GNU/Linux on the Compaq Presario 1702EA

ProcessorIntel Celeron 800MHz, mobile
Memory128MB (I put another 128MB in the second bank, too)
VideoATI Mobility M1 (=rage pro) on a 14.1" TFTWorks perfectly.
atitvout sets PAL output for us europeans.
SoundESS Allegro (=maestro3?)Works perfectly
Harddrive10GBWorks perfectly
Network AdapterConexant NIC(?)Works perfectly
Built-in modemCompaq Global 56kUntested
8x DVDMounting CD-ROMs works, otherwise untested.
TouchpadSynaptics Touchpad V5.5Scrollbuttons untested, otherwise works perfectly
Power ManagementACPIDetected but untested.

1. Installing Slackware 8.0
NOTE! The D: partition contains important restore-data for windows!
This notebook came with WinME pre-installed on a 7.5GB partition, followed by a 2GB partition containing installation and recovery files for WinME. I wanted to keep windows on it, so I wanted to use a friendly way of getting enough free space to install Linux. Partition Magic Pro 6.0 didn't like the latter partition at all, it complained about it being larger than possible.. probably some trick from Compaq's side to keep people from wrecking that partition. With partition magic out of the game, I decided to boot with a Mandrake 7.1 CD-ROM. Mandrake's installationprogram has got a resizing tool, which I used to make the primary windows partition ~4.8GB. After that, I added a 2.5GB ext2 partition, and a 200MB swap partition. Since Mandrake isn't really my cup of tea I stopped the installation at that phase and booted up with a Slackware 8.0 CD-ROM. The Slackware 8.0 installation went smoothly, I set up the target and swap partitions and installed the software I wanted.

Update: Febuary 18, 2002:
The already corrupted partitiontable got wrecked after just a week of usage, all my partitions except the first one containing WinME and my Linux Swap partition became unavailable. Windows fdisk claimed that I had but two windows partitions a'la 5gb each. Bummer, I lost my WinME-rescue partition. I made a new partition table and resized slackware. Everything is running fine again.

Update: April 5, 2003:
Out went Slackware, in went Gentoo 1.4. I installed from a stage-1 liveCD, installation went smooth. It automatically loaded modules for the network adapter. After about two days of downloading and compiling, Gentoo is lightning-fast.

2. Setting up the hardware
I first gave a try with the 2.4.17, I compiled in support for ESS Maestro 3 (worked fine) and for ACPI. When booting with ACPI I got a message about the processor lying in idle-mode, and that if performance is slow I should try to give the parameter "ACPI=no-idle". It certainly was slowish, and adding the parameter fixed that.
I really didn't have a clue what network adapter this one had integrated, but I eventually gave the tulip drivers a try. I didn't get these working with kernel 2.4.17, but they worked ok with 2.2.20 and detects as a Conexant NIC. Gregor Rojec-Goldmanns page about installation on the 1700-XL 470 explains how to get the tulip drivers working.

Update: Febuary 18, 2002:
Seems like the newer 2.4.x-kernels support the integrated networks adapter through the tulip-driver. Works great.

2.1 Setting up XFree86
I ran xf86config, chose my monitor to be a 1024x768 @ 60Hz and put a 50-90 refreshrate.. I don't know if this is very healthy, but atleast it seems to work. As for the chipset I chose "ATI Mach64 CT (264CT)", with 8192kB of videoram. And I put 1024x768 @16bpp as my default resolution. I love TFT :)

Update: June 24, 2002:
Lately I've felt like the 10GB drive is a bit insufficient, I have a 40GB drive in my personal firewall and fileserver - but when I'm not connected to my home network I'm a bit short on data. Today I decided to find out what possibilities I had to upgrade the harddrive in my Presario 1702EA - I figured the harddrive should be behind the slot on the left side of the notebook, right next to the PCMCIA-slot. This is what I found;
Picture 1 - the laptop and the harddrive.
Picture 2 - the harddrive from above.
Picture 3 - the harddrive, halfway inserted into the laptop.
It looks like just a regular 2.5" harddrive in a sled, upgrading should be no problem.

This page is not affiliated with Compaq in anyway, this is a description of my experiences with Linux on one of their notebooks. I am not to be held responsible in any way for any damage following these instructions might do to your notebook.
Martin Andersson
Last modified by Martin Andersson on Apr 5, 2003