I just found my old IBM ThinkPad 240 where I installed ArchLinux some years ago. The machine still works as intended but the package manager (pacman) does not work anymore at all. I tried to fix it without luck.

What I would like to do is to install OpenBSD on this machine, but I don't find the external floppy hard drive anymore. So I can not install from floppy, cd-rom, network etc. But is it somehow possible to install OpenBSD within my running linux system ?

  • Can you PXE boot?
    – Chris Down
    Nov 15, 2012 at 15:10
  • I have no experience with PXE boot but this laptop has no built in network card. I have a pcmcia network card but I'm not sure if I can PXE boot with this.
    – mjspier
    Nov 15, 2012 at 15:18
  • Which bootloader are you using on Arch? If its GRUB, I suspect you can use the grub prompt to boot an external CD or HDD.
    – derobert
    Nov 15, 2012 at 18:30
  • mmh I'm using grub actually. But I don't have an external usb cd drive available. Maybe with a usb stick it would work. But I think I'm faster with finding that external floppy drive. It must be somewhere in the cellar :P
    – mjspier
    Nov 15, 2012 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


From what I have read, the IBM Thinkpad 240 does not support booting from any device other than the internal hard drive or the floppy. Since the floppy drive is lost, and I doubt you want to find and buy one, you are stuck with one option: Remove the hard drive and attach it to another computer and run the OS install from there. Quite tricky.

  • Hi Tim. Thanks for the answer even though I hoped for something else. So it is not possible to install OpenBSD on my harddisk and boot this one?
    – mjspier
    Nov 15, 2012 at 15:34
  • 1
    It is possible, but you will have to place the hard disk in a machine that can boot from either media first, then after the system is installed, you can move the hard disk back into the laptop. You can probably attach the disk to a desktop with an adapter like this one: stonewallcable.com/…
    – Tim
    Nov 15, 2012 at 16:34

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