Linux users accidentally bricked their new Samsung laptops by booting their favourite open-source OS on the shiny computers. A kernel driver crashes on Sammy machines when users start up from an Ubuntu 12 USB key - although other distributions may be at risk - giving them the dreaded black screen of no activity whatsoever. After …
Re: Not to worry...
I'd imagine the BIOS chip can be replaced or re-flashed but it certainly is a PITA when you need your laptop and data.
Dunno about you, but I like to back up my data before doing an OS upgrade (or downgrade in this case). Anybody who doesn't, and then bitches about losing data is a moron.
I'd imagine most linux users have more than one computer, given how technically proficient they are. Restoring the previously backed up data shouldn't be a "PITA" at all, should it?
The free in this instance obviously relates to freedom as the MS tax has already been paid.
Everybody with this model laptop: boot it with the Linux, brick it, and then send it back to Samsung. That will teach them.
Those that are saying "it works with Windows, therefore It Works" are behind the times.
Microsoft used to have that attitude. But about a dozen years ago they very suddenly understood the flaw with that approach. Most of the things that "worked with Windows" and didn't work with Linux, actually didn't work.
They just happened to not crash immediately with Windows 95 and perhaps Windows 98.
Once Microsoft put a priority on an OS that didn't require a daily reboot, and tried to move to improved API (e.g. 32 bit, eliminate the need to rely on undocumented state in registers and variables) they found that almost every hardware issue that Linux faced also bit them when they tried to introduce an updated OS.
Almost certainly this Linux-triggered bug would have otherwise lay hidden, waiting to bite them with Windows++.
That was close...
I almost did this the other day to see what Ubuntu was like these days on my NP700Z5C.
Best leave it as it is then.
Re: That was close...
And the down-vote because?
Angry Angry Freetards
Wow, you lot take your operating systems seriously, don't you?
I haven't seen so much downvoting of comments since... Well actually I don't know when I last saw a group of people get their knickers in such a knot.
Even Apple zealots don't get as worked up as a linux user on his high horse.
Re: Angry Angry Freetards @Ross
Yes, OS's are serious. If you don't think OS's are serious, then perhaps you had better retire from the IT scene.
There are OS's that are used to service huge amounts of websites, super computers, banks, phones, tablets cars, planes etc. YOU rely of OS's (of whatever flavours) to do almost everything in your day to day life. And you don't think that is 'serious' ??
As to this particular point, the downvotes are because people like yourself are entirely missing why this Samsung issue (yes SS, not Linux) is a big thing. I personally don't care which OS you use (I use Windows, Ubuntu, Raspbian etc), and have the understanding and knowledge to know this is a firmware issue that could affect ANY OS you run on the device in question. Not just Linux.
Re: How's that for quick?
That's not a fix. I can still walk up to your Samsung and brick it with my USB stick. The fix is when Samsung change their hardware so that it can't be bricked.
I am only going to buy new PCs after consulting the ubuntu compatibility lists now
Never again will I buy a computer without checking first it runs Linux, or whatever else I might want to put on it.
self destruct built in?
Does this mean there is a KILL LAPTOP call, that is called if the OS checksum fails? Who would buy a computer with a built in self destruct feature ?
Just stay away from the Series 5 Samsung.
I made the mistake of purchasing a 14" Series NP530U39 a few months ago. They are terrible bits of kit.
The first one arrived with a dead drive.
The second one kind of works
The ExpressCache means that the blasted thing keeps corrupting the filesystem randomly and I need to run a system restore because Chkdsk won't run (autochk.exe is corrupted.)
After a few months the case is starting to warp (I treat the thing carefully although I do need to carry it around.)
You can't turn off the Bluetooth chip without turning off the Wireless network.
The screen is a cheap job that has a terrible viewing angle.
The function keys don't work most of the time.
They keyboard keys are getting loose.
The wireless network adapter just dies at random.
The thing is terrible. I really miss the Asus kit I used to stick with in the past.
I wonder how many of the people slagging off Linux users have ever considered:
1: If anything they use is Linux based or based on OpenSource work such as Android phones and Mac OSX or their home router
2: If they have ever visited a site run on an Apache web server - oh wait what does the reg use?!
3: If they have ever used an application like OpenOffice
4: If they realise that RedHat most certainly do charge for 'linux' and it is therefore not the 'free' they think we all want but a different meaning to 'free'
5: Do they really think we are all cost motivated?
6: I wonder if they would use Windows for their corporate firewall?
Of course not! It's obvious from their postings that their knowledge in these areas is limited. Which is fine. I have lots of areas where my knowledge is limited. I don't tend to comment on them though.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS!
Although there's news in it this time, I still think this is likely to be the special Friday Favourite - the story written to make sure there's a slew of rabid fanbois, haters, likers and appeasers spouting out on the forums.
It's an unusual one, but Linux failing will usually do it, along with any story containing Apple suing, Microsoft succeeding or failing, Google being evil, or the US and the UK having a disagreement over language.
I've got one of these, running Linux
I have a 530U3C, it's actually a nice piece of kit and very good value.
First thing I did was kill all the weird stuff in the BIOS, swap out the hard disk and put in a 256GB SSD and install Mint and plain Windows 7 in a dual-boot configuration. Windows is on the new SSD and Linux is on the 22GB internal SSD that's there as some sort of cache by default.
Extreme distrust of anything new or unusual continues to pay dividends for me.
Re: I've got one of these, running Linux
Yep, "learning from our mistakes" is one thing, "learning from other people's mistakes" is another. Never use version x.1 of anything, search forums for other people's experiences before committing time and money you can't spare.
On occasion it is good to experiment, but don't be heartbroken if it doesn't work- and post your experiences - good and bad - where people can find them. It' not all wasted- getting into a jam causes you how to get out of it, or avoid it in future.
[300 comments... wow!]
Just STOP using Ubuntu
I've been using Linux sine 1994, and Ubuntu is a travesty. Never once has an install worked or upgraded correctly the first time using it on any of my equipment. Mice not working, incorrect video drivers, dual booting incorrect, never ending file sharing problems. For a new user, those problems are SHOW STOPPERS. Ubuntu is probably responsible for turning away vast amounts of new desktop users from Linux. Bug reports on Ubuntu are ABSOLUTELY useless. Nothing ever gets fixed. I've had bug reports in for years and nothing gets done. I just stopped making bug reports, it WASTES my valuable time.
I did put in many hours of time helping other newbies on Linux sites, but that got old pretty quick when Ubuntu never fixed anything. I've got pretty common equipment and tried once again with the latest version, 12.10, and once again it failed. video on my Nvidia 480 GTX's was all messed up. Install was not clear on where the GRUB install goes (although I know where it should go), my R.A.T.7 gaming mouse did not work on install, even though there are bug reports all over the net on what to fix in the install. I quickly installed Linux MInt 14 and all was well again. Ubuntu fails on so many levels. They are actually hurting the spread of Linux rather than helping. Sure I'll get flamed from the Ubuntu robots, but I'm not saying Linux is bad, it's great for what it is, but Ubuntu should just shut down and let people that actually give a hoot about fixing problems take over. (I switched to anonymous for this post, since the accusations will fly about this and that, and not relevant to the real problem, Ubuntu itself.)
Re: Just STOP using Ubuntu
"Nothing ever gets fixed"
"Ubuntu fails on so many levels"
So true.. And they are contemplating going rolling-release *shudder*
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface - OFF!
Yes, this may impact us “normal” users. I’ve multi-booted my main i7 PC – blah blah; when I turn off and go to bed, then I boot again in the morning – the bios is set to force subsequent boot-ups to Win 8 only. I have to restart Win 8 to get my BIOS boot up menu again; since I use that to multi-boot each OS drive. This is a presumption from Microsoft – they’re insisting we boot Win8! I DON’T LIKE IT MS!!
Ubuntu 12.10 & Fedora
Is this Samsung firmware brick problem restricted to Ubuntu 12.10 triggering it.or will other distro's do it?
It seams especially ironic as Ubuntu 12.10 (& Fedora) are supposed to come with a MS generated EUFI key, (with great lot of criticism from the Free Software Foundation & Linux community !)
I agree with AC, stop using Ubuntu, its getting too bloated to run on anything but the latest machines, bugs remain unfixed. I too have moved to Mint.
That's their silly mistake.
Samsung didn't make a Linux machine so why are people complaining that this laptop doesn't run Linux, it's not designed to! That's the freeware crowd is it?
Re: That's their silly mistake.
If a car maker decreed that their cars were designed for Shell fuel for example, and some put fuel sourced from BP and their cars seized up, they'd be similar finger pointing between those arguing that the fuel must be dodgy, and others saying the cars must be dodgy.
Now do we blame the customer for putting another brand of petrol / another vendor of x86-64 kernel in their car / laptop?
Clearly Samsungs fault
[Quote] "According to his analysis, entries for calling the UEFI setup get overwritten because one of the UEFI firmware's functions returns a value which is not in accordance with the UEFI specification."
This is clearly an issue with the firmware and not the kernel driver hence the reason why linux doesn't crash every other UEFI laptop. In IT we develop standards for reasons like this and when manufacturers don't follow those standards, things go wrong. Those of you who use this as an opportunity to bash linux clearly aren't to tech savvy and you look like idiots to those of us who actually understand how a computer is supposed to work.
Re: Clearly Samsungs fault
"This is clearly an issue with the firmware and not the kernel"
If the firmware returns a wild value to a parameter search shouldn't the kernel respond defensively rather than blat over the boot entries?
Let's say malloc() returns NULL and the app explodes when it tries to use that as a pointer. Whose fault, the app or the heap manager? Think about it before you call people idiots: nothing in this story is black and white.
Re: Clearly Samsungs fault
Well the app didn't explode here, the firmware did. The app works fine on other firmware. Who's fault is it? The fault of the person who didn't follow standards that were set for UEFI. When you don't follow guidelines for a commonly used technology, unexpected things happen.