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Hewlett-Packard nw9440


This is a guide to running Linux with the Hewlett-Packard nw9440 laptop. The nw9440 is a large high end laptop with a very impressive array of features included.

This guide is intended to provide you details on how well this laptop works with Linux and which modules you need to configure. For details on how to actually install and configure the required modules have a look at our guides section for distribution specific instructions.

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NameHewlett-Packard nw9440
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T7400 2.16GHz
Screen17“ WUXGA
Optical DriveDVD+-RW
GraphicsNVIDIA Quadro FX 1500M
Network10/100/1000 Ethernet, Intel 3945 802.11g Wireless, Bluetooth
Other4 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire, Fingerprint Reader

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
GraphicsYesSee notes below
SoundYesUse the snd-hda-intel module
WirelessYesUse ipw3945 module
56K ModemYesUse the Linuxant module
Card ReaderYes
Fingerprint ReaderNo


For the NVIDIA Quadro FX 1500M graphics processor found in the nw9440 you should use the NVIDIA proprietary module. The nw9440 has a bug which causes the graphics chip to overheat when using the open source 'nv module. For installation instructions you can view our Configuring a nVidia graphics chip guide. For OpenGL support you will need the proprietary module.


There were no problems in getting the Hewlett-Packard nw9440 notebook working when used with an up to date Linux distribution.


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Ozzymandias Satori, 2009/12/30 04:15

Running Linux Mint-8, out of the box:

- Screen Flicker, Seems to be backlight related. Doesn't occur with nv driver, only nvidia (so it's not hardware related). Very occasional, just enough to get your attention and piss you off.
- No backlight control of any kind. When unplugged, the screen dims, and stays dim until restart. Hella annoying.
- Vanity Buttons

|- Circle I, does NOT work.
|- Wireless WORKS!
|- Graph on a stand, does NOT work.
|- Mute WORKS!
|- Volume Up/Down WORKS!
|- Calculator WORKS!

Only paid 700 for this machine (with WUXGA), so overall I can't complain. Really wish I could figure out this backlight issue though. I think it's pure driver related: switching to an older version of the driver (nvidia rev 175) makes it subjectively better, at the expense of the ability to run 3d applications such as Google Earth or Blender with Compiz (boo). Still flickers occasionally though.

Sound has a tendency to stop working after resumes from suspend… Considering the Fact that Mint-8 boots in about 15 seconds, i don't bother suspending anymore.

yellow light to people considering the purchase. A Beautiful (if heavy) machine, would be thrilled if it worked 100%.

Of course, it hasn't done it in the entire time that I've been writing this.

Alex, 2013/01/29 12:14

Try disabling the ambient light sensor in the BIOS.

Guido Gaida, 2009/10/16 08:34

Hallo, i have problems to find hardware drivers for the bluetooth-module. HP description: 409993-001 Wireless Interface : Bluetooth module. When i plug in a usb-bluetoothstick from hama it will be detected at once. I use Ubuntu 9.04 and i had the same problem with opensuse 11.1. Can anybody help me?

Jessica, 2008/03/10 17:52

Wireless irregularities and other

I'm running OpenSUSE 10.3, and consistently have problems with the wireless, even with ipw3945 loaded. The wireless comes up, the laptop recognizes access points, but when I try to connect through Network Manager, it tries to connect without making any progress until it times out. When I was running the same laptop under Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP1, it would connect to wireless APs but crash many of them. I had good luck connecting to Cisco APs, and terrible luck with Linksys.

I also have problems with certain non-standard apps recognizing the sound card; VMware Player and my VOIP interface both don't see it.

Switching to external monitors (for instance, running presentations through a projector) is iffy.

Otherwise, the laptop (and OpenSuse 10.3) rock.

Martin Espinoza, 2007/10/24 09:43

Oh, and one more thing:

My EZ901AA#ABA's intel HDA audio works fine on Ubuntu Gutsy (dist-upgrade done yesterday.) However, the conexant HSF driver has serious problems with HDA. They actually ship a replacement version of the ALSA module for HDA which causes additional problems, but which “works” with the modem. The connection is more unreliable than it always has been for me, and occasionally I have to reload the driver kernel modules via the init script because they do not work until they have been removed and reloaded. The point I'm making here though is that the HDA driver which ships with Ubuntu Gutsy works just fine on my system.

Martin Espinoza, 2007/10/24 09:41

Many different models of nw9440

Having returned here and seen my old comment I have realized that we are talking about dramatically different laptops.

“Compaq nw9440” does not actually mean anything. It's a FAMILY of machines.

My machine is a nw9440, but the actual model/part/whatever is EZ901AA#ABA. This is a Core Duo (not Core 2!) T2600, 80GB 7200 RPM, 8x lightscribe dvd+-rw (dl), 1GB 533MHz ram, 1680×1050 17” panel, conexant hsf modem. other than cpu,disk,ram,panel AFAIK everything else stays pretty much the same, but YMMV.

Anyway, telling people that the above specs correspond to a “Compaq nw9440” is misleading. To be fair, so is the use of that same badge for machines which appear to have at least six different processors depending on which model you buy. Shame on you, HP/Compaq.

Jonathan Dade, 2009/06/12 13:20

In My Humble Opinion saying that HP are being unfair offering a family model name is a little bit unrealistic. All car manufacturers do this The are how many models of Honda Civic, Ford Focus etc. Almost all industries have the same practice. You can buy Apple Ipods (how many variations?)

Also for the most part (and I know I am starting a war saying this for the purists) this is just the difference between “plugged in” bits. The CPUs for example take the smae basic command set at the instruction level. They may have different buffer sizes and speeds but essentially function the same way. Like your Ford Focus 1.6l compared to the zippy 2.0l models. The difference in screens again hatchback / estate (wagon) versions.

You shouldn't see any real difference except performance between the various nw9440's. The above specs are for an nw9440 just as yours are. It's probably just one of the models and should not really come as a surprise in this day and age.

Johan, 2007/10/19 03:52

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon sound problems

Today, oct 18 - 2007, Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon was released. So I upgraded from 7.04 Feisty Fawn to 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. To my disappointment the sound device does not function anymore….

So if anyone out there is running a nw9440 with Feisty Fawn and is considering an upgrade…. Don't. At least wait until this issue has been solved.

Martin Espinoza, 2007/07/19 10:47

My experience differs

Free 'nv' driver causes overheats and lockups.
Commercial 'nvidia' driver supports only top resolution (1680×1050 on my model.)
Bluetooth tested, working
Modem tested, working; Costs $20 for a driver from conexant (I only tested with free driver, 14.4kbps)
Firewire working without problems for me, but I've only used two devices.
SD working
PCMCIA working
fingerprint reader support is coming but not there (and biometric pam is sketchy so far anyway)
wireless doesn't quite work right on many versions of the kernel.
Using Ubuntu Feisty.

Bill Giannikos, 2007/07/19 21:52

Re: My experience differs

Thanks for the update

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hewlett-packard_nw9440.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/09 07:41 by billg
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