HP Pavilion DVx AMD Netbook: 64bit LiveCDs

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HP Pavilion DVx AMD Netbook: 64bit LiveCDs

Post#1 by jcuk » 10 Mar 2012, 15:28

Last September I bought an HP Pavilion AMD A4 vision Netbook
to satisfy mobile computing needs.

It is a REAL PAIN to use 64bit LiveCDs with this Netbook!
There is no "boot from USB" option available.

I dont want the complications and risk of data loss of
trying out installed Linux 64bit Distros as Dual Boot
harddrive installations that are more easily patched.

If I cannot patch ( or "steer" with boot parameters at
start time ) a LiveCDs shortcomings with this DV7 hardware
then it is unlikely to be the Distro of choice.

I'd like to use this box in the same way as all the other
machines I own or "borrow" - with a Porteus 64bit Host
OS installed to RAM on startup, and running a customising
script to add packages, modules, and my own software...
To get real work done I prefer to use a highly customized
VM in VirtualBox, for portability and reasonable freedom
from differing hardware on my chosen Host box of the day.

It has 6G RAM and two 500GByte drives, promising all the
flexibility I needed for running my VirtualBox VMs, if a bit
more slowly than on my Desktop ( 2007 Acer T180 AMD X2 )

I complained to HP that it ran my VMs ( from Windows7 VirtualBox )
VERY badly. A subsequent HP update a few months later fixed
that for me... It now is _almost_ as efficient as my T180
Desktop for the smaller non server VMs I use regularly.

Windows VirtualBox ( even 4.1.8 ) has some pretty horrible
limitations. I'd much rather use a Linux RAM Host with true
64bit VirtualBox and a broader choice of VMs (especially 64
bit ones)

The AMD DV7 box is REALLY Picky about 64bit Linux LiveCDs!

Most of them crash and stick at a flashing cursor; the worst
mount my drive partitions and leave them "dirty" after a
forced power off. A real PIA and disincentive to rapidly
tryout alternative "cheat codes"

A cheat code to say "DO NOT Mount local drives would be
my first request if one does not exist at present; I always
prefer to have a Host OS in RAM if possible! Essential
if you want to use a LiveCD for Forensic or data recovery

Porteus 64bit works beautifully on my T180 with 4G Ram.
I haven't had too many "showstopper" issues even with the
release candidates I've tried on the T180 Desktop.

I can use more 32bit LiveCDs with success, but lose the benefit
of 6G Ram if I do so.

The only 64bit LiveCD (or DVD) that seems to work without
issue is Ubuntu 10.04-3 ( not tried 10.04-4 yet, but it ought
to be OK )

LightHouse Puppy 64bit runs nicely BUT always freezes on a
shutdown attempt when I'm done with it.

Mint 11 64bit worked without too many issues, but Mint 12

32 bit Knoppix6.7 DVD is a favourite on this machine, booted
into an iso on the harddrive to free the DVD device. When 6.7.1
came out ( 64 or 32bit startup choices ) NEITHER of them worked

My goal is run mainstay working environment VMs from
VirtualBox using Porteus x86_64 IN RAM as Host OS. A few cheat
codes at startup would be acceptable, even better if it
"just worked" by default.

I am happy to tryout suggestions to make a working Porteus
64bit LiveCD possible for these cranky AMD mobile HP Pavilion
Netbooks. They are VERY good for sound, and capable of video
editing, even at the "low end" of the scale.

Affordable for STEM students, I want to offer the ability to
run sagemath as a Linux based VM, started up from a 64bit LiveCD.

Porteus ( and the original SLAX-remix ) ROCK! Thank y'all for
carrying on the SLAX development folks! I really appreciate it.

A distant work colleague has a High End HP Pavilion Intel i7
Netbook, and could be persuaded to try out 64bit Porteus to
RAM as I do, also...

Let the fun begin! I want to be using ONLY Porteus, and Slack
related packages in my RAM host OS's in future!

I can post results back in this forum thread, and would like
to collaborate with any other Porteus 64bit / HP Pavilion
owners using VirtualBox through this forum.

-- James, Cambridge UK

Windows 7 System Information report written at: 03/10/12 14:32:26

OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
System Manufacturer Hewlett-Packard
System Model HP Pavilion dv7 Notebook PC
System Type x64-based PC
Processor AMD A4-3310MX APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics, 2100 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2

Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Hewlett-Packard F.21, 13/09/2011
SMBIOS Version 2.7
Locale United Kingdom
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 6.00 GB

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Re: HP Pavilion DVx AMD Netbook: 64bit LiveCDs

Post#2 by fanthom » 11 Mar 2012, 10:30

hello jcuk,

sounds like an easy task.
all what you need to do is to remaster base Porteus ISO:
a) add your favorite cheats to /boot/porteus.cfg (like copy2ram, nohd or noauto)
b) add Virtualbox module to /porteus/modules
c) add rest of your modules to /porteus/optional (they will be activate by your custom script)
d) add custom scripts to /porteus/rootcopy
e) burn new ISO and enjoy.

not sure what else i should mention here....
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.

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Re: HP Pavilion DVx AMD Netbook: 64bit LiveCDs

Post#3 by brokenman » 11 Mar 2012, 13:24

A cheat code to say "DO NOT Mount local drives would be
my first request if one does not exist at present

I run a HP dv6 with similar specs. Can i ask why your using the liveCD and not just booting from a USB? I happily run Porteus next to win7 (dual boot) by installing EasyBCD which chains the windows loader with a grub loader. Of course this won't give you all the flexibility that you have with your current virtual setup.
How do i become super user?
Wear your underpants on the outside and put on a cape.

White ninja
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Posts: 21
Joined: 13 Mar 2011, 23:34
Location: Cambridge UK

Re: HP Pavilion DVx AMD Netbook: 64bit LiveCDs

Post#4 by jcuk » 11 Mar 2012, 21:00

Thanks Guys.

If its a quiet week at work I'll have time to play. Will take my collection of Porteus 64bit
CDs with me.

@fanthom: Thanks for the step by step CD rebuild guide.
If I ever succeed in getting past a flashing cursor (and hangup) I'll do just that!

@brokenman: Thanks - the nohd code will sure help. Sadly, "Similar" is not the same
as identical - my box sticks at a flashing cursor whatever 64bit Porteus LiveCD I
tried. There is no USB boot option on my particular HP netbook :-( No access to
logfiles; no idea whats stopping the boot process. Need to force power off to
shutdown the machine as the only control option.

Until I get a couple of different Laptop drives I'm not gonna risk attempting a
multiboot setup with Linux installed to harddrive.

I'll get back to y'all when I've tried a selection of porteus 64bit CDs again.
Perhaps the last HP update to the firmware will make 64bit Linux LiveCDs less

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