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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 09-12-2008, 11:00 AM   #1
hadibg
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Registered: Nov 2005
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Unable to install any linux distribution on an Asus M51SE


Hi guys,

I have tried installing multiple distributions on my newly purchased laptop - openSuSE, Sabayon, Fedora, Debian and even Ubuntu. However, whenever I try graphic install, the screen just goes black, as if there was a problem with the graphics card (here are the specifications by the way http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?mo...74&l3=604&l4=0). Text installation works fine on all distributions. When I try to boot the OS however, X fails to initialize, and manual configuration fails abruptly. I have not been able to salvage any X logs, would these be absolutely necessary? I am asking, because it is nigh impossible for me to recover them.
When installing I have tried disabling acpi, and it still does not work.
Can you help?
Thanks.
 
Old 09-12-2008, 11:16 AM   #2
masonm
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Installing in text mode is no big deal. The fact that X won't start after boot is just an Xorg configuration issue. That machine has an ATI graphics card and in all probability the native driver just won't work with that card.

Easy fix:

Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

Find the section for the graphics card and see what driver it's saying to use. Change the driver to "vesa". X should start then.

You'll most likely need to download and install the correct driver module for your card from the ATI website.
 
Old 09-12-2008, 11:21 AM   #3
hadibg
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Sorry, that I forgot to mention it in my first post, but openSuSE has the ability to boot in VESA mode directly. That leads me to the black screen directly.
Thanks for the quick reply
 
Old 09-12-2008, 02:16 PM   #4
masonm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadibg View Post
Sorry, that I forgot to mention it in my first post, but openSuSE has the ability to boot in VESA mode directly. That leads me to the black screen directly.
Thanks for the quick reply
Perhaps, but it still sounds like an issue with the graphics driver. Install whatever distro you want from text mode, edit the xorg.conf file, and try it from there. Unless you do this there isn't much chance of figuring out the problem.
 
Old 10-01-2008, 09:46 AM   #5
Sky One
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same problem!!
I have the M51se too and I tried to install Debian on my notebook.
First with the Vesa driver Gnome didn't start.. (the OS just crashes showing a "dirty" ASUS logo)

Then I downloaded the ATI proprietary drivers (the graphic card is Mobility Radeon HD3470)and after the succesfull installation, when I tried to start Gnome, the black screen appeared (same problem of hadibg I suppose).

I don't know what to do, the xorg.conf seems ok
please someone help
 
Old 10-01-2008, 10:49 AM   #6
Sky One
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OK!
i don't know the reasons but you'll have to limit the memory to 2900M ; so u'll have to:
- enter in single user mode
- edit with a text editor like vim the file /boot/grub/menu.list
- add at the row "kernel" the string "mem=2900M" which will limit the memory
 
Old 10-01-2008, 11:42 AM   #7
amani
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Location: Kolkata, India
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The graphics card is supported by the open source drivers:
radeonhd and radeon
 
Old 11-12-2008, 06:14 AM   #8
olliets
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Registered: Oct 2008
Location: Lyon, FR
Distribution: ubuntu 8-04
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Linux Install on Asus M51SE: RESOLVED: Fix memory problem

Hi hadibg and SkyOne,

I have the M51Se-AS018C model (RAM 2GB + 1GB), and I just managed to get Linux on it a few hours ago, it took twenty minutes and there were no problems, after months of tearing my hair out and trying every remedy. Congrats on getting this model by the way, it has its two small problems, but you would have to have spent a lot more to get something that is a better offer! Now to fix it:

My problems were that X would never work, I could do a text install, but no matter what video drivers I tried to use and how I compiled and recompiled, x could never start and if it tried to, the display would go streaky green and/or wibbly purple. On any distro. If I tried to run any LiveCD or to install not using text-only mode, the installation would appear to crash or hang or something with variable results but never success. I thought this was linked to the video card. It isn't, at least not directly.

The source of the problems is having the two channels of RAM (disable the quiet BIOS boot using Esc/F2 at startup and you'll see the BIOS goes into something like 'dual-channel L-shaped mode' when these RAM chips are both in place), which NO linux distro I tried can handle: OpenSuSE, fedora, ubuntu... I know that people who had 2x2GB chips (model M51Se-AS128C I think) also had problems.

Solution: Take out one RAM chip and the whole system just works. LiveCDs all boot in and run. There is no need to install any other drivers (although if you later use a package manager to get the ATI proprietary drivers... grr... they work really well and you'll get full, very pretty 1440x900 resolution, and good LCD-oriented subpixel smoothing, which you might not get otherwise but which make it look lots better). I tried the "mem=2900M" memory limiting option with the two bars in place as some people recommend, but this never worked. Perhaps you should try "mem=1900M" but this is equivalent to taking out the 1GB chip in terms of performance, and still may not work if your BIOS goes into dual-channel mode, I don't know (See crosslink to French linux forum at the end, post #56). Anyway I took out the 1GB HyperMemory bar I had and yeah everything just worked. Try it.

New problem: There is no sound through any Linux distro.

New solution: See http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=864801
and http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=753679
: They recommend adding
Code:
options snd-hda-intel enable=1 index=0 model=lenovo
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel
to your /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base to run sound through ALSA. Other people say you can run sound through OSS, but I didn't try it. Let us know if you do.


At the moment I'm using Ubuntu 8.04 (64 bit) on it and dual booting with BadVista because I need to run some proprietary chemistry programs I don't know how to port over to use on Linux (anyone have advice here?). Vista can deal with the dual channel memory mode; and as it eats performance it would be cool to be able to memory limit in GRUB for Linux, so you could leave the extra bar in to help Windows limp along - if you manage to make this work let me know. Although Linux runs so smoothly on "just" 2GB RAM, that you shouldn't feel cheated by having a useless ram bar when you use Linux. Apparently some people are working on memory channel handling for new distro releases so that the trend to high-RAM dual-core computers doesn't stop you chucking in lots of RAM.


Other issues and questions with this model:
- Does your flavour of Linux let you use the wireless killswitch to reversibly toggle the wireless? Apparently Ubuntu 8-10 does not, which is why I stuck to 8-04 (works there apparently).
- People talk about a possibility of updating the BIOS so that memory handling could work better. I have no idea what this means, or how to do it, or if I should... help, anyone?

Hope this helps other people who love up Linux and were wasting their lives trying anything to get it on this computer!


Crosslink (in French)
http://forum.ubuntu-fr.org/viewtopic.php?pid=2142925
apparently someone (post #42) got mem=2900M to work and left his two bars in... I didn't, nor did post #53. Anyone?
 
Old 11-12-2008, 06:27 AM   #9
olliets
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Registered: Oct 2008
Location: Lyon, FR
Distribution: ubuntu 8-04
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Note that this thread is near identical to

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-use-x-680435/


Perhaps an admin can amalgamate them?

Last edited by olliets; 11-12-2008 at 06:29 AM.
 
  


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