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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 02-20-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
qhhatman
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Angry Sony says Sony Viao laptops can't dual boot, is that really true?


I've got a Sony Viao Model VGN-NS140e loaded with Vista out of the box. I was planning to repartition the disk so I could dual boot Vista and Ubuntu. I was surprised to find that when the box showed up there were no disks in it to reload Vista. I can make a recovery disk but obviously that's not the same as having an installation disk. So I called Sony Support and asked about the disks and they said Sony Viaos are designed to only have one operating system and I should not load another one on it. Does anybody out there know anything about this? Any experience loading for dual boot of Vista and Ubuntu? Thanks in advance for sharing any experience with this issue.
 
Old 02-20-2009, 11:22 PM   #2
syg00
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Normally you can use the Vista loader, and just install Linux, and use something like EasyBCD to dual-boot. If however it's a pure Vista install, it's possible that the partition table won't be readable by Linux utilities. Try a liveCD and see if it will read the partition table - that should indicate if an installer will work.
Use the Vista partition manager (it's pretty good) to resize Vista and leave some free space for Linux.

<rant>
I don't buy laptops that don't come with the M$oft CD's anymore.
I had an old Toshiba that I had to restore once using (Toshiba) restore CDs - it trashed the entire disk, and so I lost 2 Linux distros. Toshiba lost my business over that.
</rant>
 
Old 02-21-2009, 03:44 AM   #3
H_TeXMeX_H
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They're lying. The only way $ony could design that is if they modify the BIOS to lock all other OSs out ... they are capable of such devilry, but I have 2 older $ony laptops that I dual-booted long ago, and now they run only Linux.
 
Old 02-21-2009, 04:57 AM   #4
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
They're lying.
IANAL, but,as far as I can see it, technically, they aren't. They have said, 'We didn't design it to do this'. Of course it might still do it, but the more important point they are trying to get across is 'if you try to do this and it goes wrong, you are on your own, forget support, forget warranty, you are on your own'.

While this would be convenient for them (until they notice the lost sales volume, if they ever do) in some jurisdictions, there will be a limit to the extent that they can actually get away with that if you are prepared to take them to court, but, whichever way you look at it, its hardly helpful.
 
Old 02-21-2009, 05:15 AM   #5
b0uncer
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I wouldn't rely too much on the recovery disks (that you are supposed to create yourself after you get the machine, paying extra for the empty media); I've now had two cases, a WinXP and a WinVista machine, where I created the recovery media, the program reported no errors (telling me that the job was a success and claimed it had checked that the disks were OK -- I wonder how it checked them?), but when it got to actually restoring the systems the disks didn't quite work out. The recovery setup did boot, run almost to the end, but then it got stuck in both cases at some point (XP got as far as 91%) -- reason in both was that the utility was unable to read some files from the disc. The discs were never-before-used, scratchless, not very old (created a few months ago) and not even the cheapest from the store (so I assumed they would hold data for some time, which they seem to do with my Linux installation discs). Anyway, somehow the data had become corrupt and the setup was unable to end. Lesson: don't think your self-made restore disks work even if they claim to be fine, rather just get the original, factory-made restore/installation disks. And if you happen to have a "restore partition" on the machine (some desktops apparently do), keep it that way -- it probably works better than your optical disks, and in a bad case you can probably replace some corrupt files there fairly easily.

HP is one of the "good" folks that actually may help you out. You won't usually get a set of restore/installation discs with their computers either, but I've had to call them in a few cases at work, and every time they've agreed to send me the original, Microsoft-logo'ed restore disks that have worked (and told that if the discs were corrupt, I could get replacements). I just wonder why they can't package them with the computers in any case; making the end-users create their own restore discs just adds to the headache..

I'm not sure about Sony's policy on this, but if I were you, I'd ask them first if you could get some sort of "official" restore discs from them, hoping that either them or your custom-made ones work when you need them. I wouldn't drop the idea of installing a GNU/Linux operating system side by side with the on-board Vista, but if the machine is important to you along with it's Windows system, try to take the safe route if you can.

Last edited by b0uncer; 02-21-2009 at 05:17 AM. Reason: typing mistakes
 
Old 02-21-2009, 05:18 AM   #6
rich_c
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I'm sure whatever manufacturer you asked, they'd say their products aren't designed to run anything other than what's supplied with it. Their 'tech support' people probably even believe that! But, it is just butt covering on their part really. Just do a bit of research into a few guides on setting up dual boot with Vista and you'll be fine. In my experience, it's simple. Just use the disk management tools in Vista to create some disk space, partition that up with Gparted and get on with the install.
 
Old 02-21-2009, 06:47 AM   #7
alan_ri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
<rant>
I don't buy laptops that don't come with the M$oft CD's anymore.
I had an old Toshiba that I had to restore once using (Toshiba) restore CDs - it trashed the entire disk, and so I lost 2 Linux distros. Toshiba lost my business over that.
</rant>
Yes,it's because Toshiba makes these CDs with only two options>erase entire hard disk or erase everything except WIN RE partition.I had to use it recently,so I would know.
 
Old 02-21-2009, 07:04 AM   #8
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
IANAL, but,as far as I can see it, technically, they aren't. They have said, 'We didn't design it to do this'. Of course it might still do it, but the more important point they are trying to get across is 'if you try to do this and it goes wrong, you are on your own, forget support, forget warranty, you are on your own'.
They said:

Quote:
Sony Viaos are designed to only have one operating system and I should not load another one on it
This IS a lie, flat out. Who are they to tell you what you can and can't do, in fact I bet it will dual boot just fine ? And how could they design it to run only one operating system (other than what I mentioned above, which I doubt) ?

What they mean is that they will not offer support with it ... but were you expecting any ?

Do read the warranty, but it usually only includes tampering with hardware that will void your warranty.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 02-21-2009 at 07:05 AM.
 
  


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