Toshiba Satellite A200: mostly working...

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Toshiba Satellite A200: mostly working...

Postby Jestocost on Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:26 pm

This is sort of a mini report and several cries for help so bear with me, heh.

I have installed Linux Mint 4.0 KDE on my laptop, a Toshiba Satellite A200. It mostly works, but not being a Linux guru I've been unable to fix the ugly blemishes that remain. Googling around and other threads have helped some, but not fully. So...

* all the system functionality that I've poked at seems too work smoothly. Nice OS, guys. It certainly is much more responsive and efficient than the painful slowly grinding Vista I had before (particularly slow as soon as you add something sizable to the bare bones it comes with; also, don't even get me started about Ready Boost - not even with a SSD in the card slot was it worth it, in fact the damn thing kept trashing horribly back and forth on many occasions).
* wifi, being one of those cursed Atheros AR5007EG cards, didn't work out of the box. I figured out that a madwifi patch would do the trick, and following http://madwifi.org/ticket/1679, got it working without any further problems.
* suspend to disk works, but boy is it ugly. The screen goes through all manner of strings of colorful symbols and blocks. The video on this thing is a Mobile Intel 945 Express, which worked perfectly in any other regard. However, on one occasion the suspend to disk failed, as it couldn't dismount my Lexar ExpressCard SSD, and it just locked the screen instead of suspending. (By the way, what file system should I be using on this SSD? It went ext3 by default, and my googling of ext3 vs xfs vs etc etc hasn't provided me with any hard clues about which is best where for laptops, even less so for a ssd vs a hd.)
* suspend to RAM failed miserably, causing the system to just log me out and back to the login screen (not even to the locked screen login).
* the sound doesn't work at all. The advice on that thread that is close down here in this same subforum didn't help. The sound in this thing is a Realtek High Definition. Sliding the volume wheel produces the changing slider onscreen, but no output through either the onboard speakers or the headphones plug.
* brightness control is a mystery to me. It seems to work for the powersave settings, but I can't find any specific control or applet to adjust it at my whim. Not sure if this isn't just me getting lost in the sea of endless configuration submenus or what.

Please throw links, sensible instructions to follow, or anything else that relates to my particular kind of laptop and solving these issues. I imagine you may need more hard information, so just ask (and probably tell me how to get it out of the console!) and I'll gladly provide. Thanks in advance...
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Re: Toshiba Satellite A200: mostly working...

Postby iironjade on Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:26 pm

I never got the Mint sound to work on my Toshiba either although it did ok with a distro called OpenGEU. In the end I got a Compaq strictly for Mint and never had any trouble with it. A bit drastic I know, but I can only take so much aggravation. :)
"A good many dramatic situations begin with screaming."
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Re: Toshiba Satellite A200: mostly working...

Postby Jestocost on Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:35 pm

Well, that's nice if you can afford it. My wallet can't take the aggravation of a second laptop, hehe... OpenGEU? Need to check it out then.
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Re: Toshiba Satellite A200: mostly working...

Postby Jestocost on Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:10 pm

All right, I don't know how (after a couple hours of googling your mind gets sort of fuzzy) but I arrived at some suggestion to compile and install the Realtek drivers for ALSA. They can be got from several sites (the Realtek one didn't work for me), just search for "realtek-linux-audiopack-5.01.tar.bz2", unpack and follow the instructions inside it. Warning: you probably need to do "env LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib" or the compilation will not find the required ncurses libraries for the utilities. Also, the "./install" needs to be run as "sudo" on the console.

I'm not sure how stable this is going to be, the first reboot after install KMix crashed. But opening the Sound Mixer applet and fiddling with the controls game me sound, volumen control, headphones, and independent mute ability for both speakers and headphones.

Now if I can get lucky with the RAM suspend, I can start using the Vista DVD recovery disk as a coaster for my coffee mug and be done with it. :wink:

(Edit: forgot to mention that installing the Realtek ALSA drivers borked the wifi, and needed a reinstall of the patched madwifi mentioned in my first post.)
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Re: Toshiba Satellite A200: mostly working...

Postby jdgiotta on Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:22 pm

I have a Toshiba a105-S2141 and this tweak worked for enabling sound
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=416207

Not sure about a200 though
High-five to those who read this.
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