Solved Linux on older IBM laptop

December 30, 2011 at 10:55:02
Specs: ??????, P3 700mhz 256mb
I have an IBM Thinkpad T21 (P3 700mhz, 256mb and 20gig HDD). It is a really good laptop. It came with Win98, and later I installed XP. I have also installed Red Hat 9 and Xubuntu, which I liked alot. But things weren't working out of the box with Xubuntu like the PCMCIA wireless card. I'm sure I could have got it to work, but I went ahead and tried to install Ubuntu since I knew how well it works with everything. (I have two Dell laptops and three desktops running different versions of Ubuntu on them.) The install didn't work. So I tried XP again. Again it didn't work. I'm under the impression that the DVD drive isn't working right.
I have previously installed Ubuntu on one desktop, and took out the hard drive and installed it into another desktop without reformating it and it worked perfectly. I was wondering if I could mount the hard drive on a Linux computer and install Ubuntu, or Xubuntu on it and then install it in the Thinkpad? Then maybe run some reconfig commands or something?

I know the best way to find out is to do it and see if it would work, but I would rather not go through all of that right now. I need to build a server, and do some other things that I don't have time for now. (I'm actually on my break right now) Plus, there may be some script that I may need to write, and I'm hoping someone here would know how to do this if this is possible.

Thanks in advance.

BTW, Googled already, and couldn't find the answer. I found something about one desktop to another, like I did before, but I don't know about a desktop to laptop drive, then to the laptop. Plus this is an older laptop. Oh, and it doesn't boot from USB and there is something wrong with the network boot. Evertime I start it it says something like "cannot boot from network" or something like that. Even when I turn off the network boot. It seems to be a common problem with these laptops.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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✔ Best Answer
January 4, 2012 at 17:20:30
I am posting from a t22, very similar to yours, I have yet to find a distro this card doesn't work with out of the box:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Netgear-Ran...

I'm running peppermint updated to firefox 10:
http://distrowatch.com/index.php?di...

I can even watch youtube with no lag using minitube:
http://flavio.tordini.org/minitube

aas for how to install without a cd drive, I would try taking the hd out and connecting to a desktop but, I can't say for sure it will work. I have done it in the past but not recently,

larry



#1
December 30, 2011 at 16:46:44
Your laptop isn't a good candidate for either XP or Ubuntu, it was too little RAM. Sure, you should be able to install & run them, but the performance will be unacceptable.

The network boot problem has to do with your boot order setting in the BIOS. If you have a floppy, the order should be floppy, CD, hard drive. If you don't have a floppy, it should be CD, hard drive, none. Anything related to network boot should be disabled. Could it be your hard drive has died?

To be able to reinstall an OS, you'll need to delete all current partitioning, recreate one of more partitions, format, then install your OS of choice. This can usually be done entirely from the OS disk. If you prefer Ubuntu based distros, try Lubuntu. It's better suited for your weak system specs.

http://www.wikivs.com/wiki/Lubuntu_...

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu#Sys...

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/L...

You may also want to have a look at Mint 11 LXDE.

http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1802


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#2
January 1, 2012 at 10:57:47
If you want this laptop to work then you need a version made for older hardware.
Puppy, Slitaz, Vector, and more than a few others are better choices to try.

The pcmcia stuff has all been forgotten in newer distro's.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#3
January 3, 2012 at 16:23:36
Yeah, uh, I guess that what I was trying to ask was "Can I install a Linux distro (like Lubuntu, Mint, DSL or Xubuntu) onto the drive (via an external usb enclosure) and then install it into the Thinkpad? Would it work? How do I do it?"

As for XP or Ubutnu not working well on this laptop, that's why I'm trying to use Xubuntu like I did before. Ubuntu wasn't too slow, but that was the earlier versions, without the desktop effects. And I have no problem turning the effects off. XP was ok, but I would rather use Linux (besides being open, I only have the key for Win98 to use on this computer).
And about the Network boot, as I explained earlier, when I turn it off in the BIOS the message still pops up. It's never even been selected to boot from. It is a common problem with these laptops.
Thank you RIIDER

JEFRO, Uh, I guess you missed the point of this thread entirely. Maybe you thought you were replying to another post or something? Anyway, it boosted your posts right?

Thank you for your replies. I know that there are many smaller distros that work with older parts, but what I need to know is how to get them onto this laptop by bypassing the DVD drive.

Thank you in advance.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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Related Solutions

#4
January 3, 2012 at 18:51:37
Well, then I guess you know best.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#5
January 3, 2012 at 22:20:34
You can purchase a CD-ROM drive cheaply on eBay.

Puppy Linux 528 would be about the most up-to-date which will likely work. Though it is possible you may need to go to a Distro with an older Kernel with PCMCIA support.

Without a working CD Drive or USB Boot support you are making life difficult for yourself !


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#6
January 4, 2012 at 17:20:30
✔ Best Answer
I am posting from a t22, very similar to yours, I have yet to find a distro this card doesn't work with out of the box:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Netgear-Ran...

I'm running peppermint updated to firefox 10:
http://distrowatch.com/index.php?di...

I can even watch youtube with no lag using minitube:
http://flavio.tordini.org/minitube

aas for how to install without a cd drive, I would try taking the hd out and connecting to a desktop but, I can't say for sure it will work. I have done it in the past but not recently,

larry


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