Friday, June 17, 2011

Amazingly, some further improvement in EeePC

Right now, Haiku continues to work well. The keyboard works after most boots. If it doesn't I just reboot until it does.
Additionally, I updated the BIOS which seemed to bring some improvements although I can't be certain of this. Nevertheless, things certainly aren't worse.
Further, I managed to install Ubuntu 11.04 on the /dev/sdb 16 GB ssd but haven't yet managed to get it to boot.
Here's some detail:

Keyboard issue
1. After many reboots, I am now quite convinced that the functionality of the keyboard and touchpad are related because, when one doesn't work neither does the other, without exception.
I posted to the EeePC forum on this but have not yet gotten any replies. This may be because I was less clear on the situation when I wrote the post.

BIOS update
2. The BIOS I had installed was version 1301 which was considerably out of date. The newest was 2103 as described here from where I also downloaded it.
How to install a new BIOS is outlined here.
Because of some difficulties, I ended up formatting my 1GB PNY L63 usb key to FAT in Windows XP (just right click on the key in MyComputer and choose Format).
The next step was to copy the 901.ROM file to the key.
Then I inserted it in my EeePC and rebooted. However, I kept running into a problem where the 901.ROM file wasn't being read as discussed in this thread.
However, although I tried many things to resolve this problem, what eventually solved it for me was to switch to another usb key -- this time I used a HP 2GB key and everything went perfectly.
After the BIOS update, the incidence of keyboard/touchpad problems seemed to be reduced but not eliminated.

Ubuntu install
3. Now, when booting to the Ubuntu usb key, no error messages showed up and sometimes, not ALWAYS, it managed to get to the Desktop. From there, it was easy to install Ubuntu 11.04.
However, as I had selected /dev/sda (where Haiku was installed) for Grub2 to be installed, Grub failed to install and the installation stalled at this point. So, I had to do a hard power-off.
Now my problem was to get Ubuntu boot without a bootmanager.
So, I went back to my usb-key and reinstalled Ubuntu but this time I installed the bootmanager to /dev/sdb1.
Then, back to Haiku where I reinstalled the Haiku bootmanager (note that this is no longer called bootman but rather BootManager so this is what you need to type in the terminal.
BootManager allowed me to select the Ubuntu / partition as a bootable partition. However, it said that /dev/sda had no space available for installing the bootmanager so I installed it to /dev/sdb.
Strangely, this only allowed selecting partition on the /dev/sdb disk to boot and, therefore, not Haiku which was on /dev/sda.
Nevertheless, by selecting a non-bootable partition, Haiku booted.
Also, Ubuntu booted perfectly.

Installation of Grub2
4. I then booted back to Ubuntu and tried to install Grub2 (grub-install /dev/sda) but this failed because of the befs filesystem on /this disk.
So, I delected everything on this disk using Gparted and tried grub-install again and, this time, it seemed to go fine.
However, when I tried to boot, only the Haiku bootmanager seemed to work. But when I selected the only boot option available (Ubuntu) it just went back to the EeePC page possibly because I had taken out Haiku so the bootmanager was unable to work.

Progress but still some way to go.

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