Buying an HP Pavilion laptop for GNU/Linux

A corporation is not the person the legal fiction makes it so much as a collection of different interests. I was reminded of this fact a couple of weeks ago when I went shopping for a laptop. Remembering that Hewlett-Packard almost singlehandedly solved the basic problem of laser printer support for GNU/Linux, I ended up buying one of the company's laptops. Consumer reports, price, and HP's listing as one of the greener hardware manufacturers according to Greenpeace also affected my decision, but my impression of HP as a free software friendly company was a large criteria.

Unfortunately, the impression was skewed. In contrast to HP's printer division, the laptop division has almost no awareness whatsoever of non-Windows operating systems. Partly, this impression comes from my interaction with Sheridian the human auto-responder in HP technical support, who during our chat session, could only repeat such comments as "HP will support only for the preinstalled operating system" and "HP does not recommend to change the preinstalled operating system" and could only suggest that I call something he called "Liux support" but couldn't specify what he meant. However, I didn't really expect better. Mostly, the impression comes from the laptop itself, which supports basic functionality for GNU/Linux, but includes a number of peripherals and extras that major distros do not support straight off the DVD and some of which can't be enabled even with tinkering.

My philosophy about laptops is that they are so fragile and so easily stolen that buying a high-end one is a waste of money. Instead, I was looking for a lower end laptop with some reliability. Coming to the store armed with an Ubuntu Live CD, I eventually settled on an HP Pavilion dv2410ca, whose only difference from a dv2410us, so far as I can tell, is that it is sold in Canada and comes with both French and English instructions.

A quick investigation showed that the laptop could boot Live CDs for the latest versions of Debian and Ubuntu. But I wanted an RPM installation for testing purposes, so I ended up installing Fedora 7, whose recent innovations have impressed me. Installation, including the wired ethernet connection, was uneventful, and, for most purposes, the laptop gives me all that I need. Having too many deadlines to sit around Starbucks with the wannabe writers, I don't really need more than a functional computer whose DHCP connection I can occasionally plug in. If I'm not at my workstation, I don't want to be connected to the rest of the world.

Moreover, after I stripped all the brand stickers from the front of the keyboard, functionally the laptop is a joy to use. The extended screen width is a vast improvement over my old laptop's, and gives the HP Pavilion room for an almost full-sized keyboard with rubberized keys. I note that laptops still haven't solved the problem of a really efficient built-in mouse pad, but with the addition of a USB optical mouse, I've found that I could do serious work on my purchase for several hours at a time -- something that I couldn't say about my previous laptop.

Yet, at the same time, I couldn't help noticing how many peripherals didn't work immediately. Although I like to say that I'm an anthropologist to geeks rather than a geek myself, I've been around GNU/Linux long enough to have absorbed many of the attitudes. Getting the peripherals to work soon became a challenge, and never mind that I had no need of them.

The easiest peripheral to get working was the wireless card -- although at a risk of the loss of my free software credentials. The card was one of the infamous Broadcom models, so I quickly found that I could get it functioning using either ndiswrapper or bcm43xx-fwcutter, both of which are free software in themselves, but adapt proprietary Windows drivers or firmware for use on GNU/Linux. The biggest obstacle was navigating through incomplete or quirky instructions in user support forums.

My next effort was finding software for the LightScribe drive, which allows you to etch labels directly on to the face of CDs and DVDs designed to work with the technology. Both HP's LightScribe division and LaCie now have GNU/Linux versions of their software for the technology that are free for the download, but are not released under a free license. However, neither could find the optical drive, although K3B has no trouble, and the Windows versions of the same software have no trouble under Vista. Salvation only arrived when HP's technical support told me to open /etc/lightscribe.rc in a text editor and add the following lines to the end of the file:

DriveEnumeration=false;
CDROMDevicePath=<drivepath>;

Currently, I am working on the built-in webcam. A preliminary Web search suggests that I can enable it at the cost of a download or two and some compiling, since it apparently works with the latest Ubuntu beta. Now all I have to do is find someone who wants to stare at me hunched over the keyboard while we chat.

Still remaining is the modem. All I know so far is that Fedora doesn't detect it, which probably makes it a Winmodem. I may be able to enable it, but, if I don't, I have other alternatives. If I want faxing, I can use my HP all-in-one, which connects via USB. Should I need telephony -- which I doubt -- I should be able to buy a card.

Working through these problems is an interesting challenge. And since my efforts have produced several articles, I can't really complain. After all, I knew when I bought that the HP Pavilion is a Windows-oriented machine, and that buying a custom machine -- my invariable habit for a workstation -- is next to impossible with a laptop. Still, at times during the last couple of weeks, I've felt as though I was back in the bad old days of 1999, when getting GNU/Linux to work on the average workstation was still a major effort.

I wonder, too, how many other users would be content to hack away at these problems. In these days of instant gratification, not many, I would think. For many, doing additional tinkering would probably destroy the pleasure of having a new machine.

Despite HP's record with printers, I consider my experiences more typical than unique -- partly a consumer report on the HP dv2410ca, but, more generally, a data point on just where GNU/Linux support on laptops stands in 2007. Judging from the specs, I suspect that my experiences would be almost identical if I had bought another model in the HP dv2000 line. And, from the support forums I've been haunting, if I had bought from another company, odds are that only the specs would differ. While basic functionality should be painlessly obtained, you still need to invest some sweat if you want some of the extras.

Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist who writes regularly for Datamation, Linux.com, and Linux Journal.

______________________

--
Bruce Byfield (nanday)

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Ubuntu and Windows 7

Jake's picture

I'm considering running Ubuntu 9.10 on my HP dv5 laptop, and I was wondering if someone could tell me the easiest way to get it set up to dualboot Ubuntu along with my existing Windows 7(recently upgraded from Vista). It has a 320gb HDD(286 with Win7's recovery partion) and I should have enough space to add a partion, but I'm not sure how much space Ubuntu would need to run good.

HP Pavilion dv6t 1300

prj's picture

I bought an HP Pavilion dv6t 1300 with Windows 7 on it. After some amount of effort I was able to make it dual boot with Debian. Much to my disappointment, there are no drivers for the video (an Intel Mobile 4 chipset), the broadcom wireless, and the webcam.

Also, I tried live cds of ubuntu and fedora, but neither one of them gets past the main screen (the computer hangs).

Has anyone got a live cd of linux of any distro to work on one of these hps?

Thanks.

Bought an HP and have had nothing but problems with the charging

Anonymous's picture

Wish I had a postive experience. Bought an HP a year ago and not enjoying it. It gets so hot that it burns paper. Plus the keys keep falling off, the shell keeps falling apart. Their warranty is words only- they wont honour it unless you send it to their office in Colorado (im in Canada- no local representatives) and then you are out a computer for a month. Dealing with their department has been a nightmare. I expected more too since I bought it from Costco but Costco has been next to no help. One good point though was the Lightscribe- it was wonderful, but not enough to buy another HP.

linux+hp machine

Anonymous's picture

J m using hp pavilion zv5000 + nvidia 32mb + ubuntu hardy and it works fine and very fast for his issue.J tested the machine with several distro and havent problems with webcams,mousepad,etc.just my old analog tv card cinergy usb doesnt run at time.J tested mandriva,debian,ubuntu,fedora.if you are niewbie how me you must be pazient,everyday will learn some new things and that what is installed will ever run.you can find severals blogs and forum that explain you howto,and many modules for the kernel will be updadatet by the community every day.when you buy some hardware you must be sure if it works + linux.but j must say(wrote) that you kann forget the hp service,and probably others too,then with linux there is no business for them.hp doesnt give you service whit windows too!!!!the website is just marketing and will confuse you,nothing knowledge is required!!!!!

You have a great philosophy

Ada's picture

You have a great philosophy there, my first laptop I went all out for something great but after 2 years it was broken and with the money I spent on it I could have got 2 maybe even 3 fairly decent laptops. But for me at least finding a cheap laptop computers that runs Linux or another other operating program from Microsoft is a challenge.

Lenovo machines, maybe?

Anonymous's picture

I hear that Lenovo laptops are quite Linux-friendly. Anybody had any experience with that?

So where is the best advice to be found?

Nontagonist's picture

I know a google search will turn up results for various types of problems, but which sites are most helpful in actually solving problems and avoiding bad purchases?

I mean that the signal to noise ratio is pretty low in some of the sites I've visited, and I haven't stumbled across anywhere that's impressed me greatly.

It would be nice to get a pointer to some helpful and accurate buying advice in addition to the HOWTOs like

http://tuxmobil.org/howtos.html

which contains, for understandable reasons, this:

"3.9 No Hardware Recommendations

It's difficult to give any recommendations for a certain laptop model in general. Your personal needs have to be taken into account. Also the market is changing very quickly. I guess every three months a new generation of laptops (according to harddisk space, CPU speed, display size, etc.) comes into the market. So I don't give any model or brand specific recommendations. "

Regards, Non.

I have a dv2410ca too. I use

Dylan66's picture

I have a dv2410ca too. I use Fedora 8, which works perfectly. Bluetoot, ipod, wifi, sound, etc.
I only have minor problems, like webcam and modem/fax, which I didn't try very much to resolve...
But i'm always surprised at how easily F8 detects automatically almost everything (exept wifi, which is easy to resolve). I'm not going back to windows, oh no.

related fix

Anonymous's picture

hi dylan, i m using dv2701tu and wants to install linux on that...any kind of help is most welcome from your side.i am presently using xp professional SP2 on it and would like to know whether it is possible to have both simultaneously as a dual boot configuration or not...thanks is advance for any of ur suggestion or reply

Fedora 7 peripherals

Jammer's picture

Hi Bruce

Found This article interesting as i have jus installed Fedora 7 which i got free with Linux Magazine on my HP Pavilion dv9605ea which does not like a few peripherals as you said about your installation. Some of which include the onboard nvidia graphics card and the wireless card.

I have had some luck with the graphics card by using a rpm i found through google but have not yet tried to get the wireless card working.

Ill see how far i get and then contribute to this article a bit more as to how far you can take a HP pavilion laptop on a Linux Distro.

hi bruce, i came across you

ryan000's picture

hi bruce, i came across you article from a google search, i recently installed ubuntu on the same computer you have, dv2410ca. I have had a bit of trouble getting my hardware to work, wireless, graphics card, ect, just like you.
i would greatly appreciate it if you could tell me how exacltly you got everything to work well, seeing as youve already gone threw the trouble to get everything working it would be easy for you to share that with me.
any help would be great, thanks
ryan

hp lightscribe s/w

jea's picture

Bruce;
I've searched hp's site, but as unable to find the lightscribe software (for linux) that
you alluded to. Could you please tell me where you found it?

Home > blogs > Bruce Byfield
Buying an HP Pavilion laptop for GNU/Linux
August 15th, 2007 by Bruce Byfield

My next effort was finding software for the LightScribe drive, which allows you to etch labels directly on to the face of CDs and DVDs designed to work with the technology. Both HP's LightScribe division and LaCie now have GNU/Linux versions of their software for the technology that are free for the download, but are not released under a free license. However, neither could find the optical drive, although K3B has no trouble, and the Windows versions of the same software have no trouble under Vista. Salvation only arrived when HP's technical support told me to open /etc/lightscribe.rc in a text editor and add the following lines to the end of the file:

DriveEnumeration=false;

DV6000z

Forrest's picture

Via the Costco site, I bought a dv6000z laptop for my ten year old as he was doing a huge amount of reading and had interest in the net. I struggled painfully for 2 days removing the 7+GB of bloatware installed on XP before setting up dual boot Mandriva 2007.1 --
I bought this machine as a windows box so hadn't worried about linux compatability-- got the AMD version as it was cheaper but did think to get Nvidia graphics as I have never had good luck with ATI firm/software. To my surprise x86_64 worked amazingly well out of the box-- only had to mess with Ndiswrapper to enable the wi-fi, mandriva even found and installed the winmodem driver. I set up KDE for my 10 yea r old and he was off and running. -- I cannot describe the difference of x64 from windows or x86 this Nforce/SATA machine! Upshot-- I haven't seen windows running for months: XP still takes 3-4minutes to cold boot, x86 took about 90 seconds and x64 boots from the bios prompt in 25-30 seconds. It comes up so fast I haven't bothered to set up hibernate at all. Machine appears to be completely stable -- he watches utube and vidoes from dvd as well as homework and net reading...
I did upgrade bios to latest version -- which still fails acpi compliance testing, but works well. Only thing not working are some of the extra keys -- although the bios traps are now fixed as well.

Upshot -- I have always had to tweak laptops under linux, but between the Mandriva built-ins and would stay away from Broadcom hardware if possible, the Nforce/AMD combo is hard to beat, maybe not as fast a Intel -- but it never gets warm no matter what. 64-bit drivers made an enormous improvement in system interaction performance, benchmarks be damned. Despite my trepidation about kids and linux desktops, there was no issue at all-- he has customized the interface far more than I do.

Rumor has it

Anonymous's picture

Rumor has it that HP will be shipping with Mandriva pre-installed. Can anyone confirm that??

dv8230us

Chuck's picture

The key to getting a laptop working with Linux is doing research on the architecture and peripherals BEFORE you purchase! Don't just buy a laptop because of the brand or because you like the looks and then try to make it work in Linux. I carefully looked for a laptop that had wireless (Intel Centrino), graphics (NVidia), and other peripherals that were known to be Linux compatible -- the HP dv8230us fit the bill perfectly (with the exception of the Winmodem, but I don't think there's a laptop made these days that has a regular modem in it).

I agree. For those who

Anonymous's picture

I agree. For those who either don't know enough--or those who do know enough but are too lazy--to do said research, here are three options:

1.) System76 (www.system76.com)
2.) ZaReason (www.zareason.com)
3.) Dell (www.dell.com/linux)

If you don't like those options, then do like Chuck says and get researching.

BTW, those stupid Winmodems are put in there for the same reason that you have "Winprinters". It's because it's cheaper to manufacture Winmodems and press a bunch of CD's than to make a *real* modem. If you really need a modem, pick up an external 9-pin-serial-port modem and pop it into your laptop case. They're small enough. That's what I do since I have to dial into routers at remote sites.

HP Pavillion Laptops

Kevin Battersby's picture

My ZD7000 has been a most reliable laptop. It's been bounced around the back woods, toted up towers and has worked well for the most part. However, I feel your pain with peripherals. Scrap the buttons, Broadcom wireless card and the card reader. Otherwise the 1600x1050 screen is a gem, the mouse although bare of the silver covering in the center keeps on going. Having used several Toshiba, a Sony, a Dell and others I have found the HP one of the more reliable, not counting the battery.

Linux Journal please note, more articles on laptops would be welcome. Especially ones with some meat in them. If there is a laptop out there that's 100% Linux friendly lets hear about it. Otherwise some more insight into what will make those pesky buttons etc. work would be welcome.

After being a serious Linux user for the past 13 years the floor is littered with WinX peripherals. I love to see the Penguin logo on a peripheral box and would certainly like to see it on a laptop box!

Thanks for the article Bruce Byfield.

For those who like technology as art:
Under the Mouse

You make it sound as though

Anonymous's picture

You make it sound as though bcm43xx-fwcutter is _NOT_ open source!! It is released under the GPL. The only reason for needing it is that Broadcom refuses to give anyone the rights to distribute the firmware for their devices. As a result, we had to prepare this code to extract the firmware from the publicly-distributed drivers for other OS's. As the firmware is not executed in the host cpu, it does not taint the Linux kernel the way that ndiswrapper does.

As you found "The biggest obstacle was navigating through incomplete or quirky instructions in user support forums.", I encourage you to write a set of instructions for implementing bcm43xx and post it on the Broadcom Linux developers list (bcm43xx-dev@lists.berlios.de).

I should have clarified:

Bruce Byfield's picture

I should have clarified: bcm43xx-fwcutter itself is open source, but it works with non-free software. In Debian, it's in the contrib section for that reason. I'll alter the wording to make that clear.

As for writing a set of instructions, I did that on Friday on Linux.com.

- Bruce Byfield

--
Bruce Byfield (nanday)

My dv9548us and linux

Anonymous's picture

Fedora 7 installed on it just fine, however nothing else worked, including the sound. I didnt want to fuss with it much, I just wanted a laptop that worked for now (Came with vista installed, and thats clearly not an option)

Busted out the XP cd thinking id have a working, fully installed laptop in a couple hours.

14 hours later it was done. The problem was HP doesnt make XP drivers for this laptop so I had to a) figure out what the guts were, and b) hunt down the drivers.

This was my first experience ever where linux was faster to have a desktop up than a ms os.

I plan on trying Fedora again to finish what i started. For the record, I tried to do a live boot with Ubuntu 7.04, and it dumped me to a command prompt without ever getting to the desktop.

I'm running Debian Etch on a

Anonymous's picture

I'm running Debian Etch on a zd8000 and it has an Conexant HSF on board modem. Linuxant is your friend.
I don't know about wireless; don't need it.

No, Linuxant is *not* our friend

Anonymous's picture

That's why I don't use softmodems. I have no desire to use "binary blob" crapware drivers that run in the security context of the operating system. Fortunately, modems as Internet links are obsolete in the United States anyway, so I don't have to be concerned with them. :-)

If you want to send/receive faxes on your laptop, then do yourself a favor and buy a *real* modem. Real modems, with the intelligence in hardware like what used to be the norm, are still made and are not very expensive at all.

Wrong laptop

Bubba's picture

All of the issues mentioned above are because of the purchase of a "consumer" laptop. Go with the SMB version (normally known as a OmniBook) and you get FLOSS friendly items such as Intel network chipsets - not to mention a longer and better support term.

True, but for different reasons

Yabba Dabba's picture

Yes, that HP was the wrong laptop, but I have different reasons for saying that.

It's bull-oney that HP cannot make a reasonably priced, GNU/Linux-friendly consumer laptop. Dell did it (their new "Ubuntu laptop"), and said laptop actually works pretty doggone well. Pre-installed with Ubuntu Feisty Fawn, It's got F/OSS-friendly wireless, video, etc. If Dell can do it--and they have--then HP has no excuse.

Other alternatives are those from System76 (http://www.system76.com) and ZaReason (http://www.zareason.com). Both companies sell laptops with pre-installed Ubuntu. I've heard rather good things about the support from both companies.

HP even screws up their desktops! I've got an HP desktop here, a dc5700. It's a fast box, with an Intel Core 2 Duo and 4GB DRAM. All of the hardware in the box is GNU/Linux-friendly. Unfortunately, it also has a BIOS programmed to look for the Recovery Partition right when the Windows XP installation program starts up. If the BIOS doesn't see that Recovery Partition, the Windows XP installation will freeze cold right at boot-time. Interestingly, GNU/Linux and even Windows 2000 have *zero* trouble installing and booting on this box. Even the famous Bart's Boot Disk, based on Windows XP, will not boot. What this means is that, if your hard disk goes bad or you replace it, then you cannot install retail Windows XP on this machine! Granted, I use GNU/Linux almost exclusively, and Ubuntu 64-bit runs on this box (very nicely, thank you). But companies shouldn't be sabotaging their BIOSes like that. It's just wrong.

There are other options besides HP. The only two things left about HP that are any good are their laser printers and their (rebranded) Compaq servers, and they had to acquire the latter.

The only two things left

Anonymous's picture

The only two things left about HP that are any good are their laser printers and their (rebranded) Compaq servers<\cite>

and the RPN calculators.

HPs are absolutely awful if

Anonymous's picture

HPs are absolutely awful if you are looking for anything beyond the vanilla machine and OS that they sell you. A friend of mine bought an HP laptop with Vista on it and immediately upgraded it to Windows XP. But then he spent over 2 days trying to find the correct drivers to get it working under XP. HP's website was a disorganized mess and he couldn't find 64-bit XP drivers anywhere at the time. He tried calling HP for driver support, but they immediately informed him that he had voided the warranty on his 1 week old laptop by taking Vista off of it and promptly hung up. He wound up finding the drivers from random sites all over the internet and/or copying them from existing XP users's machines. He still can't get Linux to run reliably on it.

Meanwhile I have a Dell laptop that worked out of the box 100% with Ubuntu and OpenSUSE, and this machine was bought several months before the Dell/Ubuntu deal went through. Not all laptops are bad. You just have to carefully look into which parts are put into the laptop. And for the record, Broadcom wireless cards tend to suck under Windows as well, just slightly less.

nx7400

Felipe Alvarez's picture

I recently purchased nx7400. I am very happy with it, except for a few minor things.

- winmodem (hard to configure, and I use DSL mostly anyways)
- suspend to RAM (needs kernel newer than 2.6.20)
- bluetooth (I don't have any bluetooth devices, so I don't know)
- buzzing (not OS related at all. Only buzzes when in battery mode)

I run opensuse 10.2 on it, and I love it. Mouse pad is excellent, screen is sharp and bright, and so far, I haven't had any HW issues.

Felipe

Linux on HP dv9000

PhilG's picture

I have experienced basically the same problems with my dv9000. I got wireless working with ndiswrapper and WinXP driver for Broadcom chip. Webcam doesn't work and researching web indicates the Sonix chip is too new for Linux. I can wait. Otherwise Mandriva Spring 2007 works great.

Webcam

Clark's picture

I have the dv6000 series and the web cam driver is found at http://lsb.blogdns.net/ry5u870/ where the Ricoh R5U870 drive is at and it works.

dv9500t

Jason's picture

I received my HP dv9500t about three months ago. Most everything, at least those things I consider essential is working just fine under Debian. It took some tweaking and much searching on user group forums. To me this was not a problem, I enjoyed the challenge to get the system working the way "I" wanted and not how "MS" wants it to run.

I would agree that Linux on laptops is not for the everyday user. I started using computers back when you needed to understand your operating system rather than your mouse (ok, there was no mouse). Unfortunately, in an attempt to get computing out to a larger population, we've had to dumb it down for the end-user. This created new markets, so I suspect there is some good with the bad.

Not all laptops are that bad

Alejandro's picture

My laptop works perfectly with Ubuntu, and it didn't come preloaded with Linux. Of course, I researched it before buying (I even tried a LiveCD on one). I didn't try a few features (firewire, modem, video-out) but everything else (video, ethernet, wireless, card reader, suspend/restore, etc.) worked perfectly out of the box. It's an Olibook 810, but any Olibook should be good for Linux. AFAIK, they're only sold in Mercosur countries, though.

Not sure what the problem is?

davemc's picture

Uhm.. I have an HP 2415nr with Ubuntu Feisty loaded up and every single thing on it runs without issue. Your correct about wireless, but litterally everything else on it worked out of the box on a fresh install. Perhaps your machine has hardware issues?.. Or perhaps its just Fedora 7 that has issues. Give Fiesty a try and all should be well.

btw, that webcam (exactly the same one I have) works out of the box with Ekiga and you can install luvcview for more options.

Re: HP2415nr

NS's picture

Thanks for posting about dv2415nr, exactly what I was looking for. Now I can say goodbye to Vista!

Hp's are best

TalkGold Hyip Forum Admin's picture

I'll tell you, I am on a computer about 12 hours a day everyday, and have gone through 4 laptops in the last 5 years. The only one that didn't break within the first year was my HP that I am currently using. There is no sense in buying an expensive laptop unless you are a gamer. Goodluck.

Hp - well I repent I bougt it

Anonymous's picture

After seeing the specs of an Hp-nx7400RH651ES in Dubai I did shell out my money on a new one, IT had an Intel 3945 wireless , That is like a winmodem anyway, I thought I can get away with it and use it for GNU/Linux , I tried to make the fellow sell one without os ,to no avail, He said HP always comes with Windows installed , I had to take one with Windows-xp, The build quality is totally bad after only two weeks I can see a copper coloured Heat sink through the side of my keyboard, The so called bright-view screen pixellate if I play any DVD movie on it, The shock package is the TOTALLY BUGGY BIOS, Theres no way I can control the amount of memmory shared for video, The Bios setup shows settings to enable and disable Serial port and parellel port which are not present on the laptop,I tried to install GNU/linux by repationing then found that the hp recovery manager creates one C: with 111GB and some fat space called a recovery partition, Hp didnt even provide the windows cd or driver cd, Well Fedora7 reports some bios bug and also some message saying "synaptics reset failed" also to run Ksynaptics in KDE you have to add an Option "SHMConfig" "on" in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file in the mouse section after the line driver synaptics line, The modem is reported as an si3504 or something but Windos calls it some Agere HDA modem, Well I feel a number of companies have got together to cheat and rob me of my money, There is not much of hardware in this machine well its softmodem, soft wireless and all sort of softs, God only knows when is Intel starting to make soft processors, If they do it we can start using that old Dell 486 which is still working for me with REDHAT 7.1 and abiword,

hp5115nr bios

Anonymous's picture

Seems like the hp is built to protect Windows. The bios won't even let me change the boot order to load a linux CD. I try to select the CD drive, and it won't let me. I can choose the floppy, if I want to, except that my computer doesn't have one. Odd. It worked in a friend's Toshiba that I tried.

ummm, all os's need to

Anonymous's picture

ummm, all os's need to beable to boot from cd...
how would they install windows..
i dont believe you.. try again.

I suspect you're right

Nontagonist's picture

But what if it were true?

They could have done a deal to disable that feature and installed Windows at the factory over Gigabit ethernet for those machines. Of course, that would also probably mean that the unfortunate victim wouldn't be able to boot from a system rescue CD generated by Windows.

But I agree, it would be too much to ask for them to leave such damning evidence of improper conduct.

Regards, Graeme.

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