Author Topic: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop  (Read 23431 times)

MrJinx

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Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« on: 2008.09.05, 20:10:55 »
Acer has entered the mini notebook market to compete with Asus. The price and features were so good, I couldn't pass it up. It comes preloaded with Windows or Linux. I purchased one with Win-XP for $349.00 USD.
The model features a 1.6 atom processor, 120gig harddrive (Not SSD), No CD, 8.9 display at 1024x600, Realtek wired ethernet and an atheros ar5007 wireless. We seem to have support for everything but the wireless and camera. Any loading or modification of this device will require a technique similar to the EEE PC. Acer doesnot provide a recovery CD with the device or the ability to make one, I had to order the disk.

First observations.
1. I am unable to backup or create an image of the device using a bootable USB CD like the DFSEE or GPART live CD.
USB stack fails to load, although I can resize the Windows partition with the DFSEE CD. I'm afraid to touch it until the recovery disk arrives. Not being able to mount a USB Harddrive cramps my strategy to avoid an SD card approach to getting the eCS CD contents on the HD somehow to install, I hope to have more news after the CD from Acer arrives.

2. I was able to prove the eCS USB Stack will load by making a minimal SD boot via instructions on the DFSee site.
I can't make it to a command prompt, Due to Drive letter issues with the Acer having 2 partions on the device already. The Int13 handoff is failing and I need to see if I can log what is happening to the SD card for analysis. It happens so fast, Even speed reading won't help.
 

2. There is a 5.6 gig hidden partition in use by the Bios and some recovery functionality.

3. I'm thinking Yuri's method for the EEE 901 is going to be part of the solution.

4. Suggestions from this forum are welcome.       

MrJinx

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #1 on: 2008.09.14, 20:06:06 »
Well, I did manage to get eCS 2.0 rc5 installed. or for a better term "Cloned"
I created a d: drive logical partition on a desktop. installed bare eCS and imaged it to the device using dfsee under windows on the device. <sigh>

Notes so far, Device needed Panorama drivers with the intel widescreen drivers.
WIreless genmac driver from the eeepc worked with the same results as the eeepc has. Driver intermintently disconnects and reconnects.

Biggest problem at the moment is the PS/2 Port Synaptics TouchPad, Does not work with amouse or mouse.sys.
Under amouse shows in device manager as "unknown mouse" PS/2 port and mem settings are correct for a standard PS/2 mouse.

What makes it really frustrating is that under cd booted freedos and memboot, The touchpad works! I believe it is ACPI related somehow. No bios options to work with here...

Device works good with SMP. Currently using /SMP /APIC parms with ACPI, No change in mouse behavior either way. 

Hope to provide a review and article soon but want to solve the touchpad problems first.

EugeneGorbunoff

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #2 on: 2008.09.15, 00:00:10 »
Please try boot with ACPI.PSD without switches,

send ACPI logs to ACPI bug-tracker
http://ecomstation.ru/projects/acpitools/?action=logs

MrJinx

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #3 on: 2008.09.15, 19:48:07 »
Thanks, I'll do that.
I did run into an interesting scenario,
I updated the atheros AR5007EG driver in genmac to the latest version along with the windows reg entries,
When I booted back from windows, the touchpad worked in eCS until I rebooted eCS.
APM shutdown fails with this device as well as ctrl-alt-del rebooting. You have to power off the device to restart eCS. Windows can reboot without a hang. I'm thinking I need to import the DSDT from windows or at least compare them to see if I could add an entry in ACPI.CFG to solve the problem.

Using Boot manager, Boot up windows, restart from windows, select eCS from BM and the touchpad works.
Since the device has to be powered off on an eCS shutdown, Some setting gets lost. Starting eCS from the freshly powered up device has no touchpad present.

Usually, the complaint is, devices in eCS don't work when warm booted from windows, This is the exact opposite!!

More to follow.

Saijin_Naib

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #4 on: 2008.09.16, 00:47:48 »
Yeah, I find sometimes similar behavior here. eCS and Windows, or even Linux and eCS or Windows will argue over how the ACPI configuration is set and sometimes things will either work or not depending upon who was last to write to the tables.

MrJinx

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #5 on: 2008.09.20, 18:48:36 »
While working out the touchpad problems, (still on going) the wireless genmac driver from the eeenetpc.zip works but suffers the same issue eee users are complaining about. You get connected for about 30secs. And IP traffic ceases to function although the signal shows fine. A user or 2 in other forums have reported sucess by reordering the config.sys to have uniaud load after genmac. It didn't help. Does anybody know of a solution?

RobertM

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #6 on: 2008.09.20, 21:55:10 »
While working out the touchpad problems, (still on going) the wireless genmac driver from the eeenetpc.zip works but suffers the same issue eee users are complaining about. You get connected for about 30secs. And IP traffic ceases to function although the signal shows fine. A user or 2 in other forums have reported sucess by reordering the config.sys to have uniaud load after genmac. It didn't help. Does anybody know of a solution?

Though I dont have a solution, perhaps I have a suggestion... have you tried REM'ing out the Uniaud drivers and seeing if the NIC still behaves the same? And, is there a way to change the IRQs/addresses that either the NIC or sound card use (perhaps it's a shared resource issue that either GenMac or UniAud isn't handling properly)?

Rob
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EugeneGorbunoff

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #7 on: 2008.09.21, 10:40:46 »

Did you tried /CD switch for ACPI.PSD?

send ACPI logs to ACPI bug-tracker
http://ecomstation.ru/projects/acpitools/?action=logs

melf

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #8 on: 2008.09.25, 11:51:54 »
Well, I did manage to get eCS 2.0 rc5 installed. or for a better term "Cloned"
I created a d: drive logical partition on a desktop. installed bare eCS and imaged it to the device using dfsee under windows on the device. <sigh>

Hi, Mr Jinx

I also bought an Aspire one but haven't succeded in installing eCS, intead I screwed up my reovery partition..! Well I swept all away and installed another copy of XP, that worked well in the end. I saw you're planning to right a review later, but could ├Żou just describe in steps your install method? Do you think it would be possible to clone the whole  ecs CD image to a bootable partition and boot it from there?
/Mikael

MrJinx

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #9 on: 2008.09.25, 17:29:52 »
That is exactly what I did.
1. I used the Dfsee boot CD to squeeze the factory windows partition to 50 gig on the Acer. That was the most Dfsee would allow.
2. I left the Acer recovery Partition intact. Turned it off in the Bios. (D2D Recovery)
3. On a spare desktop, I created a JFS bootable D: partition (20gig). I forced Genmac with another atheros driver and also the realtek RTL 8169 driver for wired. Installed Panorama. Completed the ecs install. On the first reboot of the desktop, I added the Widescreen activator and adjusted the USB statements for the Acer.
4. I booted the desktop back to the C: Partition. (Also eCS) and connected a USB fat32 formatted harddrive.
5. used Dfsee on the Desktop to capture the D: partition image.
6. unmounted the USB HD and connected it to my Win XP booted Acer One.
7. Using DFsee under windows, I Created the Boot manager partition and a 20gig OS/2 logical HPFS partition.
8. I set dfsee to work on the newly created 20 gig partition and forced JFS from the DFsee options.
9. Restored the eCS image from the USB HD under Windows and DFsee to the New 20 gig partition.
10. Once restored, I add Both WinXP and eCS to the BM menu and booted to eCS.
11. Installed the Wireless atheros driver from the eeenetpc.zip.
12. Traded the RTL8169 driver that comes with eCS. for a newer build 1.13a links on www.os2warp.be.
13. upgraded ACPI from 3.09 to 3.10 and enabled SMP.
Issues:

Touchpad only works on occasion. The newer RTL8169  claims to support the RTL8103. It loads but never connects to media. The eCS supplied driver bombs.
The wireless AR5007 driver is intermittent, Boot up device, Works for about 30secs. and quits, If you leave the device setting for a long period of time booted, It will start working with no rhyme or reason.

I'm holding back on the article until the wireless and touchpad can be figured out.   

I have tried a myriad of ACPI switches, But it seems to work best with /SMP /APIC.   

melf

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #10 on: 2008.09.25, 18:22:22 »
many thanks! I will see if I can do something similar.
/Mikael

MrJinx

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #11 on: 2008.09.27, 18:38:20 »
Touchpad problem solved (Sort of...)

I didn't look closely at the "Special keys" on this laptop, It turns out <Acer Fn> F7 toggles the touchpad on and off.
By default it is turned off by the bios post of the device and when booting OS/2. I certainly want to change this. Now to figure out if I can push a code to the keyboard buffer via startup.cmd. There are some Linux users posting tricks they used to map and modify these keys. But for now, I can at least boot up and use the <Acer Fn> F7 combo to get the touchpad working.

On the wireless network issue,

Linux users are complaining that the chassis switch to turn the Wi-Fi off and on fails to turn back on the Wi-Fi when using NDISWrapper. (Their Genmac equivalent)  On Genmac, after the Wireless stops functioning moving the switch off and on again restores the connection. Still for a limited time, but at least a clue as to what might be happening. There is also an issue with the Wi-Fi LED not working. Some linux source for the LED function is available and claims to be tied into power management and the problem somehow.

Here is the list of issues I have collected so far.

1. Touchpad not enabled by default. (Use <Acer Fn> F7 after each boot )

2. Wireless Atheros AR5007EG using the TeamOS2 EEEpc wireless driver, cannot reliably maintain network connections.

3. The wired Realtek RTL8102E does not load with the RTL810x driver. Will load with the Realtek rtl8169 v1.13 OS/2 driver but can't make a connection. (No media activity).

4. Uniaud HDA is required for sound, But Unimix does not appear to query the mixer correctly and sound is only available through the built in speakers, Phone jack does not work. (I have corrected this issue on many Dell devices using the unimix commandline . I am able to query the mixer features but using commands to change the register values fail. )

5. The device doesn't run WinXP very fast, On eCS the disk access seems kind of slow for SATA. Not sure what settings I could use with DANI506 to speed it up a little? My first SATA device. ???

6. I use a lot of SDL based applications and the performance of Panorama with SDL or vica-versa needs more work. (Using patched SDL version),

7. ACPI 3.09 shipped with eCS2.0 Beta5 does not support shutdown or warm rebooting correctly, 3.10 fixes most of that.

8. Must use APIC mode with ACPI or majority of drivers bomb.

9. External SDcard slots(2) use a host controller we don't support. (JMicron SD Host Controller) Unlike the EEEpc, You can't boot from either SD card slot via the bios. Have to use a USB SD card reader.

10. FreeDos and linux CD boot disks seem to have issues loading the USB stack on this device. I was able to build a bootable Memstick with OS/2. But other than basic commandline functions, It was so slow, It was unusable.

11. USB camera doesn't work.. (No big surprise there)

I still like having a Mini HD over an SS HD at this time, But there is a few things still needed for this device before I will stamp my "Ready for eCS" sticker on it.   

melf

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #12 on: 2008.10.01, 17:48:42 »
Hi mr Jinx!

A little review of my efforts with Acer one: In the end I have closely followed your installation process. Exception is that I did a direct clone instead of restoring an image. After some tweeking in getting bootmanager to boot and some problems with eCS bootsector I managed to get a boot menu and boot to XP and eCS. But the luck was short. Soon after the eCS logo it interrupts with message "OS2 is unable to manage your harddrive. Correct the error ...." Thats it. Have you had the problem?

(I could also mention that I know have a new Acer one, the hardrive on the other one just collapsed after 4 days, so the company I bought it from exchanged it. I hope that isn't symptomatic.)
/Mikael

MrJinx

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #13 on: 2008.10.01, 23:54:16 »
Were you getting a black screen with no bios?

I blew the Bios out of mine 3 times. I returned the laptop the first time. When it happened to a 2nd device, I searched the internet and found the same thing was happening to linux users. To recover your device. Download the bios file from Acer V3114 is the current version. Copy the file on a freshly formated USB memory stick. Plug it in with device turned off. Hold down Ctrl-Esc on the keyboard, While turning on the power switch. the power light will start blinking. release the keyboard keys, and push the power button one more time. The USB stick will start blinking as the BIOS is being flashed. once it stops you power off and on the device and the Acer screen should re appear. You want to upgrade to the V3114 bios. It fixes a lot of things. Since reaching that level, I have not lost the bios since.

On your unable to operate problem, There was a reason I had to use the force JFS mode. Let me step through some things tonight and I'll see if I can improve the directions a little.

melf

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Re: Acer Aspire One Netbook Laptop
« Reply #14 on: 2008.10.02, 08:27:51 »
Black screen with no bios, exactly. Nothing happened. That was a good tip to recover the bios, thanks for that.

Yes I forced JFS also (though I didn't understand it) , I will remake it again and see if I succeed. Again ,thanks for your very helpful comments!

An UPDATE:

Success finally. I remade a HPFS-partition and then just cloned my bootable JFS to it, without the forcing-step. That worked. I had to fix my bootsector with dfsee (I owe to Jan van Wiijk to buy dfsee. Without it I had been lost!) but that is maybee due to my specific partition, I don't know.

Wlan works of course in the "half-minute way" . Sometimes I get another half minute by using the reconfigure option in xwlan, but that doesn't seem consistent. Anyway its good to be back to eCS as my older laptop died for good the other week. Compared to XP on the same computer the experience is greater speed and more accuracy. No unnessecary waiting.
« Last Edit: 2008.10.02, 10:58:56 by melf »
/Mikael