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Fujitsu-Siemens_Amilo_Xa2528

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Contents

The problem

As you enter this page, you have probably already noticed that this amilo notbook fails to boot from current (2006.* and 2007.0) gentoo boot CDs and other distros woun't start neither. The problem appears as soon as the CD drive (hda) is accessed. Both the 2.4 and 2.6 kernels come up error messages like "Drive not ready for command". This is probably because the kernel is not recognizing the CD/DVD drive correctly. I have posted a bug report http://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=10216 but I'm expecting it to be marked as unreproducable. Going without the CD/DVD drive you've got the folowing options:

Soultions

I suggest three options, but the first two are only for testing and for your information, if you want to install gentoo: see the third.

First, you can try a distro which does not need the CD drive after the bootloader has loaded the kernel and the init-image. Such a distro is the Unattended-GUI BootCD 0.7 If you choose to "install ua" and answer the first question with no, you will be dropped to a bash with some basic commands like lspci and mount. Then, you can e.g. try to to copy a mount.nfs file (via flash drive or so) to the notebook and mount a network drive (with option "-o nolock" - not "nolocks"!)

Second, go to http://www.instalinux.com/ and create a bootable CD with network / online install. The site does however not offer an option to create a gentoo boot CD.

Third - the GENTOO soltution. To install your favorite linux, you will need usb flash drive our something similar and in most cases a running Gentoo installation. You can follow this guide http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/liveusb.xml to copy the install- or life-cd to the flash drive. Try to boot from the usb drive now. - However, in most cases you will not be able to boot since the release expects a cdrom filesystem and not a fat filesystem on your boot drive. This can be fixed by patching the initrd-image with the needed kernel modules:

Open a root shell and mount the installation cd or (better) the downloaded image (adjust paths!).

mount -o loop /home/path/to/install-x86-minimal-2007.0-r1.iso /mnt/image

Go to a new folder somewhere.

mkdir ~/initrd
cd ~/initrd

Unpack the initial boot disk from the just mounted cd into the current directory:

zcat /mnt/image/isolinux/gentoo.igz | cpio -i
ls -l

Since we got time, edit the file ~/initrd/etc/initrd.scripts and in it look for bootstrapCD() and outcomment the following two lines by adding a # to the beginning of the line:

# DEVICES="/dev/cdroms/* /dev/ide/cd/* /dev/sr*"
# DEVICES="$DEVICES /dev/hd*" (outcomment hd* but leave sd* untouched!)

This will skip theses devices when trying to find the boot device. The flash drive will not be one of them and we can avoid some errors, since the kernel freaks out when it tries to access the drive in our notebook as you know. OK, but what we need to do is to copy the kernel modules for the fat filesystem into our initrd. Therefore, emerge the kernel sources for your boot cd. For 2007.0 this means:

emerge -av =sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-2.6.19-r5
cd /usr/src/linux-2.6.19-gentoo-r5
make menuconfig
Processor type and features --->
Subarchitecture Type (Generic architecture ...)
Processor family (486)
say yes to save the .config file

Edit the .config file in your favorite editor:

nano .config

Hit Ctrl+W to search for items, and edit:

CONFIG_REGPARM=n
CONFIG_NLS=y
CONFIG_NLS_CODEPAGE_437=m
CONFIG_NLS_ISO8859_1=m
CONFIG_NLS_UTF8=m

Build the modules (no need to build the whole kernel). Do not use "modules_install"!

make modules

When ready:

cd ~/initrd/lib/modules/2.6.19-gentoo-r5/kernel/fs
mkdir nls
cp -v /usr/src/linux-2.6.19-gentoo-r5/fs/nls/*.ko nls/

This should copy nls_cp437, nls_utf8 and nls_iso8859-1

OK, the last thing we need to do is compress the patched initrd back to the usb flash drive. This can be done the the following way:

mount your usb flash drive (e.g. on /media/disk) and then (you really need to cd!)

cd ~/initrd
find . | sort | cpio -H newc -o | gzip > /media/disk/gentoo.igz

Unmount your usb drive, plug it to your notebook and power it on. The usb drive will be automatically detected as first boot device (assuming you installed the bootloader correctly). There, I suggest booting gentoo-nofb (hint: on a German keyboard the - is the ß ... ;-) ) The kernel will boot until it says "Uniform CD-ROM Driver" or so, then it seems to take some rest. Just wait! The kernel is still having problems with the drive but after a minute it will timeout. When 5 timeout have happend, it will give up and continue booting (so you need to wait 6 minutes or so). Afterwords, the usb flash drive should be detected by the gentoo startup script and from there on, you can refer to the offical manual.

However, two last thoughts:

I would suggest not to even mention the cd/dvd drive to gentoo: not writing it to fstab and maybe even removing the cd-rom support from the kernel. I have not jet tried it, since i wrote this little text emidiatly after I figgured out how to boot.
I think they screwed something up with the partition table trying to hide a backup-parition, making it harder to uninstall Vista or something. That's why I made a complete binary backup from the disk:
dd if=/dev/sda bs=1024 | gzip > /mnt/external_drive/notebook_backup.gz

This was quite effective, since I was not working much under Vista and most of the hard drive is still filled with zeros. That way, I could compress the 250GB drive down to 30GB in 5 hours. In order to copy it back I would use something like

gzip -c -d /mnt/external_drive/notebook_backup.gz | dd of=/dev/sda bs=1024

OK, that was all so far. Much fun with Gentoo on your new notebook :-)

Update

With some help of google, I found the following kernel settings:

CONFIG_FUJITSU_LAPTOP=y
CONFIG_IDE=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDE=y
# CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDE_SATA is not set
# CONFIG_BLK_DEV_HD_IDE is not set
# CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDEDISK is not set
CONFIG_IDEDISK_MULTI_MODE=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDEACPI=y
CONFIG_IDE_GENERIC=m
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDEPCI=y
# CONFIG_IDEPCI_SHARE_IRQ is not set
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_AMD74XX=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDEDMA=y
CONFIG_SCSI=y
CONFIG_SCSI_DMA=y
CONFIG_SCSI_TGT=y
CONFIG_SCSI_NETLINK=y
CONFIG_SCSI_PROC_FS=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_SD=y
CONFIG_ATA=y
# CONFIG_ATA_NONSTANDARD is not set
CONFIG_ATA_ACPI=y
CONFIG_SATA_AHCI=y
CONFIG_SATA_NV=y
CONFIG_PATA_ACPI=y
# CONFIG_PATA_AMD is not set
CONFIG_ATA_GENERIC=y
CONFIG_MD=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_DM=y
CONFIG_I2C_NFORCE2=y
CONFIG_SND_HDA_CODEC_REALTEK=y
CONFIG_SND_HDA_GENERIC=y
CONFIG_SOUND_PRIME=y
CONFIG_SOUND_OSS=y
CONFIG_HID_SUPPORT=y
CONFIG_HID=y

Not all of them may be needed, but after I've set them (manually in the /usr/src/linux/.config) I were able to access the cd/dvd-drive with no errors at all! :-)

There is a list of the built-in hardware on the support pages of F.S. with links to windows xp drivers

Problems

If you encounter problems, please write them down below:

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Last modified: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 15:01:00 +0000 Hits: 3,099