Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Battery not working - Invalid DSDT

Since my last upgrade to Ubuntu 7.10, the Gnome battery monitor stopped working properly and displayed as if it were always powered on. Surfing the web I found out that this is a problem of the buggy DSDT that Acer ships with their BIOS.

The following is a link that can be the starting point to create a correct DSDT:

Ubuntu Forums - Howto fix ACPI/battery problems

I will continue logging in this blog any progress done.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 released !!

Finally, the new Ubuntu distribution is on the wild. I'm eagering to arrive home and upgrade my acer to this new release, codenamed Gutsy Gibbon.

I hope it can solve the battery detection problems that I had with the last kernel version. I'll keep you posted on how I'm going with this exciting release !!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Windows XP drivers

Here is a list of places where you can download the drivers for the Acer 5051.

Acer official EU FTP. Here you can find drivers for XP and Vista.

ATI drivers for the Radeon Xpress 1100

AMD Turion 64 Mobile Technology Utilities & Updates

From the official Acer site, I've installed the following drivers:
  • Atheros WLAN XB63 Driver
  • Audio Driver Realtek Ver.
  • Camera Driver Suyin Ver.
  • Card Reader Driver 5.1.2600.2011
  • Modem Driver Foxconn Ver.
All of the other needed drivers I installed are from their official sites. But I did not install the touchpad driver nor the LAN driver.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Loading Ubuntu 7.04 live CD

For all of you having problems loading the Ubuntu 7.04 live CD, I've found out that there are quite a lot of problems due to the DMA setting on the DVD drive. This can be solved by adding the proper parameter in the kernel boot line.
  1. Load the CD and wait for the menu to display
  2. Press F6 in order to edit the boot command line
  3. Add ide=nodma just before the two dashes at the end of the line
  4. Press Enter to start
Maybe this is just a problem of my drive unit, but I think it's worth to write it here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Install XP Pro SP2 from USB stick

It works !!

Here is the best method that I found in order to install XP into the laptop from a USB stick. I'm doing this because I cannot install from the CD as it hangs when detecting hardware. This is a huge improvement of the previous method I described.

This is the configuration in my setup:
  • The CD drive is mapped on D:
  • My 1GB USB stick maps to E:
  • I'm using a Spanish XP SP2 slipstreamed setup CD
The steps to perform are the following:

1. Launch PeToUSB and select your USB stick, mark only Enable Disk Format and Enable LBA (FAT16X) and proceed. Put a volume name if you want. This will create your USB WinXP bootable.

2. Insert the CD on the XP computer and close the setup window if it appears.

3. Run the setup program (start -> run) with the following command (in a single line)

D:\i386\winnt32.exe /dudisable /makelocalsource /noreboot /syspart:E /tempdrive:E

Select "New installation", accept the EULA and type the CD key, and do not update the partition to NTFS, if asked. This will create some files in the USB and two directories.

4. Put the USB in the laptop, and boot from it, by either indicating the USB Hard Disk in the BIOS boot order, or by pressing F12 on startup.

This will start the installation of WindowsXP in the laptop. Also, you can use the USB stick as a recovery console. But beware that after the installation, the files on the USB will be deleted.

Make sure that you've already got a NTFS partition ready for the setup. I didn't have one, so I had to create it with Linux using fdisk and setting the partition as type 7 and the bootable flag, and then later quick-format it in the XP setup page.

There can be problems when rebooting, as the boot.ini file might be pointing to an erroneous disk or partition for the Windows installation. In this case you have to modify (by using the recovery console, for example) the boot.ini to point to the proper location. In my case I had two XP entries in the bootloader screen, and the second one worked for me. Then later used msconfig to remove the invalid entry.

Please leave a comment sharing your experiences !!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ubuntu kernel update to 2.6.20-16.31

I've just updated today the laptop to Ubuntu's 2.6.20-16.31 kernel. At a first glance, it seems that there is no issue ... the wireless card is still working, which was one of my biggest concerns.

I'll keep posting if I find any issue during the following days. Share your experiences, though.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Repair GRUB booting with a USB stick and XP

When we're installing our machines for dual booting, sometimes we have to restore the previous MBR that the Windows installation has overwriten, as we have lost the GRUB booting. This method is working fine, and allows to restore the GRUB MBR flawlessly, creating the USB stick configuration from XP. We need:
Simply, install the HP USB Key Utility, insert the USB stick, execute the program with the option "Transfer floppy image to USB key", select the Super Grub Disk floppy image, and check that the selected USB drive is the right one. This will create a booting USB that will allow us to execute the Super Grub Disk.

To restore the MBR with GRUB, boot the computer with the USB in, and follow the steps:
  1. GNU/Linux
  2. Fix boot of GNU/Linux (GRUB)
  3. Choose the partition where GRUB is installed (usually /boot)
  4. SGD has suceeded
  5. Exit the menu tree and reboot, taking out the USB stick
This will make us boot GRUB again.