Category Archives: tech question

W520 won’t boot from hard drive.

I received my shiny, new ThinkPad W520 this afternoon and immediately installed Fedora 16 Beta.  All seemed to go well but when I rebooted it wouldn’t actually boot into Fedora.  No GRUB no nothing.  So I grabbed a F15 Live DVD and booted off of that.  No problem so far.  Did the installation from there and same thing.  No error message or anything.

I’ve disabled the IEEE1394 port and VT-d to no avail.  Anyone have any ideas?

Update: (140227Z) – First, thanks to everyone that responded to my request for assistance.  I’ve humbled by the number of people that provided advice and gave me additional avenues in which to look.
I believe I am having the GPT problem.  The reason F15 wouldn’t work is that I didn’t do a “full disk” installation (I used the default of replace Linux installation which doesn’t update the partitions).  So when I did a full installation including “full disk” everything “just worked”.  Now that I have additional information I believe I’ll go back and do some more troubleshooting.  I have to fly out on Sunday so I need to have a working, fully patched and hardened, system to take with me.  I’m hoping I can get a native install of F16 Beta on-board before I go.  If not I may just have to upgrade from F15 to F16 Beta and leave it at that.

Update: (140517Z) – After talking with more Fedorians on IRC I hit me that I hadn’t turned off UEFI and then tried to install F16.  I also had a plan to use the F15 partitions for F16 which would also “fix” the GPT problem.  I’m not sure which but the problem is gone.  I’m successfully running Fedora 16 Beta on my shiny, new laptop.  I’ll talk more about it tomorrow but for now I’m going to finish doing the system hardening and then go to bed.

Resolved my SSH key authentication problem.

A couple of days ago I blogged about a problem I was having with SSH not allowing me to do public key authentication after upgrading from F12 to F13.  At some point I had uncommented the line

AuthorizedKeysFile     .ssh/authorized_keys

It used to work but the latest version, in F13-Beta, does NOT like it.  I’m assuming that ~/.ssh/authorized_keys would work but commenting it out worked for me.

Creative Commons License
Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Dell Inspiron Mini 10v

I just spec’d out a Dell Inspiron Mini 10v laptop.  Dell will load Ubuntu instead of any Windoze variant so I’ll get around the Microsoft tax and that meets my criteria.  I’m curious if anyone has one of these laptops and how you like it.

Help Needed…

Okay, here’s the situation. My wife came to me tonight and said that her computer had locked up trying to save a file and that she had rebooted her computer and now she can’t open the file at all. When I looked at it the first thing that came to my mind was that she had corrupted the file by downing the computer during the save. I can reproduce it every time and can’t get it to work correctly.

Here’s how it goes down… Using’s writer I take a file and try to save it as a .doc. When I’m watching top, swriter.bin uses 100% of the CPU for as long as I let it run. If I try to save that file in ODF format I get the following error:

Error saving document TODO :
Error in writing sub-document styles.xml

We’ve also noticed that she gets a memory error when trying to email something using Thunderbird. I’m trying to figure out if this is a software issue or a hardware issue. Anyone have any ideas???

UPDATE: Figured out the problem and it has been remedied. The bigger problem is the corrupt files. Thanks to those that left messages about how to get into an ODF file but of course she was using .doc as she is working with people that use Microshaft Word. So, anyone know how to get into a .doc file?