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Received the laptop in a broken state. Former owner said "I was doing some work on it and it just shut down and would not boot again. Took it to Geek Squad and was told that the main board was shot and needed replaced."
Then he called me and told me that story. was asked to remove the HDD and make it so he (the original owner) could recover his old data. Mission accomplished on that. I was told to keep the laptop and if I got it working I could keep it. Got it working by removing the second bank of memory.
Next I installed kubuntu 8.10 on a external HDD(for clarification spinning platters). Went through the usual stuff updates and such. Decided to load a sony mem stick and it did not load/see it, also wireless when switched on before boot is not detected. According to Sony.com the wlan is atheros. Is that driver working out of the box or do I have to build the drivers for it.
One last thing will memtest89 kill a stick of memory if I used that tool to test the oem memory?
I've never heard of memtest86 damaging any memory stick. It simply reads and writes data to the stick and makes sure the process is successful. I don't know if kubuntu has it installed by default, but the madwifi drivers are likely to support it. If you can, try to find out the exact model of the wifi.