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Old 07-06-2003, 08:40 PM   #1
skogs
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Question Compaq Presario Laptop 1200Z/1201Z


In another post on these forums, it was mentioned that the 1200Z would not load RedHat 7.2 at all unless you aggressively disabled USB support on the damn thing.

Since USB is a very useful, easy, and functional standard...everybody uses it and needs it. The problem has not been fixed with later releases of software, indeed I have attempted RedHat, Mandrake, Slackware, Knoppix, and Icepack...all of which seem to hang in exactly the same place during install.

Is there any chance that anybody has made this darn thing work in the last year since that orginial post happened? As mentioned before, the BIOS settings for this particular laptop remind me of a cartoon...there is no depth there. No real settings. Just boot order and Bios password. I don't think it even admits to having a bios version or anything, and compaq naturally won't comment about the issue and produce a bios that can actually DO something on the damn thing.

I desparately want to migrate my laptop to linux...even a dual boot would be fine, but I need to get the damn thing working completely before I remove winblows.

Any wisdom out there?

Thank you. By the way, the RedHat 9 UNLEASHED book is well worth the US$45 spent. Excellent clarity and flow to the information.
 
Old 07-06-2003, 10:56 PM   #2
akaBeaVis
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Registered: Apr 2003
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Distribution: Slack 9.1,10 Mandrake 10,10.1, FedCore 2,3, Mepis 2004, Knoppix 3.6,3.7, SuSE 9.1, FreeBSD 5.2
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You've probably already done this a hundred times, but I'm still strangely compelled to ask: you've checked for a bios upgrade for this notebook on compaq's website? I was amazed to find one there for a very old notebook someone gave to me, a 400cx.
 
Old 07-07-2003, 12:15 AM   #3
skogs
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saddly...

the bios is retarded. no options. The only update on the compaq site is some obscure BIOS/ROM update that fixes some glitch with a certain piece of software in windows that I don't even use. Since my machine works fine...I'm not really inclined to flash my bios for no reason. The bios does not seem to add any simple features like 'disable PnP' or anything like that. PhoenixBios...gotta hit F10 to get into it..really dumb.

Compaq hides the bios screen and everything...its like they don't want you to know your computer HAS text modes.
 
Old 07-07-2003, 02:31 AM   #4
skogs
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Here is the response that the Compaq Canned Monkeys gave me...

Nathan,

Thank you for writing back.

I see that you need information about the BIOS and the chip set in your
Notebook.

The BIOS software has a number of different roles, but its most
important role is to load the operating system. When you turn on your
computer and the microprocessor tries to execute its first instruction,
it has to get that instruction from somewhere.

It cannot get it from the operating system because the operating system
is located on a hard disk, and the microprocessor cannot get to it
without some instructions that tell it how. The BIOS provides those
instructions. Some of the other common tasks that the BIOS performs
include:

* A power-on self-test (POST) for all of the different hardware
components in the system to make sure everything is working properly

* Activating other BIOS chips on different cards installed in the
computer - For example, SCSI and graphics cards often have their own
BIOS chips.

* Providing a set of low-level routines that the operating system uses
to interface to different hardware devices - It is these routines
that give the BIOS its name. They manage things like the keyboard,
the screen, and the serial and parallel ports, especially when the
computer is booting.

* Managing a collection of settings for the hard disks, clock, etc.

The BIOS is special software that interfaces the major hardware
components of your computer with the operating system. It is usually
stored on a Flash memory chip on the motherboard, but sometimes the chip
is another type of ROM.

When you turn on your computer, the BIOS does several things. This is
its usual sequence:

1) Check the CMOS Setup for custom settings
2) Load the interrupt handlers and device drivers
3) Initialize registers and power management
4) Perform the power-on self-test (POST)
5) Display system settings
6) Determine which devices are bootable
7) Initiate the bootstrap sequence

The first thing the BIOS does is check the information stored in a tiny
(64 bytes) amount of RAM located on a complementary metal oxide
semiconductor (CMOS) chip. The CMOS Setup provides detailed information
particular to your system and can be altered as your system changes. The
BIOS uses this information to modify or supplement its default
programming as needed. We will talk more about these settings later.

Interrupt handlers are small pieces of software that act as translators
between the hardware components and the operating system. For example,
when you press a key on your keyboard, the signal is sent to the
keyboard interrupt handler, which tells the CPU what it is and passes it
on to the operating system. The device drivers are other pieces of
software that identify the base hardware components such as keyboard,
mouse, hard drive and floppy drive. Since the BIOS is constantly
intercepting signals to and from the hardware, it is usually copied, or
shadowed, into RAM to run faster.

For more information you regarding the BIOS, I recommend you visit the
following URL:

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/bios1.htm

Note : Copy and paste the URL in the Address bar in the browser.
Click next page in the web site to get full details about the BIOS.

To get details about the chip set details, I recommend you contact our
CTO Tech Support technicians at 1-888-202-4711. We will be happy to
assist you for information on Presario products.

I hope this information helps you. Please reply if you have any
comments or questions, or if I can help you further.

Regards,

Manoj V
HP Consumer eSupport

For additional or future service assistance, you can post your question
to the Customer Communities at: http://www.compaq.com/communities

"Our advice is strictly limited to the question(s) asked and is based on
the information provided to us. HP does not assume any responsibility
or liability for the advice given and shall not be liable for any
direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages in
connection with the use of this information. Always back up your data.
For more information, including technical information updates, please
visit our Web site at http://www.hp.com/go/support."

<!-- *KBU-CCS_0901_1.00-KBU* -->

Original Message Follows:
-------------------------

well, I thank you for the suggestion of resetting the bios, but since
the
bios is pretty stark...well it didn't work. Is there perhaps a
'technician'
version of the bios for this machine? One that actually has settings in
it?
I would like to try and disable the PnP settings, as well as a few other
things that may be giving headaches. I have searched quite a bit for
information on the 1200 laptop and linux...and seems that everybody has
had
trouble with it. Only one instance of it actually getting running, and
I
can't even get a hold of that individual anymore.
I guess I am sort of an enthusiast, and I usually build my own machines.
This laptop is the only exception, as it is mighty difficult to attain
parts
to form my own brand of laptop with. Is there no option other than
telling
me to go talk to RedHat? There is one bios/rom patch on the compaq
website
for this model, but I am pretty sure I've already installed it...I
cannot be
sure since there is no revision numbers or anything on the bios that are
easily readable...I can read them, but then the bios link on the website
does not give any information either to compare it with. I think its
revision or version 6.0. The website seems to say that the bios flash
is
simply for one obscure program that I don't even run and therefore have
no
problem with. Can you elaborate on what exactly that bios does?

So that you know, Knoppix is the easiest brand of linux to test with
right
now, as it is designed to boot off a CD and be used as a demonstration
disc.
The last line in the Knoppix startup refers to the cardmgr starting. In
other distros, it refers to usb. Any information about the chipset used
in
this computer would be very useful.

thank you,

nathan jay skoglund





----- Original Message -----
From: "Compaq Consumer Support" <CompaqConsumer@cs.brigade.com>
To: <skogy@hotmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 10:57 PM
Subject: Re: 1201Z or 1200Z [1259785] (KMM6571014V50238L0KM)




Dear Nathan,

I understand that USB ports are not probed in Linux and it locks up.

As a preliminary troubleshooting step I suggest you reset the BIOS and
check if it helps.

To reset the computer to its default BIOS settings, perform the
following steps:

1. Restart the computer.
2. Press F10 key when the red Compaq logo appears during Startup.
3. Select English for language.
4. Select "Set Defaults and Exit."

The BIOS of the computer will be set to default.

If the problem persists, I suggest you contact RedHat technical support
for further assistance.

You can refer to the following link for assistance.

http://www.usbman.com/linuxusb.htm

Note: We do not have test data regarding installation of Linux in
your notebook.You can contact the manufacturer of the Linux OS for
further inquiries.

Regards,

Sashi
HP Consumer eSupport

For additional or future service assistance, you can post your question
to the Customer Communities at: http://www.compaq.com/communities

"Our advice is strictly limited to the question(s) asked and is based on
the information provided to us. HP does not assume any responsibility
or liability for the advice given and shall not be liable for any
direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages in
connection with the use of this information. Always back up your data.
For more information, including technical information updates, please
visit our Web site at http://www.hp.com/go/support."



Original Message Follows:
-------------------------

FIRST_NAME: Nathan
LAST_NAME: Skoglund
EMAIL: skogy@hotmail.com
SN: 2V19JC2ZHT1B
PRODUCT_TYPE: Notebook
MODEL: 1201Z or 1200Z
COUNTRY: United States
OS: Windows XP Home Edition
SKILL: Advanced
PROBLEM_AREA: Locking Up
INTERMITTENT: no
WORKED_BEFORE: no
HARDWARE_CHANGED: no
HTTP_REFERRER: consumeremail
REFERENCE_NO: 1259785
MFG_DATE: 8/17/2001


COMMENTS:
I would like to load Red Hat 9.0 on this laptop. Unfortunately it seems
to lock up whenever the USB ports are probed...even with nothing
connected
to them. Obviously the controller has issues. This has been tested and
reproduced by multiple people, and I myself have reproduced this with
Red
Hat, Mandrake, Slackware, Icepack, and KNoppix. All seem to hang at the
exact same spot on install while initializing USB ports...and can be
avoided by passing a kernel command to not load USB. Please help. I
would appreciate any aid you could give.
 
Old 07-07-2003, 02:58 AM   #5
skogs
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for what its worth...this is the original post...which does by the way allow me to boot knoppix...we'll see about the rest...I really want USB though...I have no idea how to configure it by hand so that it works without the switch.

<a href="http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread.php?s=&threadid=11784&highlight=100Z">Originial Post</a>
 
Old 07-08-2003, 02:48 AM   #6
skogs
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I still need a little bit of help from sombeody with a 1200Z

Well, I can successfully boot/install when I have the 'nousb' function passed to the kernel, but then what? Seems the modem/nic card (which is joined and all one unit on a little expansion port on the bottom) is not correctly setup. It seems to recognize the modem part ok, but the ethernet is not working.

Any ideas? I've tried searching google many times, and seems that as soon as people figure it out they stop posting...or else they just give up.

nate
 
Old 07-08-2003, 03:48 AM   #7
schatoor
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Location: a tiny place caled hendrik ido ambacht in the netherlands
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skogs, I have an idea. It's a long shot, but here is my sugestions.

Try booting woth the development kernels, you know, 2.5.x. They seemed to have better USB support. I don't know if it will work, but I don't think you have any thing to lose.
 
Old 07-11-2003, 12:26 AM   #8
arseovrteakettl
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We solved this problem for Lindows -- it's the PCMCIA that's hanging. Have a look at this thread over at lindows forums:

https://forum.lindows.com/forum/show...b=5&o=0&fpart=
 
Old 07-11-2003, 09:40 PM   #9
skogs
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hmmm...interesting. thank you for the post. This is a new technique that I was not aware of. My 1200Z does indeed boot up ok with the nousb option...and after x starts I do have ~some~ usb function. I plug in an optical mouse and the thing has a severe pull to the right and such. However both mouse and touchpad will work...both pulling to the right until I log out and back in without a mouse attached.

So...if I can actually recompile a kernel 2.5.74 I think is the latest that I could download the other day...then I should disable APM...but leave ACPI? Roger. I will try this to the best of my ability. I have been having a great deal of trouble compiling a kernel though. Continually get errors. Also, my dependencies are really irking me off. It says that I need things that I either have(with updated versions no less) or some things(that have dependancies) that are installed that I would like to uninstall. This really is tweaking me off, and I've tried for probably around 9 hours now to recompile a working kernel.

Perhaps I could simply edit the kernel I am using?

Last edited by skogs; 07-11-2003 at 09:41 PM.
 
  


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