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Samsung UEFI laptops being “bricked” by Linux

by Mark Tyson on 31 January 2013, 11:10

Tags: Samsung (005935.KS)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabsan

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There are several reports of Samsung laptops bricking after installing Linux and booting via UEFI. The reports suggest this problem particularly affects Ubuntu, but that’s probably just because it’s the most popular Linux distribution. The bricking problem has been narrowed down to the “Samsung driver” in the Linux kernel. A fix has been found but is not yet merged into the Linux development tree. Samsung is also working on a firmware update.

User reports say the problem occurs like this: After preparing your drive with the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator, the user restarts their Samsung laptop, chooses this drive but during the startup process the computer appears to freeze. From then on restarting the computer doesn’t even go as far as displaying any basic startup info – your system is as useful as a brick...

H-Online reports that the problem has affected owners of Samsung 530U3C, 300E5C, NP700Z5C, NP700Z7C and NP900X4C series laptops. The problem only occurs when Linux is booted using UEFI. The problem can be avoided if the user chooses to boot Linux using the Compatibility Support Module (CSM), a recent UEFI feature designed “to enable operating systems to be booted in the same way as on computers with conventional BIOS firmware”. However H-Online says this method isn’t as straight-forward as installing Linux alongside a Windows installation using UEFI mode. And if you didn’t know of the Samsung driver problem why wouldn’t you just take the more straight-forward install route.

Finding a solution

Ubuntu developers and Samsung staff have been discussing the problems with the Samsung Driver in the Linux kernel. Now that this driver has been singled out as the problem work has begun to address the serious issue. Samsung have been working on a fix for several weeks via updated firmware but nothing is forthcoming as yet. The other fix of sorts, deactivating the Samsung driver if a system boots to Linux via UEFI are not yet merged into the main Linux development tree.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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The IBM x86 compatible PC is dead.

Long live the UEFI Windows-only PC.
Steve
Long live the UEFI Windows-only PC.
1) UEFI was first used on mass by Apple
2) UEFI is in no way windows only, in fact Linux was using it before MS.
3) This sounds kinda like a bug in Samsungs firmware or in the Kernel.

But yeah, sure, its obviously a conspiricy by microsoft rather than a ****up by Samsung or the Linux Kernel team!
I'm sorry if I come across as a bit of a UEFI sceptic [zdnet.com].
Steve
I'm sorry if I come across as a bit of a UEFI sceptic [zdnet.com].
Yes because all those other people like Apple and Google were not doing that at all. It's obviously only for MS with their amazing 1% market share of ARM computing.......
Steve
The IBM x86 compatible PC is dead.

Long live the UEFI Windows-only PC.


I took this to be lighthearted and ironically mean the legacy system didnt freeze but the new improved one did... 'progress'... :)