Installing Ubuntu on a ThinkPad X21

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Because the X21 does not have room for a CDROM, one must plug it into the dock to perform a CD based install.

Using the Live CD for any of the Ubuntu versions listed above, I was able to get the Live CD to boot, but installing Ubuntu to the Harddrive would hang during loading of the usb-storage module. Looking at the logs, I received the famed "Maybe the USB cable is bad?" error message.

Using the Alternate CD, was able to install. At the installer's boot screen, F6 and enter a boot parameter of "debian-installer/probe/usb=false" (don't use quotes). Once you're in the text mode installation and have hit your first set of questions, press AltF2 to enter the BusyBox console, then find and delete (rm) "usb-storage.ko" from /lib/modules/2.6.*/ Then AltF1 to return to the install, and answer questions as normal. The install process should work fine from here on out, and booting into your fresh installation should go without a hitch.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I used the Ubuntu 7.04 CD. I booted the live CD and clicked the install icon on the Gnome Desktop. It installed without problem. I have 256 meg Ram.

June 7, 2007

The Motorola WN825G WiFi cardbus card works. I use ndiswrapper with the Windows driver from Motorola and wifi-radar to connect to encrypted wifi. To get the card working : 1) Boot Ubuntu 2) Log in into the user account 3) Insert the card : the green led ligts 4) run wifi-radar

September 25, 2007

My X21 does not have a cd drive, connected a cd-rom drive via usb (used a standard IDE external cage). Booted off the Ubuntu disc without any problems, and began installation. Due to the speed of the USB (1.1), installation took significantly longer then usual.

October 26, 2007

installation problem with PCI Interrupt

Boot hangs with the last dmesg as ACPI : PCI Interrupt Link [LNKC] enabled at IRQ11 ACPI : PCI Interrupt 0000:00:0a.1[A] -> Link [LNKC] -> GSI 11 (level, low) -> IRQ 11

The machine is IBM Thinkpad X21. Tried boot options: acpi=off, noapic, nolapic, etc. but didn't work.

The machine works fine with Windows XP, so it shouldn't be hardware problem.

The machine used to work fine with 6.06LT, but after I install 7.04, it hangs afterwards. 7.10 doesn't help either.

Would appreciate if anyone can help.

After another day investigation.

I tried redhat 9, 8, 7.3, 7.2, and then finally successfully boot up the system with redhat 7

During redhat 9, 8, and 7.3/7.2 installation, they all showed and hanged:

PCI: Found IRQ 11 for device 00:0a.1 PCI: Sharing IRQ 11 with 00:0a.0 Redundant entry in serial PCI_table. Please send the output of lspci -vv, this message (11c1, 045C, 8086, 2205) and the manufacturer and name of serial board or modem board to serial-PCI-info@lists,

After I boot up with redhat 7, lspci command showed output 00:0a.0 as Ethernet Controller, INTEL 82557 (Ethernet Pro 100) rev.0c 00:0a.1 as Serial Controller, Lucent Microelectronics unknow device 045c (rev 01)

I tried to boot up the system with Ubuntu 6.06LT with PCI3 (ethernet/modem combo card) disabled, but the kernel still hanged as before.

I remember that this syndrome happened after I boot up my working 6.06LT, then after a kernel update, the system never boot up again thereafter.

I wonder if recent versions of kernel won't support the combo card anymore. Is there anyway to work around the problem?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

January 20, 2011 excuse for not giving a solution at this "forum" (should it move to talk?):

I have used my X21 and (mostly) Ubuntu and derivates for years with no memorable problem. Installation ran from the CD in the Ultrabase, once more fluent than the other time; the CD drive is getting worse.

Just last weekend (after ~5,5 years of service after buying it second hand) it would not boot anymore. I suspected the harddisk, so I swapped it for another and started installing anew. No luck.

For close to a week now, I am trying to figure out for what reason this error/hang pup up all of a sudden. I guessed it was some link between the laptop and the Ultrabase and, having a spare ultrabase, swapped to no avail.

ACPI : PCI Interrupt 0000:00:0a.1[A] -> Link [LNKC] -> GSI 11 (level, low) -> IRQ 11

Searching the net gives quite a few false positives, since during a normal boot this line will show as well. I am quite glad to have found the entry on this page.

I also have disconnected all external hardware and turned off most options in the BIOS. I also turned off PCI IRQ's, giving a hang after the colourful IBM right after switching on the laptop. One by one I switched on IRQ's; I noticed all of them defaulted to IRQ 11, though they had been auto before that. The last PCI (4) received IRQ 9 in the end, and now the last line in the boot sequence reads the same, but than with IRQ 9 instead.

Another thing: after switching off all IRQ's for PCI, I got errors for 5 PCI devices instead of 4. I guess some device is shared, it might be that there the problem lies.

So far no good: I have switched the IRQ for PCI4 from 9 to 4, but once the boot hangs, it still says IRQ9 in that line.

One more "by the way": I have tried installing Arch, Debian and Ubuntu now, each of them the most recent version. I found out that the hard disk I grabbed actually got a (still working) Windows copy on it, so I tried Wubi. It copied all fine in the Windows environment, but after rebooting and completing the install, it hang once more at the same point.

Later this week I will probably revert to a previous Ubuntu version, either from CD or harddisk. It used to run Lubuntu 10.4 or 10.10, and I suspect there has been a kernel update since the previous reboot resulting in the problem popping up. The bright side is that with some luck the other disk has not died, but just got a less than useful kernel on it.

Just been looking around a bit more... The whole PCI IRQ-business might be a red herring. Closely following in most (successful) boots, is a line concerning ramdisks. At [[1]] there's someone with two comparable thinkpads (T21), one with 512M, the other with 256M. At the moment none of the ultrabases read anything from CD anymore, but once I got a chance I will test RAM.