Sunday, 15 March 2009

Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid) on a MacBook Pro (4,1)

As the title suggests, I decided to get Ubuntu 8.10 working on my MacBook Pro.

My aim, for a long time, has been to get linux running well on a Mac.

I think that the Ubuntu Team have packaged a brilliant distribution that supports the MacBook Pro very well, but a few tweaks are required.

These mods are documented here.

The process is long and not suitable for beginers. I thought that these changes could be turned into a script that would work for most users that are dual/multi-booting their Mac.

The scripts can be found on a Ubuntu post that I just posted.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Dual boot Windows XP/linux fails to boot Windows XP

I had a problem: my dual-boot PC would boot into linux (Ubuntu) fine, but I could not boot into Windows XP.

The Windows boot process would stop after loading hpdskflt.sys (in my case) and then it would restart.

It turns out to be my fault: I changed the hard drive configuration in BIOS to SATA rather than IDE. Switching it back to 'SATA Native=Disable' in my case allows Windows XP to boot normally.

Other BIOSs are likely to have a similar setting such as SATA Mode=IDE or SATA or RAID etc.

A friend, who had the same problem, later found this site which explains the problem in detail.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Fixing a Dick Smith G7659 (DTR7100) Digital Set Top Box

I offered to have a look at a friends digital TV set top box that was faulty. It was a Dick Smith branded unit (G7659?) that appears to be a DTR7100 made by Pacific Satellite.

A web search suggested that there were problems with the power supply. I ignored this information at first. Instead I noticed that the power supply voltages were printed on the main board. I checked them to find that they were all working, but not quite close enough to the stated voltage. I then examined the power supply board more carefully. I noticed 3 failed capacitors next to a heat sink. I could tell that they were faulty because their tops were domed rather than flat.

I replaced them and the box now works fine.