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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 05-03-2008, 02:30 AM   #1
algogeek
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Distribution: Fedora 9, Ubuntu 8.04, Ubuntu 8.04 Server
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Angry Should I make a switch?


Hi friends,

I'm using fedora 8 32 bit on my 64 bit (hardware specs below) platform and I have not been happy with the experience at all. My system has been unstable ever since it has been installed, with repeated freezes, stalls, and so on. I cannot enable the 3D effects even after installing the nvidia driver as enabling it freezes my system within 10 minutes and nothing works after that.

And now, I've started facing a new problem altogether - my system freezes within 1-2 hours of use and only a power down via the switch works.

I don't know what to do. Fedora 8 is a nice distro, but it has left me high and dry since I have installed it on my laptop and it has refused to work altogether.

So, I wanted to know your opinions. What do you suggest I should do? Should I switch to Ubuntu? But Ubuntu is more towards user friendliness and I don't want that. I want a real feel of linux, and fedora was giving me that until it started behaving this way. Moreover, since my download speeds are limited to 32 kBps (low end DSL), I cannot start downloading entire distro's which are several gigs in size.

Should I switch to a 64 bit linux OS? Some people suggested to me that a 64 bit OS on a 64 bit platform gives better performance. Is that right? I even read it on one of the fedora forums that one person's problems got solved as soon as he shifted to the 64 bit edition of fedora 8.

I'd like to stay on fedora since I was beginning to get the hang(pun unintended, seriously!) of it. And I need you guys to advise me really fast.

PS - will updating clear out bugs? I updated the kernel but there has not been any improvement in terms of my problems.

My hardware:
--------------------------
COMPAQ PRESARIO V3424AU
AMD TURION 2.20 GHz, 64
NVIDIA GEFORCE GO 6150
1.5 GB DDR2 RAM
120 GB SATA HDD
BROADCOM WIRELESS 43XX
RICOH CARD READER

--------------------------

Last edited by algogeek; 05-03-2008 at 03:08 AM.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 02:55 AM   #2
rocket357
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To quote a (now) unknown page on openbsd.org, "Bigger package numbers don't mean less bugs". Upgrading to a bugfix release may very well fix some woes, but upgrading blindly to the latest version isn't a guaranteed fix. Many times, a "latest version" upgrade will *introduce* bugs that weren't there before...

As to the 32/64 bit issue, it's possible that the 64 bit team is aware of hardware quirks on 64 bit platforms that the 32 bit team is NOT aware of (or rather, don't care about since it doesn't affect 32 bit platforms), so switching to 64 bit might fix some of your issues. Laptops are notorious for having "strange" hardware issues when it comes to Linux (well, ok...the BSD's, Windows, etc... all have fallen victim at one point or another to laptop hardware being quirky, so don't read that as a "Linux-only issue"), so it may help to google your laptop model and see what trouble other people are having and workarounds that could help you find a suitable solution.

Is there a pattern to the freeze? For instance, does the machine stop responding if you leave it alone for a bit (perhaps an acpi issue?), or is it completely random (during use, during "downtime", etc...)? Is there perhaps a particular application that is running every time it freezes?
 
Old 05-03-2008, 03:04 AM   #3
algogeek
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Thank you for the prompt reply. And that is the issue here - there is no pattern at all. Sometimes it happens when I'm playing music, or sometimes when I'm programming, or sometimes when I'm using real player to watch a video - it just hangs!

I've lost data because of this, and it has started to become a serious issue now. The hangs are getting more and more frequent. I have no idea about what is causing the hang, but yes it has been happening ever since I installed this distro. Will slackware be a good option? Will it be better than fedora or just as buggy?

Sincerely speaking, I don't want to download something that does not solve my problems. And I've googled a lot. I been on forums, posted my problems, I've even been on bugzilla but it has been of no effect. Nothing at all.

I just found one person with a similar 64 bit hardware configuration who happened to have all his problems solved when he made a switch to the 64 bit edition. But that would mean downloading 3.6 GB on a slowpoke connection.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 03:19 AM   #4
jschiwal
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If you have a single 64 bit cpu, you might try the "noapic" kernel boot option. I wouldn't use "acpi=no" because that would cause a problem with sharing interrupts and the dbusd and hald daemons won't run; which means that auto mounting external drives won't work either.

The biggest difference between using a 64 bit distro and a 32 bit distro is that you can have more memory installed. If you have 2 GB installed, a part of the memory space will be mapped for the devices. If larger memory cards become available for your computer, you could install that and utilize the memory without jumping through hoops.

If your distro is biarch and your chip is a x86_64, then for the couple or so programs that don't have 64 bit plugins, you can install the 32 bit version instead.

One thing I was wondering whether you performed a fresh install or an upgrade. I think that full installs are more reliable. I will backup what I want to keep in my home directory and then perform a new installation. Also, if you upgrade instead, you may be using your old settings and miss out on new features or styles in KDE or Gnome that the new version uses.

Good Luck!
 
Old 05-03-2008, 03:27 AM   #5
rocket357
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I googled and found a thread here at LQ about that model laptop and Fedora 7...the solution was to boot with acpi=off (well, the solution was to *install* that way...there weren't any comments to the machine's performance thereafter). Here's the link in case you wish to review the thread yourself:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...3424au-578603/

I haven't researched the issue much, but it couldn't hurt to try a simple fix like that before downloading a 3.6 GB image =)

Edit - it appears that jschiwal not only beat me to it, but seems to know more on the subject than me...heh

Last edited by rocket357; 05-03-2008 at 03:32 AM.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 04:07 AM   #6
algogeek
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Thank you for your reply jschiwal. Well, I'm seriously thinking of moving to a 64 bit OS since this seems to be a hardware related issue. I also get the annoying PCI: FOUND BIOS BUG #81 ... message which means that the OS is having problems understanding the BIOS.

I have 1.5 GB of RAM which should be ok for a 64 bit install, and so I'm making the switch. I also asked an expert and he told me to get rid of ndiswrapper and see if it works - given than ndiswrapper is a kernel modification. Then, he asked me to remove the nvidia driver if the problem still persists. I've removed ndiswrapper and I'm waiting to see what happens.

rocket357, thank you for your reply as well. But I have tried those options. acpi=off results in CPU heating, and acpi=nobios is not of much help either.
I think I should give my CPU what it needs and see what happens then.

What do you guys suggest? My download will take a day and a half to complete at my speed and I'm about to take the plunge, hehe.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 04:44 AM   #7
jschiwal
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Check with the manufacture's website to see if there is a bios upgrade. Sometimes computers are sent out with a buggy bios or hardware. If you read through the kernel source you may find numerous examples where a workaround is used.

You mentioned a sound problem. You might want to read through the ALSA-configuration.txt file in the kernel source documentation.
Quote:
Module snd-intel8x0
-------------------

Module for AC'97 motherboards from Intel and compatibles.
* Intel i810/810E, i815, i820, i830, i84x, MX440
ICH5, ICH6, ICH7, ESB2
* SiS 7012 (SiS 735)
* NVidia NForce, NForce2, NForce3, MCP04, CK804
CK8, CK8S, MCP501
* AMD AMD768, AMD8111
* ALi m5455

ac97_clock - AC'97 codec clock base (0 = auto-detect)
ac97_quirk - AC'97 workaround for strange hardware
See "AC97 Quirk Option" section below.
buggy_irq - Enable workaround for buggy interrupts on some
motherboards (default yes on nForce chips,
otherwise off)
buggy_semaphore - Enable workaround for hardwares with buggy
semaphores (e.g. on some ASUS laptops)
(default off)
spdif_aclink - Use S/PDIF over AC-link instead of direct connection
from the controller chip
(0 = off, 1 = on, -1 = default)

This module supports one chip and autoprobe.

Note: the latest driver supports auto-detection of chip clock.
if you still encounter too fast playback, specify the clock
explicitly via the module option "ac97_clock=41194".

Joystick/MIDI ports are not supported by this driver. If your
motherboard has these devices, use the ns558 or snd-mpu401
modules, respectively.

The power-management is supported.
That could give you an idea. You could read the kernel documentation for the devices you have and see if there are any surprises.

If you look at the /etc/modprobe.conf or /etc/modprobe.conf.local or /etc/modprobe.d/* files you should see how module options are added:
Code:
########################################################################
# Options; these are examples; uncomment and modify the lines you need
########################################################################

# options cdu31a         cdu31a_port=0x340 cdu31a_irq=0
# options aztcd          aztcd=0x320
# options cm206          cm206=0x340,11
# options gscd           gscd=0x340
# options mcdx           mcdx=0x300,11
# options optcd          optcd=0x340
# options sjcd           sjcd_base=0x340
# options sonycd535      sonycd535=0x340

# options ne             io=0x300 irq=5

# Use this if you have two cards:
# options ne             io=0x300,0x320 irq=5,7
...
This may be a more targeted way of solving your problem rather than trial and error. Options like noacpi are too general and will probably have side effects. You would base your options on the kernel module documentation.

If you look in x86_64/boot-options.txt it lists x86_64 specific boot options and what they do.

Last edited by jschiwal; 05-03-2008 at 04:46 AM.
 
Old 05-05-2008, 03:26 AM   #8
algogeek
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Thank all of you so much for the help. I have tried my best and it seems to me like the hardware is ok - apparently. I have an expert from IBM Linux Technology Centre, Bangalore, who is looking into this problem. But even he has not been able to do much till now because I don't live in Bangalore. However, I'm going to Bangalore soon and will meet him if possible, and lets see what he says.

I also borrowed a 64 bit live Fedora 8 DVD from a friend and even that failed to work on my system - it booted but it froze like everytime.

I don't think I'm going to give up on Fedora that easily, lets see what the guys in Bangalore say about this. But, until now, the linux ride for me has been quite bumpy. My laptop has turned unreliable, it hangs whenever it wants - in front of people causing me embarrassment, when I'm working, when I'm watching a video, anything. And the worst part is, there seems to be no pattern. Sometimes, I start thinking that its because of my USB module, sometimes not. It's pretty frustrating and it has wasted a hell lot of my time.

The purpose for my questions above was to figure out whether switching to a different distro is going to help or not. Do distro's differ in terms of handling hardware or does it all depend on the kernel that I'm running? I've heard that the new Ubuntu is pretty stable, but I'm yet to find out (downloading it via torrent on my slow poke connection).

As for the rest, I don't know what to say. I'm still a linux fan, but trust me, for me, it has not been a nice welcome into the linux world at all.

Anyways guys, thanks for your time. I'll be looking forward to your replies.
 
Old 05-05-2008, 11:13 PM   #9
algogeek
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Can anyone please respond?
 
Old 05-05-2008, 11:28 PM   #10
ehawk
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concerning ubuntu, from http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/inde...29336-p-2.html

Model: Compaq Presario V3424AU
Processor: AMD Turion 64 , 2.21 GHz processor
512 MB RAM,
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 graphics
Chipset : NVIDIA Nforce chipset
Wireless: Broadcom Wireless Lan

I've a Compaq Presario V3424AU model laptop. its too difficult to install Ubuntu 7.1 into it. initially when i just followed the instructions in the graphical interface(start or install Ubuntu), the system freezes even before going on to the live desktop that we get.

I just changed the boot option to "live acpi=off" and then i could proceed to install it.
(NOTE PLEASE: i don't know what that command is for, i just tried out what ever was given in the help menu and luckily, this one worked)

but it was not without problems. during start up, it shows a big list of errors and messages. Like....

"PnPBIOS unable to get node information; Aborting"
"reboot using pnpbios=off option"

"dev_node_info unexpected status 0x37"
"check with your vendor for an updated BIOS"

It doesnt end here. the usb mouse stops responding at times. even then the touchpad works fine.

But anyhow, unlike Ubuntu 6.1, the advantage for 7.1 is that the display is perfectly OK. As for 6.1, the screen resolution was very low(as like in windows prior to the installation of the Driver software).
i tried many Nvidia-glx Drivers, but it didnt work. (If anyone knows the method to fix it, do inform me please)

And finally, there is the big problem of shutting down. it doesn't shut down and shows the following messages...

"Network Manager:<WARN>nm_hal_deinit():libhal shutdown failed-connection is closed."
"Network Manager:nm_dbus_signal_device_status_chang:asserti on 'cb_data->data->dbas_
connection failed"

What are all these thing? Can anyone please help me what to do........... Please..


Also see
https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...3424au-578603/

Last edited by ehawk; 05-05-2008 at 11:34 PM.
 
Old 05-05-2008, 11:49 PM   #11
algogeek
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Ok. Now it seems like I bought JUST the anti-linux laptop available in the market. I paid HP every single penny for this machine, and now they've bound me to windows - I cannot use the machine I paid for as I want. Nice. Capitalism at its best.

Anyways, its clear now. If you want to work on linux, brush aside HP. As far as I am concerned, I'm going to make sure that no one I know is going to go for HP in the future.
 
Old 05-06-2008, 12:05 AM   #12
ehawk
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This person seems only to have had a temperature problem with Suse, and if you read the whole thread, it seems like it might not be a big deal:

http://www.suseforums.net/index.php?...ded&pid=217014

Actually using opensuse, but note he is actually using a 64-bit kernel!

Here is HP's help site for that model:
http://help-site.com/Hardware/Comput...sario_V3424AU/

They also supply pre-installed suse on some of their laptops, so I guess it should work ok:
http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise...0-0-0-121.html
http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise...0-0-0-121.html

Looks like some models are ok with mandriva:
http://h41087.www4.hp.com/solutions/..._mandriva.html

It looks like they are really partnering with Novell and their Suse distribution.

It also looks like they have an HP Linux toll-free phone hotline:

888-HP-LINUX

Last edited by ehawk; 05-06-2008 at 12:36 AM.
 
  


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