After doing a lot of research on netbooks, we decided to buy an HP Mini 210. We have been using it about two weeks now and are happy with it.
The HP Mini 210 netbook is powered by an Intel Atom N455 CPU, with 1 GB of RAM, a 250 GB Hitachi hard drive, a Broadcom 4313 802.11b/g/n wireless chipset and a 10.1” screen. It also ships with Windows 7 Starter Edition as its default operating system. Based on my experience so far with the HP Mini, it seems to be a very Linux-friendly device. So if you choose to completely erase Windows, I think that you would have most of the hardware functionality you need in a Linux-only setup.
The RAM may be upgraded to a maximum of 2 GB. Adding extra RAM is very simple – almost idiot-proof – and the upgrade can be done in less than 10 minutes for about $25-30 US. (Its User Guide provides instructions on the memory upgrade; there are also several how-to videos on Youtube). I ordered a 2 GB RAM module online from Crucial:http://tinyurl.com/6zmqb4a
2GB, 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 memory module
Part Number: CT1946647
This guide outlines how to prepare the hard drive of an HP Mini 210-2180NR netbook so that Pardus 2011 Linux can be installed in a dual-boot setup. As the HP Mini does not have a built-in optical drive, you will need to have several things ready beforehand: a USB thumbdrive which has a Pardus 2011 .iso burned on it with a utility such as Isowriter
; another USB thumbdrive which has either the GParted Partition Editor, or a Live Linux distro such as Puppy (which includes GParted as part of its standard applications).
: Please see atolboo's comment in the post below. The Pardus 2011 .iso can only
be handled with Isowriter or Mandriva Seed. The Pardus Wiki has clear instructions on how to accomplish this.
Also, for the HP Mini 210, make sure to use the Pardus-2011-i686 .iso
-- not the 64-bit version. >
Although the installation steps are specific to Pardus 2011, the preparatory steps are distro-neutral and should be valid for freeing up disk space for any Linux variety you wish.
Although this may contain a few errors or inaccuracies, this procedure worked for me; I hope that it will save you time and work for you also. I have tried to carefully document the steps I followed. However, I confess that I have never installed Microsoft Windows from scratch or had to recover / restore it. So there might be some things I have overlooked.
I offer no guarantee that this how-to will work with 100% accuracy on your system.
The procedure presented here is an abridged, bare-bones version. A more complete document in PDF format (17 p., 453 kB, with screenshots) may be downloaded from my Dropbox Public folder:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7269942/dualboot-win7-pardus11-hp-mini210.pdf
: I have revised this document, based on atolboo's corrections. Thank you
The hard-drive of the HP Mini is pre-formatted with all four of its primary partitions occupied, thereby making it difficult to install another operating system. Also, the netbook does not ship with any recovery or installation discs, so if you want to preserve Windows 7 Starter in a dual-boot setup, you should proceed carefully.
GParted reported the original partitioning arrangement as follows:
Windows 7 Starter Edition identifies /sda2 as Local Disk (C:). It is by far the largest partition [214.52 GB] and is used for storing Windows program files, user files, etc.Important
: This conservative approach does not touch either the Windows SYSTEM partition (sda1) or the RECOVERY partition (sda3). The Recovery partition of the HP Mini includes a stern warning that its files should not be altered or deleted, and that doing so could prevent a system recovery in the future. 1. Defragment (“defrag”) your hard drive.
Use the Disk Defragmenter utility on the C: drive (from within Windows 7). The Disk Defragmenter made a total of 10 passes; this took approx. 45-50 minutes on my netbook.2. Shrink the C: drive using Windows' Disk Management utility.
Next, I used the Windows 7 Disk Management utility to shrink the C: drive. (I previously read online that the most cautious approach to freeing up disk space is to use this native Windows tool). The utility will query the partition -- this will take some time -- and state an amount by which it can be shrunk.
Due to “unmovable” Windows 7 files, you may be unable to shrink the partition as much as you would like. These unmovable files run within the Windows operating system, thus making themselves “in use” and therefore, impossible to move.
After running the Disk Management tool, I was able to shrink the partition by 94.74 GB; we will use this free space to install Pardus. However, there there are still four primary partitions in place: System; C:; Recovery (D:); and HP_Tools. This means we must delete one of them to allow for a Linux install. 3. Copy the content from the HP_Tools partition to a USB thumbdrive or an external hard drive as backup.
(It is not a large amount of files -- approximately 12 MB – so it can easily fit on a thumbdrive).4. Use GParted to delete this partition (/sda4).
After shrinking Windows' /sda2 partition and deleting HP_Tools (sda4), GParted reported the arrangement below:5. Use GParted to create an Extended partition on the unallocated 94.74 GB of space.
(An Extended partition may include as many logical partitions inside it as you wish). I allocated this Extended partition's space as follows:6. Copy the original files from the HP_Tools partition from the USB thumbdrive back to your newly created /sda8 partition.7. Now we are ready to install Linux.
Since the Mini lacks an optical drive, the most convenient installation medium is a USB thumbdrive / flash drive which has been prepared beforehand with a Pardus 2011 .iso image. There is a detailed tutorial available on the Pardus Wiki:http://en.pardus-wiki.org/Pardus:Installation2008netbook
: If you have access to a wired Ethernet connection, I recommend that you use it during the installation and while performing your first update(s).)
The Pardus installer (YALI, 'Yet Another Linux Installer') worked flawlessly on the HP Mini. It correctly detected the default screen resolution (1024 x 600) and had no problems with the integrated Intel video. It also immediately detected my Logitech M305 wireless USB mouse.8.
Since I had already set up my partitions with GParted, when YALI reached the partitioning section of its installation routine, I selected the “Custom Partitioning” option.9. Allow Pardus to install Legacy GRUB (0.97) to the MBR of your hard drive (/sda).
It will detect the Windows 7 operating system and present you with three Windows choices in the main GRUB menu:
- sda1 (which correctly boots Windows 7 Starter)
- sda2 (which is not bootable) and
- sda3 (the Windows Recovery Manager)
: I recommend not
booting up the Recovery partition. I wanted to confirm that it was bootable, so I started it up one time. Once I verified that it was working, I exited without making any changes. However, I have been unable to reboot into it since then; I get a Disk Error message.
To my surprise, the Broadcom BCM4313 wireless LAN controller worked out-of-the-box. There are several packages which are installed by default in Pardus to support this hardware item; I believe they are b43-firmware
. Although I am unsure exactly which ones accomplish this “magic” under the hood, I am grateful it is such a painless experience.
Apparently this model of HP Mini ships with a few different wireless chipsets. To pinpoint which chipset you have, you can issue these commands from your Konsole (Terminal):
$ lspci | grep -i wireless
$ lspci -nn | grep Network
$ lspci | grep Broadcom
Pardus will identify your WiFi connection as eth1
Good luck! I hope you'll have fun using Pardus on your HP Mini 210.