Red Hat 9.0 Upgrade on Dell Inspiron 8200
|Processor||1.8GHz Pentium 4 M
|BIOS||Phoenix BIOS A08 (upgraded to A09)
|Display||15" SXGA+ (1400x1050) @24bit
|Video Card||32MB DDR 4X AGP NVidia NV17 (GeForce 440 Go)
|RAM||512MB DDR 266MHz (2 DIMM) SODIMM
|Hard drive||40GB, 5400RPM; Hitachi DK23EB-40
|Fixed optical||24X CD-RW/DVD combo; Samsung CDRW/DVD SN-324B
|Modem||v.92 56Kb internal softmodem; PCTel 2304WT V.92 MDC
|LAN||10/100Mb LAN; 3C920 (3C905C-TX compatible) controller
|WLAN||Dell TrueMobile 1150 wireless mini-PCI (has Agere MPC13A-20/R chip)
|Firewire||IEEE 1394 (Firewire/i.Link); TI OHCI Compliant controller
|USB||2 slot USB 1.0; Intel 82801CA/CAM
|PCMCIA||2 slot; TI PCI-4451 controller
|Audio||Crystal WDM Audio Codec (Cirrhus Logic CS 4205)
I previously described my experiences
installing Red Hat 8.0 on my Inspiron 8200.
Here I describe my experiences upgrading that machine to
Red Hat 9.
- I rebooted with CD 1 in my DVD drive.
I took the opportunity offered to verify all three CD-Rs.
I selected 2 Button PS/2 mouse.
Then I ran an upgrade and let 'er rip.
- When the upgrade finished (about an hour total), I rebooted
to see where I was.
How'd It Go?
I found I had a couple of expected problems and a very serious
- I expected I might have problems with the video driver.
(See my related remarks about the Red Hat 8
- I rebuilt the nVidia 4496 driver for the new kernel.
When I ran startx (I don't use the graphic login screen.),
the startup took a very long time, but it worked.
However, the mouse/touchpad was frozen.
- I dropped back to the VESA driver (and corresponding XF86Config)
and ran startx again.
This time the mouse/touchpad was functional, though I had the
previously reported problems with a screen offset.
- I went back again to the nVidia driver.
For no particular reason, I started as root and it worked.
And the mouse/touchpad worked.
- I exited, then started X again as myself, and everything seemed
to be okay.
Even APM suspend-to-RAM worked.
However, after using nVidia 4496 for about a month, I decided
to revert to 4363.
With 4496, the machine would fail to resume successfully relatively
frequently, meaning after a couple of days' worth of suspends
I have not had that experience with nVidia 4363 (as hacked).
- The next thing I wanted to do was to run up2date to get
all the latest patches.
But up2date didn't seem to want to start up.
I decided to try poking around at other things....
- I tried to go about my usual business and discovered networking
wasn't working well at all.
It seemed that I could not connect to any website that used SSL
(https:), with either Mozilla or Konqueror.
Requests to some other websites never completed.
To shorten a multi-hour, harrowing story, I decided to download
kernel RPMs (2.4.20-20.9) from ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/updates/9/en/os/i386 and install them.
After I did so, the networking problems vanished.
- RealPlayer 8 (and 9) does not work. RP8 gets stuck at an
flock() system call (as seen via strace).
I've only tried a couple of things, but
RP 9 (alpha) dies soon after starting to play with a Memory Fault or
I have yet to have it function correctly with any input.
Note: Sound appears to be working okay otherwise. I can
play CDs okay, for example.
- So far, everything else seems to be functioning well.
- In RH 8, my system was using the wvlan_cs driver for wireless
In RH 9, I'm using orinoco_cs.
- Subsequent to the installation, I bought a firewire disk, and I
had mixed results using it.
When I first plug the drive in, the system sees it (/dev/sda1,
using SCSI emulation) okay, and it works great.
However, if I unplug the drive, then plug it in again,
the system gets very unhappy.
APM suspend-to-RAM continues to work, sort of, but on resume,
WLAN no longer works
correctly, and the time gets messed up.
The process of upgrading to Red Hat 9 from 8 is painless, but the
result is painful.
It is essential to update the kernel RPMs immediately.
In fact, it might even be wise to download them ahead of time
so you'll be able to get them while you have a working network
My preliminary opinion on the nVidia 4496 driver is that it works well with
RH9 (which was not my opinion of it with RH 8).
Last modified: 15 January 2006
$Id: i8200-rh9.html,v 1.7 2006/01/15 18:41:21 dmk Exp $