Hello, everyone. I've been working on a Dell Inspiron 700m laptop
(512MB RAM, 40GB hard drive) for about a week now, and I can't seem to get
it stable. I've installed Slackware Linux v10.0 on the machine, and to get
everything working I installed v.2.6.9 of the kernel. After doing this (and
installing v0.15 of ipw2200 to get the wireless network card going), I
discovered a number of problems with the machine.
I do not have any third-party patches applied to the kernel.
I almost always use the ethernet interface for networking, not the
Double-tapping in X (X.org v6.7.0) doesn't work. The touch-pad is very
I can't enable DMA on the hard drive or the CD-RW drive, which has
slowed down the system's responsiveness to a great degree. I've played
around with hdparm but always get the same error message ("HDIO_SET_DMA
failed: Operation not permitted"). I also get the "DMA is not enabled..
fscking this drive may take a long time" warning at boot-time (the drive
is formatted with ReiserFS)./
When writing files larger than 1MB to the hard drive the sound cuts out
permanantly. Stopping and restarting XMMS doesn't do anything. No
sound at all can be played. Killing Esound doesn't work. Not using
Esound at all doesn't seem to make a difference.
During lengthy tasks (such as compiling), not only does sound stop
working but the touchpad and keyboard become entirely unresponsive under
X. The only thing I can do is use control+alt+backspace to kill X.
Restarting X leaves the keyboard and touchpad unresponsive; I have to
shut down the machine and restart it to restore them.
Losing the input devices is pretty much a showstopper because this is my
only means of getting work done.
I've tried enabling and disabling the low-latency functionality of the
kernel, and the machine is only marginally more stable (it can handle a
few more seconds of hard work before becoming unresponsive). The fan
works and runs from time to time, so I don't know if it's overheating or
not but I can't be sure.
I can post my xorg.conf and kernel config files if anyone would like to
I've been hunting for solutions for a few days now but haven't found
anything directly use - lots of stuff that I'd already found
(configuring X for 1280x800, for example - stuff that I don't want to
play around with until the rest of the machine is completely stable).
I'm steadily exploring Dell's Linux forum but it'll take me a few days
to finish going throughit.
I'm wondering if maybe the X server isn't losing synch with the input
devices (I get a lot of "psmouse.c: TouchPad at isa0060/serio1/input0
lost sync at byte 4" messages in /var/log/syslog; I've tried changing
kernel level drivers and messed with my xorg.conf file but wasn't
successful in fixing that) and then never trying to get them back. That
would explain why the keyboard and touchpad go (mostly) dead (why can I
only kill the X server but not type anything or move the cursor?).
I wonder if the lack of DMA on the hard drive has something to do with
lagging the system so badly that everything else falls off, but I don't
Has anyone ever had this particular combination of problems with the
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