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Hey Everybody, I just purchased an older Toshiba Satellite 3005-S403 and was wanting to put Linux on it. I have a few questions before I do so, though. 1) What ...
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  1. #1
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    Toshiba 3005-S403


    Hey Everybody,

    I just purchased an older Toshiba Satellite 3005-S403 and was wanting to put Linux on it. I have a few questions before I do so, though.

    1) What is the best distro for this laptop? I have seen Slackware, Red Hat, and SuSE used, are there others that work well with laptops?

    2) Is it safe to reformat the HD? I have heard that some laptops have a boot sector on the hard drive and if it is removed (after a reformat or whatever) the laptop can not boot. Is this an issue with my laptop?

    3) This laptop has buttons that allow you to start playing CD's or MP3's without having to start the laptop. Will reformatting remove these functions?

    I'm sure I will have more questions later, but that's it for now.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
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    If you have an easily removable hard disk, you could get a cheapo 2.5in HDD, put it in and remove the original one (keep that safe) and try the install out on that. That way you lose nothing of your original disk contents until you're happy that all the kit on the laptop is supported.

    As far as distro choice goes, it's a matter of preference. I use Fedora Core 4 on my laptop, but you can try a couple out - they're available for free.
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    Linux Enthusiast carlosponti's Avatar
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    if the notebook has the boot sector(bios stuff) on the hard disk its usually the first partition of 8 mb or something similar. if thats the case dont mess with it. just install to the remaining part of the drive. also if you do happen to erase one most manufacturers have disk utilities that enable you to restore that boot sector. it really all depends on how old the notebook is. also as far what distro i would recommend slackware on older hardware. if the processor is above 1 ghz or a pentium 4 then you can deal with any distro. suse 10 would be good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by catacon
    Hey Everybody,

    I just purchased an older Toshiba Satellite 3005-S403 and was wanting to put Linux on it. I have a few questions before I do so, though.

    1) What is the best distro for this laptop? I have seen Slackware, Red Hat, and SuSE used, are there others that work well with laptops?

    2) Is it safe to reformat the HD? I have heard that some laptops have a boot sector on the hard drive and if it is removed (after a reformat or whatever) the laptop can not boot. Is this an issue with my laptop?

    3) This laptop has buttons that allow you to start playing CD's or MP3's without having to start the laptop. Will reformatting remove these functions?

    I'm sure I will have more questions later, but that's it for now.

    Thanks!
    Hi Catacon,

    I take it this is your first distro, if so you should probably look at the following two.

    Suse 10 is probably the easyest distro to go for as it gives the perfect transistion from windows to linux.

    The Second is Mepis, my personal favorite its not bloated like suse its simple and neat, and runs really well on my thinkpad a20m 800mhz with 350mb ram.

    Hope this clears it up a bit for ya. have fun

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    Actually, I have been using Linux for about 8 months now. I have used SuSe, Debian, Fedora, Linspire, and Ubuntu, so I have quite a bit of experience with various distros. I have never put one on a laptop, though. If Mepis and Slackware work best for older hardware (which this lappy has), I will take one of those.

    As for the hard drive: I would like to avoid buying one, so I will leave a 3GB partition for Windows and then install Linux on the rest. Will that work?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by catacon
    Actually, I have been using Linux for about 8 months now. I have used SuSe, Debian, Fedora, Linspire, and Ubuntu, so I have quite a bit of experience with various distros. I have never put one on a laptop, though. If Mepis and Slackware work best for older hardware (which this lappy has), I will take one of those.

    As for the hard drive: I would like to avoid buying one, so I will leave a 3GB partition for Windows and then install Linux on the rest. Will that work?

    Thanks!
    Should be able to do that, Most distros should give you the option to resize partitions you will have to use the linux boot manager as i dont think the windows one will work.

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    Yeah, I always use GRUB in dual boots anyway.

    I'm downloading the last Slack 10.2 disc right now. I will let you know how the installation goes.

    Thanks again for the help.

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    I decided to go with Debian and it has woorked fine. It detected the hardware and everything and runs nice. The only problem is I need a battery monitoring tool. Know of any?

    Thanks!

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