Home Business IT Open Source UEFI-enabled Samsung laptops get bricked with Linux

A number of Samsung laptops are dying after they are booted with a live-usb image of Ubuntu 12.04 using UEFI, according to information at the Ubuntu bug reporting site.

The problem was first reported to Canonical in August last year. It appears to be caused by a buggy kernel driver for the Samsung models in question.

Hence it appears likely that other GNU/Linux distributions may also be affected.

Senior Ubuntu developer Steve Langasek wrote on January 21 that the company had been in communication with Samsung BIOS engineers but had not yet been given a time or date when a fix would be supplied.

The bug report cited two models - the Samsung 530U3C and the NP700Z5C laptops. Other users cited additional models - the Samsung 300E5C, NP700Z5C, NP700Z7C and NP900X4C.

The first report from a user, in August last year, said he had selected the UEFI boot option and then tried to boot his laptop using the live-usb amd64 image from version 12.04.

The laptop started hanging with a black screen and when he could not get any reaction from it, he got it repaired under warranty.

However, when the same thing happened a second time, he decided to report the bug.

More reports flowed in from users thereafter. The bug report said it affected a total of 34 people.

One user said he had resolved the issue by removing the battery, and disconnecting the CMOS NVRAM battery; this had restored the laptop in question to the factory default.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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