Installing Fedora 14 x86 64 on a X201s-Dualboot config with Windows 7 64 pre-installed

From ThinkWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This guide is about installing Fedora 14 on a x201s(5129-CTO) which already had Windows 7 Professional 64 bit installed from factory. The aim is to keep Windows and have Fedora on a separate partition. We are going to use the Windows boot manager to select which operating system will boot.

My model type was 5129-CTO with BIOS ver 1.23, Embedded Controller Version 1.11 and:

  • CPU Intel Core i7 640LM
  • 8GB RAM
  • 320GB 7200RPM HDD
  • Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300AGN MiniPCI

Preparing for the Install - BACKUP!!!

Before you start working on your system, make sure that you create a recovery set from the ThinkVantage Toolbox, System Health, Enhanced Backup and Restore. Click on ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery button, and then Launch Advanced Rescue and Recovery. In here click Create Rescue Media. I used a USB HDD to create the rescue media to. It might also be a good idea to Backup your Hard disk at this point.

Continue at your own risk should you choose to skip this step. It is highly advised to have a backup media when playing around with partitions!!

Installation Prerequisites - Make Space on the disk

The first thing we want to do is make space on the hard drive for the Fedora install. Open your Disk management. You will see that from the factory the system has three partitions with the following labels: SYSTEM_DRV Windows7_OS(C:) Lenovo_Recovery(Q:)

We want to re-size the Windows7_OS partition. Before resizing, perform a Defrag of the drive using Windows Defrag (or your favorite defrag program). Once defrag completes, right click on the Windows7_OS partition and select Shrink Volume. Windows computes the available space for shrink. On mine I ended up with roughly 133GB available. Select the maximum available and perform the shrink. After that you will have the following partitions: SYSTEM_DRV Windows7_OS(C:) Unallocated Space Lenovo_Recovery(Q:)

Reboot and ignore the message about Rescue and Recovery using F11 key. Verify that all is normal and reboot once again (this is required to clear the F11 for Rescue and Recovery message. I found out that every time a change was made to the partitions, the message kept coming. On the second consecutive reboot the message disappears)

Installation Prerequisites - Create the Bootable USB from the DVD iso image

Since the x201s does not come with a DVD (unless you have the Ultrabase), we need to make a bootable USB key containing the installation media. To do that the process that worked for me was via another Linux system (running Fedora 13) and the use of livecd-tools package. I tried using the Fedora live CD creator, unetbootin... nothing worked (USB booted but was getting "Missing ISO 9660 image" error once past the partitioning). Save your time and find a Linux system to properly create the usb key. I downloaded the DVD ISO from the Fedora site (I used the x86_64 image) and saved it on /media/Fedora-14-x86_64-DVD.iso The usb key used was a Kingston 8GB located on /dev/sdb1

On your Linux system execute:

$ su-

# yum install livecd-tools syslinux

# livecd-iso-to-disk --format -–reset-mbr /media/Fedora-14-x86_64-DVD.iso /dev/sdb1

The above command will FORMAT and ERASE all the contents from the USB key!!

After this command, mount your usb key (eject and re-insert) and verify that the iso file is on the root of the key, and in the images directory you have the install.img file.

You are done, eject and use the key to boot and install.

Fedora Install

Insert the key on the usb port on the left below the Tab key. Start the system and at the BIOS prompt hit F12. A list with the available boot devices will be shown. Select the usb key and hit enter. This should give you the Fedora install screen. Select the first option (Install a new system or upgrade an existing) Note that there is also the option to Rescue an installed system. We will be using this latter on.

Continue installation as usual, with the exception that when asked for the disk layout (after you have set the root password) you should select Create Custom Layout. Here we select the unallocated space that we created before, and click Create. In here select Standard Partition and click Create. The Add partition window will open. Create the Linux ext4 partition with the following properties:

  • Mount Point: /
  • File System Type: ext4
  • Size(MB): Select all available less 3GB for the swap partition (128000 in my case)
  • Fixed Size: Checked
  • Click OK button.

Next highlight the remaining space, and create the swap partition with the following properties:

  • Mount Point: <blank>
  • File System Type: swap
  • Select Fill to maximum allowable space
  • Click OK button.

Having completed the above steps, you should be left with the following partition layout(sizes may vary in your case):

  • sda1 1200
  • sda2 162231
  • sda4 131811
    • sda5 128000
    • sda6 3809
  • sda3 10000
  • Free 1

Click Next when Ready or Back to recreate the partitions. Then click Write Changes to the Disk. Changes will be written to the disk.

This will modify the partition layout. Make sure that the layout is correct and that you had backed up your data as suggested above!!!

The next step is critical to the health of the Windows installation and its bootability. Make absolutely sure that you specify GRUB to be installed on the Linux partition and NOT ON THE MBR of the HDD!

  • Tick Install boot loader on... and then Change Device.
  • Select First sector of boot partition and click OK
  • Make sure that Fedora is selected as the Default.
  • Click Next and the installation of the packages will begin.

Once installation is completed you may reboot and proceed with the next step. Keep the usb key plugged in.

GRUB correction

The next step was necessary because for some reason the grub.conf created by the installer incorrectly points to (hd1,4) partition. Why this happened is unclear to me, but here is how you overcome the problem.

Upon reboot keep the usb key plugged in and again select to boot from it by pressing F12 at the BIOS splash screen. This time select Rescue an installed system from the menu. Mount the partition read/write and get to the shell and execute the following:

# chroot /mnt/sysimage

# grub

grub> find /boot/grub/grub.conf


grub> root (hd0,4)

grub> setup (hd0,4)

grub> quit

Replace the (hd0,4) with whatever your linux partition is located at (output of find command in grub), barring in mind that sda1 translates to (hd0,0), sda2 to (hd0,1) and so forth. My partition was on sda5, therefore (hd0,4).

Exit the rescue shell and reboot the system. Remove the USB key and let windows boot as normal. You may get a prompt to press F11 for Rescue and Recovery. Ignore it.

Adding Fedora install to Windows Boot Loader

In order to modify the Windows bootloader we will use the free program called EasyBCD (google it up). Download and install it. Before running, we will have to assign a drive letter to the SYSTEM_DRV partition where the bootloader is.

  • Open Windows Disk Management (right-click Computer > Manage > Disk Management).
  • Right click on the first partition (SYSTEM_DRV) and assign a letter to it.

Run EasyBCD and click Add/Remove Entries

  • Click the Linux tab and create a new entry with:
    • Type:Grub(Legacy)
    • Name:Fedora 14
    • Device:Partition x (Linux-xxxGB) - select the partition that we used for installing Fedora.
  • Leave the GRUB isn't installed to bootsector/MBR check box unchecked, and click Add Entry

Before exiting EasyBCD you have to modify the timeout of the bootloader menu.

  • Click on Edit Boot menu and at the bottom modify the "Boot default OS after" setting (3 seconds should suffice).

Exit EasyBCD, and remember to remove the drive letter assigned to the SYSTEM_DRV partition. Reboot the system and ignore the F11 for Recovery message.

You should see the windows bootloader menu. Select Fedora 14 and complete the install. Do a full yum update at your earliest convenience.

Hardware support

The following table refers to the most updated kernel as of this writing (

Hardware works driver notes
Video (Intel HD Graphics) yes i915?
Audio (Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset High Definition Audio) yes snd_hda_intel
Network (Intel Corporation 82577LM Gigabit Network Connection) yes e1000e
WiFi (Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300) yes iwlagn Tested with a Dlink DWL-2100AP (H/W ver. A5, F/W ver. 2.50eu)
Modem unknown
Fingerprint Reader unknown
Bluetooth unknown
APS unknown
UltraNav yes
Card-Reader yes Tested with a 16GB SD, mounts as a usb disk

Power Saving / Function Keys

Sleep: Works with no problems from KDE

Hibernate: Does not seem to work when requested from KDE Power Management App

Fn keys working:

FnF2 (Lock)

FnF4 (Sleep)

FnPgUp (ThinkLight)

FnHome/End (Up/Down lcd brightness)

References/External Sources

For dual boot instructions follow Tweak Home PC's excellent guides

For making a bootable Fedora USB from the DVD iso image see this post on the Fedora Forum.

tuxmobil_sticker.png TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones