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Overall, it's a great laptop. There are a few things I can't get working though...
First, there's no DMA, this is probably the biggest problem. HD access is slow, CD/DVD drive access is slow.... it's sorta ugly... I can't view any videos because the computer can't access the data fast enough to play it.
Could be just that Slackware's kernel doesn't have the right DMA settings, I'll look into this more later.
Second, there's no 3D acceleration. This laptop has an ATI X300 PCI Express x16 in it, which, I have no idea if PCI Express works with Linux yet. The FGLRX drivers from ATI are working fine with X, running at 1280x800 resolution, but glxgears gives only 100-200 FPS. I have /dev/shm mounted as tmpfs, a trick I learned on my previous desktop with ATI card, but still nothing more. AGP Gart doesn't insert right (obviously, since it's not AGP), but I don't know how PCI Express works under Linux....
Third, I can't get the 2.6 kernel to work. I have Slackware -current installed on this computer (10.1 upgraded), but whenver I try out the new kernel it won't work. The problem is it won't detect the ATA Disk Drive, and I can't figure out which option I need to get it to work. The model number is HTS548060M9AT00 a Hitachi 60 GB laptop drive. It works fine in the Slackware 2.4 stock kernel, but even with EVERYTHING in the ATA/etc section built in to the kernel on the stock Slackware 2.6 kernel, I can't get it to detect the drive...
Finally, there's no sound. I haven't actually looked into this, but when I run alsaconf it can't detect a sound card. I've been too busy trying to get the first three to work to bother trying this one.
I've been trying for a couple of days now to find information on these problems, and I can't find anything. Beyond these problems, it is, as far as I can tell, the ultimate laptop.
Okay, I just sort of solved my 2.6 kernel problem, I at least know what the problem is now.
The 2.6 kernel doesn't support this HD or IDE bus, at all. I stripped the options bare in my 2.4 kernel, with only the Universal EIDE enabled, and it worked fine. As soon as I disabled that option it had the same effect as the 2.6 kernel had. So, EIDE supports more computers in 2.4? What?
I just tried the 2.6.12 kernel that just came out recently, and the same thing, no luck.
My 2.4 kernel is actually 2.4.29, I'm going to go test 2.4.31 and see if that is broken too. If so, then I can figure out which version actually broke the support.
I am trying the same thing, and having the same problems with 188.8.131.52. The HD is a 40 gig model TOSHIBA MK4026GAX. I hope that the answer below is NOT the actual answer. Does the 184.108.40.206 kernel support this drive and if so, how do I go about getting it to work. The error I recieve after the many many compiles of the kernel is as follows:
VFS: Cannot open root device "303" or unknown-block(3,3)
Please append a corrrect "root=" boot option
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown block(3,3)
OK. I have gotten past the initial problem and now /dev/sda3 (my HD) is found and the filesystem. Yet, bootup pauses at the root fsck and I see that /dev/hda3 is not found and swap on /dev/hda2 is not found. Where do I need to tell it that the swap is now /dev/sda2....and why or what is still searching for /dev/hda3????
You must change fstab accoridingly. Once I changed /dev/hda in fstab to meet the new sda format...it worked flawlessly.
Cool, glad you got it figured out. You might want to check Intel's website for drivers. My Toshiba laptop has Intel AGP, wireless and wired NICS and chipset. They do offer drivers, but I must say they are lacking in the ease of installment. I expected more out of Intel.
I'm the same notebook as you, but have a 80Gb Hitachi drive.
When I upgrade my kernel to 2.4.21-27 and above, my linux can't find the root partition as well.
How did you get yours to work?
I would like to advice you to upgrade to 2.6.* kernels. With the latest 2.6.13 (time of writing).
First compile the 2.6.* kernel as per usual with all the correct settings. Make sure you compile the Intel PIIXn chipsets support (Device Drivers--> ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL Support) into the kernel since this is the Intel mobile chipset driver.
As usual copy your kernel image to /boot and install the kernel modules.
Hey there i was wanting to know if anybody could tell me how to get past this problem with my dell I 9300 hard drive. I have found alot of great info on this post and on others as well. Unfortunately I am at work right now and do not have my laptop with me. But from what i have found.......If i install slackware 10.1 it does install and works ok for the most part but it is slow and choppy too. That is running kernel 2.4.29 i can upgrade to 2.4.31 and it runs better but still along the same lines. If if try to install any 2.6.X it kernel panics on me every time. This is typically what i get.
VFS: Cannot open root device "402" or unknown-block(4,2)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown block(4,2)
So i did alot of digging. The Dell has a 100GB HD in it and it is a PATA HD from what i can find out. I also (correct me if i am wrong) found out that it is still an IDE drive but in linux is looked at as scsi sata drive. So with that being said and the research i have done, I recompiled the kernel for the 100000th time and i turned off all ata ide functions and enabled scsi, scsi sata support and the intel pIIx as well.
So at this point i still get the kernel panic but the number has changed from 402 to 802 or 804 block 8,4or2. Any ways i have tried in the kernel (by the way was 2.6.13) turning off all the scsi and there is an option for ata sata support for pata drives. This is a new feature of the kernel or i should say that the kernel is supporting. I still get the same error. I would not be fighting this so much to make it right if i was not certain that the HDD should be getting seen as SDA4 opposed to HDA4 but i ran the live version of the gentoo linux and it sees everything just fine as sda.
Please help i am ready to start beating my self because i am running out of ideas.