Installing Natty Narwhal on Thinkpad T410

I had this sudden urge to try out the latest Ubuntu while fiddling around on Win7. By try out I mean wipe my hard drive and do a clean installation (as has been the ritual for most Ubuntu releases). That and I’m really craving to go back to 64-bit computing as my Thinkpad came installed with Win7 32 bit (which I found to be a bit slow for my needs), and my plan to upgrade to 8 gigs was foiled by this numerical aberration. (educational link)

The backup process took longer as I took a couple of liberties to allow for facilitating this viscous cycle of re-installments easier. Like tar-ing directories with lots of files on them so that they transfer faster as one huge file than a thousand tiny files.

Needless to say, this took a big chunk of my time, and finally when all was done, and the disk was burnt, I couldn’t hold back my enthusiasm when I put it in and restarted my laptop.

Straight off the bat, I was glad to know my wireless worked. I have almost always spent an additional 4-10 hours trying to get the wireless up after a new Ubuntu/*nix install. The live demo worked wonderfully and I was looking forward to burn it down onto my HDD!

I also liked how at the beginning of the installation process it gives us a choice to install those closed-source codecs like the ones for mp3 and adobe flash. Way to make it easier guys! :D

Unfortunately, the ride was not so smooth after all. Towards the end of the installation, I got a kernel panic and everything froze up on me. This was when I tried the live cd and chose to install after that.

One reboot later, I chose to install without going through trying out the demo. The kernel panic happened at the same time as before, but this time, my screen was replaced with a terminal full of cryptic messages! Worst part is since this occured AFTER the HDD format step, I didn’t have good ol Win7 to help me out of this.

Luckily I had a copy of Ubuntu 9.04 (its been two years already!), I think its Lucid Lynx, and I pop that in to see if it works, and joy oh joy, it does. And it installs fine as well!

So after that installed, I was obviously not pleased so decided to see if I’d get an upgrade option with 11.04 in the cd-drive. Which it didn’t, and the only options I had was to a) stick with 9.04 b) back to Win7 32, c) Give 11.04 one more try, third time lucky.

I went with option c, and quite glad I did. This time round however, I flicked the wifi switch on my Thinkpad off. I’d caught something about the wifi when the installer crashed second time around, and on a superstitious hunch, turned it off.

It installed without a hitch!

I googled for this problem, but didn’t hit any results, so I decided to whip up a summary/blog post to hopefully help someone else who has been in my dilemma.

Cheers and enjoy your Natty. (This name reminds me of the worst beer ever. Hopefully the release is better :)).