My"Orange Edition" CF-19 (MK1) reboot!

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by thewanderlustking, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. thewanderlustking

    thewanderlustking Notebook Evangelist

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    Well my orange beast is back after two weeks of being borrowed and abused. I have my nice, freshly built MK6, but instead I am using this old, SLOW thing. I have at least two threads out there "how do I fix this," so I think it is time to actually DO something with it.

    So, why haven't I yet? Well, it works. I use it for pretty critical tuning and diagnostics on my cars, and for work. It is setup pretty butter. I know where everything is. I have my menus tweaked to perfection. For instance, my Panasonic mene has the manuals for this, all the software links, Panasonic Driver Download Manager, and several other very useful Panny type links. Including the best one, a link here (also in my favorites bar for Exploder)!

    This machine also has 6-7yrs of junk. Broken software, registry junk, etc. Why not do a backup and reload? Mainly, I can't afford the aggravation of loosing anything. And this is a MK1 running Windows 7. Somehow, I am running a legit version of W7 too. I either hacked it perfectly years ago when I built it, or figured out a way to get a legit copy. I think I put a Dell OEM image into it and changed out the logo.

    What are its problems?
    1) Slow. Mostly just on the internet. It can take 15 seconds or more to load webpages. This site kills it with all the silly flash ads crap. And to make matters worse, I stick with Explorer. The others just don't do it for me. Illogical, but whatever.

    1.1) Key strokes sometimes lag on the internet. Especially the backspace. I type a good bit faster than they appear.

    2) A little rough around the edges. Needs its paint touched up.

    3) Palmrest. This deserves its own tab. The paint on it has gotten soft and dull from oil, grease, cleaners and whatnot where the hands always rest. Otherwise, the paint masking lines are PERFECT. I got them so crisp when I did it that you would probably need a magnifying glass to tell it was painted by "hand."

    4) Hardware upgrades? Not really much to upgrade, more like missing stuff to replace... I need new screen/screw bumpers. All the bottom case screws are missing. For some reason my GPS side bump is missing? (Probably just on my workbench.)

    5) Keyboard, this gets its own tabs. Tuning at night sucks. I LOVE the standard keyboard for typing. I don't really "need" to type much on this, mostly just taking notes on tuning changes (so enough I still need a usable keyboard). I "might" swap in my chiclet backlit keyboard and put this in my MK6.

    5.1) A USB gooseneck light or modding the bottom of the screen with a couple LEDs might work too. If I can tap into a USB port (or 5v) up in the screen lid this might be a feasible alternative to the backlit keyboard.

    5.2) And the one thing I HATE about CF-19, the arrow keys. This is one small detail that has almost pushed me into a CF-30 or CF-31 for tuning multiple times. I use the arrows constantly to move around and adjust maps. If I don't have light to see them, I am still messing them up. I don't know a solution for this. I can move and remap keys, but no really good ergonomic layout presents itself. If the shift and up key could be swapped, shift now up, and right moved over and now down, this would work. But I can't make the keys match that.

    A possible solution is a separate keypad or something like that. It would need to be affixed somehow to the laptop as I don't have a desk when tuning and need an all-in-one solution.

    I would LOVE some sort of surface mount low profile keypad that I can modify into the palmrest with arrow keys on one side of the touchpad, and a couple other keys on the other.

    Years ago I found a super cool USB Oscilloscope controller with a jog wheel and everything. I can't find it anymore. I found some video shuttles that could work. Something like that could serve dual purpose, but they were on the big side too.

    What is the plan?

    1) Clean up. I do a super clean on this every year or so. But time to do so again. Dump old junk, clean up old files, registry cleaner, all that. Get it as minimal as possible for the next step.

    2) The SSD drive upgrade has lived on my workbench for over a year now. I want to get that in here without having to start over fresh. I don't think Acronis will let me do this. This has been the deal killer every time.

    3) Sort or eliminate anti-virus. This may actually be my biggest speed issue.

    4) Determine what hardware mods to do, if any. Any invasive ones will need to happen before repainting.

    5) Repaint, maybe...

    I have to remember though, this is a cheap MK1. If somebody offered me $200 for it, I would probably take it, but cleaned up without my data on it (obviously). Much more than $50 in parts or more than a days worth of work, also might not be worth it to me.

    Still, I have spent $200-300 and GOBS of time on a few newer faster machines and keep coming back to this one. Its blemishes, broken plastic bits, paint chips, and most of its other defects, don't usually bother me too much.

    So questions? For now I just have one... What is the best upgrade path to take with the SSD? Meaning should I install Vista on it, get my drivers working, then do an upgrade to W7? Then manually back up all my data, or just clone the drive over?

    In most instances, some version of a fresh upgrade is the best path. Not sure if that is the case here.

    I almost wish I could just transfer all the goodies over to my MK6, and sell this one. I actually have a potential buyer for a stripped down cheap tuning laptop (I just sold a car to him). I just keep holding onto this one for some reason.
     
    toughasnails likes this.
  2. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Buy another caddy
    Put in $35 SSD
    Put new caddy with SSD in CF19
    Do clean install of Win7
    Take a week and install drivers and get them all working.
    Upload tuning stuff.
    Transfer over anything you need from old drive after SSD Win7 is up and running.
    Save old drive for future "oh crud where is that file"
    Sell old CF19 with $35 SSD for $200.
    Spend $200 on new Toughbook stuff that you don't need but really want anyway.

    Or Format C:
    Install Linux anything
    Watch CF 19 mk1 run really good
    Sell CF19 for same $200 as a Linux box and let new owner deal with it.
    Spend $200 on new Toughbook stuff that you don't need but really want anyway.
     
    UNCNDL1 and toughasnails like this.
  3. SHEEPMAN!

    SHEEPMAN! Freelance

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    Send me the 50$ and I'll send you a gps cover thing and two keyboards. :D

    An aside: Why did they use that keyboard layout? CF-M34 has a smaller keyboard and the keys are "in the right place".
     
  4. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Because you can graduate engineering school with a D.
    Not all engineers are A students.
     
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  5. thewanderlustking

    thewanderlustking Notebook Evangelist

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    Sheepman, I found the GPS cover sitting on my workbench. I have no clue why I removed it from this machine. So you can keep that, but if your talking about two CF-19 emissive chiclet keyboards for $50, you have a deal! Working ones though lol...

    Lol Shawn! Yeah, because I need more Toughbook junk to mess with!

    I really wish the damn caddys weren't so expensive. Something about that magic $50 mark. I have the SSD already, I may only have paid $25 for it. LOL... I think the stopping point has been the time it takes to swap drives back and forth with a single caddy. Back to the above, I really should grab another one.

    I am digging through my original build thread for this and see if it offers any clues to the OS install path I went down. So far I am just rambling too much, big surprise. o_O

    I have also run it on Linux for ages now with the hidden "dual boot" trick. And ran it on Linux when I first bought it too. I just have so much software that is a pain to install in windows, I shudder to think about trying to do so with Linux using a VM... My primary software actually can be installed in Linux. But not the rest of the goodies I use almost as often.

    My biggest speed hog in windows is actually my anti-virus software. The MK1 locked up earlier when I hit the first post here. A few minutes later it unfroze and an AVG pop-up came up. Pretty sure that was caused by AVG phoning home.

    Yeah I can't really decipher how I finally got it the first time. On page three now lol... So I am going to try again to simply clone the drive over with Acronis. If that doesn't work, I will have to delve deeper.
     
  6. SHEEPMAN!

    SHEEPMAN! Freelance

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    I could tape a flashlight to the keyboards. They are both circa CF-18...one with additional yellow characters on the keys.
     
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  7. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Just sayin

    [​IMG]
     
  8. thewanderlustking

    thewanderlustking Notebook Evangelist

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    Mehhhh I am probably going to just live with it. I do like those USB goosenecks though! But, they cause me to loose my ip68 rating HAHA! The price of the backlit chiclets has come down enough to be a serious consideration. Especially when I have one on hand I can change out. But, I have to decide what I am doing with my MK6 CF-19 first....

    I may have one sold later today, but I already ordered another one. I am pretty indecisive what my final plan is going to be for these.

    Whatever.

    So I spent several hours falling asleep on the couch while doing updates on the MK1 here and the MK6. I cleaned out some old programs and made adjustments then did housecleaning with CCleaner. The MK1 seems noticeably quicker now. I didn't go on the internet, but it was booting up and down MUCH faster.

    So for now I will continue with the "free" version of the plan for this beastie. I am still hoping for a suggestion to use for free to clone the drive over to the SSD. Acronis "might" do it in the paid version, but the free guy doesn't. I actually HAD a paid version of Acronis... But for some reason it stopped working meh. No idea where it is now.
     
  9. UNCNDL1

    UNCNDL1 Notebook Deity

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    I thought of SuperDuper which I’ve used...but that is for Mac
    Search popped a Free HD Clone for windows, Clonzilla, and others.
    Try a few free ones and report back.
    Paid version of Acronis works very well.
    I did 4-5 Mk3 30’s with win 7 few years ago.
    That also works with 19’s MK 2-3 back in the day.
    Your time and energy is important...$50 seems like cheap insurance.
     
    Shawn likes this.
  10. UNCNDL1

    UNCNDL1 Notebook Deity

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