Jump to content

More Junk from My Neighbor


Recommended Posts

You may remember my neighbor who got frustrated with his ugly Toshiba netbook and gave it to me. I later put in a cheap SSD and installed Arch Linux. It ran much better but it's still memory challenged.

Well I guess he's upgraded again because today he handed over the Netbook's replacement. It's an HP Pavilion from 2015 - i5-5200U (Broadwell) & 8 GB of RAM. It was running Windows 10 horribly and had tons of his stuff on it. I stuck in a Linux Mint Live USB and got it running. It has an unfriendly Broadcom wifi solution that didn't work, but I plugged in a TP-Link mini wifi dongle and got online. I decided to wipe out Windows and nuke his personal stuff so I went ahead and installed Linux Mint Xfce. Then I used the driver manager to install the BCM43142 driver. It now works without the dongle. I disabled Secure Boot but I still had trouble with the install until I wiped out both the EFI and Windows partitions so the whole drive was unallocated. Then I let LM rebuild everything.

It's running much better with Linux but I am going to get another cheap SSD and replace its 5400 RPM mechanical drive. Then it'll be a most satisfactory junker.

  • +1 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also was "gifted" a 3rd gen Apple IPad (2012.) It is running IOS 9.3.5 which I guess is the latest version it supports. It is a 32 GB model. The battery took forever to charge but it's up to 100% now - whatever that is. I don't like tablets and I know nothing about Apple, but I managed to reset it and wipe out my neighbor's personal info. Maybe I'll see if one of the grandkids would like it - otherwise I'll recycle it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is really great to time travel back to 2015 for "Linux on Laptops - Wifi Edition." Of all the bad Linux Wifi solutions, BCM43142 is arguably the ugliest. It's never been merged with the kernel, virtually no ISO from any distro contains it, and you have to build the module and insert it. Also if you have Secure Boot enabled, it'll never load on boot. As a result it's practically guaranteed that it won't work on any Live distro, let alone an installed one.

You have to disable Secure Boot, wire up or use a USB dongle then you choose a very polished mainstream distro like Linux Mint and install BCM43142 via Driver Manager (which also gives you the opportunity to blacklist it and just keep on with your other wifi connection.)

On the bright side, Once I get this junker working I can replace my workroom laptop (a Linux friendly 2014 Lenovo model) and then reinstall Arch on the Lenovo.. That'll keep the brain cobwebs away for a while.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My cheap hard drive is coming later today so I've been getting the HP Pavilion ready for the install. Fortunately HP provides good documentation about maintenance for these machines.

There is a yuge difference between a commercial and consumer laptop though. I replaced a hard drive on my son-in-law's HP Probook and all I had to do was remove a hatch on the back and replace the drive. On the consumer drive there are about 20 screws to remove and you have to take out the DVD-RW drive as well. The hard drive is in a caddy which connects with a ribbon cable and ZIF connector to the motherboard.All I have to do now is connect the new drive and then screw everything back in place. Wish me luck. See you on the other side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK got the SSD installed, Linux Mint Xfce installed and everything is looking good.

ray@ray-HP-Pavilion-Notebook:~$ inxi -Fxz
  Kernel: 5.15.0-72-generic x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 11.3.0
    Desktop: Xfce 4.16.0 Distro: Linux Mint 21.1 Vera base: Ubuntu 22.04 jammy
  Type: Laptop System: Hewlett-Packard product: HP Pavilion Notebook
    v: Type1ProductConfigId serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: Hewlett-Packard model: 8092 v: 89.33 serial: <superuser required>
    UEFI: Insyde v: F.82 date: 08/18/2016
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 30.8 Wh (100.0%) condition: 30.8/30.8 Wh (100.0%)
    volts: 16.3 min: 14.8 model: Hewlett-Packard Primary status: Full
  Info: dual core model: Intel Core i5-5200U bits: 64 type: MT MCP
    arch: Broadwell rev: 4 cache: L1: 128 KiB L2: 512 KiB L3: 3 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 1197 high: 1198 min/max: 500/2700 cores: 1: 1197
    2: 1198 3: 1197 4: 1197 bogomips: 17559
  Flags: avx avx2 ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3
  Device-1: Intel HD Graphics 5500 vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: i915
    v: kernel bus-ID: 00:02.0
  Device-2: Chicony HP Truevision HD type: USB driver: uvcvideo
    bus-ID: 1-3:2
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: driver: X: loaded: modesetting
    unloaded: fbdev,vesa gpu: i915 resolution: 1366x768~60Hz
  OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel HD Graphics 5500 (BDW GT2)
    v: 4.6 Mesa 22.2.5 direct render: Yes
  Device-1: Intel Broadwell-U Audio vendor: Hewlett-Packard
    driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:03.0
  Device-2: Intel Wildcat Point-LP High Definition Audio
    vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
  Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.15.0-72-generic running: yes
  Sound Server-2: PulseAudio v: 15.99.1 running: yes
  Sound Server-3: PipeWire v: 0.3.48 running: yes
  Device-1: Broadcom BCM43142 802.11b/g/n vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: wl
    v: kernel bus-ID: 08:00.0
  IF: wlo1 state: up mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Realtek RTL810xE PCI Express Fast Ethernet
    vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: r8169 v: kernel port: 3000 bus-ID: 09:00.0
  IF: eno1 state: down mac: <filter>
  Device-1: Broadcom BCM43142A0 Bluetooth 4.0 type: USB driver: btusb v: 0.8
    bus-ID: 1-7:3
  Report: hciconfig ID: hci0 rfk-id: 0 state: up address: <filter>
    bt-v: 2.1 lmp-v: 4.0
  Local Storage: total: 894.25 GiB used: 21.02 GiB (2.4%)
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Patriot model: Burst Elite 960GB size: 894.25 GiB
  ID-1: / size: 878.62 GiB used: 21.01 GiB (2.4%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
  ID-2: /boot/efi size: 511 MiB used: 6.1 MiB (1.2%) fs: vfat
    dev: /dev/sda1
  ID-1: swap-1 type: file size: 2 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) file: /swapfile
  System Temperatures: cpu: 31.0 C mobo: N/A
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
  Processes: 236 Uptime: 1h 3m Memory: 7.69 GiB used: 1.51 GiB (19.7%)
  Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 11.3.0 Packages: 2177 Shell: Bash
  v: 5.1.16 inxi: 3.3.13


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some times I feel a bit guilty taking my neighbor's hand-me-downs. He doesn't realize how good a machine he is giving away - a few bucks, a Linux install and some DIY work - and I have something that runs like a champion. All he saw was a tired Windows machine that booted very slowly and ran like a dog. I am sure he's happy with his new laptop.

I also now have another better laptop to experiment with an Arch based distro - that makes me happy. The old Toshiba has finally reached its EOL - 2 GB of RAM runs Arch OK as long as you don't want to do any Web surfing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...