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My thinkpad

IBM ThinkPad X31 (2673-CBU), bought used.

Currently running: Kubuntu 5.10 (Breezy).

Installation issues

I first installed Kubuntu 5.10 (Breezy). I wanted to keep Windoze, just in case I needed it (but I never use it ;) ), and keep the hidden protected area, and be able to reach it at startup, just in case I sell the laptop back at some point. My problem was that:

  • GRUB has to be installed either in the MBR or in the first partition. At least that's what I thought at the time but it's probably wrong, see here. Anyway, I wanted to keep Linux in front, as I plan to remove windoze completely, and the first part of the disk should be faster.
  • Windows would only work being on the first partition (AFAIK)
  • Putting GRUB in the MBR would overwrite the original setup/recovery tools (AFAIK - Note: if you do this, and later manage to start Windows, it will rewrite the MBR anyway)

My solution (DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK):

  • Create a new primary partition for Windows, at the end of the disk, before the rescue partition. Copy windows there.
  • Modify windows' boot.ini:

$ diff /windows/boot.ini /windows/boot.ini~

< default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
> default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
< multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
> multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
  • Set root partition to (hd0,1) for Windows in GRUB menu. See also here.

My current partition table according to fdisk:

Disk /dev/hda: 36.8 GB, 36825459200 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4477 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1           6       48163+  83  Linux
/dev/hda2            3651        4477     6642877+   b  W95 FAT32
/dev/hda3               7         249     1951897+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda4             250        3650    27318532+   5  Extended
/dev/hda5             250        3650    27318501   83  Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order
My windows partition is a FAT32. This is because, after restoring it, AND BEFORE ever starting it, I renamed the file <windows-dir>/system32/convert.exe. I found this info somewhere on the net, see for example [[1]]: after install/restore, Windows filesystem is actually FAT32, and it's converted to NTFS only at the first run. This is useful as FAT is better supported by Linux.

Post-install configuration

  • (I think I) modified interfaces to enable hotplugging the ethernet cable

Configuration files

Current issues

  • How can I switch Fn and Ctrl keys? (I guess I can't as Fn combinations are interpreted by the BIOS)
  • Enable scrolling and keep functionality of mouse 2 button. For the moment I'm using button 2 to scroll, and emulating 2=1+3 to paste. See the "InputDevice" section in my xorg.conf
  • Wireless
  • FnF7 does not work
  • Hissing sound when on batteries. This is only audible in a very silent room, where a plug is normally available anyway, so I guess I will keep it like this..
  • Untested:
    • Irda
    • modem
    • IEEE 1394
    • Parallel port