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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:52 pm
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Location: Los Angeles, California
How difficult would it be to hack the x40 bios so that an OS can boot from sd card ?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:10 am 
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Presumably, very difficult to impossible. You would have to add code in BIOS to support the PCI device, and BIOS isn't that roomy to begin with.
What OS do you want to boot? It's probably possible to put the bulk of a Linux installation on the SD card, and only leave the \boot partition on the internal hard drive / USB drive / anything that is natively bootable. Just include the proper modules in initramfs so it can see the SD card after boot. http://www.osnews.com/story/20743/Eeebu ... Aspire_One

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X60 tablet 6363-P3U, 3GB ram, 128GB SanDisk Extreme SSD, SXGA+ screen, Intel 6300
T61 Frankenpad in 15 inch T60 body, UXGA LED-lit AFFS LCD, T9300, 6GB RAM, NVidia NVS140m, Intel 6205, 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, 1TB HGST HDD + eBay caddy in Ultrabay
701c butterfly, 75MHz 486DX4, 40MB ram, 1GB CF card


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:00 pm 
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Thank you for the response twistero. Right now I don't have the skill sets to rewrite the BIOS, but from reading your reply it sounds like an interesting project to tackle.

I'm looking to boot openbsd. Any further suggestions or thoughts? Maybe you could recommend a more dumbed down OS? If I fail with openbsd I'll probably plan on trying to install ubuntu for a short time.

I like your idea of putting the bulk of the Operating System on the SD Card and leaving the \ boot partition on the USB drive.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:28 pm 
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I know nothing about OpenBSD and how it boots. If you can add SD card / MMC support into the kernel / initial ram disk, then it should be possible to load the initrd from USB and put the rest of the OS on SD card.

The same task is certainly possible in any modern Linux distribution that has MMC support.


But still, why would you want to do this? It will be much easier to buy a tiny (in physical size) USB drive, install whatever OS you like on it, and leave it plugged in all the time. Like this one: http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Cruzer-Fl ... B005FYNSZA

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X60 tablet 6363-P3U, 3GB ram, 128GB SanDisk Extreme SSD, SXGA+ screen, Intel 6300
T61 Frankenpad in 15 inch T60 body, UXGA LED-lit AFFS LCD, T9300, 6GB RAM, NVidia NVS140m, Intel 6205, 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, 1TB HGST HDD + eBay caddy in Ultrabay
701c butterfly, 75MHz 486DX4, 40MB ram, 1GB CF card


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Wow! Didn't realize USB flash drives had gotten so tiny! I agree, that would be the way to go. I boot my X40 from a 16GB CF card in the drive bay, and have a 8GB SD card in the other slot for extra storage. But if I didn't already have this set-up, I would go with that USB drive, for sure.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:24 pm 
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I agree that having a usb drive is the best option.

I'm having some trouble getting a linux or openbsd operating system running / installing from the usb flash drive. When you setup a USB Hard Drive so to speak do you have to first install the operating system from the USB Drive to the USB drive? Or do you prepare the USB Drive so that the OS is already ready to run without any other additional installation procedures?


In the BIOS for the thinkpad x40 I have the priority order as follows 1) -USB HDD 2) USB FDD 3) USB CD


Then I thought I had successfully created a bootable USB Flash Drive using unetbootin with *****Expletives removed by Moderator***** small linux.

However when I put the USB Flash drive in either the left or right USB drive of the x40 it displays the error "No Operating System Found"

Is something wrong with my bios boot order? Should I try another program that will prepare/install a linux distro or openbsd on my usb drive?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:53 pm
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Location: Columbia, SC
You can install either of those OS to the hard drive of your choice in another PC, perhaps a desktop for convenience, then toss the drive back into your Thinkpad.

Unix portability comes in handy. :D

If you wish to install FROM a USB drive there are many articles on how to use Unetbootin etc to prepare them. I've done that but on Thinkpads it's SO easy to just pull the drive, toss it into something else (like my T61) and install from CD/DVD then swap it back. I keep prepared USB sticks since they are easy to make, but not everything boots from them.

Pity the folks who have to gut their notebooks to swap drives.


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