Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

No OS on Machine

W500/510/520 and W700/710 series specific matters only
Post Reply
Message
Author
taichi
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

No OS on Machine

#1 Post by taichi » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:45 am

I'm going to be looking at a W701 where the owner completely wiped the drive. He is primarily a Mac user and is unfamiliar with reinstalling a Win OS. Obviously I can't test the machine without an OS, and reinstalling Win in his presence would take too long. Would it be possible to have a simple Linux desktop on a flash drive or CD to boot into, or do those devices require an installed OS?

axur-delmeria
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1949
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: No OS on Machine

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:31 am

A good number of Linux distributions have what's called a Live CD / DVD / USB, which is an already-running Linux installation on the disc itself.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

taichi
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: No OS on Machine

#3 Post by taichi » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:42 am

Thanks for the reply.

He said he wiped the drive, and wants my help to format the drive and install the OS, as he is Windows ignorant.
Does the drive need to be formatted?

If I get a Linux Live CD, will this boot on a machine with no OS? /DVD Drive?

What resolution will a Live CD support? Obviously I need to check out the machine before buying it.

Would you install Windows 10 or 7 if given a choice? I'm assuming that if the disk was wiped that I could install Win 7 Ultimate even if the previous installation was Windows 10 Pro.

Will Windows install on a machine without an OS from the DVD drive on a so-called un-formatted drive??

Thanks again for answering questions so late!

jaspen-meyer
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 828
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 11:21 pm
Location: Pardubice, Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: No OS on Machine

#4 Post by jaspen-meyer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:58 am

If I get a Linux Live CD, will this boot on a machine with no OS? /DVD Drive?
Yes.

Yes, a CD or USB with Linux should be fine. If you have a spare hdd, the easiest fail-safe method would be to install Linux onto a hard drive and then put that into the W701. This avoids possible boot issues with the USB.

Pick a distribution which will support the Intel wifi card out of the box -- Mint Linux, for example.

Windows saves a bit to a low level of the disk which makes the disk unusable to (some) other windows installations. You can remove the bit by recreating the disk's partition table. In Linux this is straight forward with, for example, 'gparted' or 'fdisk'.

To remove the bit with gparted: Boot into a linux system, open gparted, pick the windows disk, and 'create a new partition table', apply. Done.

The live CD will support all typical w701 screen resolutions.
T420 i7 3612QM seabios; T420 i7 3630QM; T400 Q9100 seabios; T61 P9600; T60 libreboot; x62; x60s libreboot, led; x24 xiphmont led

taichi
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: No OS on Machine

#5 Post by taichi » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:41 am

I'm more likely going to download a Mint Live CD on a CD, so I'm assuming the machine with no OS will recognize and boot from the optical drive. Does the Mint version have a GUI that will allow for mouse control of the computer?

He also has an HP 8740W with the same situation...a wiped drive. I don'y know yet if in the wiping process he deleted the partition. If he didn't is that a difficult thing to do, as the Win 7 I have is Ultimate, while his machines were running Pro.

In either case I'm a novice when it comes to formatting a drive, as I've never done it. Related to this question is whether I can take the drive from T60P, which has 7 Ultimate 32 on it and simply slip it into either computer? Would both machines recognize it, or would it have the wrong formatting on it?

All I want to do with either computer is see that it's working.

Problems, problems, problems.

jaspen-meyer
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 828
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 11:21 pm
Location: Pardubice, Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: No OS on Machine

#6 Post by jaspen-meyer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:38 pm

Yes, the mouse will work. Yes, there will be a GUI. Watch a video of 'Linux Mint Live CD' to get an idea of what to expect.

During boot hit F12 to boot from the CD.
T420 i7 3612QM seabios; T420 i7 3630QM; T400 Q9100 seabios; T61 P9600; T60 libreboot; x62; x60s libreboot, led; x24 xiphmont led

taichi
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: No OS on Machine

#7 Post by taichi » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:53 pm

If I decide to go for the 8740W, do I still hit F1 to boot from CD, or is there another key for HP?

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad W500/510/520 and W7x0 Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests