Panasonic Toughbook CF-30

I bought a Panasonic Toughbook CF-30 some years ago and got it cheap in new condition without any OS installed. I installed Windows 10 on it back when Microsoft were offering the free upgrade from Windows 7. I had a broken laptop at the time that had a Windows 7 activation key on it so I used that to activate Windows 10 on the Panasonic Toughbook CF-30. All went smoothly except I had some problems with Windows 10 not being able to locate a display driver so it installed a default display driver which is ok but I can have issues when it comes to watching online videos and I can't watch in full screen without the laptops screen going blank then I have to do a hard restart.

I know these Toughbooks aren't built for performance and I don't think Windows 10 is suitable for this toughbook. These toughbooks would have came with either Windows 7 or XP installed. with that in mind performance is poor with 4 GB Ram and Intel dual core vPro processor. The hard drive is always active and it can be painfully slow at times but can run ok at other times. Hard drive fault maybe?

I have scanned it and haven't found any issues. As SSD drives are cheap now I'm going to buy one I don't need masses amounts of storage so a 64 GB SSD will do.

I have been thinking about installing Lubuntu onto this. I did try once before but the installation kept on crashing. If the same thing happens with the new drive then I will have to install it on another computer than pop the hard drive into the CF-30 and see if it boots ok.

I also have a panasonic Toughbook CF-19 with similar specifications and that runs everything with no performance lags or issues running Kali Linux.

Does anybody have experience with the Panasonic CF-30?
 
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next010

Distinguished Member
The CF-30 has a Core Duo L2400 so thats a 32-bit CPU and Intel GMA950 which is a very basic GPU, it lacks H.264 video decoding which is used on websites so the CPU must do it via software decoding.

You really do not want to be using windows 10 on something this old, drivers may no longer be available and windows 10 runs poorly on HDD's, there are legacy SDD drives you can buy for retro machines if you desire.

  • Try this download Zorin Lite 32-bit ISO image - this is based off ubuntu but skinned to look like windows and meant for older computers up to 15 years ago.
  • Write the ISO to a USB drive using Balena Etcher (or write ISO to CD-R).
  • Now boot from that and see if Zorin Lite fully installs to the HDD.

Maybe that might work out for you, Puppy Linux is another option for very old PC's.
 
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The CF-30 has a Core Duo L2400 so thats a 32-bit CPU and Intel GMA950 which is a very basic GPU, it lacks H.264 video decoding which is used on websites.

You really do not want to be using windows 10 on something this old, drivers may no longer be available and windows 10 runs poorly on HDD's, there are legacy SDD drives you can buy for retro machines if you desire.

  • Try this download Zorin Lite 32-bit ISO image - this is based off ubuntu but skinned to look like windows and meant for older computers up to 15 years ago.
  • Write the ISO to a USB drive using Balena Etcher (or write ISO to CD-R).
  • Now boot from that and see if Zorin Lite fully installs to the HDD.

Maybe that might work out for you, Puppy Linux is another option for very
That would make sense. Puppy Linux would be a bit drastic. I'll give Zorin Lite a go once I get a new SSD. I haven;t tried Zorin Lite. I'm assuming its a SATA connector for the CF-30? I haven't looked yet.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Found an old tech specs wiki, if you have the mkv3 (30K, 30L, 30P, 30Q) version of CF-30 then you have the Core 2 Duo SL9300 Vpro which is 64-bit capable, 4GB max RAM and SATA HDD. The older mk1/mk2 models are 32-bit and SATA.

There is video here showing to replace the SATA HDD with SSD.
 
Found an old tech specs wiki, if you have the mkv3 (30K, 30L, 30P, 30Q) version of CF-30 then you have the Core 2 Duo SL9300 Vpro which is 64-bit capable, 4GB max RAM and SATA HDD. The older mk1/mk2 models are 32-bit and SATA.

There is video here showing to replace the SATA HDD with SSD.
Yep thats the one MK3 64 bit. I had a quick look in Computer exchange for a SSD but they didn't have any. I'll get one on ebay. I've down loaded the Zorin OS.
 
Update... I've just installed Zorin Lite on the Panasonic Toughbook and did a fresh install so no more Windows 10 on this machine.

What a huge improvement I can now watch videos and in full screen with no issues and its fast. The hard drive was always busy on Windows 10 and it isn't on Zorin. The toughbook works perfectly now.
 

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