Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Tank on Empty

Well, that was probably the worst saturday I've had in a very longtime. My sinuses kept me horizontal most of the day, and finally beganto get better around 22:00, long after the day was already spent. Heck,they're not completely better yet.. Anyhow, I went out to India Gardento have some Saag Paneer around midnight, hoping (correctly) that it wouldhelp clear me out. On the way back, I was reminded of a task I'd been assignedat work, and, well, I'm here now. Anyhow, now that I know what I'm doingwith it, the next times will go much more smoothly -- it's looking now likethe basic idea was sound, and I'll finish up with the execution on monday.Heck, if I wern't going to a Renfest tomorrow, and if I had my laptop soI'd have more than 4 songs to listen to here, I'd just pull an all-nighterhere and finish it up. But, alas, I probably should be heading home..I'm not by any means as healthy as I normally am, and despite how nice itis to be at work when there's nobody around to distract me, I should probablybe asleep, with the newer, non-nasty-old NyQuil in my stomach making surethings don't get too nasty.

Oh, yes, in case you have an IBM Thinkpad X31 laptop or close relative, andare converting it from a singleboot WinXPHome system to a dual boot with Linux,one neat quirk about the 'factory reinstall' option in the CMOS Utility (well,the fancy one -- there are actually two) is that it will just install itselfinto the first partition it sees that it thinks is an OS partition. So... firstdo a normal install of RedHat9 (or whatever), partitioning the drives so youhave:

root partition: 30G (or whatever) ext3 filesystem (mark as / in disk druid)swap: 1Greal root partition: 40G (or whatever) ext3 filesystem (mark as /blah)

Do a dummy install of Linux from the CDROM, making sure it installs GRUB intothe boot sector of the HD. Make it small -- this is going to be wiped out, butthe IBM restoration utility is nosy and it needs at least a non-empty partitionand you need grub to make things easier later.After it finishes, reboot back into the fancy CMOS utility, and start thefactory settings reinstall. It'll boot into it's canned Win98 and do itsmagic, but each time it tries to reboot, it'll fall into GRUB. Give GRUBthe following incantation to continue to boot into windows each time it needs:

rootnoverify (hd0,0)makeactivechainloader +1boot

(spaces ARE important there)After 5 or 6 reboots, and all sorts of crazy IBM scripting (that, somehow,reminds me of installing OS/2, ages ago), WinXP will be back on your system,with all the drivers and custom configuration there again, except this time,it'll just be in the first 30G of disk, and you'll have some space forLinux and GRUB installed. Shut back down, and reinstall Linux from CD, thistime using disk druid to mark the third partition you made (probably hda3)as the root partition, and tell GRUB how to boot Windows.

Some things I'm wondering -- where exactly is the thinkpad keeping it'sinstall image of WinXP? If it's on the disk, I wonder why Linux doesn't seeany partitions for it. If not, does the X31 have some additional storagesomewhere? Hmmmm...

Oh, yes, I have several more interesting news articles I think you'd liketo read, but it'll have to wait, because I'm sleepy and, with thedistraction of the actual work I'm doing, it's now almost 03:30. I *really*must be going..

Tags: tech

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