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The Compaq nc8430 is one of the first HP laptops that contain the Centrino Duo type. Meaning it contains an Intel Core Duo processor (T2400, T2500 or T2600).

Novell certified this nc8430 laptop.

Introduction to the guide

This is not a guide to install gentoo distribution on the Laptop (for help with that see the Gentoo Handbook). Rather, it contains some explanation on the non-trivial step to get most of the hardware. Most of the guide is Gentoo centered, but the guide might be insteresting for other linux distribution as well.

Overview of current supported hardware

Fully Supported

Untested Hardware

Nearly everything as we are just in the middle of installing it.

Not working

I have not yet flagged anything into the non-working category

Description of the hardware

First of all, here's the output of lspci:

Code: #lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express PCI Express Root Port (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 01)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 01)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 01)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 01)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 01)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 01)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e1)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 01)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller AHCI (rev 01)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc M56P [Radeon Mobility X1600]
02:06.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 Cardbus Controller
02:06.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments PCIxx12 OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller
02:06.2 Mass storage controller: Texas Instruments 5-in-1 Multimedia Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/xD)
02:06.3 Class 0805: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 SDA Standard Compliant SD Host Controller
02:06.4 Communication controller: Texas Instruments PCIxx12 GemCore based SmartCard controller
08:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5753M Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express (rev 21)
10:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02)

Before you start

Although I haven't tested it myself on this hardware, a good thing to do is to update your BIOS configuration as can be read in this [HP Pavilion zv5000] guide. You can find information on updating your BIOS here or here



See this guide.

Alsa sound

I have mainly followed the ALSA/Install

Problems & Solutions

ACPI & DSDT Issues

Once I had gentoo pretty operable on my nc8430 I began to notice some weird problems with ACPI on this computer. After searching around, I found that I was by far not the only one to run into these issues. Most of them are prevalent in most newer HP/Compaq computers. Some of the issues and the paths to what worked for me are listed below:

Noticed ACPI Issuses

You may experience two types of problems:

This problem has been reported by user of some other recent HP laptops. The recommended solution is to compile the support for a PS2 mouse as a module and RMMOD the module before reboot.

However both problems appear to be solved in the new kernel 2.6.20.

ACPI Solutions

If you search around with some diligence you will come across about five or six pages detailing problems with newer HP laptops and in particular the nc8430, some of these links will be listed at the end of this section.

  1. To begin with, make sure you go to the HP Driver section for this laptop and update to the latest BIOS version! I can't recommend this enough. There have been a lot of ACPI problems that have been solved and many ongoing problems, that this article attempts to solve through work arounds, may be solved in later BIOS releases. At the time of the writing of this article the current version is F.0F. Even though HP don't support Linux with this model and they only provide EXE file for this BIOS update, it is not difficult at all to update your BIOS. There are several ways but perhaps the easiest one is to emerge wine and execute the exe file from within wine. A graphical interface will appear that will offer you to create a bootable image. Accepting it, burning the image (back in Linux) and rebooting and following the instructions on the screen.
  2. Another thing that can solve a few problems you may be experiencing is to make sure that you are on the most recent stable kernel version that is available. I used the most recent gentoo-sources version.
  3. If that didn't fix your problems for you, I would recommend following this ACPI/Fix common problems to begin to troubleshoot all of the DSDT problems that this laptop has. It can be a bit daunting at first, but it helped fix a number of things that I found buggy.
  4. Finally, if none of these other more "correct" options worked well for you, you can try a work around of making psmouse a module (seen as "PS/2 mouse" under "Device Drivers -> Input Device Support -> Mouse" in your kernel config). Then add this modules to modules.autoload.d to make this load at boot time, and finally type "echo 'modprobe -r psmouse' >> /etc/conf.d/local.stop" to unload this module just before the system powers off. This option is the one that I eventually ended up at, and the one that I had the most success with. This work around seems to reset the bad state that the computer is left in on power off.

Helpful Links

If none of this helped you, or for more information, please feel free to consult the following links:

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Last modified: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 23:35:00 +0000 Hits: 8,279