Ubuntu 9.10 Installation – Sager NP7620

Sager NP7620 Laptop

I set this system up for a friend of mine. The laptop power supply is going bad and the Windows XP installation was riddled with malware. I had quite a few issues installing, since the power supply is dying and various devices will only work intermittently.


After trying to boot into the Ubuntu Live CD a few times and failing, because of the dying power brick, I came across a utility called UNetBootin. I used UNetBootin’s “frugal install” option to boot directly into the Ubuntu Live CD stored as an ISO on the solitary NTFS partition. I was able to install Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala alongside Windows XP. After transferring personal files between the partitions I decided to get rid of Windows entirely to make more room for personal files. Unfortunately, I ran into a roadblock with UNetBootin not wanting to run when installed on Ubuntu. I tried loading the ISO of the Ubuntu Live CD, other ISOs, and eventually got the actual physical CD to spin up in the CD-ROM. At which point I made the unfortunate decision to just reinstall Ubuntu from scratch off the CD. Of course, the installation failed about half way through and I was left with a system that only booted into a grub recovery shell with little to no options. It would seem grub didn’t even install all the way. Now what? Well, since I was able to boot from the Live CD (once out of every ten times I tried), I went ahead and sunk my teeth in.

First, I had to make sure grub was fully installed:

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/root
$ sudo mount /dev/sda6 /mnt/root
$ sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/root /dev/sda

Now grub is installed, so even though I can’t boot from USB on this machine, I can now tell grub to boot from the Live CD I have installed to a USB disk. So, I went ahead and copied a kernel to the hard drive to boot into later:

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/usbdrive
$ sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usbdrive
$ sudo mkdir /boot/usb-boot
$ sudo cp /mnt/usbdrive/casper/vmlinuz /mnt/root/boot/usb-boot
$ sudo cp /mnt/usbdrive/casper/initrd.lz /mnt/root/boot/usb-boot

Then I rebooted and was presented with the grub command line interface. I entered the following commands:

> root (hd0,6)
> kernel /boot/usb-boot/vmlinuz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent
> initrd /boot/usb-boot/initrd.lz
> boot

Bam! Booted into the Live USB drive and started installation!

Created 1gb swap partition, 10gb root partition, and the rest went /home. Setup my user for auto login, and off it went.


All network devices worked fine right out of the box. Connected to my wireless network and openedĀ  Network ManagerĀ  to selected “Available to all users” to avoid keyring dialogs. Connected.


I ran:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

No problems. Restart required.


Audio worked out of the box.


Video worked out of the box.


Installed the following software with no problems:
$ sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get --quiet update
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-do

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