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Old 07-29-2004, 07:53 AM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: slackware 9.1
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Lightbulb Dell Latitude D800 occasional system freeze workaround

I am running slackware-current with a custom 2.6.7 kernel from with a USB mouse. The Dell laptops have this annoying feature that, while typing, the touchpad will move the cursor, click, select, and basically hose up whatever you are trying to type. Checking several forums and trying various hacks, such as tpconfig, and "new" synaptics drivers, nothing seemed to work. My only recourse was to change the BIOS setting for the mouse from "touchpad-ps/2" to "serial mouse". This DID disable the touchpad and I was happily able to type without worry, but then, every few days the machine would freeze hard. The only recovery was to press/hold the power button for 10 seconds to turn off. I rebooted to the Dell Diag partition and ran all the diagnostics. It froze up when doing the mouse disable test. I changed the mouse BIOS setting back to "touchpad", and lockups no longer occur. Apparently, the broken Dell BIOS is unable to deal with "serial mouse" that is not there, or the touchpad being disabled. Just wanted to post this to the forum, in case anyone else sees the same problem. I have tried with A09 and A10 bios with the same result.
Old 07-30-2004, 12:53 PM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: slackware 9.1
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As it turns out, two things caused the lockups on their own. The BIOS setting of "serial mouse" will eventually hang both Dell diags and Linux after time. Aside from this, I had recently changed the NVidia driver from 5336 to 6106 version for ACPI and better 2.6.x kernel support. The 6106 seems to cause random lockups while in X. Switching back to 5336 solved the lockups that occured only in Linux.


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