Linux Mint on Toshiba Laptops/Notebooks/Dynabooks

Four laptops on which I wanted to install Linux Mint 11, “Katya


  1. Toshiba Dynabook SS SX PASX2211LNKW (J-kbd) / Successful
  2. Toshiba Dynabook SS S7 PAS7290LNKW a.k.a Portégé R100 (J-kbd) / Successful
  3. Toshiba Dynabook G8X20PDEW2 (PAG8X20PDEW2) (J-kbd) / Successful
  4. Toshiba Satellite 5105-S607 English kbd / Graphics problem

This just a run-down of how the hard drive can be removed from a Toshiba SS SX as an example. SS S7 & G8 have HDD covers easily removed.
Removing/replacing the SS SX hard drive:

  1. First and foremost, take out the battery.
  2. Then remove the two plastic caps just above the keyboard.
  3. Remove the screws under those caps.
  4. Turn over the Dynabook and remove the screw in the centre near the edge where the battery was located.
  5. Turn the Dynabook over so that the keyboard is facing up and gently lift the keyboard edge where the screws were and slide the kbd toward the screen to remove. The keyboard is connected so just turn it over and lay it to the left.
  6. The HDD is in the silver case or caddy on the right. Remove the two anchoring screws. Take care to catch them as they are not magnetic. If you do loose one inside the Dynabook be sure to find & remove it.
  7. Lift the HDD in its casing out and gently disconnect – do not pull the flexible ATA connector, pry off the solid pin board with fingernails.
  8. Remove the 4 screws on the casing sides holding the HDD, be careful the HDD doesn’t slide out before you’re ready to catch it!
  9. Now the HDD (Toshiba type MK4025GAS) has been removed, it’s time to find a replacement HDD and reverse order the procedure to install it in the Dynabook, or install an OS before replacing the HDD.
  10. Putting things back means the reverse order, being sure to reserve the longer screw for the middle position on the bottom to secure the keyboard from behind!

So now the hard drive is out and the new one ready…

Installing Linux Mint on the SS SX is the most indirect part and will most likely have to be done on another, desktop, computer using a HDD adapter as this Dynabook does not have a CD drive, does not boot from USB memory nor from a USB connected CD/DVD drive… I tried without success.
You can of course have a go, maybe your CD/DVD drive is boot-compatible, mine wasn’t and I didn’t have a suitable USB floppy to check that. All my Toshibas had resistance to booting from anything but their own HDD.

BIOS is not accessible but the boot sequence can be selected by pressing F12 immediately after pressing the power button.

So, after all that there seems to be only one way to get Linux Mint 11 onto the HDDs of the Toshiba Dynabook SS SX, Toshiba Dynabook SS S7 and Toshiba Dynabook G8 and that is using a couple of adapters I luckily already had. As I only use SATA on my rather older VAIO desktop computer I needed these two:

  1. The ABIT SERILLEL2 IDE to SATA adapter (pictured on this page and here) coupled with a
  2. ValueWave RP-030V (or at Rakuten) HD2535 2.5” to 3.5” IDE adapter

With suitable adapters and a LM11 Live-CD to boot from it is possible to load the OS onto the HDD.

  1. Boot up the desktop computer from the Live-CD with the 2.5 HDD attached using adapters as necessary.
  2. Install the OS onto the 2.5 HDD, telling the installation what keyboard layout the laptop has (mine were Japanese).
  3. When the installation is finished do not run the computer from the HDD rather, click on the “Continue Testing” option.
  4. Next, shut down the computer using the normal Menu>Quit>Shut Down sequence.
  5. At the final screen that prompts you to “Remove the CD and hit ENTER”, simply hit ENTER and wait until complete shut down.
  6. Remove the HDD and install it in the laptop. Start up and hope the OS recognizes enough to boot into LM11, in my case three out of four did.
  7. Insert a LAN cable and run update. Assuming the familiar LM interface is available also check to see if WLAN is available.

Now you’re on your own to do as you please with the new OS. Have fun!

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