ThinkPad 240 netbook

I’ve had a ThinkPad 240 for many years and in the past it’s been a bit fiddly to install Linux on due to the lack of a CD drive. It also doesn’t help that the BIOS won’t boot from a USB device, although it is a very old machine so I’ll forgive them that small oversight. In the past I’ve messed around with floppy disks and a USB CD but in comparison the last install was an absolute breeze, and it’s now working the best it ever has with Linux.

This time I used GRUB for DOS and a Knoppix live CD. I had been using Grub in one of my earlier Linux partitions but it was getting a bit messy, so I restored the mbr and added a GRUB for DOS entry to the Windows boot manager BOOT.INI file:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

I’m much happier handling all the boot configuration from the Windows partition since it’s the most ‘stable’, i.e. the one I mess about with the least! Next I copied the contents of  the Knoppix CD to a directory on the C: drive and created a GRUB for DOS menu.lst file with the following details:

timeout 30
default /default

title Knoppix
root (hd0,0)/Linux/KnoppixCD
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux fromhd=/dev/sda1 knoppix_dir=Linux/KnoppixCD/knoppix ramdisk_size=100000 lang=uk vt.default_utf8=0 apm=power-off vga=788 screen=800x600 nomce quiet loglevel=0 tz=localtime
initrd /boot/isolinux/minirt.g

title Command line

title Reboot

title Halt

And that’s pretty much it. In the past that was just the start of getting the wireless card and everything else working, but I’m seriously impressed with the latest Knoppix; it handled the Linksys WPC54G without even blinking and for basic netbook work it’s running on the 240 very nicely. Should have another few years in it yet!


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