"Amigos y nadie más. El resto, la selva"
-- Jorge Guillén

Ubuntu Natty on OQO model 02

So after so much love from my OQO model 02, the internal hard disk drive finally gave out. Luckily I had another OQO laying around from which I could extract parts. Yeah, OQO.com clearly states that the company went out of business on 2009, so we are pretty much on our own.

However, there is no need to despair just yet. With the exception of the (infamous) batteries the OQO is a well behaved hardware.

I had to take apart my OQO with a very small torx screw driver. Replacing the drive was a breeze. I went from a Hitachi to a Toshiba from a newer OQO. Hopefully that will last a bit longer.

HDD Specs:

  • mini SATA ribbon connector
  • 4200 RPM
  • 60G
  • 3.3v .5 A
  • 2.5" x 2" (?)

After the drive was replaced it was time to install Ubuntu Natty 11.04

I used the grub2 on a USB stick method because it's just way easier to put ISOs on USB drives than to burn a CD or setup tftp+pxe boot for the OQO. In addition, this allows me to have 6 or more OSes on a USB stick plus a copy of SpinRite.iso!

The only thing to remember is when you choose Install Ubuntu Only (32 bit), you will need to update your CLI arguments for the kernel with:

... xforcevesa --

Which will cause the X server to run with VESA drivers instead of the SGI driver which chooses a weird resolution with the wrong refresh rate.


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