I need some help with Ubuntu 10.10

By Zen ยท 10 replies
Apr 23, 2011
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  1. Well about 4 hours ago I decided to take the leap and stray away from the world of Microsoft and dive into a Linux based system, that being Ubuntu 10.10!

    I went about setting a USB flash drive to be my boot devise and load the O.S. from there. That part went fine, no problems. I was able to configure my computers (bios's) and make sure the USB drive was first on the list, the system recognized it fine and I was able to install Ubuntu onto my hard drive.

    Now everything for the most part went "business as usual", the O.S. is up and running and looks real good. But I'm having a problem with some of the computers hardware. When it comes to (sound) it isn't behaving right, for I have a sound adapter off my motherboard that was designed to offer 5.1 surround sound, I get the center speaker and the sub and the main right and left speakers, but not the rear! I've played around with the various settings within the sound area itself with no luck resolving the problem.

    Next is network problems, I require an external USB NIC to achieve contact with my router, therefore the internet. I have nothing at this time, the power indicator light on the external NIC isn't on and the activity light, that normally is flickering isn't on as well. Now I know it isn't a USB problem as a whole, for I have some other various things connected to the rear USB ports on the back of the computer and those devices are working. So it isn't an issue the Ubuntu didn't load my USB controller drivers, they are in there!

    If this helps, here is some info about it.

    The computer is a older Dell Dimension 5100c built back in the year 2005. Both problems the sound and network are all stock (out of the box) items that came with the computer, nothing upgraded, nothing exotic.

    the NIC I'm using is as follows..Dell R7821 Dell 1450 Wireless USB Adapter, 802.11a/b/g

    Now I think that once I'm able to get the NIC up and running maybe those 315 updates that are available for Ubuntu will iron out the rest of the issues, like my sound.

    Also I've tried using the utility/driver disk that came with my computer, Ubuntu knows there is a disk in the CD-Rom drive, it places it on the desktop, I click on it, it opens fine. But when I try to hit "setup", nothing, keeps telling me things like Zip information, I thought Ubuntu could open (.exe's), the disk even has a file folder on it labeled Linux, there are several wireless NIC model numbers to choose from in there, mine is there, but nothing, the file in no way is helping me right now.

    I try and go through the "additional drivers" feature, it does it quick scan for drivers but doesn't find any and all fields within the menu are blank.

    I'm excited for this change, but at the same time a bit pissed off that everything didn't go to plan. Everything i researched prior to this install, all the Linux support pages and forums out there told me I would be fine! Nope, I'm not fine, the computer is not fine, without the internet most computers now a days are just advanced paper weights, I don't want mine turning into a paper weight!:(

    Is there a way that i could have my lap top computer grab those 315 updates and install them via a USB Flash Drive or burn them onto a CD-R and do it that way? Maybe a fix is in the updates, who knows!

    Please, if you got a minute could you please help me!

  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Do you not have an ethernet port on the laptop, to connect via ethernet cable directly to the router for the purpose of installing the wireless driver?
  3. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50

    Yes my lap top has a RJ-45 network port, but I don't have an issue with my lap top, it's still running Windows XP and connected securely to the router via a wireless connection. I need my desktop computer to get on the net and work, well I guess I could try and hook up my Dell 5100c, not my Toshiba x205 lap top to the router via a cable!

    I will try that, I will report back soon!
  4. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50


    I removed my Dell 5100c out of my office, trucked it to the far opposite of the house, where my router is and hooked it up via the RJ-45 connector. Ubuntu acknowledged the connection and is in the process of grabbing those 315 updates at a rate of 515K-540K a second. After that I will grab those "restricted" updates and see if this all alone will resolve my wireless USB adapter problem. I will check back in as soon as that all can be verified, if not I will check Dell's main web site for Linux or Ubuntu support.
  5. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50


    Well as I said I would, I drug the old Dell into the garage and hooked it up via the RJ-45 port, downloaded all 315 updates including the restricted extra updates. The system re-booted and when it came back up, I unhooked the RJ-45 cable and inserted the Dell Wireless 1450 USB Adapter and nothing, no power light, no activity light, no nothing. So the updates and the extras did not fix this problem. Im trying to trudge through the muck on the internet for a possible solution, so far I'm not sure if I will ever fix this problem, for what I've seen so far on-line doesn't look good!

    I will report back in a while and let people know how it is going! If anyone out there knows how to fix this, now would be a good time to tell me, for Windows XP is starting to look good to me again!
  6. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50


    Well this just bites, never in the history of me installing O.S.'s on computers have I had such a hard time! Trust me here, I would really like to take this Ubuntu out for a good test drive and be able to get it's full functionality out of it, to me it has a lot of potential, but so far I'm displeased with the results.

    I'm also kind of starting to feel suckered into this O.S., for all the Linux support papers and support forums I read before the install told me that this O.S. specializes in older systems. Everything i was seeing was making me feel that things would be ok, and that after just a short period of time I would be totally up and running with Ubuntu. Doesn't quite look like that has happened here.

    Also, please don't take this the wrong way, but for all the people here on TechSpot that are using and primarily post within the "Alternative O.S." section, I find the level of support to be rather poor. I have been at this since 10:00am California Time, and I'm still trudging through this. Other than Leeky who chimed in once, no one else has bothered to chime in with something relevant and productive that would have helped out my cause.

    And lets not fool ourselves here folks, I'm sure even Linux, Red Hat, Ubuntu what ever you want to call it are in competition with Microsoft. I would have figured that with an O.S. trying to compete for users that they would have made it easy on people to get proper support after the install is done. Why all this stuff how you need to open up a terminal and input lines of code to get things done, why not have things simple and easy and allow the install of all the drivers needed for Ubuntu to be in (.exe) format, heck to me it doesn't even appear that I should be calling them drivers, to me it all looks of lines of code that the user has to know what to do with and input him or her self. All I've been getting is the "run-a-round" on-line as far as dealing with my problems. Oh yeah, read 8 pages of support code and figure out what (p53) and (p54) and (p38) are and read all their codes and know what to do with them, yeah right, when it comes to trying to teach a Windows only person about anything about that.

    I know I'm venting and I'm sorry, but this has got my office in disarray, my desktop computer out in a garage and can not be used, looking at the fact that I may have to go out and spend money to get this to all work, ect ect ect.

    Sorry for the vent session, but it's hard to keep my patience in check when I'm running into brick walls around every turn.

    I guess I will shut up now!
  7. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50

    Well I must be real dedicated or real crazy, but I just got off the phone with a fiend of mine who is licensed with Linux's version "Red Hat", he goes around with a contract with Linux and builds people computers and installs Linux on their systems.

    Well I used my friend as a last ditch attempt to fix my problem, he understands what is going on and tells me there is little of anything I could do with anything that I could download off the net, for he told me this is a problem best dealt with by writing code for the device itself and run it through a 'compiler", something like that, and install the compiled code which emulates drivers into the Linux system.

    he told me to not even try, for as he advised me, that as far as Linux is concerned I should be on a different planet trying to speak the natives language. He even went as far as telling me that my little computer science degree and my Microsoft MCSE won't help either, so don't try.

    As a favor he will be making the 135 mile drive tomorrow to my house. Where he will go about with his "Linux bag of tricks" as he called it and set me and my computer straight! But even as a good friend as he is, it's going to cost me money, gas expense, time away from is house and job, seeing the he like me runs his own computer support company through his house, so technically he will be away from work for a day, so i guess I have to compensate him there to.

    He told me in no way am I to think about killing off the Ubuntu O.S. and go back to Windows XP, he told me to not be a fool and go that route. He told it will take months, but after I will begin to understand Linux and be able to handle my own problems, also he said he is going to bring me some of his books on Linux and Red Hat to read.

    I feel so useless, all my fancy plaques and framed degree and 5 certs looking pretty on my office wall and I can't even lift a finger to help myself out here. I feel like I'm back and it's the first day of college all over again!

    Sorry for taking up anyone's time here, I'm very frustrated, ashamed with myself and embarrassed that with all my know how I don't know what to do!
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    We all understand the frustration of attempting what should be straight forward and getting lead down the path to nowhere - - sorry you've landed in this position.
    You should understand some basic principles however and not throw the baby out with the bath water.

    First, any distribution of Linxux, Red Hat, Knoppix, Ubuntu, ..., will install and configure itself for the native devices FOUND AT INSTALL TIME. The drivers 'arrive' and 99% of the time the system runs just fine. The NIC adaptor in the system (PCI card or on board chip) will be found and the appropriate driver installed.

    In your case, however, you have chosen to use a USB-Ethernet device. If it was inserted to the system before the install or not, think of what this means - - pretend you're inside a black box and there's no light available - - now grasp about, find hardware and then locate your tools to use it. How is the USB-Ethernet device see in this black box? As a USB device, not a network NIC! So the generic USB driver gets loaded and you fall off the cliff with Network Not Found.

    Whenever you run into driver issues, there are TWO pieces of data you need - -
    The precise make-model of the device in trouble and the platform that needs to use it, eg: Unbunu 10.10. Take that to Google and look for "Make Model driver Unbuto 10.10" - - you should find the driver you need. You don't need "315 updates" - - that's the shotgun, hail-marry approach to problem solving - - it's also called the easter-egg approach. Seldom does this lead to any solution and usually just adds to the frustration complex.
  9. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50

    I would first like to say thank you to both Leeky and Jobeard for both their input here! Jobeard, your right, I should have known what I was getting into. I apologize for my apparent lack of know how when it comes to the Linux world, I will try to do better in the future.

    Second thing I would like to say is "sorry" to everyone for my apparent reversion to a child like mental state. Sorry for taking up peoples time here by reading my rants and vents.

    Well onto bigger and better things, I am happy to report that my friend kevin did indeed arrive today, with a devils smile on his face, looking right at me, dead in my eye's with that "looser" look! All he could do was chuckle as he walked by me, an insulting chuckle if you ask me. He made his way into my office and just sat down, asked me for a beer and went to work. He started up the system and looked at my configuration and just laughed, looking at me again like "you dunce"! Well after about 40 minutes, a fresh install and a wireless USB card fix he was done, his fingers went at warp speeds on my keyboard, all the while looking at me with that damn smile.

    Then I got a surprise, well a scare at first that turned into a surprise later. He made his way into the living room, grabbed my Toshiba lap top and said "time to bend you till you break"! Kevin is pretty viscous when it comes to computers, either work or die is his motto! After about 30-40 minutes my lap top was ready to go with Ubuntu 10.10, he wanted to install some other Linux flavor, but he ran with what he calls the elementary school flavor!

    Next he put down the lap top and told me I could customize it later and had me go into my garage and he stood there looking at my old Dell Dimension 3000, he looked at me again with that stone cold look and said, "time to play the game you old 3000"! Stupid me, I challenged him about putting Ubuntu on that, but he told me that having a Windows 2000 Server amongst two Ubuntu systems is just stupid, so I let him go ahead and after about an hour he had everything well sorted and all computer were talking to each other on the home network.

    When it was all done he told me that he was being hard on me for a reason, he told me that with all I know it makes little difference in the Linux world. He told me if I continue to wish to use Linux that I would have to educate myself about it. He me gave this huge 3000 page book on how to use Linux. So after my "I know nothing about Linux" lecture, he smiled and said your taking me to lunch, so i paid for the guys lunch and even tossed in $125.00 cash for his trouble. He felt the money and lunch were payment enough!

    So all computers in my house are now Linux boxes, all have been updated and all required native and proprietary drivers are in place and are working.

    My nerves are shot, between getting razed by Kevin, three O.S. installs and lunch and the money I'm tired, I think I'm going to grab a beer, maybe take a long hot bath and relax.

    Kevin did warn me about something, before he left he told me that "quick-fast & in a hurry" I will fall in love with Linux, he told me that if going back to Windows XP is something I want to do, the sooner the better, for he told me if I give Linux enough time I won't ever want to go back to Microsoft again, he told me to bank on that statement!

    "I've been schooled"!
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    Hey - - there's no silver bullet and seldomly is the solution 'self-evident' so don't take the experience too badly. We all learn one way or the other.

    Take the carpenter's axiom:- Measure twice and cut just once.
    That suggests, ask, read, think and then ask again before you take action - - saves a lot of heartaches :)
  11. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50

    "Toto.....................I don't think we are in Kansas any more"!

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