Last week my brand-spanking-new Thinkpad T500 arrived in the mail! As usual, I decided to dual-boot Windows XP and Ubuntu. This ended up being pretty tricky. For anybody else in the same boat, here are some tips which would’ve saved me a few hours.
- Summary: If you have an Intel WiMAX/WiFi Link 5350 wireless card, you’ll find it doesn’t work in Intrepid (at least at the time of this writing, Jan 13 2008). Ultimately, I upgraded to Jaunty (9.04) because the kernel has built-in support for my T500’s WiMax card. However, there’s currently a bug in the pre-release Jaunty graphical installer which makes it hang if you try to manually partition. If you’re dual-booting, you want to Manually partition. Use the Intrepid install disk and then login and immediately upgrade to Jaunty. If you’re *not* dual-booting and plan on using Guided partitions, just skip all this and install Jaunty (Ubuntu 9.04) from the start. Jaunty’s still alpha2, but it’s been working better than 8.10 for me.
- Windows XP – The laptop came installed with Windows Vista, and a Windows XP product downgrade CD (it totally makes me laugh that they include that for free). I swapped the original drive out with a brand new 320G drive, and used the Windows XP downgrade/Product Recovery CD to “restore my system to the factory default.” Basically, this created one enormous NTFS partition with the typical Lenovo recovery partition at the very end.
- Ubuntu – I popped in the Ubuntu Intrepid (8.10) CD. It hangs while booting into the graphical environment. To fix this, press F1 while starting up to go into the BIOS. Go to Config->Display. Change the Graphics to “Discrete” and set Auto OS Switch to “Disabled.”
- Once you’re booted into the Ubuntu live CD, use the “ntfsresize” command to shrink the Windows partition to whatever size you’d like.
- Using fdisk, delete the old partitions. Create one NTFS partition at the beginning of the disk, ~200M larger than your resized NTFS partition (good to have a little slush space).
- Run the installer. When you get to the partitioner, be sure to click “Manual” partitioning. Leave your Windows partition alone, and set up appropriate Linux partitions.
- Install Intrepid. If you have an Intel WiMAX/WiFi Link 5350 card, you’ll find it doesn’t work in Intrepid. I banged my head against this one for *hours*– tried ndiswrapper, the open-source wimax drivers, and a bunch of other things. Nada. Fortunately, the solution is simple. It turns out that Intrepid’s 2.6.27 kernel doesn’t support WiMax, but the 2.6.28 kernel does. You could either a) install a custom 2.6.28 kernel (I didn’t try this) or b) simply upgrade to Jaunty.
- Before making any configuration changes, upgrade to Jaunty as follows: Login and hit Alt-F2. Type “update-manager -d”. Click “Run.” You will see a button for upgrading to 9.04. Click on that.
- Reboot and voila! Everything should work.
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