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I’m trying to help my sister-in-law in Canada fix her notebook computer. I’m in NY so I’m planning to walk her through via webcam. (She borrowed her roommate’s notebook to ...
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  1. #1
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    Need help re Acer Travelmate Notebook with Linux


    I’m trying to help my sister-in-law in Canada fix her notebook computer. I’m in NY so I’m planning to walk her through via webcam. (She borrowed her roommate’s notebook to webcam.)

    She bought her Acer Travelmate 3270 in Taiwan. It came with Linux. She is now having constant problems with the notebook rebooting by itself. It sounds like she may need to reinstall Linux. The only CD that came with the Travelmate is the “Resource CD”.

    My questions are:

    1) Does the Resource CD contain Linux? Can the Travelmate be restored to its factory default condition from the Resource CD?

    2) Can Windows XP be installed on the Travelmate 3270? (I have licenses for different flavors of XP and I can send her a CD.)

    I am a techie but have no experience with Linux – only Windows (XP, Vista, etc.)

    Any information appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast Manchunian's Avatar
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    Oh, dear! No-one's answered this yet. Perhaps we can bump it a bit?
    To me this doesn't look like a software problem - Linux doesn't usually behave in this way. Linux can run for litterally years on a server without ever having to be rebooted. Can your sister-in-law take back the computer and exchange it?
    The CD should have Linux on it. If not, you can create your own (and swap it for something like Ubuntu). People have got XP working on them, but Linux was initially chosen because it has a much lower, cpu footprint and runs faster...and because it's free of course!
    I hope one of the heavy-weights will notice your thread now!
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manchunian View Post
    I hope one of the heavy-weights will notice your thread now!
    lol, I hope you're referring to technical know-how, not portlyness...

    Anyway, I cant help much specifically, but I'll throw what I know at this.

    This sort of behaviour would be caused by one of two things:

    1. misconfigured kernel or video driver builds, or very badly setup power management/sensors, etc.
    2. failing hardware

    As 1. requires enough degree of technical know-how to break things, it's unlikely that your sister will have succumbed to this. I've had it before, many years ago when I used to build my own kernels - I'd managed to accidentally tick a box on one of the driver pages and I couldn't understand why I'd got kernel panics. Of course, in those days there were no forums to turn to...

    No 2. isn't necessarily a failure, it's most likely down to heat. If the laptop's out of warranty, then it's a matter of cleaning dust and crud off the fans/heatsinks as best you can and making sure all the fans still spin. If it's in warranty, then maybe a trip to the supplier is the best approach.

    Whatever happens, you should NEVER have to do a re-install of Linux to solve this kind of issue. Remember this is not the leading commercial operating system, and so the design does not build-in the periodic need for a complete re-install.
    Linux user #126863 - see http://linuxcounter.net/

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    Thank you all for the responses! Sorry I wasn’t able to update yesterday. We tried booting off the “Resource CD” the other night and found it wasn’t bootable.

    Via webcam, we looked at the CD’s contents on another PC and only saw the folders “documentation”, “drivers”, etc., but none that might suggest an OS like Linux or XP. So I decided to mail her my old XPHome CD (which is no longer installed) yesterday. We'll try installing XP when the CD arrives.

    I learned a lot about her laptop, though. And I think there may be some funky business going on when my sister purchased her laptop in Saudi. (I initially thought she purchased it in Taiwan because she worked in both countries. That was also her first computer purchase.)

    When she bought the laptop at the store, she was asked, “OK, what operating system do you want? XP? Vista?” She didn’t know Vista so she said “XP”. She was then told to come back later to pick it up.

    Everything was fine until she came to Canada. She said she started seeing the message that says not-a-genuine-copy-of-Windows and her laptop would just freeze. A techie-friend of hers had a look and said her copy of Windows was not legal. Her techie-friend also said something about Linux. This was the part that wasn’t clear -- I think she misunderstood or couldn’t explain it to me clearly. And so I was led to think she had Linux.

    The laptop also doesn’t have the Certificate of Authenticity sticker usually found at the bottom with the CD-Key printed for XP (or Vista). It had an Acer sticker with only the serial number on it. So I think it originally came with Linux. And this is what her techie-friend was probably telling her.

    But I learned a lot about Linux and now I’ve become enthused. Especially with its stability like you say. I tried Linux I think ten years ago from a MaximumPC CD but I was unable to get it to work. Yesterday I was looking at Mandriva, ubuntu, and Knoppix because the downloads are already .iso images. It looks like things have changed so much since then. But it's also likely I just didn’t know what I was doing ten years ago. When I get my hands on a spare PC I’ll install Linux on it.

    Lol about “portlyness”!

  5. #5
    Linux Enthusiast Manchunian's Avatar
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    Ah, just as I was talking about heavy-weights, along comes Roxoff

    vvcarpio - I'm no computer techie expert thingy - but I enthuse about Linux! For me, it all started just over two years ago. At first, it was difficult because I had all those "Windows reflexes". But once you understand that Linux is not Windows and get used to a different form of administration, you appreciate Linux's speed and reliability. Just being able to surf the web without having anti-virus software sapping half your cpu, not having to check for spyware every two days, and not having to do disk defrags, make Linux worthwile. Then there are the other advantages...
    If you need help when you start trying Linux, don't hesitate to post here. This is a great forum, and there are many heavy-weights like Roxoff, all too eager to help you!
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    Thank you for the warm welcome, Manchunian. Being able to surf the web with no anti-virus sapping the CPU and picking my wallet annually for updates and making me labor through mailing all those rebate forms and keeping track of them afterwards are winning arguments that are hard to resist .

    My work-at-home PC just crashed a few days ago so I reinstalled XP. I am now planning to dual boot Ubuntu on it. It might take a while possibly over the weekend. I'm up for the challenge of a new OS .

  7. #7
    Linux Enthusiast Manchunian's Avatar
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    Great! I think a dual boot is the best option to start with. Linux takes a bit of getting used to at the beginning, so it's good to be able to fall back on Windows when you need to - and of course, there are those games that so many people want to run. But once you're used to Linux, you'll never be able to use anything else! Keep us up to date, and don't hesitate to ask for help should you need it.

    Good luck!
    Distribution: Archlinux
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