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IBM ThinkPad T21 2647-4BU boot-able from Ultra-bay?

Posted on 2003-12-03
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a T21 thinkpad model number 2647-4bu that I want to run Linux on. If I purchase a second hard drive for the ultra-bay will I be able to boot Linux from this second hard drive. I don't have any experience running or installing multiple OS's on one machine. I don't want to partition the main hard drive as it has a lot of valuable info and probable not enough free space to install Linux. I figure it would be safer to install on the second hard drive and boot from that. I need a definitive answer as this is the only reason I would purchase the second hd. Also which version of linux would be best for my T21?

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Question by:wjt2003
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chicagoan earned 225 total points
ID: 9872435
Unless the Bios has support to boot from the bay, no.
You can either boot from a floppy or install just the grub bootloader (or another boot manager) on your c: drive, putting the linux installation itself on the 2nd drive.

http://www.linux-laptop.net/ibm.html
has a few articles on installing older versions of linux on T21's

Knoppix runs OK on T21's if you want to get a feel for how the machine will perform, runs completely from CD

and here's a nice description of how to use the NT loader with redhat7
http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~nday/Software/ibm_thinkpad_t21_install.html

as noted in that article, the 3com modem is a winmodem - though there are drivers now it's problematic, the intel/lucent mini pcu usually works better.

Needless to say, a backup is a pre-requisite for any fooling around with the boot loader!
If you're getting another drive, why not get a bigger faster one and use it as the main, a faster drive is a big performance boost for a laptop. Ghost your exsisting drive to the new one and use the old one for backup!
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by:rid
ID: 9872461
http://www9.linuxcare.com/labs/certs/pad21.epl

Versions tried on the T21

I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to do what you propose, IF you can set the second (?) hard drive to be bootable OR you can accept some kind of bootloader program on the primary hard drive. I wouldn't mess around with this on a "procuction" machine containing valuable data, of course.

You could swap out the main hard drive and get two totally different installations (assuming it doesn't take major surgery to remove the hard drive).

/RID
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by:rid
ID: 9872471
Errgh... too slow AND a stupid typo...
"procuction" = production
/RID
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by:chicagoan
ID: 9872650
there too they're not talking about anything beyond RH7, I'd give 9 a whirl - the HW detection has gotten a lot better and 9 will stick thr grub bootloader on the boot drive for you, it that's the way you want to go.

Did anyone mention backup?
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