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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 01-18-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
yonnieboy
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Laptop locks up


My laptop is a HP n5470, kind of old, has an Athlon4, 700Mhz and 512MB ram.

I had CrunchBang-10-2012 installed and running for about 12 hours. Had re-booted several times and installed updates and re-booted after making changes, etc... Everything seemed to be working. Turned the laptop off for the night, came back to learn more about CrunchBang and laptop would get maybe as far as the login screen and then lock-up.

I've tried the initial install disk with similar results. I've tried: Lubuntu, Absolute, Antix, Puppy, Zorin, Zenix, Bodhi all to no avail, they all lock-up either during boot or moments shortly thereafter.

Memtest would work just fine.
DSL is the only distro that would run without a lockup even for many hours. Any ideas as to what went wrong with the laptop? Could this be a CPU issue?

Hate to scrap this unit.
 
Old 01-18-2013, 06:01 PM   #2
Ztcoracat
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Hi:

It could be hardware failure but the only way to know if that's the case would be to:
- run Memtest a while and see what the results are.
http://www.memtest.org/

Other than that in a black screen situation you can try booting to a Live CD if the machine boots and see if you can mount and read the HDD. (Or) replace the hard drive if you don't want to scrap it-

That's all I know to try-
Hope this helps
 
Old 01-19-2013, 03:43 AM   #3
H_TeXMeX_H
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Run memtest if you can as Ztcoracat suggests. If you can't rum memtest, and you have two RAM sticks in the laptop, try removing one at a time and see which one is bad.
 
Old 01-23-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
Nbiser
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It could be that your RAM is bad, but I doubt it. I think that you probably just need upgrade your RAM to as much as your laptop can handle. You should research your laptop to see what the maximum amount of RAM is. It would appear that your OSs are going flat on their faces in the face of so little RAM. On modern laptops 4GB to 8GB of RAM is standard, not half a GB!

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Nbiser; 01-23-2013 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Typo
 
Old 01-23-2013, 05:10 PM   #5
TobiSGD
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In use with antiX, Lubuntu or Crunchbang 512MB should be more than enough to boot the machine, those are lightweight distributions.
I would recommend to have a look at the temperatures, if possible (maybe boot without GUI) and clean the cooling system from dust.
Also, give it a try with removed battery, or with battery, but with PSU removed, maybe you have power issues.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 07:16 PM   #6
Ztcoracat
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yonnieboy:

Let us know how things are going when you have time.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
Nbiser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
In use with antiX, Lubuntu or Crunchbang 512MB should be more than enough to boot the machine, those are lightweight distributions.
I would recommend to have a look at the temperatures, if possible (maybe boot without GUI) and clean the cooling system from dust.
Also, give it a try with removed battery, or with battery, but with PSU removed, maybe you have power issues.
It could be that the temps are acting up, perhaps the fan is going bad. It could also be power issues. However, if it isn't any of these things more RAM is needed; these days these light weight distros can take a lot more RAM than they use to, say, 1 GB.

yonnieboy,
Please be sure to give us updates when you get the chance! It will help us help you.

Last edited by Nbiser; 01-24-2013 at 07:54 PM.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 08:28 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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I can assure you that antiX does not need 1GB just to boot, it does this fine with 128MB of RAM (yes, I have tested that).
RAM (as long as it is not faulty) is not the issue here.
 
Old 01-31-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
Shadow_7
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I generally boot to the command line. Which rarely requires much RAM wise. I always use startx to start X. Except when setting up other peoples machines. Debian defaults to run level 2, and as long as you do not install a display manager, you'll default to a command line. You can still have X and friends without using a display manager. Not really user friendy as you have to set the window manager in .xinitrc to use startx.

As far as this issue. It sounds like it is heat related. My old compaq gets really quirky when it starts to run hot. I boot linux from a usb stick, but it requires a grub boot CD to actually boot the usb stick. Circa 2006 hardware and it was hardly top of the line at that time. 512MB on that thing and running debian squeeze from a USB stick happily. With X+icewm. I just can't do much cpu wise or it'll auto shutoff from heat issues. The fan hasn't worked on it in years. But it works just fine as a wireless bridge for my desktop. And for light web browsing (no java / no flash) for game guides while I play on the faster machine. I did however setup the bootable usb stick on another machine to avoid overheating that one. It runs a lot quieter and cooler without the HDD in that laptop.

As long as the RAM is good it shouldn't be much of an issue if you have swap space. And don't do things like play with tar on large files or watch youtube videos in excess of an hour.
 
  


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