Thursday, November 06, 2008

Blinking Numlock / Capslock

So I'm trying to bring the old laptop (a pre-1999 Thinkpad 600e) back to life for the kids to play with.  Having the weirdest problem.  No matter what Linux I try to apply (always booting from CD, as this bios does not allow booting from USB) hard crashes and leaves me in a state where the numlock and capslock keys are blinking.  Googling around tells me that this is a "kernel panic" crash, but what I can't figure out is what is crashing. 

I have tried Puppy, Ubuntu, Knoppix and Nimble, either installing to hard drive or just running from CD, whichever was appropriate, and every single one of them exhibits the same failure.

I have already swapped out the hard drive, but that did not fix the problem.  I have not yet run the memory test, but I'll do that next.  I suppose if that passes, and it's not the HD (I did the BIOS test of the HD and that works, so I'm presumbing that the controller works as well) I guess I'll have to chalk it up to something in the motherboard, give up and throw the whole thing away.  That'd be a shame, I've kept it this long :).

Absolutely last ditch effort would be to put the hard drive into my other, modern, working laptop.  Then use USB/CD to install Ubuntu or some other directly onto the hard drive, then put the hard drive back into the old machine and see what happens.

1 comment:

Chris said...

That last option isn't likely to work very well, as many linux distributions like to automatically detect hardware and install drivers accordingly. The resulting system (once the HD was back in the other laptop) may not work very well without significant work.

At least, that was my experience trying the same thing with two desktop machines a few years ago.