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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 10-22-2009, 11:44 AM   #1
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Trying to install ANYTHING onto my tablet..many hardware issues though


So, here's my deal. I found a tablet laptop (yes, found) and it had no hard drive, and no functional optical drive. I've been told that linux on a tablet isn't the most successful of ideas so I figured look into installing winxp on it.

This required me to install MS DOS 7.1 onto the laptop hard drive, because:
1: No boot-from-USB option in the tablet boot menu
2: No cd drives
3: Floppy drives for laptops were also found, but no floppies for my desktop

So I have a boot disk to install DOS 7.1, but...when I try to install it, doesn't work, 'cause the laptop hard drive is a SATA drive. My other hard drives (which are all sata) were all disabled in bios so that the dos install would only see that one.

All these options scratched off the plate, here's my next thought, which is why I'm in a linux forum:

Is there a way I can use my desktop to install some sort of either gui or command line based OS onto the laptop hard drive that I would be able to boot into using the actual tablet, from which I can proceed with installing windows xp onto a separate partition?
 
Old 10-22-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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There are several ways to get an OS onto a netbook style machine:

1. Use an external USB or PCMCIA CD drive (though you have ruled this out).

2. Remove the drive and put it in another machine that has a CD/DVD drive (this works better on Linux than Windows, because of the way drivers are installed).

3. Use a network install (though I suspect for Windows this might require a server version of Windows).

4. Use a boot floppy to access the CD ROM.

People do run Linux on tablet machines (in fact, I'm typing this on a Toshiba Portege). There can be some issues to do with driver availability, so whether it is worthwhile may depend on what machine you have and whether you actually want to run Linux. Also, some newer tablet machines may be more usable with Linux distros that have been designed for the smaller screens.

Last edited by neonsignal; 10-22-2009 at 06:03 PM.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 06:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neonsignal View Post
...

2. Remove the drive and put it in another machine that has a CD/DVD drive (this works better on Linux than Windows, because of the way drivers are installed).

...
Are you sure this will work? I tried installing windows XP onto the laptop HD on my desktop, and it ended up changing the bootloader on my desktop (fixed with a vista disk, but irrelevant) and when I tried to boot into it on the laptop via the BIOS hardware boot selector thing, it said "No Operating System Found" when I had it boot to the HD with xp already on it. So if it'll take a bunch of time to try and fail, on top of figure out how to revert my desktop to vista's bootloader...well, you get the idea.

I wouldn't mind running ubuntu on a tablet, though. It's an old old Fujitsu T4020D
 
Old 10-22-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
I tried installing windows XP onto the laptop HD on my desktop, and it ended up changing the bootloader on my desktop (fixed with a vista disk, but irrelevant) and when I tried to boot into it on the laptop via the BIOS hardware boot selector thing, it said "No Operating System Found" when I had it boot to the HD with xp already on it.
Yeah, that's a bit of a Windows (TM) installer 'feature'; what happened was that it installed the boot sector onto your main drive instead of onto the laptop drive, which meant it messed up your main drive, and the laptop drive still had no boot sector (hence the laptop BIOS couldn't find it).

Probably the easiest way is to disconnect the main drive from your desktop and make the laptop drive the main drive, then install XP from a CD boot. That way Windows will put the boot sector on the correct drive! There are ways to install a boot sector onto an arbitrary drive, but disconnecting the main drive is perhaps the easiest approach.

The main issue with installing Windows from another machine is that Windows tends to only install the minimal drivers it needs; this means that when you move the drive back to the laptop you might not have the drivers you need to get it going (eg USB and CD/DVD drivers to be able to access the Windows install to add new drivers, or the network drivers to be able to phone home to Microsoft). I would suggest that when you install to the laptop drive in the desktop, make a copy of the install CD onto the drive in case you can't access the USB CD drive when you put it back in the laptop.

Last edited by neonsignal; 10-22-2009 at 07:00 PM.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 08:51 PM   #5
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That actually was a GREAT help. I'm about to try it now, and try it with an ubuntu afterwards, for fun (assuming it works). I'm gonna load up the Driver Packs from..somewhere on the net onto a folder in the install, so I would assume that will take care of me not having a source of drivers. Though, I have to ask. It's a 1.6ghz single core old touchscreen laptop. Would it be a better idea, in terms of battery life and/or stress on the hardware to just skip right to ubuntu or some other linux distro?
 
Old 10-22-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Would it be a better idea, in terms of battery life and/or stress on the hardware to just skip right to ubuntu or some other linux distro?
You won't necessarily gain a lot in battery life. You can certainly tweak Linux to improve the battery life, but how much this helps will depend on the applications you run.

In terms of hardware, perhaps the main constraint for older machines is the amount of RAM, rather than the processor speed. The main desktop distros such as Ubuntu are not particularly light on RAM (though they are better than WinXP). There are distros that are more economical, but Ubuntu is probably the best intro if you haven't much experience using Linux. There are variants of Ubuntu (such as Xubuntu, or the netbook distro) which might be more suitable for your machine, especially if you have less than 512MiB of RAM (and you could also consider using Win2000 instead of WinXP).

If you wish to dual boot (eg, have both Windows and Ubuntu on the laptop), the easiest is to install Windows first, so that when you install Ubuntu second it will set up a boot loader (called grub) that allows you to chose between the two operating systems each time the laptop starts.
 
Old 10-23-2009, 12:21 AM   #7
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That was...full of unsuccess. I hooked up the laptop hd to my desktop, physically disconnected the other HD's on it, and installed the most recent Ubuntu onto it, with the bootloader being installed on "hd0()" (is that where I wanted it to go?). Once I plugged the thing back into the tablet, and hit f12 to have it boot to the HD...."Operating System not found"

Please tell me I'm doing something miserably wrong.
 
Old 10-23-2009, 12:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
with the bootloader being installed on "hd0()" (is that where I wanted it to go?)
sounds reasonable

Quote:
Once I plugged the thing back into the tablet, and hit f12 to have it boot to the HD...."Operating System not found"
Hmmm, that's frustrating.

Did the drive reboot okay while it was still on the desktop machine (ie, into Ubuntu)? If so, then the problem is not the installation itself; it is more likely a BIOS issue or something along those lines.

What is the laptop model?
 
Old 10-23-2009, 12:54 AM   #9
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What you need is a boot floppy of DamnSmallLinux. It's a Linux Distro that's designed with legacy hardware in mind. The live cd image is just under 50Mb and there is also a set of floppys available. Their website is http://www.damnsmalllinux.org
 
Old 10-23-2009, 09:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neonsignal
Did the drive reboot okay while it was still on the desktop machine (ie, into Ubuntu)? If so, then the problem is not the installation itself; it is more likely a BIOS issue or something along those lines.
Didn't try it, I will once I get home from classes today

Quote:
Originally Posted by neonsignal
What is the laptop model?
It's a fujitsu T4020D

Quote:
Originally Posted by qlue
What you need is a boot floppy of DamnSmallLinux. It's a Linux Distro that's designed with legacy hardware in mind. The live cd image is just under 50Mb and there is also a set of floppys available. Their website is http://www.damnsmalllinux.org
I'll definitely take a look, but I'll need to figure out where I can get a floppy drive for my pc...I'm not even sure if my motherboard HAS a floppy port. I'll need to tip it over and take a look, but that's all for a few hours from now.

Thanks for the continual help guys!
 
Old 10-23-2009, 03:35 PM   #11
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I think I just realized something that may be quite an issue. When I'm in the boot menu, I notice that it lists a cd drive. Now, I don't have a cd drive..so I go into the boot options (Phoenix BIOS) and I delete the cd rom from it. I notice the floppy drive has an exclamation mark next to it (But there's no floppy plugged in, and it's set to disabled in the bios). Out of curiosity, I take a look at the list of HD's and it has 3. My own, then two that I think said "unknown" which I promptly deleted. The problem is that the HD also has an exclamation mark next to it. Phoenix BIOS built in help didn't tell me anything useful about what this actually MEANS. I'm going to assume that someone here might have some idea?
 
Old 10-23-2009, 05:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
The problem is that the HD also has an exclamation mark next to it. Phoenix BIOS built in help didn't tell me anything useful about what this actually MEANS.
The exclamation mark means that the boot device is disabled. You can toggle between enabled and disabled by highlighting it and using shift-1.
 
Old 10-24-2009, 07:26 AM   #13
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The exclamation mark means that the boot device is disabled. You can toggle between enabled and disabled by highlighting it and using shift-1.
Yes! I saw that in the BIOS later! And I was happy! I have linux on my tablet, my very own tablet!

Yes, I'm that excited. Please excuse me :P

Now, I need to figure out why it's not scanning for wireless networks, one, and two, why the hard drive spins way hotter in the laptop then in the desktop. Also, three, why the laptop fans don't seem to be on...
 
Old 10-24-2009, 10:04 AM   #14
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Actually since this is a new question entirely, I'll make anew thread for it now. Thanks for the help!
 
  


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