Los Stinkpads

November 13, 2005

OK, I’m sure you’re all sick of my whining about hardware, so hopefully this will be the final episode for awhile.

So when I called IBM to get the miniPCI card on my T42 (which I decided to name Omaha, by the way) fixed, they told me I’d voided my warranty by installing Linux but if I took it into the shop and the paid professionals determined that my problem was entirely hardware related, IBM would honor the warranty. Piss on that, I just went out and bought an external wifi card. Problem solved! At Fry’s I was interested to see that a lot of wireless cards are now USB rather than PC card.

Next I plunged into the saga of turning my R31 back from a Linux box to a Windows machine. I got to spend a lot of quality time this weekend contemplating the great truth that if you delete the Windows bootloader (aka NTLDR) from the Master Boot Partition AND you have an IBM recovery disk instead of a legit XP disk, you are so screwed. The journey to recovery involved scoring a sketchily-licensed copy of XP from a friend, vacuuming all the dust inside my lappy so it wouldn’t keep overheating, and finally buying and installing a whole new (power-sucking) hard drive. But hey, I got a BIOS upgrade and a new screwdriver out of the deal, so who says 12 hours of my life was utterly wasted?

2 Responses to “Los Stinkpads”

  1. JeffG Says:

    crazy story: we wanted to upgrade my Girlfriend’s R40 from a mini-pci ‘B’ card to a ‘G’ card. IBM wants $150 US for the card but you can get them at the local shop for $50. ‘Great!’ But when I put it in, the computer didn’t boot. Turns out IBM has a Bios check for their cards only, and if you install a different one, the computer no workie. The gory details are here if you’re interested:


  2. Vitaliy Says:

    Call back and tell them you reinstalled the OS using their system restore thingie.

    If not, buy an IBM miniPCI card and replace it yourself. Takes about 10 minutes to get all the screws (which are clearly marked however).

    Just watch out for comment above – Thinkpad only take IBM genuine miniPCI cars “for security” reasons. Bleh. Get IBM part number and then buy it from one of online resellers.

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