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Author Topic: Consider Linux? I did and ...  (Read 31810 times)
N5INP
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« on: March 23, 2014, 10:58:52 AM »

I recently bought a new Dell laptop with Win 8.1 for the Man Cave, to replace the HP I'd had that had Vista on it. It was just being dogged out by Vista. It was just sitting in the spare bedroom so I thought I'd throw the latest version of Ubuntu (which I have used several years ago) onto it, what with all the talk here recently of Linux being so great and all. So I burned an ISO image and installed it just a few minutes ago. It's got to be even better now right? 

Wrong.

I really don't need to say much with the pic, but all I got after installing it and rebooting was a goofy screen and no functionality.

Well, the mouse does move.

So much for linux.  Roll Eyes

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AG6WT
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 12:54:42 PM »

Hello Michael,

If you really want to try Linux on your HP I'm someone here can help if you can provide some basic information about your hardware. Could you tell us:

1) The exact model of laptop and the video chipset.

2) Does it work if you boot into live mode, that is just running off of the DVD.

3) Before installing Mint, you confirmed that the laptop was working perfectly fine? HP had problems with hardware during that time frame. Cooling was inadequate and video was flakey. My wife had a HP Vista laptop that never worked quite right, the fan was always screaming loud, and HP offered no remedy. Eventually it died after a couple of years. A search on Google showed the symptoms we saw were not rare. If you can "recover" the laptop with your Vista disks then it's not a hardware problem.

Also check here to see if your laptop was ever "certified" to work with Ubuntu (on which Linux Mint is based).

http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/make/HP/

73
Ray AG6WT
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W4KYR
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Posts: 557




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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 02:30:28 PM »

Well some might consider than an upgrade to Vista.  Grin

Eh, use Linux Mint instead of Ubuntu. Short story..after Ubuntu forced Unity on the masses...the masses left Ubuntu in droves. After Microsoft saw what Ubuntu did to it's operating system by forcing Unity on everyone. Emballmer decided to try the same with Metro and got the same results as Ubuntu did.....great minds think alike.

Go with Linux Mint instead, it is a refined Ubuntu and everything Ubuntu tried to be...but couldn't. And all the codecs and wifi work out of the box. When you burn the ISO, burn it at the slowest speed....

Last resort replace it with Windows 8 since it is very popular with the public. j/k

BTW I have too an HP laptop (Presario F700) with Vista and ran Linux Mint on it with no problems. Instead of wiping Vista, I just swapped hard drives and installed it with no problems. It took a 1/4 of the time that a Windows installation would take.

.

« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 02:36:10 PM by W4KYR » Logged

Still using Windows XP Pro.
N5INP
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Posts: 919




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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2014, 02:49:24 PM »

Hello Michael,

If you really want to try Linux on your HP I'm someone here can help if you can provide some basic information about your hardware. Could you tell us:

1) The exact model of laptop and the video chipset.

HP Pavillion dv6000, not sure about the video chipset

Quote
2) Does it work if you boot into live mode, that is just running off of the DVD.

Yes. But when I re-booted into the installed version, I got a screenful of bus error messages.

Quote
3) Before installing Mint, you confirmed that the laptop was working perfectly fine? HP had problems with hardware during that time frame. Cooling was inadequate and video was flakey. My wife had a HP Vista laptop that never worked quite right, the fan was always screaming loud, and HP offered no remedy. Eventually it died after a couple of years. A search on Google showed the symptoms we saw were not rare. If you can "recover" the laptop with your Vista disks then it's not a hardware problem.

It was working OK but slow, that's why I got a new laptop, but it had no hardware problems.

Quote
Also check here to see if your laptop was ever "certified" to work with Ubuntu (on which Linux Mint is based).

http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/make/HP/

I can't find the exact model number there.

Look, I've used Linux before, and Ubuntu before, and seeing as I had a guinea pig, I thought I'd give it a shot. It's just too fiddley for me to mess with right now. I might re-install it later or look for another version, but this is just what I expected. Sure if I spent hours on the Ubuntu support forum and hacked up whatever they suggested it might start working, but I don't have the time to fix operating systems right now. But thanks anyway.
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KE6TDP
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 12:24:05 PM »

2) Does it work if you boot into live mode, that is just running off of the DVD.
Yes. But when I re-booted into the installed version, I got a screenful of bus error messages.
The implication is that something may be incorrectly set-up with Ubuntu's display drivers. To verify if Ubuntu is "operational", try entering terminal mode even-though the screen appears "dead". (crl+alt+F1 to enter - ctrl+alt+F7 to exit) If you can enter terminal mode, the display drivers can be repaired - assuming that you want to do that.

Have you done an internet search for operating issues related to your laptop?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 12:36:22 PM by KE6TDP » Logged
N5INP
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 12:57:21 PM »

Have you done an internet search for operating issues related to your laptop?

Nope, and I am not going to. I simply did it to see what the state of Linux was since I last used it, and it still has the same quirky problems. Sure, I know of the Ubuntu support forum and I have an account there, and I can go there and collect the 5 or 10 different solutions and command line hacks and it might fix it, but I simply have no time to futz with it. It isn't worth my time.
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KB3VWG
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 07:52:56 AM »

Nope, and I am not going to. I simply did it to see what the state of Linux was since I last used it, and it still has the same quirky problems.

Well, since you don't want to troubleshoot, it's hard to say if it's Linux with the quirky problems, the laptop, or the person installing it.

After all, you said that the machine was working in Live CD mode, so technically, it doesn't have a "quirky problem."

It's easy to forget that the exact same issues occur with a PC running Windows when one first installs the OS or new hardware. It still has to be configured and drivers must be installed. All that's simply forgotten because we rather pay the dollars for the same wires and compressed sand to come out of a cardboard box "magically" working.

...and that's why there's few options when shopping for a assembled PC w/o either an Apple or M$ license.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 10:07:35 AM »

...It's easy to forget that the exact same issues occur with a PC running Windows when one first installs the OS or new hardware. It still has to be configured and drivers must be installed....

Exactly.  For a few months I was irked by an 'unknown device' in the Win7 device manager for the old IBM server I had converted to a desktop unit.  I'd keep on checking and checking until with the help of a few third party programs I found out that device was an 'ASF table' that the IBM keeps im memory for server and computer IDing.  No drivers, no actual need for it, but it still slowed down the boot time.

And before you ask, no, the IBM/Lenovo website wasn't IDing the missing file even though I had tried many times to have it do so.  The one thing that did give a partial ID was the "Belarc Advisor" program I've used on and off for years.
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AG6WT
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 10:30:33 AM »

Nope, and I am not going to. I simply did it to see what the state of Linux was since I last used it, and it still has the same quirky problems.

Well it's not necessarily a Linux or Ubuntu problem. It could be something quirky about your HP that is tripping up the Ubuntu hardware detection/configuration scheme. Most computers will work right out of the box with a modern Linux distro but it can't work for every PC since the Ubuntu team isn't given every version of every PC to test.  HP (as well as other PC manufacturers) will offer the same model with changing chipsets and bios' it's really hard to keep up. In these cases it is really up to the hardware vendor to fill in the void.

They (HP, Dell, etc.) do this with Windows too. They'll put in something non-standard and it won't work unless you use their special install disk with their proprietary drivers. Put in an off-the-shelf Windows install disk and you may find alot of the hardware, such as networking, won't work.

As for your HP, since it worked with the live DVD, I suspect that when you did the actual install to the HD, it picked the wrong video driver or incorrectly detected the available resolutions or refresh rates. If you ever decide to return to this problem, the solution might be as easy as booting into terminal mode and installing the closed source Nvidia or ATI drivers with apt-get. By default Ubuntu only includes open source drivers.
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WW7KE
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 07:27:14 PM »

Nope, and I am not going to. I simply did it to see what the state of Linux was since I last used it, and it still has the same quirky problems.

Well it's not necessarily a Linux or Ubuntu problem. It could be something quirky about your HP that is tripping up the Ubuntu hardware detection/configuration scheme.

Does your machine require an NVIDIA video driver?  This has been an ongoing issue for quite awhile.  The default driver for the NVIDIA graphics chipsets is the open-source Nouveau (sp?) driver, which is -- and I'll be kind -- problematic.  Aw, heck, I'll be blunt and say that it stinks on ice, and that it is all but unusable, and has locked up many of my machines with NVIDIA chips.

Ubuntu and Mint have a hardware detection app in their control center/panel that detects the chip and suggests the correct NVIDIA driver.  But it has to be run manually.  But once it's run and the proper driver is installed, the video issues are fixed.

I've been using Mint ever since Ubuntu went to that &#$! Unity interface.  It's worth it to give it a shot.  I also use Slackware and Debian on some older/slower machines, but if one is unwilling to put forth the required effort to actually learn how Linux really works, I can't recommend them.
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 07:45:04 PM »

if one is unwilling to put forth the required effort to actually learn how Linux really works, I can't recommend them.

You should say if you are not willing to abandon plug and play, easy installs, excellent driver support, standardized GUI and wide application support then you SHOULD NOT use Linux.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
WW7KE
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 08:52:40 PM »

if one is unwilling to put forth the required effort to actually learn how Linux really works, I can't recommend them.

You should say if you are not willing to abandon plug and play, easy installs, excellent driver support, standardized GUI and wide application support then you SHOULD NOT use Linux.

Linux driver support is just as good as Windows.  In fact, Mint's support is better than Win7's and XP's.  Can't talk about Win8 as I have no need to ever use it.

No OS is easy to install, unless you know what you're doing.  No consumer should ever attempt to install any OS, any more than the average car owner should rebuild his engine or transmission.  I install Linux Mint/Slackware/Debian and Windows XP/2003 Server/7 Pro as part of my job.  I'm fully familiar with the quirks of all of them.  And they all have quirks.

And define a "standard GUI."  No OS has one.  The interface for Windows 8 isn't the same as Win7 or XP, nor is it the same as a Mac, (Linux-based) Android, or desktop Linux distributions running KDE, GNOME, Unity, or whatever. 

Everybody uses what they like, or what their business or personal needs require.  Or what their boss tells them they have to run, which usually is Windows.  In my world, that is XP and 7 Pro, but we also use Linux in our phone system products.  Our customers (telecom products distributors and retail chains) use Win XP and 7, with very little use of 8 so far.  But they and their customers also use iPhones, iPads, and Android-based phones and tablets.  Our apps are built accordingly.  As hams, we can use whatever we please, however. 

Here's a newsflash:  If you want to keep a job in the electronics industry, and you need to learn any kind of computer skills more than Word or Excel, you'd better know Linux as well as Windows.  Microsoft's days as the 8000-pound gorilla are over, just like IBM's was in the 1990s.  In fact, they are all but a nonentity in the phone/tablet/embedded processor world.

If you don't have a financial interest in the success of Windows, either as a Microsoft stockholder or one who's business is installing and/or supporting Windows, either in an IT department or as a private business, please say so.  I'm just not convinced otherwise.  Your arguments wear thin, and can be easily discredited.
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W4KYR
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2014, 01:26:58 AM »

Linux reverts to a generic video driver during installation, so the desktop GUI is always viewable. Usually after installation you can search and install the better NVIDIA driver. Either way the desktop GUI is always viewable. If it is not, usually that means a corrupt disc.

Regarding Linux not being plug and play, the same argument can be applied to Windows. Ever have to reinstall Windows on a laptop after a hard drive crash? First off the drivers for the wifi are not included, neither are the proper video drivers either, drivers for the touch pad no included. Windows plug and play?  Yea right...
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Still using Windows XP Pro.
W8JX
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2014, 04:06:47 AM »

Regarding Linux not being plug and play, the same argument can be applied to Windows. Ever have to reinstall Windows on a laptop after a hard drive crash? First off the drivers for the wifi are not included, neither are the proper video drivers either, drivers for the touch pad no included. Windows plug and play?  Yea right...

That depends on your hardware and the version of windoze you install. BTW myself I never wait for hard drive crash, I replace them before failure after 3 or 4 years tops in a laptop.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
NA4IT
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2014, 04:56:41 AM »

Sometimes the latest / greatest Mint version is not the best for your machine. Sometimes the older versions work better.
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