Vaio F13 A Few Problems Solved: Touchpad, Sound, NVIDIA, Fan

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Vaio F13 A Few Problems Solved: Touchpad, Sound, NVIDIA, Fan

Postby phillc on Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:43 pm

I've recently come back to Linux Mint after some time away with another distro. I really like using Debian Testing, but also missed some of the niceties of distros like Ubuntu and Mint. I was excited to see a while ago that Mint LMDE was available. Now that I've bought a new laptop, it was time to try LMDE.

The laptop I have is a Sony Vaio VPC-F13S0E. It's a really nice little powerhouse with i7-740QM processor, 1GB NVIDIA graphics and 6GB of RAM.

After installing LMDE I immediately came across a few problems:

1. Touchpad not recognised.
2. Poor screen resolution.
3. No sound.
4. Exceedingly noisy fan.

I wasn't too worried about the first three, as I was confident of being able to fix them. The noisy fan however was really, really worrying. I got as far as packing the machine back in the original packaging, and ready to return to place of purchase after just one day. I did persevere though.

Some solutions.....

1. Touchpad not recognised.

Basically, I needed to add the following to /etc/default/grub

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="i8042.nopnp"

Then "update-grub" to ensure it's fixed next boot.

http://aptosid.com/index.php?name=PNphp ... pic&p=1374

2. Poor Screen Resolution.

Essentially, the NVIDIA drivers aren't included by default and Nouveau didn't seem to work with this machine, so I was stuck with VESA only. Installing the NVIDIA drivers using Synaptic also didn't work. After a re-boot I was left staring at a black screen.The solution was to download the latest drivers from the NVIDIA website and install manually.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html

I'm using version 260.19.36. You'll need to exit X and install these from the command line with ./NVIDIA*

3 and 4. No sound and noisy fan.

After a bit of reading a few threads, it would seem that newer Linux kernels, 2.6.35 and better, included some additional code to deal with Intel i3, i5 and i7 processors.

http://code.google.com/p/vaio-f11-linux ... ?id=36#c15

I'd also read a few threads stating that installing the Liquorix kernel solved sound issues. So, this is what I did.

I added "deb http://liquorix.net/debian/ sid main" to my /etc/apt/sources.list then installed the 2.6.37 image and headers. There's more details instructions here:

http://liquorix.net/
http://techpatterns.com/forums/about1212.html
viewtopic.php?f=141&t=62521&start=0

You'll figure it out :D

Once the Liquorix kernel was installed my sound is working fine and as a very nice bi-product the machine seems to run a bit cooler and thus much less fan noise.

NB: You'll need to re-build the NVIDIA drivers against the new kernel. The Liquorix kernel has the Nouveau drivers installed by default resulting in the black screen after boot, but manually re-building the NVIDIA drivers against this kernel seemed to take care of it. Log into the new Liquorix kernel by selecting "recovery" mode for it from Grub. In retrospect, it may have been easier to install the new kernel before building NVIDIA drivers the first time.

Anyway, I hope this helps some people who may be having similar problems. I'm very pleased to be running Mint LMDE.
phillc
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Re: Vaio F13 A Few Problems Solved: Touchpad, Sound, NVIDIA,

Postby nicoduv on Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:00 pm

Hello,

I have a sony laptop too : vpc f13z1e with nvidia gt 425m
like you i've installed the liquorix kernel 2.6.37 and the nvidia non-free driver 260.19.36 from the official website, but I still have bugs with the brightness control : there's a mildly annoying high-pitched noise when the backlight is dimmed.
Do you have a solution ?
Thanks
nicoduv
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