Linux on a Toshiba Tecra 740 Laptop
Some comments on installing Linux on a Tecra 740, from the ground up.
When you get the machine, you are steered through a menu to prepare your
machine for Windows 95 (Windows 3.1, one of your choice). This description
should eventually wind up in the official official
Tecra Laptop Page, maintained by
Jens Maurer (I also keep a local copy, but that
may be out of date). See also
Tecra page (I also keep a local copy,
but that may again be out of date).
First a summary of the specs and my basic conclusions
(in which I have also merged comments from the people acknowledged
at the bottom)
- CPU: P166 w/ MMX (320 bogoMIPS)
- 144Mb memory on board (I believe this is the max)
Standard PCI bus.
- onboard 28.8 modem (COM2).
- 13.x" Active Matrix. Handles 1024*768 (download my
XF86Config file, but use
at your own risk).
- Trackstick PS/2 mouse.
- APM (seems to work fine, but check below the PCMCIA comments)
- 2.1Gb removable hard drive. (now generally available w/ 3Gb)
- standard 1.44M floppy (you can get them as internal only, or as
internal/external through the SelectBay. Under certain rough
circumstances booting from the floppy appears only to work from
- 10x CDROM, in a SelectBay
- PCMCIA: 2 standard slots. Can be configured as CardBus(16bit) or
PCIC. Linux can only deal with PCIC though. Make sure it's set
PCIC in the BIOS setup.
Standard installation, no problems to report yet, apart from generic
slackware 3.2 problems that I know about (e.g. bash, lprTNG)
Perhaps not everybody will agree here, or has different experiences,
but these are some of
the "features" I'm less impressed with:
- speakers; loud at startup, and bad quality
Here is a list of bizarre occurences I had on the machine. Some of them
really don't have a reasonable explanation yet, although one can always
suspect the bad disk cache/bad memory problem I may have on this machine.
- PCMCIA: When turning the machine into resume mode, the PCMCIA cards must be
taken out. If you leave any in (we only tested SCSI and Ethernet)
it will hang the machine at boot, and force you to reboot. And that
will generally succeed.
At one instance of the above the machine came back and claimed the
PCIC interface was not found! A complete powerdown (removed
battery and power) and BIOS
toggle back to CardBus and back to PCIC (not sure if the latter
I've now seem postings that a BIOS 5.5 upgrade has solved this suspend
with PCMCIA card in WinNT (and thus likely in linux). Not seem
any linux confirmations yet.
- FAT32: if you care about keeping Window95 on a partition, but want
to use FIPS to split your drive, here is something we found on a
recent T730XCDT: after FIPS has done it's good work you may not be
able to reboot the machine as it complains about some corrupted
VFAT entry. In fact, if you're unlucky, you may not even
(seemingly) be able to boot from the bootfloppy. The solution
is twofold: take the internal CDROM out and replace it with
the floppy, then boot from the bootfloppy that you created from
which you run FIPS to begin with, and run "SYS C:" to restore
the main FAT table (or whatever it's called).
Obviously FIPS is at fault, since it doesn't know about FAT32
yet, but until this has been fixed, this will actually work.
- Some weird BIOS "reset" problems, which forced us to reflash the
BIOS. One of the symptoms was that the PCMCIA cards appeared
dead. Claiming no interface found etc. See toshiba's site
for BIOS updates
Could it be because of running the laptop through the X ray machine
at the airport, or travelling at 35,000 feet?? It has now happened
2 times in not even 1/2 year.
Also visit the
Linux Laptop Page and the
See also Jonathan Buzzard's
Toshiba Utilities Page
July 1, 1999, Toshiba opened op the
Linux support for Toshiba PC page.
Last updated: 1-jul-99
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