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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 02-10-2007, 06:34 PM   #1
Pd106
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CAN'T INSTALL ANY LINUX ON Philips x56 LAPTOP


Hi,

I've heard so many great things about Linux I thought I'd try it (I'm a complete beginner). Unfortunately, I can't install or run from LiveCD ANY distribution at all on my new Philips Freevents x56 laptop. I've tried the newest Ubuntu 6, Suse 10.1, Puppy Linux, even Fedora 7 Live CD. Always the same problem - it hangs up during installation. The messages vary depending on distro, but from what little I can gather, and what I've found out by Googling the problem, it's something to do with the wireless adapter. There are a couple of posts on other forums that claim to have the problem kind of sorted (see Neemz at ubuntuforums) but the advice is too advanced for me to follow.
Is there any hope for me?
I'm sorry if I sound like a real beginner; I would learn more about linux before submitting any posts here, but that's the very problem - I can't even get it started.
I would be glad if someone could talk me through any proposed solution. Thanks.

Incidentally, it looks as though there are problems with the Philips Freevents x52 as well.

Last edited by Pd106; 02-11-2007 at 12:43 AM.
 
Old 02-10-2007, 07:23 PM   #2
stress_junkie
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I'm surprised that the Ubuntu and Puppy wouldn't run. The others don't surprise me.

Does your computer have at least 256 megabytes of memory? That is one system requirement that will cause problems if it is missing. Puppy may not require that much memory but the others do.

I looked for Phillips Freevents. I found the following web page:

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/buyer/reviews...amium-x56.html

The web page suggests that the computer may come with less than 256 megabytes of memory.

If you have less than 256 megabytes of memory there are some distributions that cater to very limited hardware. I recently saw one that only required 32 megabytes of memory. There is a group of distributions that tries to keep their entire distribution under 50 megabytes.

Last edited by stress_junkie; 02-10-2007 at 07:28 PM.
 
Old 02-10-2007, 08:06 PM   #3
syg00
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Maybe you don't need a new distro but an old one - try Ubuntu 5.10 and see how it goes.
 
Old 02-10-2007, 11:48 PM   #4
Pd106
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It's not a RAM issue

Hi again,

It's definitely not a lack of RAM - I have 1GB of that. It's just that the graphics can use up to 256MB of it. The specs for my machine are as follows (I only got it last November):

PROCESSOR Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 (1.86GHz) RAM 1GB DDR2 GRAPHICS Intel GMA950 integrated (up to 256MB) DRIVES 80GB SATA hard disk, DVDRW DL SCREEN 12.1in TFT (1280 x 800) PORTS3x USB2, 1x mini-FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, 56k modem, PC Card slot, ExpressCard, VGA, S-Video, memory card reader SIZE 297 x 213 x 37mm WEIGHT 1.85kg WARRANTY 1 year RTB.

I haven't tried an old version of Ubuntu yet, but I did retry Suse 10.1 just now and it seemed to install ok. After the installation rebooting gave me the hang up again. Here's some of the last few lines it showed me before dying:

8139cp: pci dev 0000:03:04.0 (id 10ec:8139 rev 10) is not an 8139C+ compatible chip
8139cp: Try the "8139too" driver instead


...then further down it read:

ipw3945: Detected Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection
8139too Fast Ethernet driver 0.9.27
ipw3945: ipw3945.ucode load failed: Reason -2
ipw3945: Could not read microcode: -2
ipw4945: probe of 0000:01:00.0 failed with error -2


This is why I think it's to do with the wireless business. Neemz at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=287939&page=2 seems to have it sorted for ubuntu. I just wish I could understand what he was saying. I'm not experienced enough to do whatever he recommends to sort this out. Any ideas?
 
Old 02-11-2007, 12:39 AM   #5
syg00
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Looks like that 8139too driver is the problem - that's why I suggested the old Ubuntu. Has different options on the Ethernet driver.
neemz got up without the wireless, so I think that's a diversion.

That's a pretty serious work around for a distro like Ubuntu - I'd wait until they apply some fixes to their iso.
For Suse, I'd be using a liveCD to set things up so the module doesn't load, and see if you can get it booted.
Then you've got to get the module built right - I don't do Suse, so I can't help there.

All up, not pretty.
 
Old 02-11-2007, 11:06 AM   #6
Randux
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On most live CDs you can tell it not to discover network hardware, not to use ACPI, not to use pcmcia, etc. Check the boot options and you will probably be able to start most live CDs and then just enable your ethernet card.
 
Old 02-11-2007, 04:57 PM   #7
seelenbild28
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did you check your ram by memtest86? if some sectors of your ram are bad you will observe strange behavior... check it first
 
Old 02-11-2007, 07:07 PM   #8
Pd106
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Install ok, reboot not so good.

I took Randix's advice and told Suse to disable ACPI, etc. on boot up. That didn't work at all. Same problem happened as before. I also tried Memtest86 and had no problems there.

By hunting around on the internet I found out that you can tell Suse to do this:

brokenmodules=8139too

which should disable the driver on boot up. Sure enough, this worked insofar as it permitted the installation of Suse 10.2 to go ahead ok. So I now have the thing installed. The problem is that when, during the installation, the computer reboots, it can't boot from the hard drive. Neither of the startup options "OpenSUSE 10.2" or "openSUSE 10.2 (failsafe)" worked for me. Here's where it got to:

8139cp: 10/100 PCI Ethernet driver v1.2 (Mar 22, 2004)
8139cp: 0000:03:04.0: This (id 10ec :8139 rev 10) is not an 8139C+ compatible chip
8139cp: 0000:03:04.0: Try the "8139too" driver instead


and at that point the whole thing grinds to a halt. I don't understand why it tries the 8139too driver if I tell it at the start not to do it with the brokenmodules=8139too line, but like I said, I'm very new to all this, so I probably don't know/understand something.

I did a little more hunting around on the net and found that the Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG needs a seperate/different driver. The problem is: I don't know how to install it if Linux wont start (I don't actually know how to do it if it did start).

http://ipw3945.sourceforge.net/
(the stuff here is too complicated for me - can anyone shed any light on it?)

Now, I don't know much about anything, but isn't it possible to recompile a kernel to include different drivers for these things? I don't know how to recompile kernels yet (I'd learn but I can't get Linux to work). Is it possible to recompile a kernel from Windows XP? Also, once the kernel is recompiled, how do I get it to be Suse, for example?

The one thing I've not tried yet is the above suggestion to give Ubuntu 5.1 a go. I have to download it first.
In the meantime, does anyone know what I could do?

Is there something I can tell Linux so as to ignore anything to do just with the wireless adapter as it's booting. If it gave the whole thing a big wide ignore during start up, I could get the thing running and fight it from inside. Any suggestions?
 
Old 02-11-2007, 08:10 PM   #9
Pd106
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If I had a hammer...

I actually unscrewed the damn laptop, disconnected the damn Intel Pro/Wireless adapter, unscrewed it and yanked it out. What did Suse have to say to that?

PCI: Enabling device 0000:03:06.0 (0015 -> 0017)
ACPI: PCI interrupt 0000:03:06.0[A] -> GSI 19 (level, low) -> IRQ 225
ohci1394: fw-host0: OHCI-1394 1.1 (PCI): IRQ=[225] MMIO=[ff300000-ff3007ff] Max Packet=[2048]
IR/IT contexts=[8/8]
sdhci: SDHCI controller found at 0000:03:06.2 [1217:7120] (rev 1)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:03:06.2[A] -> GSI 19 (level, low) -> IRQ 225
sdhci:slot0: Unknown controller version (16). You may experience problems.
mmc0: SDHCI at 0xffbff800 irq 225 PIO


And that's the end of that. Death again.
Grrrr!!!

Anyone any ideas what to do now?
 
Old 02-11-2007, 08:27 PM   #10
Larry Webb
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I can only help with one problem, when I started using linux approximately four months ago I wanted to stomp my computer into the ground. It's first hate and then comes love. I still dual boot but use the other about 10 to 20 percent of the time and that's for programs such as dreamweaver. I have come to love linux and what it stands for. I can't help you with your other problem but hang in there and it'll come around, don't try and push it to fast.
 
Old 02-14-2007, 03:55 PM   #11
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pd106
I took Randix's advice and told Suse to disable ACPI, etc. on boot up. That didn't work at all. Same problem happened as before. I also tried Memtest86 and had no problems there.

By hunting around on the internet I found out that you can tell Suse to do this:

brokenmodules=8139too

which should disable the driver on boot up. Sure enough, this worked insofar as it permitted the installation of Suse 10.2 to go ahead ok. So I now have the thing installed. The problem is that when, during the installation, the computer reboots, it can't boot from the hard drive. Neither of the startup options "OpenSUSE 10.2" or "openSUSE 10.2 (failsafe)" worked for me. Here's where it got to:

8139cp: 10/100 PCI Ethernet driver v1.2 (Mar 22, 2004)
8139cp: 0000:03:04.0: This (id 10ec :8139 rev 10) is not an 8139C+ compatible chip
8139cp: 0000:03:04.0: Try the "8139too" driver instead


and at that point the whole thing grinds to a halt. I don't understand why it tries the 8139too driver if I tell it at the start not to do it with the brokenmodules=8139too line, but like I said, I'm very new to all this, so I probably don't know/understand something.

I did a little more hunting around on the net and found that the Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG needs a seperate/different driver. The problem is: I don't know how to install it if Linux wont start (I don't actually know how to do it if it did start).

http://ipw3945.sourceforge.net/
(the stuff here is too complicated for me - can anyone shed any light on it?)

Now, I don't know much about anything, but isn't it possible to recompile a kernel to include different drivers for these things? I don't know how to recompile kernels yet (I'd learn but I can't get Linux to work). Is it possible to recompile a kernel from Windows XP? Also, once the kernel is recompiled, how do I get it to be Suse, for example?

The one thing I've not tried yet is the above suggestion to give Ubuntu 5.1 a go. I have to download it first.
In the meantime, does anyone know what I could do?

Is there something I can tell Linux so as to ignore anything to do just with the wireless adapter as it's booting. If it gave the whole thing a big wide ignore during start up, I could get the thing running and fight it from inside. Any suggestions?
If the brokenmodules line works you may be able to add it to your boot config and you will be able to boot from your hard drive just as you booted from the CD, there shouldn't be any difference.

Disabling modules on startup is what I suggested- my suggestion was not limited to ACPI. You seem to be making progress. I don't know why none of these distros support your hardware and that nobody else has happened upon these errors as well.

If you have too many blank CDs lying about, you might consider burning a few more live CDs to try namely Kanotix and Slax. Both have pretty good hardware detection/support. Ubuntu is also a good choice.

You can certainly recompile the kernel with additional or different drivers and you can also create an initrd with modules to support your hardware without having to compile the kernel. Kernel building from winbloze is not really a viable option. But all this thrashing doesn't sound very productive. The simpler way is to burn live CDs from major distros until you can find one that tolerates your lappy.

And I always say to anyone who'll listen that before buying a new machine they should burn a few live CDs and boot them on it to make sure it works.
 
Old 02-15-2007, 06:16 AM   #12
Pd106
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I have tried many different distros. I had many blank CDs - not any more! Here are the distros I've tried: Vector Linux 5.8, Debian 3.1, Engarde 3.0.12, Fedora 7 Live CD (test), Ubuntu 6.10, PC Linux Live CD, Feisty, Suse 10.1, Suse 10.2, Puppy Linux, and even a very old (2001 vintage) version of Mandrake. And none of those work.

I've tried typing in brokenmodules=8239too into the prompt when the thing boots from the hard disk and that doesn't seem to work the way it did just for installing from the CD - this is with Suse 10.2 by the way. When you say about adding it to boot config, do you mean something other than that? (I am a newbie after all).

And I would read all about recompiling kernels the moment Linux actually started running at all on my laptop.

It's not true that other people don't have this problem: everyone with a Philips Freevents x50+ has this problem. As I said before, there are people struggling with it on the Ubuntu forums, and also there's some stuff about it here for the x52:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d.php?t=475612

No one seems to have any solutions. It's something to do with the inbuilt Intel Pro/Wireless netword card and IRQs, etc.

But how do I add brokenmodules to the boot config? Do you mean just typing it in at the start? I tried that for intallation and it worked, tried it for boot from hard disk and it didn't. Or does adding something to the boot config mean something different and I'm missing something here?
 
Old 02-16-2007, 12:01 AM   #13
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pd106
I have tried many different distros. I had many blank CDs - not any more! Here are the distros I've tried: Vector Linux 5.8, Debian 3.1, Engarde 3.0.12, Fedora 7 Live CD (test), Ubuntu 6.10, PC Linux Live CD, Feisty, Suse 10.1, Suse 10.2, Puppy Linux, and even a very old (2001 vintage) version of Mandrake. And none of those work.
Wow that's really bad! The only thing I can say is that there are distros which are famed for their hardware support but aside from Ubuntu none on your list qualify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pd106
I've tried typing in brokenmodules=8239too into the prompt when the thing boots from the hard disk and that doesn't seem to work the way it did just for installing from the CD - this is with Suse 10.2 by the way. When you say about adding it to boot config, do you mean something other than that? (I am a newbie after all).
You can add parameters to the boot config. How you do it depends on which bootloader you are using. You have to edit the configuration file and add the command in the right way. Do some searches here for LILO or GRUB depending on which one you use and you will find examples of people adding parameters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pd106
No one seems to have any solutions. It's something to do with the inbuilt Intel Pro/Wireless netword card and IRQs, etc.
I've an Intel Pro/Wireless card and I've run many distros and BSD flavours without any problems. It may not be the same card as yours.

I think you need to get somebody who understands hardware to look into this. The sdhci message you got after you disconnected your ethernet card doesn't look encouraging. Maybe try techimo.com forums if you search the manufacturer site and the web and you don't find an answer. It may be some other controller that's causing the problems.

It may still be worth burning a Kanotix or Knoppix live CD and seeing if it will work.

Last edited by Randux; 02-16-2007 at 12:03 AM.
 
Old 02-23-2007, 09:31 AM   #14
x56unix
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I had the same problem with x56 philips and went through all the testing
with different distros but no luck with linux.
The only Unix that works on x56 is FreeBSD or any other distros based on it.

I have FreeBSD installed on x56 and works fine. I have configured everything
resolution 1280x800, sound and wifi as all the rest of hardware works straight away.
Try it.
www.freebsd.org

Last edited by x56unix; 02-23-2007 at 09:39 AM.
 
Old 03-16-2007, 11:27 AM   #15
nl1at
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Maybe it is a acpi problem...
I dont think the realtek driver is the problem
If u got a knopix live cd try booting it with:
boot: knoppix acpi=off
I have got a acer aspire 5684 and the 3945 wireless adapter gives me much troubble and it hangs if i do not use the acpi=off option.
Maybe worth a try
 
  


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