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    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
    PyBlosxom

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    Wed, 12 May 2010


    /xHW/Lenovo: Debian Linux on Mystery (Olympic?) Lenovo Notebook

    $ lspci
    00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/PM/GMS/910GML Express Processor to DRAM Controller (rev 04)
    00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/PM Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 04)
    00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 04)
    00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 04)
    00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 04)
    00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 04)
    00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 04)
    00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev d4)
    00:1e.2 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 04)
    00:1e.3 Modem: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 04)
    00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801FBM (ICH6M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 04)
    00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) IDE Controller (rev 04)
    00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 04)
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc M24 1P [Radeon Mobility X600]
    02:00.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6306/7/8 [Fire II(M)] IEEE 1394 OHCI Controller (rev 80)
    02:01.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
    02:02.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 2200BG [Calexico2] Network Connection (rev 05)
    02:03.0 Multimedia controller: Philips Semiconductors SAA7131/SAA7133/SAA7135 Video Broadcast Decoder (rev d1)
    02:04.0 CardBus bridge: ENE Technology Inc CB-710/2/4 Cardbus Controller
    02:04.1 FLASH memory: ENE Technology Inc ENE PCI Memory Stick Card Reader Controller
    02:04.2 SD Host controller: ENE Technology Inc ENE PCI Secure Digital Card Reader Controller
    

    I just bought this lovely big used single core 1.73GHz (Pentium IVish?) desktop replacement machine (15.4" widescreen) notebook, and I am absolutely baffled by the lack of any indication of what it's model number might be. There is only the 5-ring Olympic symbol on the top of the case, suggesting that it came out in the run-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics. In fact, it is in such flawless physical condition for its age of several years that I am thinking it might have been used for just a few weeks during the Olympics.

    So far everything I have tried works great with Debian testing, including suspend to RAM right from the KDE desktop menu. After installing the firmware-ipw2x00 package the internal wireless card became visible via ifconfig -a, but iwconfig was reporting "radio off". After some hunting around in a room without enough light, I discovered that the large round LED on the front edge to the right of the CD controls is actually also a pushbutton that controls the state of the wireless card radio.

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

    Grub. Grrrrr. During my first install there was one glitch when upgrading from grub to grub2 (I started with a base install of Lenny) leaving me with an unbootable machine (first lesson learned: never just ignore grub errors while upgrading....)

    This blog post[1] got my grub2 booting again quickly. I will not repeat the post's verbiage, but this is the sequence of commands that got me back on track (I thought....) after booting from an old Ubuntu live CD:

    sudo fdisk -l
    sudo mount /dev/sda5 /mnt
    sudo mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev
    sudo mount --bind /proc /mnt/proc
    sudo mount --bind /sys /mnt/sys
    sudo chroot /mnt
    (optional, only if you're on Ubuntu/Debian) apt-get install grub-pc
    grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
    grub-install /dev/sda (try grub-install --recheck /dev/sda if it fails)
    Ctrl+D (to exit out of chroot)
    sudo umount /mnt/dev
    sudo umount /mnt/sys
    sudo umount /mnt/proc
    sudo umount /mnt
    

    And then I discovered that somehow, although I was able to boot, as far as fdisk and parted were concerned, my partition table was hosed. Strike two against grub2. Second lesson learned: grub2 is not stable, and after wasting hours of my time it will be a while before I allow it onto a new install again. Now for install, take two, this time no upgrade from grub to grub2.....

    That worked, sort of. No matter what I try, I cannot get the swap partition to work. With 2 Gig of RAM, perhaps not a huge deal, but I would at least like to try suspend to disk and see if it works. When I was in the shop getting more RAM, the technician also pointed out that there is a password on the BIOS, and that there is no easy way to remove it (not yet verified). One more thing to check next time I buy a new notebook....

    A couple gotchas along the way, but I am not in the mood for complaining in light of how little I paid (about US$300, in the end) for a machine in like-new condition that works very well for me. Hopefully the swap partition thing will sort itself out in a future OS upgrade.

    [1] http://grub.enbug.org/Grub2LiveCdInstallGuide

    posted at: 10:56 | path: /xHW/Lenovo | permanent link to this entry