Sunday, 28 October 2007

Upgrading to Ubuntu 7.10

I've been running Ubuntu on my laptop for a while now - I think I started with 6.10 and then reinstalled when 7.04 came out, and just now I've done a clean install of 7.10. It hasn't gone totally smoothly though. I've had problems with wireless, suspend and hibernate.

I was hoping 7.10 would resolve most of these problems, and I got quite excited when wireless worked straight out of the box. I set the laptop to suspend when the lid was closed, and when I closed the lid, it tried to suspend and failed- when I tried to use it again, it seemed to wake up but then immediately hibernated and powered off.

After resuming the machine, no surprise that the wireless no longer worked. It was the same problem as always, /var/log/dmesg revealing:
[ 17.004000] ipw2200: Radio Frequency Kill Switch is On:
[ 17.004000] Kill switch must be turned off for wireless networking to work.

(My laptop has a kill switch on the left hand side - this turns the wireless off hardware style)

I finally found something that helped here. So simple to get it going really:

  1. sudo modprobe acerhk

  2. echo 1 > /proc/driver/acerhk/wirelessled


My laptop is an ITC Millennia 6100 - I think this is essentially an Acer CL56 (I say that because it came with a CD-ROM labelled CL56 Users manual).

Suspend is still hit and miss. I tried it a few times just yesterday and both suspend and hibernate worked. I wasn't running many applications. However, today after leaving the machine alone for a while I came back to see that when I tried to wake it, suspend had failed and then it went and hibernated.

Oh well, its getting better. Maybe my laptop is too old. I bought it probably 3-4 years ago. I'm planning on moving to a desktop soon - cheaper, more powerful and brand new. I don't need to be super mobile at the moment anyway.

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