Monday, October 22, 2012

New Linux 0, Old Laptop 1

I spent the weekend building and re-building the Linux installation on my laptop, only to decide in the end that something about the new (3.5+) Linux kernels hates my hardware.

The whole episode started when I foolishly decided to upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 to Ubuntu 12.10. I believe that 12.10 is running a 3.5.X kernel.

The upgrade was without incident, except that when all was done, the laptop wouldn't boot! It showed a splash screen, then the screen went dark, and it was unresponsive.

Eventually I figured out that I could interrupt into the GRUB menu and choose an older kernel, and then the laptop booted, but it was very unstable and kept printing "a system error has occurred".

I happened to have a Fedora 17 CD around, so I re-built the laptop with Fedora 17 on it.

The laptop was fine, so I decided to run Software Update, which again ran for hours, and decided to take me to a 3.6.X kernel.

Once again, the laptop failed to boot, and once again if I overrode the GRUB menu and chose "Advanced Settings" and picked an older kernel, it came up, grudgingly.

So, for now, I'm running on a stock Fedora 17 installation, aware that I apparently can no longer update to the latest kernel.

At least until I can figure out what part of my hardware the new kernel hates.

Which probably means:

  1. Updating to the latest software
  2. Allowing the machine to fail to boot a few times
  3. Choosing an older kernel and getting back into the machine
  4. Trying to find some log files with some clues about what's wrong
  5. Re-installing back down to the older Linux

Ugh. I'm not really looking forward to this process.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a temporary hdd just for the sake of this testing + an adapter to put it into a "big" PC to read logs might have been helpful...

    I think that's what I would do :)