Wednesday, 8 October 2008

MSI Wind - Mini Notebook

My Asus EEEPC finally decided to die the other week. I only had it for 9 months, but I don't think I ever turned it of from the first day that I got it. So it did me well and proud. However, it was now time to get a new laptop. After a lot of searching around for the one that would fit my needs the best, I chose to get the MSI Wind.

MSI Wind

At only £299.95GBP ($480-ish) from This Site, I thought that was a great price. When I received my MSI Wind a day later, I couldn't wait to play around on it. I booted it up, and A nice fresh install of OpenSUSE Linux appeared. After a few hours of playing around with it, I decided that I wasn't too fond of it, and set on installing Ubuntu onto it.

Of course, be being an Ubuntu type person, I recommend you install Ubuntu onto it too :)
So first things first, What you will need:

1Gb+ USB Stick
Computer running Windows / Ubuntu
... MSI Wind!

Now to start, you will need to download an ISO Image of Ubuntu 8.04.1. Notice it is 8.04.1 and not 8.04. There were problems when installing 8.04 onto the laptop, freezing up half way through many installations. Ubuntu soon realized this, and released a patch to stop this happening.

Once downloaded, you will need to install a small, and very useful program. This program is available on both Linux and Windows. Download For Linux Here, or for Windows Here

Once downloaded and installed, you will need to select from the drop down menu which version of Ubuntu you are wanting to install. After this, you can select the ISO image that you have just installed, and what drive you want to install it onto. Warning! Make sure that there is no data on your USB stick that you will want to keep! As it will erase everything. Once all your settings are in place, click OK to continue.

UNetbootin For Ubuntu
The screen will look a little like above.

Once complete (It may take a while) you are ready to go! Safely eject your USB stick, boot up your MSI Wind, pop in the USB stick, and Press F11 to enter Boot sequence. Select your USB, and click enter. You will now be prompted with a GRUB Loader. You can either select to test the live mode, or just install it.

Installation is just like any other Ubuntu installation, so I will not write what you need to do. If you are struggling with any parts of the installation, please do comment this post, and I will gladly write a simple step-by-step guide.

So once installed, you may realize that your WiFi isn't working. This is simple to sort out. Connect your MSI Wind to the internet via cable, and use the following command to install all the appropriate kernel headers:
sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

Next, download, and un-tar the correct drivers needed:
tar xvzf rtl8187se_linux_26.1016.0716.2008.tar.gz

And build the driver:
cd rtl8187se_linux_26.1016.0716.2008

Now that the drivers have been installed, run the following command to insert the modules, and enable the WiFi:
sudo ./wlan0up

To map all of the new modules so that the wireless can work from boot, you will need to copy some of the files to the necessary places:
sudo cp -r ieee80211/*.ko /lib/modules/2.6.24-19-generic/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/
sudo cp rtl8185/r8180.ko /lib/modules/2.6.24-19-generic/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/

Lastly, run the following commands to finish the installation of:
sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe r8180

You now have working wireless. Disconnect from the current wired internet, and any wireless networks that are in range should now be showing up in your network manager applet.

There are a few other little errors that you may notice. This site has a lot of little hacks and tweaks to get your Ubuntu running just how it should do on your new MSI Wind.

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