Monday, October 19, 2015

Reviving an 11 year-old laptop with Linux


Reviving an 11 year-old laptop with Linux 
The titanium monster. Back in its day, it was the pimp of the hood. And for people who needed the best, it offered the best. Still works pretty damn well.

The IBM T42    

     Last week I did my normal rounds on the local flea market in searching for vintage\old\obsolete systems or hardware. When I was just about to leave that place I saw a huge pile of IBM computers, most of them broken or bend. I took a closer look and I found one unit in good condition. I looked at he screws and the margins of the laptop for cracks and it seemed fine.
    I got my hands on an IBM T42 machine for 12$.

 The machine had a half faded sticker saying "BROCK CPU" so I told the seller that the video chip must have been broken as the T42 is known for that issue. After a close inspection at home I found in the DVD unit a disk named BROCK COLLAGE. The Brock CPU label was actually an inventory label marking the unit as property of BROCK COLLAGE. 


          CPU: 1.7 GHZ Intel Pentium M.

MEMORY: 512 DDRAM PC2700, upgraded the memory to 1 GB RAM. 

         HDD: 40GB 4200 RPM, upgraded to 40GB 7200 rpm.

BATTERY: Battery life is about 2 hours, 11 years worth of aging nine cells of chemicals, and still going strong. 

DISPLAY: The display is more than decent considering today's notebooks screen resolution, 15" on 1400x1050px display \ ATI Radeon 9600 64MB.

The T42 is really engineered with style. Still bears the IBM logo, before the sale to Lenovo...
     I would normally put this to my vintage computer collection but its not vintage yet, not old enough to collect, not new enough to use HD Video and games... I will keep this superb machine for internet browsing, audio\video playback and writing on my blog.

     (Power on!)

     After years of silence, T42 started with just a bit of burnt dust smell coming from the fan and a bad HDD sound (click of death). I immediately exchanged the IDE drive with a Fujitsu 7200 rpm drive. The old one was a 4200 rpm drive...

     Yesterday I installed Windows XP but the WLAN card just wouldn`t connect to my router (it connected to all my neighbors though...) so I decided to go with Windows 7 Starter. Bad idea as the lack of features makes it shit. Don`t judge me wrong, I love WinXp but I also got tired of it, I`ve been using that OS for 12 years now, I just need a change.

     Today, I will attempt to bring to life a ThinkPad T42, a machine launched back in 2004, more than a full decade before this very date. 
    My intention is to run LINUX MINT! You all know Linux does magic on olden hardware.

I will get back to you with the installation details. It installed Windows 7 starter in 25 minutes I guess this olden box still has a lot of juice left.


So I installed Linux Mint ver.13 Maya as version 17 is unstable because of the CPU`s capabilities. Works great!!! Actually I`m typing of the machine....excellent keyboard by the way... ;) Linux Mint is so fast and fancy... its awesome!!!

For the Linux Mint 13 (Maya) Step by Step Installation please check below link:

For the ISO to USB I used below app. as my Win to Flash app. is not suitable for creating a Linux bootable usb stick.

After the installation i got tons of updates but they were insalled in 30 minutes top and also the market of this Linux version is great! 100000000+ of games, apps, everything... now I remember why I was a Linux user in the past.

Check below print screens

The end


  1. I have a T43 machine myself, I wanted to donate the unit but i think i will still use it as an mp3 player in the house. I really enjoyed your post. Keep up reviving the old shit, cause old is gold