I want to know if there are different ways to install LINUX on a Lenovo T420



Another thing you can try is to get a USB DVD/CDRW combo (they might be super cheap on Ebay these days) and try that way.

It may be tricky to get one that has no issues with the Lenovo specific P&P BIOS, but if you get past that point, optical media are known to be less troublesome when it comes to boot from them.
 
I second the USB DVD/CDRW option and have had success with it on an old thinkpad whose model I've forgotten. The debian installation on the machine always recognised the plugged in dvd drive as /dev/sr0, but before that at installation, that usb disk drive appeared in the boot menu which was then chosen to install the OS. Thinkpads do vary, but this option is definitely worth a go I think if it can be managed.
 
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I've done thinkPad with kickstarts. Not a 420, but...
 
I've done thinkPad with kickstarts. Not a 420, but...

I was under the impression that they were trivial to install Linux on and offered good support?

Am I missing something?
 
I was under the impression that they were trivial to install Linux on and offered good support?

They might be, I just don't have one is the reason I haven't tried.
I do have a Lenovo Carbon X1 Thinkpad. It's had Fedora on it since Fedora 25.
I like everything about that laptop except the RAM isn't expandable.
Soldered in... (who's great idea was this?). It's just Intel graphics, but it does good enough
what for I use it for. Light, slim, high res screen, i7 cpu. Not bad.

Mine is a Gen5, ... Gen9 is too spendy for me. :D I'm not rich like KGIII.
 

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I'm not rich like KGIII.

LOL On some sites I see, "Buy a slightly used/refurbished ThinkPad" repeated as though it's gospel.

So, if I were to buy one, it'd definitely be a refurb. They're a few hundred bucks (again, so I'm told, I've never priced one).

I don't think I've owned a ThinkPad - though maybe before IBM sold the name to Lenovo.
 
G'day @Prosper sounds like you are doing it tough. :(

1. Did we get an answer in the previous Thread on whether the Thinkpad is 32-bit or 64-bit?

2. Can you give us the exact model numbers, eg

Lenovo Thinkpad T420 (4236-RM8) Laptop​

That bit in brackets can be important.

3. Likewise with the BIOS Setup Utility eg

InsydeH20 Setup Utility Rev. 5.0 System BIOS Version 1.27

Thanks

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 
I was under the impression that they were trivial to install Linux on and offered good support?

Am I missing something?
They have been, yes, and today there are among the brands that undergo the ubuntu compatibility certification. Indeed, my laptop is a ThinkPad T490s and if I bother I can even run those few distributions that support secure boot (Debian, Fedora,...) with secure boot enabled.

My guesses are:
  1. That may be rather new and maybe at the time of the 420 it was not the case, which I don't believe it to be the case (I'm sure they'd be well supported) or
  2. The problem may be just in booting the installation process from the right media.
 
@Prosper, another thing to check is whether there is a Firmware update that you can apply. It's unlikely, but maybe your unit is missing an available patch that would solve your issues.
 
I have installed Linux Mint on a few old Lenovo laptops and I have never been able to do it via the bootable usb method, I don't know what the problem with that was, but this is how I always do it now: I download the Linux Mint iso from the official website, making sure that it's 32-bit for a 32-bit computer or 64-bit for a 64-bit computer. I then burn it to a disk, any burnable CD-ROM or DVD-ROM works, I put it in the machine, and I change the boot order in the BIOS so the CD-ROM drive is first, then the hard drive. Before I do all this I wipe the hard drive of any formatting using the Windows Disk Managment utility, so it isn't formatted in any way. Then the Linux Mint install box appears and it works from there. I used ImgBurn for the disk. Hope this helps
 
I have never been able to do it via the bootable usb method
Not done a Lenovo for a while, installation is no harder than most other Laptops, the only thing I can't remember is if I did it via USB or DVD-r, I am fairly sure it was USB, but I always use quality 4gb pen drives, always wiped and formatted Fat32, before I start,
 
LOL On some sites I see, "Buy a slightly used/refurbished ThinkPad" repeated as though it's gospel.

So, if I were to buy one, it'd definitely be a refurb. They're a few hundred bucks (again, so I'm told, I've never priced one).

I don't think I've owned a ThinkPad - though maybe before IBM sold the name to Lenovo.
I have owned several thinkpads including the t420 the op is trying to install on and never had a problem with any of them installing almost any linux flavor on. I Think there must be some thing amiss with the op's rig. But have not put my finger on it yet. And yes I've bought all mine refurbished most of them from New Egg. The one I'm currently using is a refurbished t450. It just works. I5 8 Gigs ram new ssd.

I have not tried the newer versions such as the x1 yet but others have said they work also.

Only thing that does not work well on the T450 that I have is the fingerprint reader which I don't care about anyway. I can get it to somewhat work but the Linux drivers for it are not the best.

I Think maybe the ops usb ports are not working correctly. Just a guess.

The prices on even refurbished units has gone up in recent day just like used cars demand is driving price.
 
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It just works.

That's what I understood from the glowing comments over the years. Heck, at Reddit, it's pretty much a mantra.

"I need a computer for Linux"

"Get a used ThinkPad."
 
The problem may be just in booting the installation process from the right media.

One member here reports needing to use a DVD to do the install.

USB DVD players aren't all that pricey, if the modern models no longer have an optical drive.
 
You could check if the install medium has a gpt or mbr partition table. I had problems booting up distros on my 12yr old PC because of this. The frankenbios couldn't boot gpt sticks, needed rufus to create a mbr if I recall correctly.
Can you make a Windows USB and try to boot from that (just to ckeck that bios is configured correctly)?

If nothing helps you could put the ssd from the thinkpad in another computer, install there and swap back.

Installed Linux on own Thinkpat T31 and T61 without problems (years ago).
 
I have this how to fixe the USB without name. Does my USB have a problem.
 

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Depending on how you made the USB, it should create the label for you automatically.
I don't think gparted will let you do this after the filesystem is already created.

It's been so long since I've used windows, I don't know the disk admin tools will let you do this or not.
If you had another Linux computer you could do it with e2label or tune2fs
You can also do it with "disks" a GUI app.
 

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