PCMCIA and X11R6 problems on a ThinkPad 510cs

PCMCIA and X11R6 problems on a ThinkPad 510cs

Post by Keith Wat » Sat, 03 Jun 1995 04:00:00

(My apologies to the comp.os.linux.X group for the non-X question at the
end of the file..)

Hello all -

   I've just switched over to Linux and while the base system runs fine,
I'm having a couple of problems.  Here is my system:

Thinkpad 510cs
4 MB memory (although this will be upgraded to 8 MB shortly)
Linux 1.2.8
GCC 2.6.3
Setup with Slackware disks A, AP, and D (plus tinyX and PCMCIA-CS-2.6.1)
David Hind's PCMCIA-CS-2.6.1 driver, using /dev/cua1
Compaq PCMCIA 14.4k data/fax modem
Trying to run tinyX with the SVGA server

Information from IBM Helpdesk on video display:
Chipset: Western Digital WD90C24A/LV
Video memory: 1024k
Internal LCD:  640x480 VGA 256 colors
External Port:  1024x768
External Port Vertical Bandwidth Freq: 31.49
External Port Horizontal Bandwidth Freq: 70 Hz (56 Hz extended)

They had no more information on the internal LCD.

Now my problems:

1) X11R6

Does anyone have an Xconfig file which works with the TP 510cs?  I'm
having trouble getting the video modes setup.  The WD90C24 chip is not
recognized by X11.  I downloaded and read the "Linux on Thinkpads" file,
but it seems to mainly be for the 750 series.  I tried the chipset
mentioned in that file (WD90C30) as well as WD90C00 and in both cases X
-probeonly returned two Clock lines (one with 8 numbers, one with 1), but
was told "Fatal server error - there is no mode definition named
'640x480'" [Do I need to use VGA16 instead of the SVGA server?]

Since the HOWTO says you can damage your video screen by monkeying with
this config, I'm wary of playing with it too much.  I can send my Xconfig
file if it would be helpful.

2) PCMCIA modem does not respond

I installed David Hind's driver and it seems to work fine
(/usr/adm/messages does not show any errors).  When the modem card is
inserted, I get two high beeps indicating it is recognized.  /dev/modem
is a symbolic link to /dev/cua1 and best I can tell is
okay (IBM confirms the PCMCIA modem should be put in COM2 with the
standard IRQ setting).  Trouble is, when I run minicom the system starts
up fine and sends the init string, but the modem doesn't respond.  Typing
AT (which should return "OK") has no result.  I have minicom configured
so that it is accessing /dev/modem, but I've tried going to /dev/cua1
directly with the same result.  I currently don't have anything in the
callout/callin slots - could that be the problem?  Does anyone have any

I'm also going to try to figure out someway to get Linux to read my
MicroSolutions Backpack CD-ROM (which accesses trhough the parallel
port) if anyone has any suggestions for that...

Many thanks,


PCMCIA and X11R6 problems on a ThinkPad 510cs

Post by Keith Wat » Sun, 04 Jun 1995 04:00:00

Quote:> Did you follow the troubleshooting instructions in the PCMCIA-HOWTO?
>    -- Dave Hinds

Hi Dave -

   Yes I did, but to no avail.  However, the problem has solved -
apparently on a TP 510cs you have to uncomment the "exclude 2nd serial
port" line in the config file.  This is contrary to what IBM's Helpdesk
said, but hey, it works!  I'm pleased to report also that thanks to some
other TP users, I'm up and running with X11R6.  I'll write up everything
I did and post it in case there are others who need this info.

Thanks for everyone's help..


PCMCIA and X11R6 problems on a ThinkPad 510cs

Post by Keith Wat » Sun, 04 Jun 1995 04:00:00

Quote:>    I am trying to install linux on my 360 and I do not know the
> address for the hd and the other first install info...where did you get
> it, or what is it ie the
> ramdisk stuff.

Keith -

  I strongly recommend getting the Slackware distribution from
ftp.cdrom.com (its home site).  I got it originally off of
sunsite.unc.edu, but it was Linux 1.2.3 - and if you want to use Dave's
PCMCIA driver (for which I have nothing but praise!), you need 1.2.8.
If you have 4 MB of memory and want to run X11, I suggest tinyX from
sunsite.unc.edu - works great!  As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to
write up everything I did to install and post it in c.o.l.setup in a
couple of days. Any problems, just ask - lord knows enough people have
been helping me, I'm glad to give some back!

The other Keith


1. Problems with IBM ThinkPad 510Cs

   I'm having problems with kernel panics (Oops, AIEE, unexplained
SIGSEGV's) and general system stability on an IBM ThinkPad 510Cs.
I've tried kernels 1.1.81, 83, and 85 with and without David Hinds'
PCMCIA Services 2.3.9 loaded, with the new and old IDE drivers.  The
rest of the software is Slackware 2.1.  The system has 12 MB RAM.

   I've tried the system in fast and slow mode, cache on and off, on
battery and AC power.  Sometimes the system will run fine for hours,
but I can always cause problems by trying to compile the kernel.  It
never succeeds.  Usually, gcc (2.5.8) gets a SIGSEGV or SIGIOT while
generating the dependencies.  Sometimes it goes farther, but it never

   I can't reproduce these problems at all on my main Pentium machine,
where I've been building the various kernels to try.  In fact, I've
never had a kernel panic on this machine for a year.

   Other than this (somewhat major) problem, the ThinkPad 510Cs is a
great little system.  I have X working and Ethernet running with a
3Com PCMCIA card.  Performance is pretty good.

   Has anyone had similar experiences?  Any suggestions as to whether
the fault is with the kernel or the hardware?  I once had overheating
problems with my Pentium, which caused problems similar to those I've
seen with the ThinkPad.  This is why I'm questioning the hardware.
But there have been a lot of reports of kernel problems with 1.1.8X
kernels lately.

   Thanks for any input.


Cary, N.C.

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