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Old 11th September 2010, 22:27   #2551
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I recently got my dad a toshiba laptop. Unfortunately, there is no Windows 7 disk, only a windows 7 parition.
I was wondering, what if we want to fit a bigger HDD or something.
Is there a way to create a windows 7 disk to be used in emergency if something goes wrong with the HDD out of warranty?
If you have a valid windows 7 license, you can create a bootable DVD using this link
This is 100% legal, tried and working without any issues.

Alternatively, you can use the in-built toshiba tools to create backup disks. But it may contain lot of bloatwares, trial softwares.
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Old 12th September 2010, 09:37   #2552
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I recently got my dad a toshiba laptop. Unfortunately, there is no Windows 7 disk, only a windows 7 parition.
I was wondering, what if we want to fit a bigger HDD or something.
Is there a way to create a windows 7 disk to be used in emergency if something goes wrong with the HDD out of warranty?
Yes, most probably Toshiba would have some kind of utility to create recovery disks. Or you can:

1. Back up recovery partition by booting from a Linux CD
2. Download Windows AIK. This a free download from Microsoft and this has tools to create a recovery disk yourself. If you want, you can include often-used programs like Firefox / Anti-Virus in the Recovery disk (s) itself.
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Old 13th September 2010, 22:51   #2553
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Default The most annoying computer usage issue, ever!

I just hate IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads for just one reason:

The Laptop Thread: Configs, deals & questions-dsc00528.jpg

I want to kick the person desinged this keyboard layout! The 'Fn' key is in the place of Ctrl key, which we got SO used to, during all these years of computer usage! Why o why it is designed like this?!! Tell me one good reason! Like all the other kayboard layouts, they could have just placed 'Fn' key on the right side of Ctrl key!

Now I am uncomfortable even using my Dell laptop which has a very nice keyboard layout. The placement of 'Delete' 'Home' and 'End' keys also sucks in Thinkpads.

Last edited by clevermax : 13th September 2010 at 22:54.
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Old 15th September 2010, 03:04   #2554
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clevermax, Similar stupid key layout has been introduced in Compaq/HP corei3 laptops.
They have a calculator button on left side just before CTRL, so most people would click CALC + C to copy, What the hell.

one of my lawyer friend recently picked up HP corei3 and he says its annoying to have calc pop up 20 times a day :-)

I was in hunt for two new laptops and had all this junk in my head since last one week.

Dell was first preference, but as i posted earlier, dealer price was way to high as compared to online price, being in a small town and due to urgency of new laptop, could not go the other way of delivering it to friends place at Delhi and then wait for a month or so for him to come with it.

One of my local dealer was nice enough to fiddle with entire laptop range,
Dell as seen in pic was impressive, but
it was 38k, for a machine without ATI Radeon mobility, it was 14" while same config with 15" was available with ATI in-built + win7 home premium for online sales, WAKE UP DELL, you are killing sales.
Any such reputable brand should have same price throughout country.

So i ended up deciding 1st laptop to be compaq CQ42, 227TU, a 14" dual Core 2.3Ghz + 2GB DDR3 RAM, 250GB HDD, DVD RW, in-build webcam, WLAN+B.Tooth
for 26k, this machine looked promising as i've been using compaq for last 5 yrs.
This laptop was for mom, she only need access to check mails and some initial surfing experience so was quite sufficient.

Brought the machine home, installed windows7 (purchased volume license, due to business needs earlier this year) so got it activated, downloaded updates, so far so good, Downloaded win7 drivers, and with in a hour max, I was online and the machine was too cute, smooth and I could do all those stuff i would do on a laptop.

Was able to use Windows AERO fully, like move mouse over "show desktop" hides all active windows and shows desktop, multiple window scrolling and other features.
Windows experience index was 3.3, as i don't need to do gaming this was acceptable for a 26k machine

WLAN works fine in a duplex house.
Battery runtime is good due to 14" screen
Charging is very efficient
works silently, light weight and performs well.

Next day I went on hunt for my own laptop, found a corei3 available in compaq for 30.5K, wow that's cheap, there were 2 laptop already getting ready for other customers so I got change to benchmark the corei3, 15" etc etc, but wait, the dream shattered before it could please me, the windows experience Index was 1.0 ooops, no Aero and sluggish operation, with 3GB RAM, newly installed OS(by dealer not me), drivers update the laptop was PATHETIC, did many tweaks but nope, the machine refused to come up with any more score than 1.

Finally I gave up and picked up another 14" compaq, I realized that paying 12K more and getting just a BLING factor is not my thing, the 14" al-cheapo laptop does my work smoothly and I don't need to do anything more than my usual stuff, For Gaming and HD movies I already have a better desktop.

Quite a lengthy post, anyway Enjoy the pics

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Smart Looks, but Price was a RIP-OFF

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Nice finishing but Pricey.

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cute 14" close up

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The Box

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Amazingly fast setup time

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Twins

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CPU details

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DDR3 RAM

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3x 14", 1x 22" full HD, 1x 17" used as extended desktop
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Old 15th September 2010, 16:24   #2555
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Default Solution to the stupid Fn key problem in Lenovo Thinkpads

@ghpk: You're not alone. Many people complain about this keyboard layout, but I found solution.

There are BIOS patches available for swapping Fn key and Ctrl keys.

I found the patches for all Thinkpad laptops in the lenovo forum. The patches are unofficial and you have to use it at your own risk.

The only issue with using these patched BIOS is that when a newer version of BIOS comes out, you can't keep the swapped keys as it is, when you update to a newer version.

I found solution to this for my specific laptop series anyway. (L410)

Now I know how to patch the BIOS for this all by myself. I just need to swap two bytes (0x81 and 0x97) at offsets 0x6A7E and 0x6A99 in file $0A6J000.FL1 in BIOS versions from 1.20 till 1.37. Now that new BIOS version 1.40 has come out, I need to search and find out the key codes (it won't change anyway) and swap them. All I need is a hex editor and knowledge in patching / hex editing which I have.

So basically, I am going to flash the chip with my own patched BIOS to swap Fn and Ctrl keys, whenever Lenovo releases a newer BIOS version!

It is a relief to have the Ctrl key moved to where it traditionally was.

Last edited by clevermax : 15th September 2010 at 16:34.
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Old 15th September 2010, 18:42   #2556
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
I just hate IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads for just one reason:

I want to kick the person desinged this keyboard layout! The 'Fn' key is in the place of Ctrl key, which we got SO used to, during all these years of computer usage! Why o why it is designed like this?!! Tell me one good reason! Like all the other kayboard layouts, they could have just placed 'Fn' key on the right side of Ctrl key!

Now I am uncomfortable even using my Dell laptop which has a very nice keyboard layout. The placement of 'Delete' 'Home' and 'End' keys also sucks in Thinkpads.
And i want to kick the Designer in Dell who designed keyboard of Vostro 1510, 1310, 1410 and Inspiron 15R

Reason, the page up, page down and end buttons are to be used with function key on the arrow keys on Vostro. I am like, what the hell, to jump do i have to use fn key?

And in Inspiron 15r, they have included a separate numeric pad like in desktop keyboards. While one can get use to, it is simply not needed.

Last edited by chevelle : 15th September 2010 at 18:44.
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Old 15th September 2010, 18:43   #2557
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Thanks clevermax for your expert view.
I knew bios are Flash-able but never knew guys are able to modify that calculator, fn keys on own, hex editing would be fun though.

Anyway as I didn't opted for that extra key model, i'll have to wait for some friend to ask me help him with it :-)



Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
And i want to kick the Designer in Dell who designed keyboard of Vostro 1510, 1310, 1410 and Inspiron 15R

Reason, the page up, page down and end buttons are function key on the arrow keys on Vostro. I am like, what the hell, to jump do i have to use fn key?

And in Inspiron 15r, they have included a separate numeric pad like in desktop keyboards. While one can get use to, it is simply not needed.
Many newer laptop BIOS has option to Enable/Disable function key also know as Active keys from Bios.

Like in my case, it was keys from F1 to F12 did function based action without need to pressing Fn key, like F2 decreased brightness and so on
found the option in BIOS which said "Active Keys" disabling it would gie traditional mapping of those functions.

check if it works for you.

Last edited by ghpk : 15th September 2010 at 18:47.
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Old 15th September 2010, 18:51   #2558
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Originally Posted by ghpk View Post
Many newer laptop BIOS has option to Enable/Disable function key also know as Active keys from Bios.

Like in my case, it was keys from F1 to F12 did function based action without need to pressing Fn key, like F2 decreased brightness and so on
found the option in BIOS which said "Active Keys" disabling it would gie traditional mapping of those functions.

check if it works for you.
While i understand and appreciate the option provided, it just doesn't make sense to disable arrow keys to enable the page up/down keys. The arrow keys are frequently used ones. That's why i am pissed.
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Old 16th September 2010, 00:20   #2559
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i thought the same about the numpad when i bought my inspiron R, but of late, a lot of my work involves number crunching on excel, and the numpad is a godsend
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Old 16th September 2010, 01:17   #2560
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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
i thought the same about the numpad when i bought my inspiron R, but of late, a lot of my work involves number crunching on excel, and the numpad is a godsend
+1 to that. I got the 15R only because of the num pad. Its fantastic if your job involves working with numbers.
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Old 16th September 2010, 10:34   #2561
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Default Patched BIOS myself

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Originally Posted by sammyboy View Post
+1 to that. I got the 15R only because of the num pad. Its fantastic if your job involves working with numbers.
I have the numpad in my Inspiron 1525, but its not an annoying thing as the stupid Fn key in Thinkpads.


I have successfully patched and flashed my BIOS chip with the latest version of BIOS from Lenovo. It works perfect and I can 'work' more productively in the Thinkpad now, rather than just keep 'think'ing how I can fix that issue

The offsets for the keycodes were a little different than what I mentioned in previous post for older BIOS versions. But the delta between them is the same, just 1B (27) difference between them in all versions.

They are currently at

0x6A90 - 0x81
0x6AAB - 0x97

in BIOS version 1.40

Anyone wants this latest patched BIOS for L410/412 please let me know, as this is not available even in Lenovo forums yet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ghpk View Post
Thanks clevermax for your expert view.
I knew bios are Flash-able but never knew guys are able to modify that calculator, fn keys on own, hex editing would be fun though.
Anyway as I didn't opted for that extra key model, i'll have to wait for some friend to ask me help him with it :-)
Thanks ghpk, I am no expert in BIOS related things, but I only have some experience in creating patches, Win32 disassembling debugging and hex editing. Yeah, hex editing is more fun than fixing a bug in C++ or C#, it gives you more happiness when you see the patched stuff working the way you wanted

Last edited by clevermax : 16th September 2010 at 10:41.
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Old 16th September 2010, 11:23   #2562
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyboy View Post
+1 to that. I got the 15R only because of the num pad. Its fantastic if your job involves working with numbers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
i thought the same about the numpad when i bought my inspiron R, but of late, a lot of my work involves number crunching on excel, and the numpad is a godsend
I agree, but inspiron is not a business laptop. Its more like a student/entertainment laptop.

Still one can enable numeric pad in a regular keyboard on a laptop. I use it sometimes and it is perfect for what it does.
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Old 16th September 2010, 11:36   #2563
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I agree, but inspiron is not a business laptop. Its more like a student/entertainment laptop.

Still one can enable numeric pad in a regular keyboard on a laptop. I use it sometimes and it is perfect for what it does.
Is there a fine line between an entertainment laptop and a business laptop? To me most of the business laptops looks more black in color, looks more rugged *, have very dull displays and tighter keyboard layouts. I am not sure whether these are required to do business using them. I can't see a solid reason why a Dell Inspiron or Studio can't be used for business use. Looking at different think pads, I get a feeling that they are still experimenting on where to place keys like Fn, Home, Delete, Insert, End, PgUp , PgDown etc. Compare the top right portion of these two laptops for example:

L410
R60

It's funny to see how they are doing this key juggling, given the fact that both laptops have the same overall width.

* - Only looks. My new Thinkpad's F1 key was seen missing yesterday morning, and later we found it somewhere on the floor. I seldom press that key and still it got loose. I fixed the key later, but now it comes out from the lock on the slightest press. On the other hand, my one and a half year old daughter plays with the key board of my 2 year old Inspiron 1525, and still all keys are in tact. She sometimes tried to pluck keys out of the keyboard, still no luck

Last edited by clevermax : 16th September 2010 at 11:45.
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Old 16th September 2010, 12:16   #2564
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I recently got my dad a toshiba laptop. Unfortunately, there is no Windows 7 disk, only a windows 7 parition.
I was wondering, what if we want to fit a bigger HDD or something.
Is there a way to create a windows 7 disk to be used in emergency if something goes wrong with the HDD out of warranty?
Yes , there is a way. You can clone a disk, just google on cloning a disk. There are free softwares available to clone a disk. This will copy from the source to the target sector by sector. After that you just need to replace the old disk with this new one and it goes bingo !!!
I have tried this on a desktop as you need additional cables to connect the new disk. This may work with laptop as well (most probably) if your new disk is recognized by the laptop once it is connected through USB.
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Old 16th September 2010, 13:31   #2565
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Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
Is there a fine line between an entertainment laptop and a business laptop? To me most of the business laptops looks more black in color, looks more rugged *, have very dull displays and tighter keyboard layouts. I am not sure whether these are required to do business using them. I can't see a solid reason why a Dell Inspiron or Studio can't be used for business use. Looking at different think pads, I get a feeling that they are still experimenting on where to place keys like Fn, Home, Delete, Insert, End, PgUp , PgDown etc. Compare the top right portion of these two laptops for example:

L410
R60

It's funny to see how they are doing this key juggling, given the fact that both laptops have the same overall width.

* - Only looks. My new Thinkpad's F1 key was seen missing yesterday morning, and later we found it somewhere on the floor. I seldom press that key and still it got loose. I fixed the key later, but now it comes out from the lock on the slightest press. On the other hand, my one and a half year old daughter plays with the key board of my 2 year old Inspiron 1525, and still all keys are in tact. She sometimes tried to pluck keys out of the keyboard, still no luck
The less said about the Lenovo laptops, the better. i have had bad experiences with the hardware and its support.

Compared to them Dells are much better. Especially the vostro, xps and inspiron range.

The target consumer of inspiron for dell is student and those looking for entertainment. Its a different thing that most people use it for business. To me and you, it doesn't matter if we use it for business or home use. Like, i have vostro 1500, which is essentially a small business laptop. Still i am using it for home/entertainment use.

If you look around a dell website, they categorize it that way only. for small business there is vostro, for medium to big there is studio, xps and latitude, for entertainment/home/student use there is inspiron at lower end and at higher end its alienware.

Similar is the case for all other companies.

So its not we as a consumer differentiating this products. Its the market that drives them does it.

As for the keys, its the build quality to be blamed to an extent. One thing i have noticed in USA is, Lenovo's are manufactured and assembled in China while Dell in San Diego, CA. For me, this plays an imp role in how a laptop will stay throughout its life cycle.

Take for an eg my vostro 1500, plenty a times it has rolled up and down inside a bath tub without damage. While within a month of getting Lenovo, its hinge got mis aligned. Talk about build quality.

Last edited by chevelle : 16th September 2010 at 13:36.
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