Getting a new(used) laptop....

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Old 12-20-10, 08:23 AM
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Getting a new(used) laptop....

Stepson is giving us his used laptop . Older IBM Thinkpad T30, XP Pro, 1G Ram, upgraded processor (I think), something like a 40G HD (small I know, but fine for the uses we'll be putting it to), works fine.

Whats the problem you ask? Well, the OS is in FRENCH! Family member he got it from is French Canadian so that's what he installed.

Instead of messing with digging out my XP discs (if I still have them) and all the requisite MS stuff, I'm thinking of trying one of the LINUX OSs.

I don't want to spend hours and hours getting all the drivers for the video, sound, onboard wireless, etc. Is there one out there that is pretty complete as installed? Or smart enough to find it's own stuff? I'd like to be able to access my wifes Vista PC and printer in the office..though that's not a priority. My hardwired garage XP PC can't either, unless I enable everything for a one time operation. (TG for thumb drives)

I'm not a complete idiot with this stuff, but using the small keyboard and touchpad is very foreign and tuff for clumsy my fingers.

All suggestions welcome......

EDIT: Just thought...can the XP be changed to English w/o reloading? I assume it would have been done already as original owner and son are both pretty savvy.
 
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Old 12-20-10, 05:39 PM
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I believe Ray2047 uses Linux. Maybe he'll gander over here. Hey, maybe you could sell the computer for a profit to Marc!!
Something tells me you can change something to make it normal.....er, English. Why else would they load all the languages on programs?

More info: "The Language of This Installation of Windows Differs from the One You Are Installing" Error Message
 
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Old 12-21-10, 02:51 PM
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Well...programs yes apparently...but OS (ty MS) no. Hey...all you PC gurus still Christmas shopping?
 
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Old 12-21-10, 05:30 PM
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Yes, I use PCLinux OS. For the most part drivers aren't a problem because they are built into the kernel. Usually everything just works.

You can test without installing. You can down load and burn a Live CD. To use the Live CD you just put it in the CD drive and boot. The CD drive does need to be set as first boot but it already is on most computers or can be set in BIOS. Read more at Reverse engineered from Klingon Technology » PCLinuxOS The forum is very friendly so you might want to join at PCLinuxOS-Forums - Index to ask specific questions.

Please note though if you use Linux you won't get viruses or malware so if you like viruses or malware on your computer it isn't for you. Also if you like paying for software Linux will disappoint you because the software is free. Like defragging? Well another disapointment. Linux systems don't need defragging.

As to installing software all you have to do to install is choose your software from the PCLOS repository and make a few clicks and it installs itself.

If there is a Windows software you can't do without and there is no Linux equivalent it can often be run in Wine.

Find a Linux software that is not in the repository just ask in the forum and usually someone will package it and put it in the repository for you.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 04:16 AM
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Ray, I'm gonna experiment. I have an older laptop that I have retired. If I wanted to install Linux on it, what is the best way to start? Should I wipe it first? If so, I would lose download capabilities. It is a single hard drive, so using a dual core isn't possible on this one. Sorry, Vic, didn't mean to hijack it, but I'll let you know how it goes as an experiment so you won't mess yours up trying.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 08:24 AM
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If I wanted to install Linux on it, what is the best way to start?
You do not need to install. Just burn a LiveCD and boot from the CD. If it works well for you you can install from the live CD.

If you don't have a CD drive you can make a Live USB drive. That is a bit trickier and I have never done that.

I would start by joining the forums and going through and reading posts. If you have questions ask. The forums are very friendly.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 09:10 AM
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Yeah, I found out about the live CD thing after I posted.

No problem Larry, we're both pretty much doing the same thing.

But how will I spend my time when I don't have to constantly update my AV stuff and spend days trying to get rid of malware??? LOL
 
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Old 12-24-10, 08:42 AM
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Well, crud. Downloaded Linux...now how the heck do I get it to the CD in a usable/bootable format? Do I need to use CD Burner software (which it turns out I don't have on here) or do I just copy it?

I know you said the Forum was pretty helpful, but I was still confused by much of their terms.

Actually I have an issue with my drives that I didn't realize, so I had to copy it to a thumb drive and will use the wifes PC.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 08:52 AM
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now how the heck do I get it to the CD in a usable/bootable format?
From: KDE Desktop » PCLinuxOS
Additional Information

Burning an ISO image in Microsoft Windows.

ISO Recorder is a freeware tool which makes image writing available from the Windows desktop. Download and install ISO Recorder according to the instructions on their home page. You can write images in much the same way as under GNOME in Linux: browse to locate the file, right click on it, and choose ‘Copy image to CD’. This is the simplest available method for writing disc images under Windows.

Running an ISO image in Microsoft Windows.

MobaLiveCD - Run your LiveCD on Windows allows you to test your LiveCD with a single click : after downloading the ISO image file of your favorite LiveCD, you just have to start it in MobaLiveCD and here you are, without the need to burn a CD-Rom or to reboot your computer.

.....................................
 
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Old 12-24-10, 09:27 AM
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Ahh..ok..maybe I just misunderstood that. I get it better now. We're burning the CD so if that doesn't boot I'll get the MobaliveCD and install that, then run the ISO.

Although I know this will be a better OS, I'm feeling I may wind up digging out my XP disc and dealing with that...lol.

Starting to feel like John Henry against the steam drill...lol.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 11:00 AM
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OK the burn from wifes PC was no go for whatever reason. Used Imgburn to create a bootable cause Mobalive just sat there at "booting system" for about 15 min in my garage PC.

Imgburn did great and verified the disk...now just waiting to see if it boots in the laptop.

Seems to be working...though I just chose the wrong darn keyboard layout...stupid fat fingers!!!!

EDIT takes a while to boot from the CD of course...and not quite as automatic as a MS OS...had to do some figuring to connect to wireless.

Think I'll play with it for today..then prob install.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 11:29 AM
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Excellent. I have been using Linux so long I sometimes forget how different it can be. And even with all my years of using it I can still totally misunderstand what I am suppose to do.

I have to say too Linux is like my cat. I didn't choose it. It chose me. I was experimenting with Linux on a second computer several years ago when my Windows computer stopped booting. Intended to fix it but needed to get online first to do somethings so booted up the Linux computer. Well maybe three or four months later it dawned on me I still hadn't fixed the Windows 2000 computer and was still using Linux every day so was really a Linux user not a Windows user. Never went back to Windows.

Oh OK I have a very old P1 running Win2k but it isn't networked and is just for playing Freecell in the ... um .... well ... bathroom. Please don't tell anyone.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 11:41 AM
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Well...it's working, but I have to say I'm tempted to see if I can find my XP stuff and if I still have a valid license for it. I'm just so used to using it (wifey as well) that it's pretty tempting. The laptop is going to probably be used pretty rarely...so I'm not sure if the transition will be worth the aggravation. It's hard enough just using the touch pad and pointer button. Of course we will prob be using a mini-mouse most of the time.

We really haven't had any issues with MS other than me doing one stupid download in the last 5-6 yrs.

Anyway....thx so much for the help....
 
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Old 12-24-10, 01:38 PM
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Well, great....got rid of my '95 and '98 full install disks, so can't use my XP upgrade (that I thought was the full version). Installing Linux now...but still not sure I'll keep it. Guess I'll use it a while from the full install and see how we go. Of course SWSBO (She Who Shall Be Obeyed for those who never watched PBS British programming) will have the final decision.
 
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Old 01-01-11, 08:10 PM
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Gunguy,
Have you gone through the WinXP reinstall yet? I just realized that one of my kids is using one of my old T30's and I used the factory reinstall to wipe it and do a clean install for him. Follow the prompts at startup to boot into the setup program and it will show you all of your options.

Just a word to those who want to setup IBM (and some Lenovo) laptops for use with Linux - the MBR is not standard and the partition table information is kept in a different location. I do not know how this impacts most *nix distros, but I do know that Windows requires you to use the IBM-created partition instead of creating one from scratch or using another partitioning program. In fact, not only will FDISK not work with it, Paragon, Ghost and Clonezilla will not either.
 
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Old 01-02-11, 06:06 AM
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Jim...thanks for the info. No, haven't messed with anything else. Linux is running on it fine, just not sure I can adjust to the change for the few times we will be using it.

As to the factory reinstall..did you mean from the HD? I don't see how to do that, if it's even available after the Linux install. Problem is this machine was purchased in CA and it has (had) French XP Pro installed. I would think that's what would be reinstalled?
 
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Old 01-02-11, 04:38 PM
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If the option is still available after the Linux install, it should be F11 at the BIOS load/POST, or listed as a boot option from the F12 menu. Typically, Windows defaults to English and you have to choose the language and region/local information during installation, but IBM uses a file to specify custom installation options and it is possible this was setup for French from the factory.

If the F11 option doesn't work, the setup partition has probably already been overwritten.
 
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Old 01-03-11, 06:43 AM
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Ok...I had looked at possible re-install options after I got it and there wasn't anything like you described w/ F12 (no RESTORE or Setup partition), just boot options for HD, CD or removable devices. F11 has/had no effect at all. Both my SS and the original owner are pretty much PC gurus. (SS actually works at the UW bookstore in the tech support area...though his specialty is mostly with Apple products.) They both said no way to change it w/o a new install disc.

Going to be checking with some local PC shops see if anyone has either something I can upgrade or a copy of XP.
 
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