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HP Mini Note PC Blog - Part 3

Archive

HP adds SuSE Linux Source ISO to HP2133 support page

It looks like HP have got around to publishing the ISO of the default HP2133 SuSE 10.1 installation on their driver/download page.

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription….

Mininoteuser.com have already got a discussion thread started on the subject, if you prefer to not be the first to experiment with it.

http://forums.mininoteuser.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=233

Retro gaming on the HP2133 mini-note

Now I’ve got Windows XP running on my mini-note, it’s time to have some fun with it. Tonight, I tried the latest release of a very popular arcade emulator for Microsoft Windows. I’m happy to report that many of the games I tested worked very well, with a 100% frame rate or at least a frame rate that was decent enough to play the game with various optimization settings (un-throttling, auto frame skip, no sound). The games I tried were mostly from the early 1980’s video-gaming arcades and if your old enough to be in the arcades in the 1980’s you’ll know very well what games I’m talking about.

To learn more about retro arcade gaming visit one of the popular web sites including:

http://www.mameworld.net/

http://mamedev.org/

http://www.awecades.com/

Happy Gaming,  Chris.

Upgrading the HP2133 mini-note hard drive (with photos)

Upgrading the drive in the HP2133 mini-note is straight forward, as long as you have a steady hand and the right tools at your disposal. I took some photos of the internals of my mini-note during the upgrade from the 4gig SSD that comes with the base model, to a 120gig Western Digital drive. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you will need and the steps involved.

What you’ll need:

- A very small philips (crosshead) screwdriver
- A small torx head driver (or you can use a very small slotted screw driver)
- A pair of pliers
- A notebook SATA drive (i used a Western Digital Scorpio drive)

All the tools can be obtained from your local hardware store. I bought my hard drive from newegg.

How long will it take:

About 15-30 minutes (it took me about 20 minutes once I located the correct tools for the job).

Step-by-Step:

- Remove the battery
- Remove the three philips screws located behind the battery
- Gently lift up the keyboard to access both the memory slot and the hard drive enclosure
- Position the keyboard where you can easily access the drive enclosure (I placed it at the front of the mini-note - see photos)
- Remove the two philips screws holding the drive enclosure (on the left hand side)
- Remove the torx head screw holding the drive enclosure (on the right hand side)
- Gently lift up the drive enclosure, and disconnect the SATA cable

- Unscrew the factory drive from the enclose and replace it with your new drive

(To complete this step you may need to carefully bend back several tabs on the drive enclosure, the 4 Gig SSD that comes with the base model is smaller than a regular note book SATA drive)

- Re-install the drive in the mini-note (I suggest you insert the torx head screw first, as I dropped it a couple of times in to the machine and had to take out the two philips screws more times than I would like)
- I suggest that you don’t screw the unit back together until your sure that your new drive is functional

When you power the machine back up, you should hit F10 to look at the ROM (BIOS) setup to make sure your drive has been recognized.

After installing the drive, I loaded Windows XP Home on to the mini-note, and I’m so happy I did after my experiencing with SUSE!

Photo’s:

HP2133 Mini-note

The mini-note after carefully lifting up the keyboard

HP2133 Mini-note drive enclosure

The drive enclosure inside the mini-note

HP2133 Mini-note drive removed

The mini-note drive bay, with the drive enclosure removed
HP2133 Mini-note drive comparison

The original 4gig SSD drive (left) and the Western Digital 120gig SATA drive (right)

HP2133 mini-note 4gig SSD

Close up of the 4gig SSD that comes with the mini-note

Preparing for Windows XP installation

Frankly, I’ve been very disappointed with the default SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Edition 10 running on the mini-note. I still have not got wireless networking to work and even with upgrading the mini-note to 2 gigabytes of RAM, performance is still very sluggish. In preparation for installing Windows XP, I removed the internal 4 gigabyte SSD drive and inserted a Western Digital Scorpio 120 gigabyte drive tonight. I plan to install Windows XP home on the drive and configure it with 2 additional partitions, one for the installation of a working copy of SUSE Enterprise Desktop (assuming HP releases one that works at some point) and the other for a version of Ubuntu.

Windows XP Drivers now available on HP Support Site

It looks like HP is starting to get their act together to support the Mini-note. They have just posted Microsoft Windows XP drivers for most of the hardware in the Mini-note. The drivers can be found at:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/…

XP on a USB Stick

Brad Linder at Liliputing.com has gone to considerable trouble to explain in detail how to get Windows XP on to a USB stick so you can install it on your HP2133 mini note. He also explains in the article how to then partition the drive after installation for use with Linux or other operating systems using Parted Magic (an Open Source hard disk partitioner).Parted Magic Screenshot

http://www.liliputing.com/2008/04/install-windows-xp…

HP2133 mini-note memory upgrade

Laptopmag.com has a video of Joanna Stern upgrading the memory on her mini-note from the factory shipped 1 Gig module to a Corsair branded DDR2 SO-DIMM 2 Gig module. Unfortunately for Joanna, it really didn’t help the system performance running Windows Vista. Sorry Joanna.

http://blog.laptopmag.com/upping-the-ram-on-the-mini-note…

Do HP “really” want my opinion?

I’ve been struggling with the HP2133 mini note since I picked it up and opened the box on Saturday morning. Three days of tweaking, and I’m no closer to getting the wireless networking to work correctly. Looking at the community forums, I am not alone in my frustration.

On HP’s official support Forum, John O’Hara has had no response to his question. http://forums12.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do…

On Notebook Forums, the wireless issue has been discovered several times:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=241040

On netbookuser.com, some help was offered, but I’ve been unable to resolve the issue following Mike’s advice:

http://forum.netbookuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=512

and finally, mininoteuser.com has several posting about the issue with wi-fi including: http://forums.mininoteuser.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=97

A couple of things I have learned from following these various discussion threads:

- The wi-fi switch on the front of the computer does work, it always stays orange but when wireless is enabled if you stare at the light very hard, you can see a hint of blue (just try it out and let me know if you can see the difference).

- Almost all the issues that Linux users are experiencing are resolved when they “upgrade” their system to Windows XP. There’s a step-by-step guide to the upgrade process available on the mininoteuser.com web site.I think I can “trick-out” my mini note to run XP for a couple of hundred dollars (more memory, different hard drive and a copy of Windows XP Home Edition) or I suppose I could have just bought the Windows configuration if I really wanted to run Windows….

Today, HP requested my opinion on my mini note buying experience by asking me to complete a survey. If you bought an HP2133 mini note with SuSe Enterprise Desktop 10 (i.e. Linux) and your having the same issues as most of the community I strongly suggest you complete this survey and give HP your personal information so they can contact you.I’ll let you know what happens when I get the “call”.

Your HP mini-note is in the mail

The official HP web site for ordering the mini note came online about 12:30pm.

http://h71016.www7.hp.com/dstore/ctoBases.asp?BEID=19701&ProductLineId=539
&oi=E9CED&FamilyId=2769

It appears that the online order form may have been broken, as I was unable to successfully complete a credit card purchase and had to call HP directly. I ordered two KR922UT#ABA units, with an estimated ship date of 4/15.

Goodbye to the eee pc

EEE PCAfter the runaway success of the Asus eee pc, HP launched their first sub-portable, the HP 2133 mini-note yesterday. At first glance, the mini-note looks to be both stylish & functional, and priced competitively.

In comparison with the Asus eee pc, the mini-note has a larger, higher definition screen (8.9-inch diagonal, 1280 x 768 WXGA vs eee’s 7 inch 800 x 480 resolution), a larger keyboard (stated as 92% the size of a full-sized keyboard) and comes with a choice of either a solid-state flash (4 GB) or traditional SATA hard drive (120GB 5400 or 7200 RPM). HP is also offering a choice of operating system installations ranging from Windows Vista Business (with a windows XP Professional downgrade available) to SuSe Enterprise Desktop 10.

HP’s mini-note is scheduled for shipping next week, although early versions of HP’s web site appeared unsure of their own products specification and dimensions, stating that the mini-note has a 6.9 inch diagonal screen in one specification, and the (correct) 8.9 inch screen in the adobe pdf.

HP had the system originally listed on their government site:

http://government.hp.com

and had a UK version of the site that looked like it was still under development:

http://h40059.www4.hp.com

PC World has a detailed review of a mini-note, running the Windows Vista Business operating system and priced at $749.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2281667,00.asp

As did Laptop magazine:

http://blog.laptopmag.com

I’m looking forward to a detailed review of the eee Linux competitor, priced at a very affordable $499 running SuSE Linux, a VIA C7-M 1-GHz processor, with 512MB of RAM— and their $599 configuration which will come with a 1.2-GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a Windows operating system (either Vista Basic or XP).