ThinkPad T60 - How to Make a Custom OEM Windows CD

by Kyle  

Now updated for Windows XP SP3, if you encounter any problems, please let me know!

Please note that the RVM Update Pack and KB896256 hotfix are no longer necessary with Service Pack 3.

When I first bought my Lenovo ThinkPad T60, I was a little disappointed at the absence of a normal OEM Windows XP CD. This CD would allow the user to install their own copy of Windows free of the preloaded garbage that comes on every machine. After reading some posts and tutorials and running into problems, I finally have the solution for ThinkPad T60 owners. The CD that is created in this tutorial embeds the Lenovo OEM key (different from the one on the bottom of the machine) and doesn't require activation as long as it's installed on the same machine the license came with.

The problem I had previously where the machine would continually reboot when trying to load Windows seems to have been solved by integrating the KB896256 hotfix into the install. Although I haven't tested this yet myself, a forum user has reported that installing this hotfix in Safe Mode resolved the issue. Please be cautious when trying this out and make sure you have a backup before doing anything catastrophic, I cannot be held responsible for any damage as a result of this tutorial. (This is no longer relevant if you integrate SP3!)

A lot of the initial inspiration came from this guide, but everything here has been recreated from scratch to customize for T60 owners. This may work on other Lenovo models, but some of the instructions are likely to change slightly (mainly the drivers and hotfix). Anyway, let's get started.

Update: I tried out the install last night and it seemed to work well. Windows booted up fine the first time and I had only minor problems with System Update not properly installing things. This may or may not have been caused by the slipstreaming, but if anyone is willing to experiment, you can easily leave out the network drivers and update pack (make sure to still use the Intel Storage Matrix Driver and the KB896256 Hotfix).

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Windows Vista, Friend or Foe?

by Kyle  

Microsoft's first new consumer operating system in five years is set to be released tomorrow (January 30th, my Birthday). Although the final version was finished back on November 30th, a few months is needed for the major computer vendors to prepare their systems for production. As of now it looks as though the major vendors like Dell, Lenovo, and HP have readied their lines and are already selling systems with the much anticipated new operating system.

Update: It appears that the Vista launch was scheduled for earlier tonight. More information about the launch is available here.

The logo for the new Microsoft operating system, Windows Vista.

I have personally used Vista versions Beta 1, Beta 2, RC 1, RC 2, and Final Business Edition, and I must say that I'm not very impressed. Although a lot has changed since Windows XP, not in enough ways to make the steep upgrade and retail costs worth it. So far I have only invested $10 in my Vista experience for shipping the Lenovo upgrade to Vista Business (which won't ship until March anyway). Although I'd like to upgrade that version to Vista Ultimate when it arrives (using the new Anytime Upgrade feature), I think the $139 upgrade price from Business to Ultimate is still too steep given the few added features. For a full comparison of the different editions and upgrade prices, see the links below.

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Wii-tastic

by Kyle  

Although I had been very interested in the Nintendo Wii since I had first heard about it, I never really planned to own one, let alone any other console game system. Well, needless to say, that changed.

Nintendo's newest console gaming system, the Wii.

Unlike the hordes of console buyers, I didn't even look around to find a Wii. Since I wasn't really interested in buying it, especially with the short supply, I hadn't really kept up with all of the supply craziness. If it hadn't been for a nice co-worker who mentioned that Toys "R" Us here in Clay, NY (near Syracuse) had them in stock, I never would have even given it a second thought. Heck, even when I went to the store looking for one I had all intentions of selling it to a friend who wanted one. Well, too bad for my friend, I'm hooked.

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