Yesterday I installed Ubuntu 10.04 (“Lucid Lynx”) on my brand-new Dell Precision M4500. Not everything went smoothly: I had driver problems that left me with a blank screen and no wireless. There are simple fixes for these problems but Google was only giving me more complicated technical ones. Maybe this post will help someone in a similar situation.
First the blank screen. From these instructions I added the option
nomodeset for the install, and that went swimmingly. But of course on normal startup I had the same problem; I don’t even know what
nomodeset means, but should I be setting it as a grub option or something? No, the answer is simpler than that: plug in a second (DVI) monitor.1 Assuming that doesn’t have any driver problems, you’ll be able to see what you’re doing and can move on to the next hitch…
Wireless. Without a driver, wireless is completely disabled; the network manager applet doesn’t even see it as turned off, it’s simply absent. Solution: plug in a network cable instead. Duh. (It took quite some time for this blindingly obvious insight to hit.)
So at that point I had internet access and could see the screen. But these aren’t “solutions”, they’re temporary workarounds; from a bit of googling, the next step looks like it’s going to be tracking down drivers, uninstalling and reinstalling packages, and tweaking configuration settings ad nauseum.
System -> Administration -> Hardward Drivers, it found the missing two correctly, they activated without a hitch, and now I’m good to go (the extra monitor and network cable can go back into storage).
- I happen to have one lying around because my previous laptop is a netbook. [↪]