HP Pavilion ze5600

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Revision as of 06:15, 14 July 2011 by Lagagnon (talk | contribs)
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This document applies in particular to ArchLinux on an HP Pavilion ze5600 laptop. It may also apply to the entire ze5600 series on any modern Linux system (using at least kernel 2.6.39), and dependent upon what BIOS your system has.

Feel free to contact me if any problems or suggestions (lagagnon at gmail.com) (English or Spanish).


This laptop has as standard an Intel Celeron 2800MHz CPU, 512MB RAM (of which 446MB are available due to video chip RAM sharing), 40GB IDE hard drive, wireless, modem, DVD ROM optical drive, touchpad, multimedia keys, 15" LCD screen. Chip details:


00:00.0 Host bridge: ATI Technologies Inc RS200/RS200M AGP Bridge [IGP 340M] (rev 02)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: ATI Technologies Inc PCI Bridge [IGP 340M]
00:06.0 Multimedia audio controller: ALi Corporation M5451 PCI AC-Link Controller Audio Device (rev 02)
00:07.0 ISA bridge: ALi Corporation M1533/M1535/M1543 PCI to ISA Bridge [Aladdin IV/V/V+]
00:08.0 Modem: ALi Corporation M5457 AC'97 Modem Controller
00:09.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02)
00:0a.0 CardBus bridge: O2 Micro, Inc. OZ601/6912/711E0 CardBus/SmartCardBus Controller
00:0b.0 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev 50)
00:0b.1 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev 50)
00:0b.2 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB 2.0 (rev 51)
00:10.0 IDE interface: ALi Corporation M5229 IDE (rev c4)
00:11.0 Bridge: ALi Corporation M7101 Power Management Controller [PMU]
00:12.0 Ethernet controller: National Semiconductor Corporation DP83815 (MacPhyter) Ethernet Controller
01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon IGP 330M/340M/350M

What Works Without Any Configuration?

Ethernet, Audio, Microphone, Synaptic TouchPad, USB ports, optical drive, external video port (if booted with video device attached), CPU frequency scaling, Screen Brightness.

What Works With Minimal Configuration?


What Does Not Work?

Three of the upper multimedia keys, fn+f12, wireless off switch at front right of laptop, audio switches at right front side of laptop.

Not Yet Tested or Not Applicable

PCMCIA port, Modem.


Video: The older ATI chip in this laptop requires the xf86-video-ati "radeon" open-source driver. Apparently the latest drivers from ATI do not work with this chip. The radeon driver however, is fine.

Kernel boot parameters: It might make some difference to your power consumption if you add the following kernel parameters to the "kernel" of your boot config file (for those using grub this is /boot/grub/menu.lst): [code] acpi_enforce_resources=lax pcie_aspm=force [/code]

Wireless: The older Broadcom wireless chip in this laptop requires the b43legacy module to function properly. Also, you must specifically follow the instructions on how to install the firmware - this is explained here: Broadcom wireless , in the "b43legacy" section of that wiki entry.

Suspend/Hibernate: The "pm-suspend" and "pm-hibernate" scripts from the pm-utils package work just fine but you need to bind keys to access these scripts because fn+f12 has no scancode.

Function Keys: Only two of the upper keyboard silver multimedia keys have scancodes. For information on how to bind keycodes please read Extra Keyboard Keys. Also, if many people have commented how annoying all those bright blue LED lights are right beneath the screen. I have placed black electrical tape over them and then with a razor knife cut around the tape to form the tape to the grill edges. It now looks as if those silly lights were never there!

Audio: Should just work. Read the "alsactl" man page to find out how to store alsamixer settings between reboots.

CPU Temperature: The lm_sensors package utility "sensors-detect" does not find any sensor chips. I read the file: /sys/devices/LNXSYSTM:00/device:13/LNXTHERM:00/thermal_zone/temp to get the CPU temperature. On ArhcLinux with kernel 2.6.39 I find that the laptop runs very hot. It starts at about 32degC and then continues to climb to 50deg C, with the fan on past 40degC, even at idle, with almost nothing doing. I have attempted many energy saving tools as per Laptop but to little avail. The laptop consumes about 25 watts at idle with the screen on at about mid brightness. As I have never run any other operating system on this laptop, I would love to hear if you have success in dropping the power usage and temperature level of this laptop.


This laptop is by present standards fairly mediocre hardware. Out of the box it has only 446MB RAM available. It is suggested you stay away from the Gnome or KDE desktop environments as you will then constantly be using your swap partition. I use the Fluxbox window manager. My ArchLinux system boots from cold button press to a ready desktop in just 38 seconds, including a SLim graphical login page. It shuts down in about 8 seconds and resumes from suspend in about 2 seconds. Immediately after desktop ready and with one urxvt terminal open it has used just 46.5MB, excluding buffers and cache! I have seen very modern laptops running Windows 7 perform much worse than this. Have fun with it...

Upgrading your BIOS

The BIOS upgrade download at the HP support website is a Windows only executable file and is designed to create bootable floppies. This is about as useless as tits on a bull because this laptop has no floppy drive (yes, it is really hard to understand the stupidity of HP sometimes)! To get it to flash under Linux you need to:

  1. Run the Windows BIOS upgrade file as an executable under a MS Windows operating system
  2. Rather than inserting a floppy use Windows Explorer to navigate to the directory where the extracted image was stored.
  3. Copy the ???.img file to a USB thumb drive and then copy the file from the drive into your Linux system
  4. Using "??" create a bootable FreeDOS USB thumb drive with that image file
  5. Set the BIOS to boot first from a USB device
  6. Boot your laptop from the USB thumb drive with the image file on it
  7. The BIOS flashing software (Phoenix Phlash) should start automatically

However, this procedure should be foolproof yet did not work for me. The Phlash software started up but hangs at reading the .bin file. I suspect that it balks at reading data from USB. Someone needs to test this with an external floppy drive device and see if a BIOS flash upgrade really does work on this laptop. Please let me know if you are successful with either method.