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29 September 2007

Setup a thinkpad T61p: part 1, dual boot XP/Vista

Introduction

I will here and in a few future posts explain how to set your computer up. And how to do it correctly.

First part is about using Vista and XP at the same time.

Rescue Disk

Run the thinkvantage Rescue System:

  • Start, All programs, Thinkvantage, Create Recovery Media.
  • Do the rescue disk creation. You will need 1 CD-ROM and 2 DVD-ROM

Reinstall

Use the rescue disks to reinstall it, to avoid some crap and to be sure you will be able to do it again, in case you screw something up.

It'll also able you to resize a bit better your NTFS partitions.

Resize the NTFS partition

When you seem to have done the most of the process,

Use gparted or its liveCD to resize your main NTFS partition. I shrinked it to 25GB, but you can do otherwise. You might have some problems rebooting after that resizing. Using a Vista DVD, repairing the computer will fix this.

Vista Boot

Boot your Vista, update Windows, update the Thinkvantage System Update, reboot, reboot, and reboot again. And once more, if you want. :D

In your Management console, that you can find on "Computer>Right click>Manage>Disk Management", create a new NTFS disk for Windows XP. I have given it 10 GB.

There, insert a CD-ROM, and rename the letters of your CD-ROM to E:, and give the D: to your Windows XP partition.

Reboot twice.

Vista steps

Deactivate the message center in your taskbar, Uninstall Norton crap if it is back again, and maybe Diskeeper. Reboot.

Install XP

Enter the BIOS with the F key at boot time. Go to Configuration -> SATA. Change the option from AHCI to Compatibility.

Save. Reboot.

Do it as you do it normally (but way faster than you used to...).

Install the ethernet drivers that you did download previously on lenovo website. Update windows, reboot. Reboot and reboot. Install Graphic drivers. Reboot.

Install Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, VLC media player, 7-zip. Remove MSN, Outlook express. Reboots...

Boot finish

Install VistaBootPro and set it up correctly. Then profit of your computer

28 September 2007

Review of Thinkpad T61p

Introduction

I have just bought a new computer, a Thinkpad T61p, and I will review it here and a bit more on this blog.

I have dealt with T series for some time now, working in Dassault Systemes in Tokyo in an internship where I repaired Thinkpad that were out-of-warranty; but also, when working in VIA Centrale Réseaux, where I negociated Thinkpad contracts for Centrale Paris Students and dealt with all the selling, and some repairing. Therefore I am not a newbie concerning Thinkpad laptops.

Specifications

  • Core 2 Duo 7500
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 15,4" WUXGA non-glossy screen (1920x1200)
  • Geforce Quadro FX570 256MB (Can use up to 1 GB)
  • HD, DVD writer, keyboard, etc...
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Media Card reader.
  • Bluetooth, Wifi a/b/g/n. Ethernet 1000
  • Windows Vista Ultimate ( yeah, I know... :'( )

First hardware impressions.

External

  • The 16/10 screen make the laptop more wide than usual, but thinner.
  • The quality of the whole computer is good, even if there is more plastic than before, and it seems still very resistant :D
  • The link between the screen and the laptop is still in metal, and not in plastic like other computers...

News (for me)

  • Older thinkpad used to have 2USB, they got a third one !
  • The Firewire port is very discrete.
  • The on/off wifi button is quite nice.
  • The card reader is very discrete too, compared to other laptops and external card readers... However, I am not sure it reads my old SD Cards, yet
  • Fingerprint is a gadget to me, but might be cool to geek it on Linux :D

Cons

Still no DVI, but a VGA port...

First Start

Woaouw effect

Gosh, the screen is not great, it is awesome, I have hardly seen a higher quality screen. It is the LG/Philips version, and not the Samsung one, for those who wander (Two different screens exists on T61p, the samsung one is supposed to suxx). There are no light leaking, and the precision of 1920x1200 is great. And no, it is NOT too small...

Under Vista, it shows in a very good shape and the graphic card has some good results in games.

Moreover the screen seems to be very well calibrated.

Windows Vista.

Well, windows Vista seems prettier than XP. But slow as hell. I guess I will reinstall it soon.

There is not so much crap on it, except some Norton and Office trial. Some thinkvantage applications might go away, but that is fine.

The computer did not need many restarts to be usable and I had a 4.8 Score in the Vista Performance Center. The graphic card scored a 5.9 under the performance thing. Woauw. Too bad I won't play games. :D

Rescue

There is a lot of rescue and save your data programs in the thinkvantage thing. I'll see what I will remove, because of the hidden partition, when I will install Linux. And I did recreate the rescue Disks.

Next time, I'll install GNU/Linux on it.