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Thread: Vodafone Webbook ON9

  1. #1
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    Oct 2014
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    11

    Vodafone Webbook ON9

    Hi there,

    I am an IT Technician, I am based in South Africa so I mostly work with Windows. Anything from 98 up to 8.1. Anyway, I got a netbook yesterday that I have to fix with Ubuntu on it. After a day and a half of doing research etc, trying numerous amounts of things, I am completely at a loss. I have no idea how to fix it.

    It is a Vodafone Webbook ON9, absolutely terrible. ARM Processor, 512mb RAM, 4GB flash. Not very useful, to me anyway. As far as my research goes, it has Ubuntu 10.04 on it, but I do not know how to confirm this on the webbook itself. Also, there is no DVD-ROM.

    The problem is, when it boots, it gets to the login screen, when the user is selected and correct password is typed in, the mouse is shown for a few seconds, and a black screen, and then it shows the login screen again. One simply cannot log in. I think the OS is corrupt. I figured out how to use the terminal, if I press ctrl+alt+F1 at the login screen, I can get to a terminal.

    I tried to connect to the internet wirelessly via the terminal, but it just won`t work. There is some kind of driver association failure with the "Wext" driver. Anyway, I tried a lot of things, I can`t get it to connect to the internet, and there isn`t even an ethernet port, so I have no idea what to do. Oh, and to make it even worse, this thing is like a cellphone or a tablet, it doesn`t have a conventional BIOS, I don`t even know how to let it boot from a usb device OR an external DVD-Drive. So I can`t use a LIVE CD. To make it even more worse, I do not even know what Ubuntu version to download, since this thing has an ARM Processor. Even if I did know exactly what Ubuntu to download, I`ve no idea how to reinstall it on this thing.

    As you can see, this is my first real experience with Ubuntu, I have no idea what to do. Can someone please help me? As normal every-day Ubuntu users, what would you do? I`d be happy to provide logs and even videos of exactly the state this webbook is in, so you can see for yourself what happens when it boots. If this wwas your webbook, what would you do to fix it? The idea that I had, was to try and connect it to the internet, then find some kind of command that can check the OS, then download and repair everything within the OS that is broken, so it can boot normally again. Any help whatsoever would be sincerely appreciated. I don`t believe in giving up, and I don`t want to tell a customer to go to someone else better suited to fix a Linux OS, I`d rather push through, gain some experience, learn how Ubuntu works and fix this thing. But right now, I don`t know how to do that.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my dilemma. Any help would be sincerely appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    London, UK
    Beans
    56
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: New to Ubuntu, completely at a loss.

    Hi There,
    Not really sure what you're trying to do and more importantly, why?
    Is 10:04 something your friend was using and felt passionate about? Surely you can just re-install Ubuntu?
    Does it have a USB port or something to attach a DVD? If not, then it has to work over the net.

    If it does have a USB port or some way of attaching a DVD, here are some options...
    1. Download the latest version of Ubuntu, burn it to a DVD (will that thing boot from a USB stick?) and then run a live session. Recover any files to USB sticks or upload to the cloud, install the new Ubuntu OS. It will guide you through most of it or tell you where documentation and resources are.
    2. Install on part of the disk, it will guide you through this too-the other partition gets shrunk-all the documents or other files are still there, recover them to the new partition and then use gparted or another disk utility to delete the old partition.
    3. I think the set-up now actually lets you migrate settings, and data from an old installation to a new one anyway!

    You won't lose any data, its the same OS, just updated. It will look quite different, 10 was a few years ago and the Linux desktop has evolved considerably, but all of that is configurable. If your friend hates "Unity" (I do!) they can go back to Gnome 2 or whatever it was back then, or use "Mate" which a lot of Gnome fans seem to like. You get lots of choice with Ubuntu, or any Linux OS, that can be a little bewildering at first but there's a lot of help available.
    Best wishes,
    D
    Last edited by debiant; October 24th, 2014 at 11:28 AM.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2014
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    11

    Re: Vodafone Webbook ON9

    Well, I`m an IT Technician, I mostly work with Windows. But a customer brought me this webbook yesterday with Ubuntu on it that I have to fix. Not "friend", "Customer" hahaha. The Vodafone Webbook comes with Ubuntu 10.04 preinstalled. As I said, I`m not sure what Ubuntu to download to attempt a reinstall, as this webbook uses an ARM Processor, it`s not Intel nor AMD.

    To be honest, I don`t think it even will boot from a USB Device. I have no idea how to let it, considering it`s more like a tablet and doesn`t have a conventional BIOS. I`m not sure what to do, how to go about repairing or reinstalling the OS. Is there some kind of repair command? Where the OS will check itself and the download and install all missing or broken OS files?

  4. #4
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    Oct 2014
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    11

    Re: Vodafone Webbook ON9

    Thanks for the reply Debiant. I`ll see what I can figure out with this webbook. But it`s pretty useless, Reinstalling is the best option, I agree with you, now I just have to figure out how to go about doing that, without being able to set some kind of boot order. Also, do you have any idea what Ubuntu version will work for a system running an ARM Processor? If so, can you please provide me with a link? Or will it automatically configure itself correctly during installation, sort of like Windows?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Kubuntu Development Release

    Re: Vodafone Webbook ON9

    There is an ARM Ubuntu Desktop? As far as I know ARM is only for Ubuntu Server. Check the release page for Lucid (10.04.4) http://releases.ubuntu.com/lucid/

    Only x64 and x86 are there, unless they are hidden somewhere?

  6. #6
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    Oct 2014
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    Re: Vodafone Webbook ON9

    Well to be honest I`m not sure. I`ve never really worked with Linux before, nor this webbook. If I access the terminal at the login screen via ctrl+alt+F1, log in, it shows Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS is installed. I don`t know if it`s Ubuntu Server. This webbook was given to me, the guy showed me he can`t log in, and I was told to fix it. If only there were an easy way to fix this login fail. Because if one logs in, it only displays the mouse for a few seconds and a black screen, only to return you to the login page again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    London, UK
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    56
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Vodafone Webbook ON9

    Hi there,
    I looked it up-oh wow there's only 512 Mb of RAM?
    I love what its about-The origins of Ubuntu are people from your country and this web book is supposed to be a cheap little computer, especially for children in Africa, to get them something to learn on and get connected to the world. That's really cool, but the latest Ubuntu needs more RAM than that!!! You could re-install an old version-10:04 again? There is a page for legacy versions, they're still safe online.
    /ADM put a link for 10:04.
    14:04 is the long term stable-therefore lots of support (and you won't have to do all this again for a long time)it does support ARM chips. Might have to play with the desktop environment to get a "same day service" on this little machine!

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Vodafone Webbook ON9

    Via terminal, what does the below command say (it should give the version and in brackets the specific branch i.e Desktop, Dev, Server etc).

    lsb_release -a
    Last edited by /ADM; October 24th, 2014 at 12:10 PM.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2014
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    Re: Vodafone Webbook ON9

    Debiant, I was just as surprised when I saw the specs. Well that all seems good in theory and like a nice gesture, but trust me, money is always number one. This webbook comes mostly as part of a cellphone deal / contract, and is a bit too expensive if bought directly if I may add. Most people who get this webbook here sell it within the first week. It`s really quite terrible hahaha. Thanks Debiant, I`d love too but I`m still not sure how to achieve that on this webbook. No boot order options, no conventional BIOS. I`m starting to feel like it should just be taken to a Vodafone shop so it can be fixed there. I`ve no idea how to reinstall Ubuntu on this thing.

    ADM, it says the following :

    No LSB Modules are available.
    Distributor ID : Ubuntu
    Description: Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS
    Release 10.04
    Codename : lucid

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Maine
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    2,351
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    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Vodafone Webbook ON9

    Let's see if we can figure out what happening.

    Go to the terminal and type the following commands and list the outputs here.
    Code:
    lspci
    Code:
    lsmod
    Code:
    lshw
    Code:
    lsusb
    We will start with that.
    These things only came with 4GB H.D. and depended upon online storage contracts for more storage 4GB is not much and it may be full already.
    So I suspect that the clients contract for on line storage may have lapsed. You'll have to get more info from the customer.
    Also believe that it depends on an cellphone modem to connect to the net.
    Last edited by kc1di; October 24th, 2014 at 01:25 PM.
    Wireless script
    Dave
    Registered Linux User #462608
    Morse Code an early Digital Mode.

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