BIOS settings for Thinkpads using Ubuntu

techlists at techlists at
Sat Jan 31 21:53:00 UTC 2009

I just recently bought a refurbished Thinkpad T41 laptop off the IBM website and intended to configure it for XP/Ubuntu dual boot. The laptop worked fine and ran stable with anything related to Windows (XP and I also tried Vista), but had frequent random freezes with anything related to Linux (the Ubuntu install CD and a Helix live CD). 

I did eventually get Ubuntu installed with the install CD but it still keeps freezing up at random moments; it does not seem to freeze up at anything specific. 

I let memtest run all night to check for faulty memory (no errors), and ran through all the IBM PC Doctor hardware tests (under XP) to see if there were hardware errors with anything (again, no errors). 

I've had a great experience in the past with some older Thinkpads under similar setups (dual boot Windows/Linux) so this is kind of puzzling. I don't think there's any faulty hardware involved because of the hardware tests run, and the fact that everything works fine under Windows (unless there's some weird problem that slips under the radar on these diagnostic programs).. 

So I'm wondering if there's some BIOS settings that need to be tweaked to make things work more smoothly under Linux. On older BIOSs there used to be a setting for non-Windows OSs, but this Thinkpad BIOS didn't have such an option (that I could find anyway). 

Anyone have a suggestion? I've got 7 days to return for a refund if I can't resolve it, so there's still another few days to troubleshoot the problem. 

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