Reinstall Windows 7
The HP ProBook 4230s ships with 4 primary partitions: 2 for Windows 7 and 2 others that I don’t remember. Thus I had to reinstall Windows 7 from scratch using the Windows DVD and not the HP recovery disk. The later restores the whole disk, including the partitions.
I’ve used the following partitioning:
Download and install the Debian Windows loader
Download the Debian Windows installer from http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/tools/win32-loader/testing/. When running
win32-loader.exe I’ve chosen the following options:
- Expert mode
- Begin install on this computer
- Kernel: GNU/Linux
- Text install
- Daily build (don’t check for issues)
- Desktop environment: None
- Keyboard: US
- Use defaults in download dialog
The installation creates c:\win32-loader. This directory also contains the uninstaller program. After reboot, the Windows boot prompt provides an option
Debian GNU/Linux - continue with install process.
Some hints for the installation:
After selecting the menu entry, immediately go back and select it again. This time we can not only choose the default and other locales, but also
- Language: english
- Country: Viet Nam. This is important because it allows the choose the correct timezone later
- Default locale: en_US.UTF-8
- No other locales
Detect network hardware
The installer complains about the missing firmware the the RealTek Ethernet card
rtl_nic/rtl8168e-2.fw. I’ve ignored this, because I was using the Atheros
AR9285 wireless adapter which works out-of-the-box.
Download installer components
No additional components are needed.
Set up users and passwords
Because of the special partitioning (see below): don’t create a normal user account.
I’m using the manual setup. The idea is:
- to create a Linux data partition
- to leave space to expand all partitions (Windows and Linux, system and data) if needed later.
All partitions are created at the beginning
- Linux system, primary, 50 GB after the main Windows partition.
- Swap, logical, 4 GB
- Linux data, logical 50 GB
Now we delete the 50 GB Linux system partition and recreate it with 25 GB at the end. By this we have 25 GB spare between the Windows and Linux system partitions.
The whole disk now looks like this:
Select and install software
Under this item, I’ve only selected the option
Standard system utilities, but not
Debian desktop environment.
Finish the installation
Windows 7 uses UTC for the system clock: choose No.
After rebooting from the installation, I’ve made the following changes:
- install the packages
For the RealTek firmware, I’m not sure if the package is really needed, after removing it,
the network card still comes up.
- set-up the data partition (note the relative links!):
mv /home /data/home
ln -s ./data/home /home
mv /usr/local /data/local
ln -s ../data/local /usr/local
Modprobe:modules unix not found in modules.dep during boot
/usr/share/initramfs-tools/hooks/udev comment the line
- configure grub to save the last selected entry as default:
GRUB_DEFAULT=saved and add
GRUB_SAVEDEFAULT=true and then
- provide the configuration for the ethernet card
/etc/network/interfaces add the lines
iface eth0 inet dhcp
- Adjust the console font (for my taste (and age) the default is too small)
see the manual page for supported values and apply/test the changes with
- Avoid boot message
Error: Driver 'pcspkr' is already registered, aborting...
/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist add a line
- Don’t start the bluetooth and cups daemon:
update-rc.d bluetooth disable 2 3 4 5 and similar for
Uninstall the Debian windows installer
Just run the uninstaller in c:\win32-loader.
By my own definition, X is started in runlevel 3. Until everything works fine make sure, that in
/etc/inittab the default runlevel is 2
id:2:initdefault:. After everything is configured and tested, one can change it to 3.
Install the package
xinit with all its dependencies. The only video driver that is really needed is
I’ve also added the suggested packages
Display and Window manager
xdm as display manager. After the package installation adjust the runlevel with
update-rc.d xdm disable 2 (see above).
The windows manager is
wmaker, I like it because of its simplicity and because it does not try to mimic a Windows desktop.
Install it together with the packages
Check http://wiki.debian.org/Fonts and http://fonts.debian.net/ for available fonts.