrade (this may also take a while), and, finally, run sudo apt-get full-upgrade. Then you will have to wait, for quite a long time.

    • Now, remove extra/additional files, once the upgrade has finished with the command sudo apt --purge autoremove. Now, try the command (it may or may not help with installation) sudo apt-get dist-upgrade. That is the really long process. It could take an hour or more for this command to successfully finish.


To return to Windows Vista, you will have to write down your product key prior to installing Debian 9. You will have to have a separate memory stick to install Vista to. You can unpack ISO images from the Debian Disk Utility. You can download it directly from

Important Note: This link will download the ISO image immediately after clicking on it.

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