Dell Latitude CPi D300XT -- fatal issue

E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#1
Hey all, new to the forum. That is not really relevant to the problem, just through I would announce it. Now, to the problem...

As the title implies, I have a Dell Latitude CPi D300XT. I got this laptop from a friend of my father and I am trying to get Ubuntu (specifically Hoary as I haven't gotten a Breezy CD yet) and am unable to.

My main problem is that I cannot get through the installation without the screen changing colors and completely halting. Sometimes it will halt before I get it to the install dialog.

I have reseated the CPU, verified that the hdd is fine and checked the memory. Now what? :confused:

P.S.: This is a hardware question, not a Linux question. :p
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#2
Welcome aboard!

As for your issue, is it just ubuntu that's causing trouble, or can you install other flavors of Linux and Windows on it? I tried to get ubuntu loaded via live CD, and didn't have any luck. I did get it installed on a low end (k62) system, but the GUI locked up.

While I know you don't want me to say it's a software issue, 90% it usually is. ;)
 
E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#3
It is not a software issue, I just used Ubuntu as an example. I cannot get any version of Windows installed or any other distro of Linux installed... well, I got SuSE 9.2 ONCE but that is it. It seems like once I get into a full-fledged GUI I'm fine (unless I bump the laptop too much) but its getting there which is the problem.

If this was a desktop issue I'd be able to figure it out (been working on them for years now), but I am new to laptops. :p
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#4
Well, laptops are just desktops crammed into a small container. I can't speak much for linux, so when does the installation fall over when attempting to install windows? My biggest suspect is the RAM, but I'd just be guessing at this point without more detail.
 
E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#5
Well, the first time (windows xp) it stopped at "Setup is loading files (SCSI Disk)...". The second time it stopped before it got to the blue screen... then after a minute or so it showed a blue area at the top with white/gray !'s all across it, then at the bottom it says "Psess F6 hf ynu nded to i".

Windows XP was run on this before and runs fine (if it runs).

After taking out 1 stick of memory it stopped at "Setup is loading files (IEEE 1394 Bus OHCI Compliant Port Driver)...".

After replacing the stick with the one I origionally took out, it stopped at "Setup is loading files (Windows Executive)..."

Interesting...
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#6
Hmm, what steps did you take when you checked the RAM, CPU, and hard disk? These are the biggest culprits, I'd think. Perhaps the CPU isn't getting properly cooled? Have you checked that the fan runs and is clear of dust?
 
E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#7
I swapped out the hdd with one(s) i knew were good. The RAM I did as I said. The CPU I reseated and applied some silver thermal paste. The fan is clean, no obstructions.

Once I had SuSE 9.2 installed. It installed when I had it unmoved the whole time and had a fan blowing on the exhaust port. Not sure if there is a connection or not--but I have tried that since to no avail.
 
E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#11
They are 64mb sticks, using two of them. Tested using the said method above--swapping. I am almost positive that it is good memory.

Also, I had Ubuntu Hoary livecd running and worked fine. (i got lucky)
 
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E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#12
I just got Ubuntu Hoary installed. It took a while but it got done. After the install (or during the finalization rather) it started to goof up and it eventually did a hard shutdown. I checked the laptop where the cpu goes (from the outside) and it was warm to the touch... I think a little warmer than it should be.
 
DanceMan

DanceMan

Procrastinating Member
#13
It does sound like it could be a heat issue. Is the part that holds the heatsink perhaps not contacting the cpu with enought pressure? Is there any way that you could add a shim so that after reassembly, there will be more pressure on that contact?
 
E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#14
I put two pieces of folded oaktag paper in it and it would not even start, then I tried one and it works so far so good, installing Breezy Colony 3 (screwed up the Hoary installation). So far everything is working successfully, no problems. I am a tad concerned about the oaktag (its thick paper-like material) on top of a heatsink... but I shall see.
 
E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#15
Wow, this thing is really getting hot... definitely a cooling problem... what do i do about this?
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#16
I'm not sure I understand what you're doing. Anyway, is the CPU fan intake on the bottom of the notebook? If so, you might try elevating the notebook off the desk more. This should help with airflow quite a bit. If you're working on something soft like a couch or bed (which they show people doing on TV all the time), then airflow from the bottom is all but cut off, making the internals get VERY hot.
 
E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#17
Already ahead of you on that one. The fan is in the back and the exhaust port is on the side. Elevation does nothing.

The fan blows onto the fins which are connected to the heatsink by a copper line, the fan doesn't blow onto the ACTUAL heatsink.
 
DanceMan

DanceMan

Procrastinating Member
#18
The copper line is probably a heat pipe, which transfers the heat from the sink to the fins. This line is not kinked or flattened at any point?
When I suggested a shim, I meant to place it so that the heatsink gets pressed more firmly onto the cpu. It should not get between them, unless it's very flat and smooth copper and coated both sides with a very thin film of thermal paste.
Thermal paste should never be thick.
Something in there isn't aligned correctly or operating properly.
 
E-werd

E-werd

New Member
#19
i did put it on top of the heatsink just as you said. I do have a very thin layer of thermal paste.
 
DanceMan

DanceMan

Procrastinating Member
#20
It sounds like the heatsink isn't functioning to get the heat off the cpu. That's why I suggested a kink or flattening of the heatpipe or the flat contact area of the heatsink not making proper contact with the cpu.
 

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