Most first replies I make here are to ask for more information. Before you post, here are some things to consider pasting in:
If you think this doesn't apply because you can't even get Linux to install, try downloading and burning a copy of Knoppix
, as long as the machine will boot from a CD you should be able to get the following.
1. If this is a question about getting a component PCI device working; soundcards, network cards, wireless network cards, video cards, etc... paste in the output of
Also remember, AGP cards are listed under lspci as well as vanilla pci cards.
Also remember that the onboard IDE controller is another PCI device.
Model numbers from the manufacturers are worthless. For example, a Dlink DWL-520 and a Dlink DWL-520+ have nothing to do with one another, and this took me about a week to sort out for people until I got the lspci listing off of one of them.
A Linksys WMP11 and a Linksys WMP11 have nothing to do with one another. Yeah, the same box, manual, slightly different label on the CD, and version 2.7 as opposed to v2.5, one is broadcom, the other prism2.5, one is unsupported the other is well supported, over supported even... by three different driver groups!
2. Next up, what kernel AND distro are you using, the VIA 8233 sound card worked in 2.4.16, then disappeared until 2.4.20. This is of course unless you are using Mandrake or SuSe who had working ALSA modules. When in doubt of the kernel:
3. If the problem stems from a laptop pcmcia card, similar info to /sbin/lspci can be found from:
That is of course unless its a Cardbus card, they're pretty easy to tell apart, it'll be marked on the card, it'll probably be a big selling point on the packing, the manual, etc. too. Cardbus cards appear under /sbin/lspci, pretty neat eh?
4. ISA cards, more fun then a very small barrel of rabid monkeys! Well, really, these only pop up these days for people that are refurbing their old Pentium 1 or 2 era crate into a learning box. Crack the case, get all the info off of the card, random goop on the only big chip in the middle of it, and type it all in here. These aren't that much fun, but they're good for the job, I've got a few machines around with old vibra "sb" module based sound cards and a few 3com 3c509s still rockin' the world wide whatever.
5. When in doubt, drop in some logs. For instance, the command: "dmesg", is literally, the kernel ring buffer, its a record of everything the kernel saw as it loaded, in order. If it didn't see it, its not listed, hence the use of "lspci". If it did see it and its just acting quirky, or not as it should, drop in the part of "dmesg" that mentions your component. This is a big one for USB devices, specifically Compact Flash adapters. Other good ones, bits of /var/log/messages (which is where dmesg is supposed to hard log), /var/log/XFree86.0.log, /var/log/syslog (not usually though, more for software).
6. Most of this info, when posted, is gonna get fed into www.google.com/linux
or into the search option here, or both. Try it out, try a search through this place's four hundred thousand posts, it might be well covered. Also remember that anything you run accross out there or here, may be quite outdated, which is more then often the case with hardware, two kernels later and the entire world has changed, not to even touch the insane differences between 2.4.x and 2.2.x
7. USB devices... these can be a pain as well. There is an equivalent pci command: "/sbin/lsusb" Again, most of the above is important too, check the output of the command, "dmesg" and take a look at the device ID and the whether you get the ugly phrase "Device not claimed by any active driver." Also, you may want to compare your device to:
, I'm not a big fan of HCLs, but this one is pretty good... heck, I've posted there in the past.
( Thanks to faheyd
for reminding me to add some info for USB devices. )
P.S. Anyone that does a lot of responses here, please go ahead and mail me with anything you think I should add to the above list.
P.P.S. I just noticed that this sub-forum, just Hardware, hit one million page views. Remember that the answer you seek and the way that you get it may be the way the next twenty poor guys google there way here for that same answer later. Give as precise information as possible and it'll help more people later.