Luca's meaningless thoughts  

Toshiba Satellite/Portege Z830/R830 frequency lock (and BIOS upgrade)

by Leandro Lucarella on 2012- 11- 28 23:21 (updated on 2012- 11- 28 23:21)
tagged bios, conservative, cpufreq, en, frequency, hardware, linux, ondemand, performance, portege, r830, satellite, toshiba, upgrade, z830 - with 0 comment(s)

Fuck! I bought this extremely nice ultrabook, the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10J, about an year ago, and I've been experiencing some problems with CPU frequency scaling.

At one point I looked and looked for kernel bugs without much success. I went through several kernel updates in the hope of this being fixed, but never happened.

It seemed that the problem wasn't so bad after all, because I only got the CPU frequency locked down to the minimum when using the ondemand scaling governor, but the conservative was working apparently OK.

Just a little more latency I thought, is not that bad.

Recently I received an update on a related bug and I thought about giving it another shot. This mentioned something about booting with processor.ignore_ppc=1 to ignore some BIOS warning about temperature to overcome some faulty BIOS, so I thought on trying that.

But before doing, if this were a real BIOS problem, I thought about looking for some BIOS update. And there was one. The European Toshiba website offered only a Windows program to do the update though, but fortunately I found in a forum a suggestion about using the non-European BIOS upgrade instead, which was provided also as an ISO image. The problem is I don't have a CD-ROM, but that shouldn't stop me, I still have USB sticks and hard-drives, how hard could it be? I failed with UNetbootin but quickly found a nice article explaining how to boot an ISO image directly with grub.

BIOS upgraded, problem not fixed. So I was a about to try the kernel parameter when I remembered I saw some other article when googling desperately for answers suggesting changing some BIOS options to fix a similar problem.

So I though about messing with the BIOS first instead. The first option I saw that looked a little suspicious was in:

PowerManagement
   -> BIOS Power Management
      -> Battery Save Mode (using custom settings)
         -> Processor Speed
            <Low>

That is supposed to be only for non-ACPI capable OS, so I thought it shouldn't be a problem, but I tried with <High> instead.

WOW!!!

I start noticing the notebook booting much faster, but I thought maybe it was all in my mind...

But no, then my session opened way faster too, and everything was extremely faster. I think maybe about twice as fast. Everything feels a lot more responsive too. I can't believe I spend almost an year with this performance penalty. FUCKING FAULTY BIOS. I didn't make any battery life comparisons yet, but my guess is everything will go well, because it should still consume very little power when idle.

Anyway, lesson learned:

Less blaming to the kernel, more blaming to the hardware manufacturers.

But I still want to clarify that I love this notebook. I found it a perfect combination between features, weight and battery life, and now that it runs twice as fast (at least in my brain), is even better.

Hope this is useful for someone.

Add PC-beep whitelist for an Intel board

by Leandro Lucarella on 2010- 08- 11 00:49 (updated on 2010- 08- 11 00:49)
tagged 2.6.35, beep, bios, en, git, intel, kernel, linux, patch - with 0 comment(s)

Yaii! My beep will be back in the next kernel release :)

This is a note to let you know that I've just added the patch titled

    ALSA: hda - Add PC-beep whitelist for an Intel board

to the 2.6.35-stable tree which can be found at:
    http://www.kernel.org/git/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/stable-queue.git;a=summary

The filename of the patch is:
    ../tmp/alsa-hda-add-pc-beep-whitelist-for-an-intel-board.patch
and it can be found in the queue-2.6.35 subdirectory.

If you, or anyone else, feels it should not be added to the stable tree,
please let <stable@kernel.org> know about it.


>From e096c8e6d5ed965f346d94befbbec2275dde3621 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Takashi Iwai <tiwai@suse.de>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 17:20:35 +0200
Subject: ALSA: hda - Add PC-beep whitelist for an Intel board

From: Takashi Iwai <tiwai@suse.de>

commit e096c8e6d5ed965f346d94befbbec2275dde3621 upstream.

An Intel board needs a white-list entry to enable PC-beep.
Otherwise the driver misdetects (due to bogus BIOS info) and ignores
the PC-beep on 2.6.35.

Reported-and-tested-by: Leandro Lucarella <luca@llucax.com>
Signed-off-by: Takashi Iwai <tiwai@suse.de>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@suse.de>

---
 sound/pci/hda/patch_realtek.c |    1 +
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+)

--- a/sound/pci/hda/patch_realtek.c
+++ b/sound/pci/hda/patch_realtek.c
@@ -5183,6 +5183,7 @@ static void fillup_priv_adc_nids(struct

 static struct snd_pci_quirk beep_white_list[] = {
        SND_PCI_QUIRK(0x1043, 0x829f, "ASUS", 1),
+       SND_PCI_QUIRK(0x8086, 0xd613, "Intel", 1),
        {}
 };



Patches currently in stable-queue which might be from tiwai@suse.de are

queue-2.6.35/alsa-hda-add-pc-beep-whitelist-for-an-intel-board.patch

If you feel it should not be added to the stable tree, and let <stable@kernel.org> know about it, I kill you!.