Linux Laptop 2008-2012 changelog

Guide link:

Translators: Since I am mostly finished, you can start translating this guide. However, I would not recommend translating the System selection step since there may be a final hardware change at some point due to anticipated repair costs compared to what I feel comfortable investing into the repairs of the laptop (I usually end up limiting repairs to 40-50% of a used replacement system). Everything else is final and the only changes I need to make are likely to be minor.

Everyone else: If anyone thinks that I was wrong to release this after taking 2 years, please give the guide a chance. Most of the problems I had are related to finding good hardware and content cleanup. I didn't expect it to be easy to clean up and recover, so I was prepared for something like this to happen (I started it in 2013 and abandoned it and made it private as a guide I wanted to delete in 2014. I ended up working on it again in 2015). I'm releasing it unfinished and work on the final changes while it's public because it took so long.

Non patrol threshold advisory: Since this isn't a standard guide, I have set the required reputation for automatic acceptance to 20k. This is not a deterrent - it is a countermeasure against bad edits since this guide isn't like my other guides. You can edit it but this just means someone who has 20k+ reputation will need to approve your edit. This is simply a special case that justifies a reputation that's impractical for the average user to attain quickly.

So this is guide that I have had so much trouble with over the course of nearly 2 years. After dealing with multiple issues since the original content wasn't reusable (it was either old, failed content style retention or the original version was badly written to begin with). I also had a lot of issues with hardware, since I am on my second system and that's even potentially too expensive to justify repairing.

Some of the smaller reasons were wanting to wait on Debian 9, since I was originally planning on releasing wireless testing notes (I ended up giving up on this idea since it was causing too many issues). The best thing I can do is take what happened with this guide and not make these mistakes a second time.

While most of this guide is complete (~96% complete), there is still a descent amount of work left to do until it is 100% finished. I need some new pictures (hard drive/new, distro pics on the final laptop) and maybe I will end up making some additional changes. The AMD CPU picture (specifically, it was pulled from this guide) was copied, but that's because I don't think it's worth getting an AMD laptop for one picture.

As it stands, this release is anticlimactic. It took way too long and I was not able to release it 100% complete. I released it early because of how long it took to make the guide, along with being time sensitive to an extent. It's still going to take a while to get it to 100% completion, but enough of the guide is finished it shouldn't take too long. The main thing I'm glad about is I can finally release it. If anyone has some feedback, leave it so I can make some improvements to the guide and fix some of the major problems while I start looking at repair or replacement with the current laptop I am using (and finish the parts I had to neglect).

Update (9/5/17-9/6/17)

I released this guide too early and I need to continue to work on it as a private guide. It will remain private until I fix the major problems and have a near perfect release.

I don't plan on giving Toshiba an inch, so do not ask about including them with a specific mention in ANY PART of this guide. I am not testing Toshiba hardware to any extent, even for a whitelist.

The main things I want to focus on are cleanup and per line character reduction. I also want to consolidate the guide warnings and remove any redundancy as well.

When I get around to making the Desktop guide, I will port the main content that I can share to that guide and adjust certain lines accordingly as most content is shareable, but may need to be adapted.

Some changes I have made so far:

  • (Laptop) Dropped the Pentium T4 Series processor listing. Replaced with Pentium (SB/IB) because the T4 series is on the way out.
  • Reworded most steps in a major way. (Most shared between the Laptop and Desktop guide, but I am making tweaks per guide to match up the content).
  • Text thinning.
  • Warnings have been condensed into single groups (Desktop so far. This may not stick).
  • (Laptop and Desktop) Removed the processor brand from the lines in the processor steps. It's in the line title, so this doesn't need to be there.

Update (9/8/17)

I may not be able to work on this for a while, so I am pushing as much as I can out while I am ahead. I am in an area of the state I live in where I will at least be affected by the wind (and likely some rain) from Hurricane Irma. Hopefully nothing serious happens, but I'm not sure yet. I anticipate the worst that will probably happen is minor property damage.

I am still having issues with the ThinkPad in terms of finding a fan to try and fix the cooling issues. My second fan came, but it doesn't fit.

Anyway, back to the changes I have made:

  • (Both) I have WIP and the reason I consider it WIP in the title. I am doing this for tracking purposes, so I at least know where each step stands in terms of being complete. Most steps are under the (Almost done) category, but some needed enough rework that it didn't get that label or I have a specific reason for not considering it almost finished. If the step does not have such a mark, it should be assumed complete.
  • (Laptop) I started overhauling the Desktop hard drive step, since this is still a partial tester for good ideas. I take good ideas from the laptop guide and incorporate it into the Desktop guide and then take the ideas I like from the Desktop guide to port them to the Laptop guide.
  • (Both) The Media step has been changed to discourage DVD use unless you have no choice).
  • (Both) The secure Boot disable steps have been split into three sections, instead of two.
  • (Laptop) I have added a place for Dell DMI BIOS Optimus management. I may not end up using it, but it's there if I need it.


In my effort to get as much done just in case Irma does a lot of damage, I have gotten this much done:

  • (Both) I have updated the Legacy BIOS hard drive addressing warning.
  • (Laptop) A lot of steps were considered final today. Any appropriate changes were carried to the Desktop guide as they were made. 10 steps are now considered finalized. 9 steps are still WIP but many of them should be pushed to final status soon. I made too many changes to quickly look at these last 9 steps to quickly determine they are more or less completed.


  • (Laptop) More revisions.
  • (Laptop) More steps being finalized.
  • (Laptop) RAM is almost final.
  • (Laptop) SSD is almost final.
  • (Laptop) HDD/Used changed.


  • (Laptop) legacy BIOS drive warning is final.
  • (Laptop) RAM is final.
  • (Laptop) HDD/Used is final.
  • (Both) SSD is final.
  • (Both) Changed the intel-microcode to optional but recommended instead of being the other way.
  • (Desktop) Brought the mobile app note into parity with the Laptop guide.
  • (Desktop) Brought the time variation per system up to to parity with the Laptop guide.
  • (Desktop) Brought the age recommendation up and into parity.
  • (Laptop) Started the Dell DMI BIOS Optimus step. I still may not complete it but I'd rather start it just in case.


Read me: The Desktop guide for 2008-2012 is abandoned. I'm going to wait a little bit before I make a desktop oriented guide since 2008-2012 is a nightmare for covering AMD.

Here is a hint how convoluted how AMD platforms are. Also, this is where I had to start to find a processor list. Here is how simple getting a processor list for AMD mobile platforms is.

  • General final refinements.
  • WIP note added to individual lines as needed. I have waited some time after giving it the designation to overlook the designated lines and cleared it from 23 to 8. These remaining 8 WIP lines have major changes.
  • (Laptop) Dell DMI/Business final revisions.
  • (Laptop) Reference UI Secure Boot BIOS disable reverted to WIP.
  • (Laptop) Fixed a mistake where I put the processor inclusion line in (Oops!)
  • (Laptop) Added Radeon 7000M/G Series.


  • Final cleanup before release is considered.
  • Finishing any remaining WIP lines.
  • Made Disable Secure Boot final again.
  • Reduced WIP lines down to 2.


I am beginning to do the final revisions before I release the guide to clear any final issues up that I may have missed before. Everything else is done at this point (or is as close to done as I can manage).

  • WIP lines down to 0.
  • 128GB SSD final.
  • Dual GPU laptop warning revised.


  • Removed information on how modifiable BIOSes are from the WLAN/WL step. I don't want the average user trying to use modified BIOSes to fix the problem for obvious reasons. If someone asked in an answer I'd have no problem explaining it, but I can't provide enough context to get the average user to fully understand what they are doing.
  • Fat trimming to reduce the character count per step.


I am down to 8 lines with major issues to fix. Once I get past these troublesome lines I should be ready for re-release :-)

  • Fat trimming to reduce per step character count.


  • General text thinning
  • Removal of unconfirmed information


  • Fixed an card listing mistake in the IGP step.
  • General text thinning.
  • Restructured the steps to disable Optimus. This is worded more as a step by step guide on how to deal with these features. (Dell/Lenovo)


  • Working on the remaining issues. Most of these are minor, but some of them are major.


  • Made the final changes.
  • Ready for re-release.
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