Newbie on Linux I'm afraid - need a spot of help with drivers


I have just installed Linux for the first time on my old laptop - a Toshiba Satellite Pro SPA10-EN. I installed Ubuntu 10.4 Beta. It was a clean install which went fine and I used the Update manager to download and install all the updates (266 of them).

I am left with 2issues. I have no sound from the SoundMax onboard card and the video is very jumpy.

Can anyone help with this please.



Newbie on Linux I'm afraid - need a spot of help with drivers

Hello David, The short of it is if your not a seasoned Ubuntu or Linux veteran it's best to only download and work with stable releases. Betas have so many bugs yet to be worked out yet. Hence the term Beta tester!!! If ya don't know it how can you test it??? 10.04 will have a stable release at the end of April. You might try 9.10 in the mean time and work with it until the stable 10.04 becomes available then just install it in place of 9.10 or repartition and do multi boots.
If it's an old Laptop it may not allow you to run Sun's VirtualBox. This add on download will allow you to run multiple OS' at the same time if your CPU processor is capable and you have enough memory RAM.
I've been using Linux 10+ years and still don't understand all of command line and All the peculiarities Linux brings to the table. I've got dementia holding me back tho. It kind of keeps me from doing new and complicated memory tasks. I've not had much luck with Beta1's but Beta2's are less troublesome and Stable is almost problem free. I'm trying Beta1 10.04 on VirtualBox 3.1.4 and it's way too buggy for me. It runs but I get a lot of error messages at boot up tho about file system corruption and SMBUS not working and that I need to upgrade my bios. It also will not allow me to get guest additions installed for full feature use. 9.10 does the same thing on VBox but does not do it with a normal hard disk install. I haven't tried 10.04 on hard disk full install yet but I suspect it would work better than on VBox. I usually just wait for stable and have fewer frustrations. Njoy%:))SW

Thank you

Hi Sweetwater,

Thank you so much for your reply. I have been on several Linux forums and asked for help and you are the only one who has replied this week.

I decided to try linux when I read the great reviews of Ubuntu 10.04. In the past I had also heard of the 'Linux community' and how easy it was to get support.

I have found the opposite so far - a fairly difficult operating system (I know it's beta), and rubbish support. At least people talk to you on the Windows forums.

But full marks to you for taking the time out to help a newbie - thank you.

Sorry to hear about the dementia, must be difficult God bless you.


Yea Old Laptop Box

David, I do know that from time to time, you might get a rude user. But the places to get the best help, aren't always obvious. I was ticked at MS about 3-4 years ago, and made the move over to Linux. I'm not using the Beta Version, and know that they've moved things around, so I'm not going to be the most helpful with your issue. - I do Think that 9.10 or 9.04 might be worth looking at. - I use 8.10 on my machine, as it's been stable for me, and I don't always have the time to re-tweak a machine every 6 months.

A good many of the people that can help will wan to know:
How much Ram do you have on your machine?
What's it's speed?

I've owned two Toshiba's the older one, the one with less stuff on it, works with everything that I've put on it. - The newer one that I have, had sound card issues if one wanted to use the built in mike and / or headphones.


for a podcast(s) and forums with some of the better places to figure out how to use your Linux Machine.

If you're on or Twitter send me a tweet to @thenose100 I might not have the answer, but tossing problems out there, it'll see more eyeballs then some forums. - Or someone will have a better answer.


Hi David, I agree with the writers above, who are far more experienced that I am in Ubuntu, that you should avoid using a beta unless you are experienced, for the computer you are using there isn't any real advantage to be gained by using a beta.
I would suggest you use the latest stable version (9.10) because that is what Ubuntu expect you to use until ... gosh April is nearly here. Even then, I think in your case it would pay to wait until a week or so before going to the new distribution release just in case there are any "teething" issues that crop up. I think the Update Manager will actually prompt you about a week or so after the announced release.

Regarding the issue of sound, I would Google something like "Ubuntu sound set up" and to ensure your sound system is set up correctly, because sometimes the default setup isn't always correct. You will find some advice is several years old, which may or may not be important, so if the advice is a little dated then give it a try, but if it isn't right then look for something more recent.
Some things, like sound and power supply issues, are very much related to the actual way your manufacturer set up the computer, which is another reason I would suggest going with a recent stable version of Ubuntu (or whatever other distribution you wish to try).

I'm wondering if the jumpy video is partly related to the speed of getting the data from the source to the screen. I have a vague feeling that I had some sort of issue similar to yours and fixed it by temporarily copying (please note the "temporarily" bit, I don't want to be accused of encouraging theft) the DVD to the hard drive and viewing it that way.

My experience has been that generally the more recent the version of Ubuntu, the better it is, and also that Ubuntu is generally better supported than most other versions of Linux.

I would ask you not to be discouraged, remember that there is a learning curve and you probably don't realise how much you have learnt in just this short time. Also, remember that Linux distributions are very secure, which I'm sure (if you're like me) is something I constantly forget about.

Cheers, Stephen.

I am left with 2issues.

"I am left with 2issues. I have no sound from the SoundMax onboard card and the video is very jumpy."
You're welcome David! Sorry I wasn't up to a decent reply earlier and after re-reading and getting a little more un-demented for the moment I thought of a few things that you might try.
Sometimes it takes me up to four years to accomplish a goal and sometimes it's instant... Dementia is weird...
1. Keep doing updates - go into update manager i.e. system>administration and click on settings and tell it to do updates according to your preferences ~ I just did my first for 10.04 and I got way over 350 files added and they took care of some if not most of my issues. Remember it's Beta and problems are guaranteed.
2. Is your sound on board or a card? Hard to mount a card on a laptop isn't it? He He He!! Check with manufacturer and see if they provide Linux drivers if no sound installed... My on board sound does not do as well as a card primarily because on board is not as good as an add on card most times.
Go into sound settings~ System>preferences>sound and try different combinations in those settings according to your known hardware. [yea I'm afraid you have to know something to use Linux effectively but thats what is nice you may/do have more have control than with Windoze] My Ubuntu installs freq. losing these settings for some strange reason. Could be updates and bugs in them.... but they do resolve.
3. Same with Video = system>administration> hardware drivers and see if drivers have been installed.....If not choose recommended driver from list and install away. Otherwise track down hardware manuf. on Internet and accost them for a Linux driver... Community effort to improve Linux and get more people involved will make it better faster I suppose or irritate the heck out of M$ supporters.
Not everything comes installed and configured in Linux not unlike M$bloatandmalware!!! But if you spend the time to install and configure it the way that you like it you'll be impressed that a bunch of people like you and me other contributing users and the more tech savvy people spear heading the movement are responsible for it's being what it is.
I get frustrated with Linux occasionally because it's not happening fast enough for me but when I try going back to M$ I'm quickly reminded why I chose to switch.
Linux is not a drop in windows replacement as things are done differently [even if they do similar things] and there is no company behind it forcing you to use it their way or no way. Linux is open source and more real world full of goodies and some hardships but it can most always be customized to the way that you might like it given time and effort... You just have to take everyone and everything at face value not assuming that it conforms to your world and understand where folks are coming from when they rave about how well Linux does for them I guess.
Hope I didn't offend and keep up the good work.
L8R %:))SW

OOOOOPS sorry dewd

We're not all without fault David.
I just went into hardware settings following my last instructions to you from what I believed to be true as to what I knew from 9.10 and they have really rearranged things in that part of it in 10.04. So it may not work the way I said it would! apparently they are trying to phase in a driver for NVidia called "Noveau" 'spelling excepted' which is supposed to replace the proprietary Nvidia drivers and that part is helter~skelter to me. If your's is not Nvidia tho it may still work for you to attempt installing drivers from there. I had to use synaptic package manager and sacrificed many of my existing brain cells to find and download and install my Nvidia driver and it still did not resolve all my issues so for the bleeding edge. I guess it's wait til it gets resolved with a more stable release. Anyway this part has not become as automated as it use to was for me.
Perhaps this is the reason no one has chimed in to help you as there are few people running the Betas that really search these posts for helping technologically drowning folks like us. No insult intended just sad attempt at humor!!! I know I'm drowning but I keep jumping in to keep the thrill of accomplishment buzzing. Takes lotza research and trial tho.
Like I said b4 it's best to wait for more experienced folks to work most of the bugz out before trying the latest release. Unless you thrive on the thrill and frustration of change. Everybody keeps reminding me to stay away from bleeding edge Linux but I turn a deaf ear and dabble anyway. It's o.k. if you don't expect too much return on efforts at first I guess.
9.04 has been and is the most trouble free for me even from when it was bleeding edge. And that fits in with others recommendations to stay about two releases behind bleeding edge.
Something else occurred to me about sound or lack there of is setting may have it muted. I know that use to happen to me frequently on occasion.
What I'm going to do is come May 1 or so is delete this 10.04 install and do a fresh 10.04 stable.
I've got two 10 year old machines with 4 hard drives in this one and two in the other and I play with multilple distro/releases to keep busy.
L8R %:)SW ~ keep me posted how it evolves turns out!
After thought have you tried this approach yet?