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Installing Red Hat Fedora Core 8 (F8) on an HP Pavilion dv2125nr (dv2000) Notebook Computer

For reasons described in §6.7, I did a fresh install of F8 on the two Linux partitions of my HP Pavilion dv2000 notebook.

One anomaly is that sometimes my X mouse-cursor disappears (though it still works invisibly). A reboot usually fixes it. Sometimes a couple of reboots are necessary. This is actually the most annoying problem I have with Fedora F8 on this notebook. It's like having a 5-minute boot time, with attendance required. [Update July 31, 2008: This problem continues unabated with the nv driver. It does not seems to happen with the proprietary nvidia driver.]

A more common but lesser annoyance in GNOME/X11 behavior is that the track pad puts out spurious events if you place one finger near the lower edge of the track pad and then drag in the interior with a different finger. This can result in many ``back'' commands in the Firefox browser. You can't simply drag the opposite direction to get back to where you were, so it's quite annoying. Emacs sees commands like ``double-mouse-7'', ``triple-mouse-6'', and ``triple-mouse-7'' while doing this (which are fortunately undefined). If this is some power-user feature of the track pad, I haven't figured out how to tame it yet. I simply have to be super-careful to touch the track pad at only one point at all times. It's actually difficult because the left-click button is immediately below the track pad, so that when pointing and clicking, it is really easy to make things leap around accidentally.

My Broadcom 4311 wireless chip did not work for months. However, starting with kernel (Dec. 7, 2007), and after upgrading my firmware to version 5 (to be compatible with the new b43 driver), it started working again.

I could not connect to an external projector using the default driver `nv' (for the NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 graphics hardware). As far as I can tell, there is no way to obtain output of any kind to the VGA connector. This was resolved by installing the NVIDIA proprietary driver called 'nvidia'. However, after around June 2008, the nvidia driver would no longer compile. As a result, I rolled back to the last working kernel and added the line installonlypkgs=1 in /etc/yum.conf so that the F8 kernel would no longer be updated. That worked for a while, and then some update somewhere wiped out all of my sufficiently old kernels (even though I have installonly_limit=0 in /etc/yum.conf). For a while I couldn't use the nvidia driver at all, and that may have been causing other problems (such as overheating and no mouse after boot). Finally I got yum install kmod-nvidia to work (it kept failing saying that the downloaded package didn't match what it was looking for, but retrying eventually worked!).

Note also that, for successful external video projection, the laptop must be booted while connected to a running external projector. Otherwise, the nvidia-settings utility may not offer any working resolutions and refresh rates. See §6.5.1 below for further details.

A problem that seems to get worse over time is overheating of the laptop. It does not seem to overheat under Windows. I've heard that the NVIDIA graphics chip has overheating problems, so perhaps that's the problem. I wish I could try the nvidia driver again to see if it manages temperature better than the nv driver.

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``My Computers'', by Julius O. Smith III, Web document.
Copyright © 2015-11-29 by Julius O. Smith III
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA),   Stanford University