How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
Excellent
 
40% (6)
Good
 
7% (1)
Fair
0% (0)
Poor
 
20% (3)
Unusable
 
33% (5)

Packard Bell EasyNote LV

Author(s)

Petter Reinholdtsen

Introduction

The laptop is sold with Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit and a trial version of MS Office. It is a fairly cheap and heavy personal laptop computer. According to its box, it is produced in China in 2013. The model documented is the one sold in Norway.

Specifications

NamePackard Bell EasyNote LV11HC-10004G50Mnks model number VG70
ProcessorIntel 1000M
Screen17.3“ HP-LED LCD (1600 x 900)
RAM4 GB DDR3
HDD500 GB HDD
Optical DriveDVD-Super Multi DL drive
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics
NetworkAtheros 1Gbit/s ethernet and WIFI 802.11b/g/n
CameraHD webcam

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DriveNot Tested
Graphics ChipYesRequire kernel option i915.invert_brightness=1, see below
VGA OutNot Tested
HDMI PortNot Tested
SoundYes
Bulti-in MicrophoneYes
Headphone JackYes
Microphone JackNot Tested
EthernetYes
WirelessYes
USBYes
WebcamYes
Smart Card ReaderYes
Docking StationNot TestedNot included in the package, no idea if such station exist
Touch PadYes
Suspend/ResumeYes

Notes

When unpacking the machine, it was impossible to boot the Linux install media on the laptop. It would boot, show the vendor logo, and then first ask for language, next for regional settings, and finally if I accept the Windows 8 license. The only alternative to accepting the Windows 8 license is to turn off the machine.

I tried all keyboard combination I could find mentioned on the net to try to get into a boot menu or configure the firmware, without any luck. I tried all of [ESC], [F1], [F2], [F8], [F12], [Del], [Alt-Ctrl-Del] during boot to try to get access to the UEFI or BIOS setup menu. Nothing worked. As far as I can tell, there is no way to install Linux on this machine without opening the box.

To install Linux, I ended up unscrewing the cover under the machine (11 screws), unscrewed the hard drive and disconnected it from the machine. When there was no hard disk in the machine, [F2] during boot worked to get access to the firmware setup menu. To be able to install from a Ubuntu 13.04 DVD (which is the option I used), enable the F12 boot menu option in the setup menu. Once this is done, save the settings and turn off the machine. Insert and fasten the hard disk again and fasten the cover as well. Turn on the machine and insert the DVD, press F12 during boot and select the DVD in the boot menu that show up. From this point it is a normal Ubuntu 13.04 installation. Note that the video driver is slightly broken for this machine, leading to a black screen in the installer. See below for the workaround.

The i915 kernel driver do not handle this machine properly. It turn off the screen backlight, making it impossible to install. There are two workarounds, one quick and one proper. The quick fix is to modify the kernel boot options in the installer and add acpi=off, as suggested by askubuntu.com. The disadvantage is that all ACPI support is turned off, causing no battery status etc. A better option is to tell the i915 driver to invert its brightness control handling by adding i915.invert_brightness=1 as a kernel option, as documented in launchpad bug 765438. Using either, it is possible to install Ubuntu 13.04 on the machine. An alternative proposed in launchpad question 217767 was to use the kernel option nomodeset, but this caused X to fail to start and is not recommended.

Once the installation is done, the kernel option need to be inserted into the default boot sequence, to make sure future boots work as they should. This is best done running this in a terminal to set the option permanently and activate it in the initrd:

fixup.txt
echo options i915 invert_brightness=1 | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/i915.conf
sudo update-initramfs -u -k all

When this is done, it should be safe to reboot. During early testing, I once ran into a problem where the firmware refused to boot from the freshly installed Ubuntu installation because it broken the security policy. Not quite sure why, but the issue is tracked as launcpad bug 1184297. The next boots worked just fine, so this might have been a mixup on my part with the USB stick I first installed Ubuntu on. I got around the problem by pressing F12 and selecting the hard drive to boot from.

The firmware setup provide UEFI or legacy BIOS as options. With UEFI, there is no way to turn off secure boot (the option is grayed out). I tried to select the legacy BIOS and boot the Ubuntu installation DVD, but booting the installer failed with an error about not being able to find the root file system. I did not investigate the problem, and switched back to UEFI again.

Running Kubuntu Raring on the machine also needed the i915 workaround, but when the user log in the screen is turned off. This is caused by powerdevil, see the Debian Wheezy block below for more information.

Information about the laptop from the vendor

According to Computeruniverse.net, the machine is also available with Linux, using the model name “Packard Bell EasyNote LV11HC-53214G50Mnk Linux”

Debian Wheezy

Installatin work just fine with the firmware in “legacy mode”, but when booting the screen go black like Ubuntu Raring and the invert_brightness=1 trick is needed also here. The problem is reported as debian bug #710938. But in addition to this problem, logging into KDE turn the screen black again even with invert_brightness=1, and it first turn on again when the screen saver kick in. This make the machine unusable. The powerdevil module in KDE seem to be the cause of this black screen. The problem is reported as debian bug #711237, and a workaround is to edit /usr/share/kde4/services/kded/powerdevil.desktop, changing X-KDE-Kded-autoload from true to false. Unfortunately this disable power management in KDE.

Summary

After a lot of work I managed to get Ubuntu 13.04 installed on the machine. I would not recommend the machine to any fresh Linux user, as it is impossible to install Linux on it without opening the box and unplugging the hard drive.

Once Ubuntu was installed, the machine worked fine.

PCI devices

This is the output from lspci -nn on Ubuntu Raring (13.04):

lspci.txt
00:00.0 Host bridge [0600]: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller [8086:0154] (rev 09)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller [8086:0156] (rev 09)
00:14.0 USB controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller [8086:1e31] (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller [0780]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 [8086:1e3a] (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 [8086:1e2d] (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller [8086:1e20] (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 [8086:1e10] (rev c4)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge [0604]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2 [8086:1e12] (rev c4)
00:1c.5 PCI bridge [0604]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 6 [8086:1e1a] (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 [8086:1e26] (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge [0601]: Intel Corporation HM77 Express Chipset LPC Controller [8086:1e57] (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller [0106]: Intel Corporation 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] [8086:1e03] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus [0c05]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller [8086:1e22] (rev 04)
01:00.0 Unassigned class [ff00]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTS5209 PCI Express Card Reader [10ec:5209] (rev 01)
07:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter [168c:0032] (rev 01)
08:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Qualcomm Atheros AR8151 v2.0 Gigabit Ethernet [1969:1083] (rev c0)

USB devices

This is the output from lsusb on Ubuntu Raring (13.04):

lsusb.txt
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 1bcf:2c18 Sunplus Innovation Technology Inc. 

Discussion

Obat Tradisional Kencing Manis, 2014/09/08 10:11

Obat Tradisional Kencing Manis Terpercaya
Apakah anda tahu apa yang pengertian dengan Diabetes Melitus. Penyakit Diabetes yakni salah satu jenis penyakit atau terganggunya pada kesehatan seseorang yang ditandai oleh semakin bertambahnya kadar gula dalam pembuluh darah. oleh karna kian turunnya hormon insulin atau berkurangnya berfungsinya hormon insulin di dalam penyerapan kadar gula secara maksimal karena dari itu penyakit seperti ini dapat juga diartikan sebagai jenis penyakit gula darah. Diabetes melitus dibedakan menjadi tiga bagian, yakni :
satu diabetes melitus golongan satu kedua Diabetes Melitus Tipe 2 3 diabetes jenis gestational. Pada masa sekarang banyak sekali dijumpai kebanyakan orang yang menderita penyakit diabetes melitus. pada umumnya penderita penyakit diabetes berusaha pengobatan tercepat dengan mengkonsumsi banyak macam obat tak memikirkan efek samping yang akan dirasakan pada kemudian hari. Meskipun telah minum beberapa jenis obat namun apabila anda tidak membiasakan pola makan, maka niat yang anda kerjakan akan menjadikan percuma. tingkatan gula yang ada dalam diri anda menjadi kian tinggi dikarenakan oleh pola makan keseharian.
http://grosiramazonplus.com/obat-herbal-diabetes-melitus-alami/

Håkon Løvdal, 2014/02/14 15:51

I assume the i915.invert_brightness=1 solution is due to a firmware bug, I get the following in syslog when booting:

kernel: [ 9.012025] [Firmware Bug]: ACPI: No _BQC method, cannot determine initial brightness

Håkon Løvdal, 2014/02/14 15:50

I assume the i915.invert_brightness=1 solution is due to a firmware bug, I get the following in syslog when booting:

kernel: [ 9.012025] [Firmware Bug]: ACPI: No _BQC method, cannot determine initial brightness

Håkon Løvdal, 2014/02/14 15:49

I assume the i915.invert_brightness=1 solution is due to a firmware bug, I get the following in syslog when booting:

kernel: [ 9.012025] [Firmware Bug]: ACPI: No _BQC method, cannot determine initial brightness

Michael, 2013/08/04 15:21

I installed OpenSuSE12.3 on the Packard Bell Easynote ENLV44HC-33124G50MNWS Linux Notebook and besides the “invert_brightness=1” problem everything was working very nicely.
Also there was no problem with F2 at boot time and change to “BIOS-Mode” and install from the USB-Stick OpenSuSE12.3.
Suspend to RAM did not work out of the box when closing the lid.
I had to turn write a small acpi script in /etc/acpi/actions/sleep.sh to call s2ram when the lid is closed.
Then the suspend was done twice. This can be solved by editing:
/etc/systemd/logind.conf
having the follwing lines:
HandleSuspendKey=no
HandleLidSwitch=no

All the rest worked well. Also HDMI + DVD.
Great performace with linux for that price!

Beojan Stanislaus, 2013/05/27 13:51

If the Windows license is not accepted, it may be possible (though difficult) to get a refund on the Windows license. If it is impossible to install an alternative OS without accepting the Windows license, this option is precluded.

Petter Reinholdtsen, 2013/05/26 05:20

http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/20916.html got some ideas too about holding down shift while clicking a power icon, but as far as I can see it also involve accepting the unacceptable Windows 8 license agreement first. I tried it by holding down shift when pressing the power button (there is no power icon when the license text is shown), but no boot meny showed up.

Pressing F2 during boot do not work, at least not before accepting the windows 8 license, which I find it morally despicable to do.

Brice, 2013/05/25 20:00

The French page doesn't say that F2 gets enabled on boot after finishing the windows install and rebooting. It says that F2 works when the machine is already power up, running Windows and you ask Windows to reboot the machine. It's not clear exactly when you have to hit F2 after asking Windows to reboot. Just try pressing it many times after clicking on the reboot button :)

SheilaF, 2014/08/08 01:12

For me works ! thanks very much
cheers - http://alegrafesta.com.br

Laura Arjona, 2013/05/25 17:42

I only know a bit of French but with the help of a machine translator I could understand this related post:
[http://www.presence-pc.com/forum/id-2870070/configuration-easynote-lv11hc.html]
It seems that you have to finish the Windows8 initial boot process (accept the license), then reboot, and only then the F2 key is enabled to enter the UEFI, where you can select the legacy BIOS (disable UEFI) and then boot from DVD or USB and install other operative system.

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packard_bell_easynote_lv.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/11 12:18 by 84.215.38.245
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