Ubuntu Intrepid on a HP Compaq Prestario CQ60


 Laptops often are not compatible with linux, there is always crap like video cards that are not fully support, the wireless or suspend/hibernating. After buying this laptop you feel like this is really true. However cheer up, with some twists you can make a perfect linux compatible laptop of it. As I am a ubuntu fan I will explain how to install ubuntu intrepid 8.10 on this laptop.

Step 1: The installation

The installation is the most tricky. If you start up a regular install cd the system will hang at boot up. This is because of a problem in the wireless driver (ath_pci). In order to boot this driver has to be blacklisted. Follow the follow steps to take care of this.

1. Go to ubuntu.com and download the intrepid alternate install cd for 64 bits

2. Burn the cd and reboot. Start the installation process and follow the steps. In the end the installer will tell you that the installation is done and that you need to reboot, do NOT continue. Press ctrl-alt-f2 to change to a console. Now type the following commands:

cd /target/etc/modprobe.d
echo "blacklist ath_pci" >> blacklist
echo "blacklist ath_hal" >> blacklist
echo "blacklist ath5k" >> blacklist

3. Now return to the installation process by pressing ctrl-alt-f1 and telling setup to continue.

Step 2: Fixing the wireless

If the display is bothering you a lot then you can skip to step 3 and fix the display.

In this scenario you have two options, install ath5k driver or emulating the windows driver with ndiswrapper. Since the ath5k didnt work well with me for suspend/resuming, I choose the ndiswrapper. If you do want to use the ath5k driver than remove the line "blacklist ath5k" from /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist. Then actualize your system and install linux-backport-modules.

Be sure that you have your computer connected to the internet with a cable.

1. Open a console a type the following commands:

sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-utils-1.9 ndisgtk ndiswrapper-common
sudo echo "blacklist ath5k" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

2.  Download the file below and untar it.


3. Go to System > Administration > Windows Wireless Drivers (ndisgtk)

4. Click install new driver and browse to the place where you unzip the file from step 2. Open the net5211.inf.

5. Go back to your console window and type the following:

sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

6. Wireless should now be working, if not try to restart.

Step 3:NVidia display driver

The default driver works quite bad, fortunately nvidia provides perfect drivers.

1. Go to System > Administration >  Hardware Drivers

2. Active the NVIDIA version 177

Note: Do not activate any of the Atheros drivers!

Step 4: Fixing Suspending/Resuming

This is fixed really easily. 

1. Open a console and type:

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

2. Look for the line that starts with "# defoptions=quiet splash"

3. Add the following to this line: pci=msi

4. Now close gedit and return to console and type:

sudo update-grub

That's all, I hope that you will enjoy this ubunted laptop!

Additional notes:

  •  It was reported that the camera didnt work, however in ubuntu 8.10 the camera works out of the box.