[sf-lug] ThinkPad Type 2611-410 Model AA-D296F

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at asheesh.org
Thu Nov 15 21:23:29 PST 2007

Alex, I'm CC:ing the list.  Especially since I've had mail bounce to you, 
and since I said before I'd rather talk on-list, let's stick to doing 
things that way.

On Thu, 15 Nov 2007, Alex Kleider wrote:

> Asheesh, that was incredibly generous of you to offer to help. Perhaps
> I could just ask you for clarification first in the hope that I might
> be able to do what you suggest without wasting too much of your time.

It's best done using another laptop.  You can look up the IBM Maintenance 
Manual (that might not be the proper term) for your laptop and read their 
instructions on removing the hard drive.  Then read the instructions for a 
different laptop on how to upgrade the hard drive, and plug the old 
machine's laptop into the other laptop.

Then, just do a regular install.

> IF (and that's a big if for me) I knew how to get a hard drive out of a 
> laptop, AND IF I could install onto to it, would there not be a problem 
> that the installation would be specific to the hardware of the machine I 
> used for the installation (the installer would have probed and arranged 
> config files specifically for the "wrong" computer) and wouldn't work on 
> the ThinkPad?

In general, this doesn't really happen with Debian and Ubuntu systems. 
I know Fedora too has a system for avoiding over-specialization of the 

I've seen Windows go nuts on changing the hardware, but Linux 
distributions don't have anything to do with Windows.

> What about just getting a new CDROM for the ThinkPad? Do you think
> that's doable and perhaps the way to go? Is it any easier to remove a
> CDROM than a hard drive? Also, would replacements be available?

It's possible to replace the drive, but generally not useful because the 
model of CD-ROM will probably be the same - you'll be replacing it with a 
clone of itself!  So if the drive is working less well than other siblings 
of its, like for example a hard drive with bad sectors or a CD reader that 
can't read any CDs, doing the switch might be useful; if not, it won't be 

You could try booting off an external hard drive or external CD-ROM or 
making an external USB disk an install disk and hoping to boot off that, 
but with a laptop that old, I'd avoid fighting the hardware too much. 
Best to be happy with a moderately-complicated approach you know will work 
than to be spend hours choosing between ten approaches where you don't 
know before-hand how much time you'll waste because it's guesswork to 
figure out which approach will work.

A more interesting approach would be strictly net-booting and doing the 
install that way, but I don't have much experience with it.  The plus side 
is that it's (usually) easy to look up if a machine supports doing that.

> Thanks again for taking an interest.
> I wish you a pleasant journey home.

No problem. (-:

If you bring this laptop to the Monday SF-LUG meeting, I'll be fighting 
fighting Jet Lag The Great but I think will be there, and if I am there I 
will show you how easy this is.

-- Asheesh.

Sign here without admitting guilt.

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