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Need hardware specs on OS-locked laptop

By Jay Garmon Contributor ·
I've inherited a surplus Compaq Armada M300 laptop that has been agressively upgraded by my employer's IT staff--meaning it no longer conforms to factory specs, and I don't know the first thing about working with a laptop that has no accessible operating system. Officially, the M300 is still running XP Pro, but our tech has disavowed the license and can't provide a password, so I can't so much as log on. I need some way to boot around the OS and determine the exact hardware specs so I can begin preparing a Linux install to pave over Win XP.

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by jmgarvin In reply to Need hardware specs on OS ...

My gut instinct is to **** with the hardware and just diving in. Linux is good about supporting older hardware (even if someone went a little upgrade nuts). There is only so much you can upgrade on a laptop.

Just dive in an install....

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by jmgarvin In reply to

Oh, you could also just use:
http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/

That will eliminate all your password problems ;-)

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to
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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Need hardware specs on OS ...

Jay,

The above are all good answers if you still need help drop me a line and I'll see what I can come up with.

Cheers

Col

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to

Thanks, I may take you up on that.

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by Smoking Gnu In reply to Need hardware specs on OS ...

http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/bootdisk.html
download the boot disk from here, write to a floppy or cdrom (depending which image you download) boot up with it and follow the instructions, it will wipe the xp password and allow you access. However most new linux distros will automatically detect hardware and load modules for it, if something does not work straight off but you can boot into linux then type the command: dmesg :into the command prompt and all detectable hardware will be listed in the output

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to

The utility can't seem to get XP to accept the new password. Too bad, I had high hopes. I'm also not ready to blindly pave in Linux without knowing my hardware specs. Not yet, anyway.

JMGARVIN - I meant to leave the same comment for you, but I must have pooched the submission somehow. Sorry.

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by Smoking Gnu In reply to Need hardware specs on OS ...

http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/bootdisk.html
download the boot disk from here, write to a floppy or cdrom (depending which image you download) boot up with it and follow the instructions, it will wipe the xp password and allow you access. However most new linux distros will automatically detect hardware and load modules for it, if something does not work straight off but you can boot into linux then type the command: dmesg :into the command prompt and all detectable hardware will be listed in the output

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to

I feel like I've heard this somewhere before...oh yeah, the previous response. No fair trying to get double points!

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by JamesRL In reply to Need hardware specs on OS ...

I'm not going for points. I just wanna help.

You haven't been clear - is this password the Power on password or the Windowns password?

The Power On password would look more crude graphically and would appear before any windows splash screens. Its basically set up in the BIOS - so if there is a BIOS password as well you would need it to change/remove the power on password(unless you get one of the utilities).

To try and access the BIOS, just hit F10 and hold it as you power on the PC. If you can access the BIOS you can run through the screens and see the vital information such as the process type and speed, the amount of RAM, the size of the HD (not the free space, just the total size) and other goodies you will need to know. Don't worry about messing things up - in every modern BIOS that I have come across there is an option to exit and not save the changes. In most good BIOSs there are help screens as well to explain the meanings of the settings.

Hopes this helps. If you were closer, I'd pop in to take a look myself.

James

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