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HP Pavilion zx5000


This is a guide to running Linux with the HP Pavilion zx5000 laptop.

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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NameHP Pavilion zx5000
ProcessorIntel Pentium 4 2.8GHz
Screen15.4“ WXGA
Optical DriveDVD-ROM/CD-RW
GraphicsATI Mobility Radeon 9600
Network10/100 Ethernet, Broadcom BCM4306 802.11g Wireless
Other3 x USB2.0, 1 x Firewire

Linux Compatibility

Optical DriveYes
SoundYesUse the snd-atiixp driver
56K ModemNot Tested
FirewireNot Tested
Card ReaderNot Tested
PCMCIANot Tested


For the graphics chip you can use either the open source radeon module or ATI's proprietary fglrx module. For installation instructions, you can view our Configuring an ATI graphics chip guide. For 3D support, you will need the proprietary module.

This wireless controller in this laptop does not have any native drivers for Linux so you will need to use the ndiswrapper module. For installation instructions, you can view our Configuring the ndiswrapper module guide. The windows driver to use with ndiswrapper can be found here. There are some experimental modules available for this card which are available here. At this time these drivers are still under development and may not be totally stable.


The main issue with this laptop was the configuration of the wireless controller. Other than that there were no problems in getting this laptop working when used with an up to date Linux distribution. It is recommended to use a Linux distribution with kernel version 2.6.16 or greater, such as Fedora Core 5 or Ubuntu 6.06.


Luc, 2012/03/06 13:32

The wireless Internet does not work with Ubuntu at the moment. Where can I find the drivers for the wireless card ?

GoodStuff, 2011/10/28 23:07

To get wireless driver to work while running a LINUX OS.Install the OS. Download a copy of HIRENS BOOT DISK with that contains a version of windows XP on it. Burn it to a CD. Download the EXE file from the HP site that installs the driver onto XP and burn it to a CD. Boot the system with HIRENS CD. Start the XP OS on the HIREN Boot Desk. Remove the disk and XP will be running. Insert the CD with the Driver EXE file and execute it while XP is running. After the install shut down the XP system and remove the disk. Reboot the PC. The driver will be installed.

humanspida, 2011/09/21 01:15

Havent yet tested any of the 7 distro's ive obtained but after checking some forums and poking about a bit on some linux sites before going ahead and banging one into service… it seems that its hardware specific as some companies dont play ball with the open source community and the drivers havent been reworked and released for these pieces of hardware. I remember reading somewhere a suggestion of contacting the offending hardware manufacturer and asking for a driver but this doesnt seem practical to me but as im new to linux i cant really say for sure - havent tried and probably wont either.

My windows xp CD works 'out of the box' on my decade old pavillion zx5000.
Has been a faithful beast this thing… only had to send it back to hp (via John Lewis) twice for repairs, nothing masively expensive or serious so cant complain really. Came with an array of CD's with more specific drivers than the xp generic ones for my hardware to perform better but just the xp CD will make it work. Is a shame you dont get the system CD's anymore when you buy a machine, good old John Lewis :) thanks to them CD's i can just homebrew this thing whenever i feel like it with no trouble.

Had to check device manager to find the driver my sound but it seems to be provided by soundmax digital audio, im rocking out the 3.2ghz pentium 4, ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics card with a broadcom 802.11b/g wlan and realtek rtl8139/810x family fast ethernet nic.

Will bookmark this site and try to remember to post how things go.


TL, 2009/11/20 15:42

I tried Ubuntu, Debian and Mepis on this laptop. The same issues seem to persist with slight variations no matter what distribution one uses:
1) Suspend to RAM doesn't work. Well it works, but upon resume the screen is so corrupted that only a reboot fixes the problem. Suspend to disk worked on Debian Lenny, broken in Mepis
2) I'm getting ARTSD error - CPU overload errors *
3) Might not be a hardware related issue but I was unable to store my samba pass in KDE and each time I need to access a share I had to supply one - extremely annoying. Also double clicking on an .avi movie on a Samba share completely froze my system - had to do a cold reboot
4) I was having issues with the VGA output - after a fresh reboot the VGA screen worked OK, then I tried setting different screen resolutions and that broke my VGA output, was never able to restore it again without a reboot

* I suspect that there's some sort of a hardware problem with this particular laptop, because even WinXP freezes completely when I try to install the sound drivers

The bottom line - has anyone managed to solve all these problems? If so - how? What distro “just works” on this laptop? Pls let me know!

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hp_pavilion_zx5000.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:02 (external edit)
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