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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 09-26-2016, 08:14 AM   #1
dmchess
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Buying refurbished Win10 laptop?


If I buy a refurbished Win10 laptop and blow windows completely away, what are the odds that I can get a Linux Distro to install correctly?

Terry
 
Old 09-26-2016, 08:28 AM   #2
rokytnji
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Buy a refurbished or used Windows 10 laptop.
Pull out the Windows 10 drive and put it in safe place.

Install a different empty hard drive. Install Linux.
Problem solved.

I never approach a problem the hard way.
This 3rd generation I5 , 16 gig ram, laptop came with Windows 10 Enterprise from a corporation sale off.

The method I used above worked fine and dandy and I have a choice still on what can be done.

Odds? Can't give em. Not enough info.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 08:29 AM   #3
goumba
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It depends on the manufacturer, and how they've locked down EFI, if at all. Some vendors are pretty good about it, some are not. Others there are hardware issues.

In most cases it will be a matter of disabling Secure Boot, provided there are no other hardware issues.

Did you have a specific make in mind? Maybe from there we can better help.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 08:32 AM   #4
tronayne
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Pretty good.

Actually, you don't need to blow away Win10 (or any other Win); when you install Linux, you will be partitioning the disk drive and formatting as Linux -- everything on the drive will be blown away for all practical purposes and overwritten.

Be sure to read the distribution notes about installation before you get started, though, just in case there's some sort of gotcha. Basically, it'll most likely work.

Hope this helps some.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 10:03 AM   #5
Timothy Miller
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ONE good thing (in one way) about Windows 10 is that it locks to the hardware so that once 10 is activated on the hardware, if you use the "media creation tool", then you can reinstall Windows 10 without issue, you don't need OEM-specific image or anything. All my laptops that I currently own were Windows 10 devices, but I blew 10 away and installed linux. If I choose to sell, because I booted 10 before installing linux, they're already locked into being registered as a win10 device, so it'll automatically activate upon reinstall.

As to the "will linux work on it", there's a good chance, but by no means guaranteed, and it may take some work depending on the hardware the laptop has.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 10:46 AM   #6
hazel
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You may not need to blow Windows away, but I feel safer doing it, especially if I got the machine from a private source and not a shop. I dd < /dev/zero across the whole disk, boot sector and all, then create a new partition table with gparted.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 10:51 AM   #7
dmchess
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I haven't made a purchase yet. I have been perusing TigerDirect Ads. Is there laptop brands I should or should not buy?

Terry
 
Old 09-26-2016, 11:03 AM   #8
Timothy Miller
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IMO, anything that uses Broadcom wireless regardless of the manufacturer.

If you can't determine the type of wireless, assume it's broadcom and avoid it. It can be made to work with linux, and on rare occassions does "just work", but generally, Broadcom is more headache than it's worth.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 09-26-2016 at 11:05 AM.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 11:28 AM   #9
hazel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
IMO, anything that uses Broadcom wireless regardless of the manufacturer.

If you can't determine the type of wireless, assume it's broadcom and avoid it. It can be made to work with linux, and on rare occassions does "just work", but generally, Broadcom is more headache than it's worth.
Broadcom cards that use the b43 driver work with Mint. I had one on my first laptop. I can't remember the exact installation procedure for the firmware, but I seem to remember that it used something called fw-cutter to snip out what was needed from an overall firmware package. Once it was safely stored in /lib/firmware/b43, I could copy it to any other Linux system I needed it for.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 11:48 AM   #10
Timothy Miller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
Broadcom cards that use the b43 driver work with Mint. I had one on my first laptop. I can't remember the exact installation procedure for the firmware, but I seem to remember that it used something called fw-cutter to snip out what was needed from an overall firmware package. Once it was safely stored in /lib/firmware/b43, I could copy it to any other Linux system I needed it for.
b43-fwcutter.

Yeah, the b43 chips work fairly well. The problem is that their naming architecture is so bad, you don't really know for sure WHICH chipset you're getting until you run lspci. And many of the newer chipsets require wl driver although the b43 driver will load, the firmware won't, so it doens't work. And the wl driver is proprietary and so requires a bit more to get it to work.

Mind you, I've never not managed to get Broadcom to work (had quite a few laptops with it), it's just that IMO if you CAN avoid it, I would.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 09-26-2016 at 11:49 AM.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 01:18 PM   #11
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmchess View Post
I haven't made a purchase yet. I have been perusing TigerDirect Ads. Is there laptop brands I should or should not buy?
Hi Terry...

What's your price range? It might be easier to purchase something with Linux pre-installed, although the ones listed may not have originally come with Windows 10.

Regards...

Last edited by ardvark71; 09-26-2016 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Added information.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 02:03 PM   #12
IsaacKuo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmchess View Post
I haven't made a purchase yet. I have been perusing TigerDirect Ads. Is there laptop brands I should or should not buy?
My experience is that you can get off-lease laptops on eBay for a fraction of the price the equivalent goes for on TigerDirect. Either way, the source is off-lease corporate fleets dumped onto the used market en masse. The big difference is that the ones you see on eBay typically do NOT have a hard drive or OS installed. This is the big reason they're so much cheaper, of course. But if you're just going to wipe Windows anyway, might as well save money and not bother buying Windows in the first place.

Use the money saved to buy an SSD for your new Linux install. Win-win!

You can spot off-lease fleets on eBay pretty easily. Whenever you see a ton of entries for the same laptop model, all from the same seller, it's an off-lease dump. Personally, I like Fujitsu Lifebooks but I don't see any of them being dumped super cheap at the moment. Debian 8 works great almost out-of-box; I just have to load up firmware-iwlwifi from non-free to get WiFi working.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 08:15 PM   #13
frankbell
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"Intel Inside" is usually a good indicator that a machine will work well with Linux.

I have heard that it's wise to avoid more recent HP consumer grade machines--that the quality just isn't up to snuff--but I have no personal experience with them. A couple of persons in my LUG buy only Lenovos, because they have found that they work well with Linux.

I have good luck with Dells (the Broadcom wireless, once I got it working, proved quite stable). I've had good luck with Asus also.
 
Old 09-26-2016, 09:57 PM   #14
jefro
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I'd guess that almost 100% chance that you can get some version of Linux running.

It is a futile question. If we knew the make we could be better guessers.

I have never been a fan of the price to performance ratio on used stuff.
 
Old 09-27-2016, 03:16 AM   #15
goumba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
I have heard that it's wise to avoid more recent HP consumer grade machines--that the quality just isn't up to snuff--but I have no personal experience with them. A couple of persons in my LUG buy only Lenovos, because they have found that they work well with Linux.
This has been the case for quite some time. Everyone I know with a consumer grade (Pavilion, mostly) has had a motherboard or CPU issue at some point. This includes myself with two different laptops, one with an Intel and one with an AMD processor. Never got more than 2. Obviously I never bought a third.

The business class (Envy) are supposedly better.

I'd just avoid HP altogether.
 
  


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