User:Psullivan/Revised Laptop Build Checklist for Xubuntu 12.04

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The laptop you are working with should already have been through evaluation, and have a Keeper label affixed to the lid. These steps are intended to guide you through the Build portion of the Keeper label only, other tests will need to be run before the laptop goes to Quality Control. Your instructor will be able to answer questions and check your work. Never overlook the help your fellow builders can provide. You can also find information on the Free Geek wiki at Laptop.

Check For Broken or Damaged Parts

Visually inspect laptop for broken screen, missing keys, weak hinges, cosmetic problems, etc. If in doubt, check with your instructor and make repairs as directed.

Look at the Keeper Label

Check the Make, Model, Proc, and RAM portions of the Keeper Label and add whatever is missing. On the Keeper label, mark the start box on the Build line. If something seems odd (e.g., ominous notes, missing pieces, bizarre specs), just ask your instructor. .

Get a Power Supply

Look for a label on the bottom of the laptop that described its Voltage and Amperage requirements. Grab an appropriate power supply from the labeled boxes on the shelves (the box labels are color-coded by brand for easy locating).

Install imaged hard drive

Get a hard drive from your instructor, install the hard drive in the caddy (attach an adapter if necessary) and then install it in the laptop.

Install appropriate optical drive (if missing or CD read only)

Look on the Optical Drive shelf to see if any are available for the model you are working with. If nothing seems like it will fit, ask your Instructor if any Parts Machines are available.

Power Up Laptop

Start your engines!

Enter BIOS

If you see an error message like "checksum error, defaults loaded" then your CMOS battery is dead. Ask your instructor what to do about it.

Set boot order in BIOS

Look for the boot order in BIOS. Of the available options, the preferred order is as follows : CD-ROM boots first; Hard drive boots somewhere between CD-ROM and Network; Network boots last. Get as close as possible, depending on the BIOS, but make sure the Network boot isn't before the hard drive.

While in BIOS, check the RAM

The build category (High End, Mid Grade, Low End, etc) of your laptop is determined by the specs on the keeper label. Check the whiteboard and confirm that the correct amount of RAM is installed.

Boot to Ubuntu

Boot to the hard drive. Log in as "Default User" (password: freegeek).

Get wireless working.

Click the Network icon on the top panel to see if wireless is installed and working.

  • Wireless is present and shows networks to connect to
    1. Select freegeek from the list of available wireless networks,
    2. Once you're connected, open Firefox and try navigating to a webpage (for example,,
    3. You should see a Free Geek's Wireless Terms of Service page. Read through it, if you care to, and click I accept at the bottom of the page,
    4. Confirm that you can browse to webpages, and move on to the next step.
  • Wireless is present, but no networks are seen
    1. If you see a message like "Wireless is disabled", try clicking on the Network icon and confirming the Enable Wireless option is checked off. If that doesn't work, try locating the Wireless switch on the keyboard; either a physical button or switch, frequently located on the sides of the laptop or above the keyboard.
    2. If you see a messsage like "Device not ready", the proper drivers may not yet be installed. Go to Menu >> Settings >> Additional Drivers and see if any options are listed there. Before you select an option from the list, make sure you're connected to the network with an ethernet cable. After it's finished installing a driver, if you still see the same error, try running the following in a terminal: sudo service networking restart
    3. If none of the above works, consult your Instructor or try looking online. You can also try looking at the Wireless Tips page for some ideas.
  • Wireless isn't present
    1. If the Network icon doesn't show an option for wireless, you may not have a wireless card installed. Ideally, we would like to use PCI or Mini-PCI wireless cards, although PCMCIA cards are an acceptable alternative.
Run basiccheck

Open the command line terminal and type basiccheck. You will need to be connected to the network (Either Wireless or LAN) to test the networking step. If you encounter any errors, check with your instructor.

Test optical drive - data, sound, and DVD

For each drive:

  • Use a music disc to test sound.
  • Test-read a data CD (if any data shows up in the file browser that opens, test passes. Skip this test if you have a RW, you will test data read in the next step).
  • Test the DVD-ROM, if present. If a DVD icon appears on the desktop, the test passes. Do not install codecs.
Test CD/DVD writing

Instructions for burning under Xfburn need to be written here; do we want to leave instructions for K3b as an alternative still?

For K3b:

  1. Check that K3b is installed. Look for it under Applications >> Sound & Video, and select it if it's there.
    • If K3b isn't listed, you can install it by searching for k3b in the Ubuntu Software Center, or by typing sudo apt-get install k3b into a terminal.
  2. Select New Data Project (near the bottom of the window, or through File >> New Project >> New Data Project).
  3. Double-click examples.desktop in the top-right window pane so that it appears in the bottom window pane.
  4. Click Burn, and then click Burn again on the window that pops up.
  5. When a disk is done, verify that it contains the files you wrote to it by inserting the disc and checking out what pops up. |-
Blank the CD

Instructions for disc blanking using Xfburn need to be written here; leave alternative instructions of K3b?

For K3b

  1. Select Format (Near the top of the window, or through Tools >> Format/Erase rewritable disk...
  2. Make sure Quick Format is selected and click Start.

If neither program can successfully blank a disc but manages to successfully burn to disc, then we'll include a note in the printme to indicate as much.

Test all USB ports

Using a USB mouse, make sure that the cursor moves and can interact with things. Do this on all the USB ports. If any of the ports don't work, check in with your instructor.

Run printme from terminal

This will give you a System ID number. If an ID number is shown, the laptop has been through the system previously.

  1. You must be on the wired network
  2. From a terminal, type printme
  3. NOTE: Always select Laptop for system type
  4. Make sure to double check for FG-PDX or Uncovered electronic device stickers
  5. Make a note of anything special or any problems you encountered that weren't corrected and should be disclosed
  6. Reference the whiteboard for what to write in the "notes" section h
  7. Select Print, and then choose Print to file on the Desktop. Call it something like "BUILD" or "BUILD PRINTME"
Clean up and check in with Laptops Instructor.

Your instructor will direct you to your next task.