Fujitsu Siemens S6010 - my way of stopping it crashing


Not sure if this will be of help to anyone, but UI thought I’d record my experiences with this laptop. It’s taken me several battles to get it working with OpenSUSE 11.0 but I think I have now.

My system: OpenSUSE 11.0 on S6010 with 1GB RAM and a 40GB hard disk drive, running Fluxbox and various audio tools, for which I’m using a realtime patched kernel.

It kept crashing randomly. After a time, the screen would lock up and that would be it. There was no way of knowing how long it would be before it happened, so it was particularly difficult to spot.


The clocksource

A bit of a search led me to believe that the clocksource was going wrong. I found the Ubuntu fora to be very helpful in that regard. I examined the boot process and noticed that there was a module called TSC that was being marked as unstable. More searching led me to a way of disabling it at bootup, but this is not recommended if you are using Jack. TSC is the time stamp counter and Jack relies on it.

The safest thing to do is to change the clocksource but NOT disable TSC. You can do this in YaST’s Bootloader section. I added


to the other kernel parameters. This stopped the warnings and made the laptop boot slightly faster [my perception - didn’t test it].

Power Management
Changing the clocksource didn’t actually stop it crashing though. I read a thread on here that talked briefly about power management and how a program called powernow can interfere with processes. The S6010 doesn’t need powernow at all - but I did notice it kept being started. I suspect the reason was that this laptop has its own power management system called SpeedStep.

openSUSE has its own power management methods, so I reasoned that the two were conflicting. So I entered the BIOS setup and disabled SpeedStep and all powermanagement settings there. I then booted up openSUSE, opened YAST and went to the /etc/sysconfig editor, heading to System > Powermanagement > Powersave, and altered my settings to my choice.

It doesn’t seem like much, but this was a problem that taken me weeks to get round, so I hope someone else doesn’t have to go through the same hassle I did.

Oh, and I forgot to add that this laptop is really nice. It boots up in between 50 - 60 secs, which I think is not bad.