Help me Phandroid,you're my only hope!


  1. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member

    Now normally I wouldn't just go up to strangers (no offence, you guys are nice strangers!) and ask for help like this, but I'm about at the end of my rope here. So, here it goes...Can anybody help me out, please?

    OK, here's my back story: I've had my moms Toshiba Satellite on long term loan for a few months. A few weeks ago, the hard drive totally crashed. Disk read error,etc.
    I had posted something about it in an unrelated thread, in a different part of the forums, and a fellow forum member helped me find a suitable replacement hard drive and told me he would send me a windows 7 disc he had a spare of (I've since realized that this wouldn't work,as my licence key will only work on Vista). He told me he was sending it on Dec 29th,but I've not received anything,and he hasn't responded to my pm's.
    Basically, I now have an $85 hard drive (which was a bit of a financial burden to buy) sitting here waiting to be installed,a broken laptop, and a Vista licence key,with one vital ingredient missing...which brings me to my request:

    Does anyone have a Vista install disc gathering dust that you would be willing to send me? I honestly don't know what else to do right now. A recovery disc from Toshiba cost $30 not including shipping,which I can't afford,and I'm not real sure that it could even reinstall windows from nothing. I used my neighbors computer to try to research my options,but honestly, there aren't many, and none that I can afford.
    I also want to stress that I do have the license key,I'm not asking for that,or anything shady or illigal (I don't think). I just need the means to reinstall the os that came with the laptop. I also have no means to download anything (plus I don't think I could download a legal copy,from what I've read) as the laptop is my only computer. I would be willing to pay pal someone the price of shipping the next time I get paid. I'm pretty sure I read that Vista could be installed from the 'upgrade anytime'(?) disc, but I really don't know how reliable that info is-it seems iffy to me.
    If anyone can help me with this, I would be eternally grateful. I would consider some type of trade,but I don't know what I'd have that anyone would want,but feel free to suggest something. Thank you for reading.

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  2. karandpr

    karandpr Well-Known Member

    Well ,I can suggest borderline legal solution .

    Download the Vista RTM iso from any torrent site and use your key to activate windows :) .
    Depending on your key ,that particular windows will be installed .
    sadielynn likes this.
  3. Remeniz

    Remeniz Well-Known Member

    Yea, as above. You can very easily 'obtain' the OS from online 'sources'. Then you just use your Windows key located on your machine.
    sadielynn likes this.
  4. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    You'd have to ensure it was an untouched ISO and often they are not.
  5. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys but like I said I have no means to torrent anything. I did some more poking around and I'm pretty sure I want to say screw windows right now, I want to try Linux. I think my neighbor would let me use his computer to make a live CD ( and no, I don't want to ask him if I can torrent anything, i know bad things can happen & it doesn't seem polite to ask someone else to take that risk for me). So I have absolutely zero experience with Linux, I've never even seen it running, etc. Would it be a bad idea to dive into something I'm not familiar with? I'm looking at Mint, Puppy Linux, and Ubuntu. Suggestions?
  6. karandpr

    karandpr Well-Known Member

    :( sadly . If however there is an old torent of Vista beta preview and if the md5 is available on nets (it is I think),chances are a working beta ,which can be updated to Vista with her key exist .
    :) .

    @OP,sadielynn
    Linux Mint is my preference .But I will suggest Linux Mint 11 over the newer 12 (that too I will suggest the MATE version over GNOME 3).
    Linux Mint 10 KDE .
    Ubuntu 11.10 is very decent too .
    You can also install Kubuntu 11.10 whose functionality (and looks) is very near windows .
    Mint is a Ubuntu derivative so they are almost equal functionally .
    Mint scores over Ubuntu is out-of-box functionality .(I have always have a live pendrive :D )
    I am a Mint user since Mint 7 (Earlier OpenSuse :) )
    There is nothing out of the box like Mint :D :D .
    Everything usually works on common PC configurations .

    For me The rating will be
    Linux Mint 10 >= Ubuntu 10.10 >= Kubuntu 11.10 >= Ubuntu 11.10
    But thats me ;)
    Ubuntu has much stronger community support than Mint .
    but since Both are almost equal ,the solutions are usually common .:D
    I have also heard nice stuff about peppermint OS :) .
    Too many choices ,too many choices :)

    Of course if you want the plain old windows ,there is a legal method too :)
    Download the Windows 8 Developer Preview .
    You can use it till Windows 8 goes beta or Windows 8 is released .
    It's a workable OS (used it for a month or so without a hitch :) )

    Windows Metro Style Apps Developer Downloads

    If you are interested :)
    Minona and 9to5cynic like this.
  7. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your suggestions! Im leaning towards Mint too, since it seems to stress ease and user friendliness.
    So, basically I just download it, burn it on a CD, install my new hdd, put in the CD and turn it on? Everything loads and it walks me thru installation? Is it really that easy? Will it recognize everything it needs to, like the touchpad,speaker,wireless, etc automatically? Sorry for all the questions! This is completely foreign territory for me!

    Also,can u point me where to go to download mint? I was just going to Google 'linux mint' but if I'm guessing that will bring up a whole slew of stuff, and that can be overwhelming and I'm already overwhelmed :/
  8. karandpr

    karandpr Well-Known Member

    You can download it from here
    Download - Linux Mint
    This link is for older versions
    Releases - Linux Mint

    You have options for direct download from mirrors and torrents
    I will suggest to download the DVD which is the complete version. :)
    If you dont have a DVD writer (remote possibility )
    You can use LiLi on your neighours computer to make a Live Bootable USB drive
    Download LiLI here
    http://www.linuxliveusb.com/

    burn or create live USB .
    install the new HDD
    put in the CD or USB .
    Use Boot Menu (F12 ? ) to boot from CD or USB .
    install press next and stuff (username ,password,time keyboard )
    roughly 10 minutes install
    Keep an eye on installer after 3 minutes as it will begin downloading Language Packs
    automatically (Same with Ubuntu )
    Cancel it .
    and in roughly 10 minutes ,you will have a working Laptop .
    I dont think you will encounter any driver issue :) .

    If you are unsure of working drivers then just use Live Mode .
    You will get to know what works and what not :D .
    You also can install from Live Mode .
  9. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member

    Ok, at neighbors now, going to hopefully burn CD (no DVD,no USB unfortunately,unless u can use my.phone as a USB). I also use his wifi from my apt next door...will I still be able to set that up with mint? I don't want to ask the poor man to do anything else for me,like change router settings or whatever :/

    EDIT:
    Also, why do you recommend 11 instead if 12?

    The laptop I'm putting this on is no spring chicken, probably 2 or 3 years old, and I'm unsure of the exact specs...I'm worried it won't be enough for mint..should I look at puppy Linux at all? I've read it's better for older systems
  10. karandpr

    karandpr Well-Known Member

    Nah ,cant use phone as USB .
    Well I would actually recommend Linux Mint 9 (since has support till April 2013 ) or 10(Since I loved it )
    Linux Mint 12 has three desktops .GNOME/MGSE(A bit hinky) ,MATE and CINNAMON .Which may confuse a new user .

    Mint requires atleast 512 MB ram .(1GB would be awesome )

    Puppy is light on system and snappy .


    But I will suggest Ubuntu or it's derivatives for beginners .Since it is out of the box :) .

    If you want something snappier .
    PepperMint OS(Again Ubuntu derivative ) is shweet
    Peppermint OS

    Oh and Mint CD install needs to be upgraded to DVD (There is an option available after install) so that additional prop. stuff (Like flash and codecs ) will be installed without a hitch .

    It's a pity that Ubuntu stopped ShipIt last year :) or else you would have received Ubuntu CD delivered to your doorstep ,free of cost :D .
    sadielynn likes this.
  11. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member


    Ok well, just now finished downloading mint 11 from your first recommendation :p now just tying to burn the image onto a CD. Cross your fingers for me

    Edit: free ISP burner wouldn't recognize the drive, so I called my.neighbor to help me and he is totally convinced that right clicking the iso file and selecting send to CD will burn it the right way. Everything I've read said you can't just save the files, you have to specifically choose 'burn as image' but I could not get him to understand this AT ALL so I'm doing it his way. Will it work this way? Sooooo frustrated right now...
  12. karandpr

    karandpr Well-Known Member

    Not really .
    Send to CD will send the ISO to CD !!!
    CD wont boot

    If you are using Windows 7 then just use the windows Disc image burner .
    Double clicking the iso will do the trick.
    Or open with Windows Disc Image Burner if default option.

    If not free ISO,daemon tools Lite OR nero essentials should do the trick .
  13. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member


    Those all sound like lovely options, I wish I could use any of them.

    Windows XP on 8 year old computer.
    not logged in as administrator,can't install anything
    Neighbor & family upstairs eating dinner,IM hiding like a troll in the basement because all I keep doing is asking for things and I feel like a heel about it.
    IM giving up in about 3 minutes here.

    dammit autocorrect, it's I'm, not IM! sheesh

    Edit: yeah, I'm done for today. I got him to install a different burning program, that wouldn't recognize the drive either. Absolutely nothing is ever easy for me. Way to frustrated to try anything else right now. Grrrrrrr
  14. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Get a usb pen drive and download YUMI from pen-drive-linux. It will make the usb as bootable. It's a stand alone .exe too so no need to install
  15. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest

    Get DOS......
  16. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member


    Trust me, if i could just go out and get one, I would. I did research all the ways to install, and chose the one that was feasible for me to actually do today. I can't afford to go out and buy anything, whereas in had some blank cds. I'm also not real comfortable asking my neighbors for any more favors, like asking them to download a bunch of extra programs on their 8 year old somewhat worn out computer. I'm going to call my friend later in the week and see if I can use her computer to make the disc. I just really wanted to get it done today, since I'll be working all week and whatnot. Oh well, I've waited this long, what's another week.
  17. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member

    Solved my problem. Ordered a mint 11 dvd from ebay for $3.19. That's within my budget, and worth all 319 pennies for the headache it will spare me. Hopefully it will get here quickly, since it's being shipped from a neighboring state.
    Thanks for all your suggestions everyone :) can't say I won't be back here when it comes time to install...but I'm hoping that it will go smoothly enough that I don't have to bother y'all with questions!
  18. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    If that turn out to be bogus, let me know - I'll download whatever you want and burn it and send it your way via mail - free.

    Also, one other thing that almost everyone/B] here forgot to realize, if my guess is correct:

    Sadie, your Vista key - it's off the bottom of the actual Toshiba laptop, right?

    If so, getting a hold of Vista from torrents will only work if she can find the OEM version of Vista, and it has to be either an AIO disc, or else have the exact version that is on the laptop. Otherwise, if she tries, for example, Vista Ultimate and tries to use her Vista Home Premium key on it it will fail.

    This is critical.
    9to5cynic and sadielynn like this.
  19. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member


    Wow thank you for both the offer and the information! Now i'm glad I didn't try to pursue the windows any further, I probably wouldn't have found the right thing!

    I'm really hoping the ebay deal is legit (the seller had tons of feedback, 99% positive) since I've been researching everything Linux, I'm really excited to get it going. I feel like I've been without my laptop for *ages*, even tho its not even been a month. What's really funny is that before my mom lent it to me, I had been without any sort of computer for about 5 years!
    I will be sure to report back here when I get the disc and (hopefully) have Mint up and running.

    Any bits of "WHATEVER YOU DO, DO/DON'T DO THIS! " type of advice I should be aware of, when it comes to A) installing a hard drive, B) installing Mint, or C) using/setting up Linux in general?
    I've been all the way thru linuxnewbieguide.org and found it extremely helpful, but I like to suck up as much real world information/advice as I can :D
  20. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    1) Make sure you ground yourself before handling the hard drive, and again before you actually go to insert it into the laptop.

    2) Make sure you go into your BIOS and verify that the HD has installed correctly and can be seen for the correct size.

    3) Make sure you perform a full format on the HD the first time before installing an operating system on it.

    4) Make sure that you check Toshiba's website for the latest BIOS for your laptop prior to installing the HD and / or Linux

    5) Make sure you make a list of the hardware in your system in case there is something that is proprietary enough that even standard Linux drivers (like ALSA for sound) won't work and you need to figure out how to make it work (truthfully, you can poll this stuff later, but since you'll be visiting the Toshiba website anyway....

    6) Make sure you read and proceed carefully.

    And good luck! Keep us posted, and welcome to the world of Linux!
    sadielynn likes this.
  21. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member

    Umm.. Hmm... How exactly does one perform a full format of the hard drive? And um, how do I know if I have the latest BIOS? please bear in mind that the only internet access it have right now is on my dinky-screened phone...I don't even want to begin to think about what I would have to do if my BIOS wasn't right...oh dear.

    Just from the stickers on the laptop I can tell you I have an ATI Radeon graphics card, realtek wireless, and an AMD Turion processor? Is that..good? I'll get on over to the Toshiba site and try to track down the other stuff....then write it down and..?..is there a list somewhere to compare it too, as far as what is/isn't compatible? Sorry, I know I should be able to hunt down simple stuff like this, but my phone is not the ideal information hunting machine :/ I've had to charge the poor thing twice today, from full charge to empty, just from all the research I've been doing. Currently I'm reading the mint user guide pdf I downloaded from the mint homepage.

    It's all good tho, from what I've read so far, Linux will be worth it!
  22. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    it's not a matter of being right, it's just that if vulnerabilities are found, particularly those that might have to do with making efficient use of the different hardware in your laptop (particularly battery and peripherals) then they put out a new BIOS. This is something that you'll need access to a regular PC to check, so it's not a major deal - unless the company says "This BIOS is a critical update and should be updated immediately" or something of that nature. If you cannot do it now, keep it in mind that it may need to be done soon enough.

    As for performing a full format, now that I think about it, I'm not 100% sure if there is a separate option for full versus quick in most *nix installers. At any rate, though, format the drive - and if you can find an option for a full format, go with that.

    If you use the model and serial number (or some sort of 'tag' that is Toshiba specific, Dell calls them service tags) then you should be able to look at your exact model (and possibly your exact machine as well) and then you can forward that page to yourself via email from your phone and then it will be available for later use.

    Keep us posted....
    sadielynn likes this.
  23. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member

    So the option to format the hard drive will come up during the installation process? Not something I have to do before I start, right? I'll try to get online at work and go to the Toshiba site..not supposed to, but well you know, these things must be done occasionally :p I tried it on my phone (fun, since my wifi decided to stop working tonite and I don't have 3G) but when I went to the product support page, put in my model number and all that, clicked go and instead of taking me to a product pages with information on that model, it took me to... the download page? I dunno. I wasn't about to put in all the info again :/
  24. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    It *should* - I've never actually installed Mint before so I cannot say one way or another, but since it has to set the HD up using a completely different file system than that used in Windows it *should* also be formatting the HD as well - I'm just concerned if there is even such a thing as a quick format and if this will use it. Come to think of it, though, when changing the fs type on the HD, it should force a full format anyway, so you can probably safely ignore the fat that it never actually asks you to format but does it for you anyway (I completely forgot that the drive, if formatted, is probably FAT32 / NTFS, whereas *nix use Ext2/3/4 / Reiser / etc. for the FS, so that would require a format regardless....)
    sadielynn likes this.
  25. sadielynn

    sadielynn Well-Known Member

    Ok. But remember, I'm not coming from a different file system, I'm coming from a brand new clean HD. Does that make a difference?
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