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laptops without hard drives


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#1 pidds2

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:21 AM

I work at a school and we recently got three IBM think pad 9457 laptops as a gift. These laptops had been used by the military and had the hard drives removed. I need to get them up and running. I don't have the recovery discs that came with the original units. Besides buying and installing the hard drives what else do I need to do to get them working? Do I need to buy windows and if so can I buy one and install on multiple machines? What is the best and cheapest way to get these working.

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 12:04 PM

You will definetly need hard drives. Being IBM, since they no longer manufacture laptops they are probably older and will need IDE hard drives (you should double check this) And if the laptops still have the windows license keys on the bottom of the drive you can write IBM (if not, then try Lenova as they bought the PC division of IBM) and ask them for a recovery disc. If they cant send you one, or you don't have the license key you will have to purchase new operating systems. Of which here are your options:

1:Purchase a new copy of XP, they still sell it. (im guessing its HP if they are IBM)

2: purchase windows 7, though depending on the hardware might not be supported.

3: go the free route and run linux, a variant like Ubuntu or Kubuntu.

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#3 Eyesee

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 12:18 PM

If you opt to purchase XP you will need drivers
They are available here
In the beginning there was the command line.

#4 pidds2

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 06:27 AM

You will definetly need hard drives. Being IBM, since they no longer manufacture laptops they are probably older and will need IDE hard drives (you should double check this) And if the laptops still have the windows license keys on the bottom of the drive you can write IBM (if not, then try Lenova as they bought the PC division of IBM) and ask them for a recovery disc. If they cant send you one, or you don't have the license key you will have to purchase new operating systems. Of which here are your options:

1:Purchase a new copy of XP, they still sell it. (im guessing its HP if they are IBM)

2: purchase windows 7, though depending on the hardware might not be supported.

3: go the free route and run linux, a variant like Ubuntu or Kubuntu.



I don't have a lot of experience running linux. Does it function like windows and do you think that young kids that know how to work windows and mac pcs would have a problem using linux.

#5 the_patriot11

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 06:46 AM

Eeeeh, probably. Unlike windows, linux doesnt have executible files. Ubuntu is fairly easy to figure out, however, I would play around with it before deciding. Thankfully you can download a ubuntu live disc (other distros have this to) and put it in your computer, and boot up off the disc-without having to install it-and get a feel for it, whether you like it or not. Since its totally free, if you dont like it you can just toss it and purchase windows.

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Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#6 pidds2

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 07:25 AM

Which linux environment is the easiest to use - ubuntu - kubuntu - suse - fedora? Can all of these be installed onto a new hard drive without already having windows

#7 Sneakycyber

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:06 PM

Also if your school uses Windows XP on their computer system they may already have a Site license agreement depending on the limit of the license you may be able to install windows for free using the site license key. Contact the school Network system administrator for the information. A draw back may be the school used an outside firm to set up the network which means they hold the license or the PC's are licensed individually.

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#8 strolln

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:38 PM

What will the school use these computers for? If just for kids to surf the web and write papers then Ubuntu would work great. If the intent is to do gaming or use any type of Windows educational software packages then Linux wouldn't be the best choice.

Yes, Ubuntu (and other forms of Linux) are full OSes and don't require Windows to be installed. The one caveat with laptops is that you may not be able to find Linux compatible drivers for things like a web camera (if built-in) or wifi and stuff like that.

If the laptops have a CD drive, you could boot and run Ubuntu from the CD to try things out before even installing the hard drive.

Edited by strolln, 10 June 2010 - 01:49 PM.

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