Tag Archives: vpcz1

And I try, and I try, and I try

I can’t get no satisfaction! :)

No, definitively there’s no satisfaction in using *your* laptop and *your* operating system with a usb key or inside a virtual machine.
So, after some time mumbling about installing ubuntu side-by-side to – cough cough – win $even, I searched the internet for some article on this.

I didn’t find nothing like a step-by-step guide so I thought it could be a good idea to write here what I did, using info from forums, blogs, articles.

My laptop is a Sony Vaio VPCZ11Z9E with a SSD Storage RAID 0 array (4 x 64GB).
[singlepic id=390 w=320 h=240 float=none]
Since I had Win7 installed on the whole space (plus a couple of small “recovery” partitions), I first had to make room for the new kid on the block.
What I did was to delete all the unnecessary applications, delete old stuff, docs, pictures, temporary internet files, disabled the restore, the hibernation, the page file. Finally I defragmented the storage and shrinked the win7 partition to create as much contiguous unallocated space as possible.
I was then ready to reduce the size of the Win partition to create one for Ubuntu. To do it, I used the free MiniTool Partition Wizard (Home Edition). It went like a charm and I freed up about 200 GB for Ubuntu. Cool.

I tried to use the Ubuntu normal installer but it didn’t recognize the RAID 0 storage, so I had to use the alternate installer. It was not possible to use this release on a usb stick because the installation kept on asking for a CD to go on!!! So I had to burn a CD. FAIL! :)

Finally, inserted the CD and rebooted the system.
The following are the screenshots I shooted from the restart of the system until the end of the installation.
[nggallery id=11]
The first of the last 2 black screens is the grub option list at the reboot.
Since the touchpad will not work (eheheh!), you have 2 options here:

  1. connect a mouse;
  2. solve the above issue.

The first is intuitive or at least it should be. :)

To solve the problem, press “e” key, as it is suggested below the screen and append the following text, at the end of the line ending with “quiet splash”:


Now ctrl-x and reboot the laptop.

Well, the laptop doesn’t work, right? The boot procedure goes on but you end up with a black screen, right?

Unfortunately it’s like this. :(

Two options again, to solve this: :)

  1. use a usb key to boot the laptop with an Ubuntu release having the kernel older than 2.6.30 (I used Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope and it worked), then restart using the right one;
  2. unlock the BIOS advanced options, as described here.

Well, to be honest, the first option is a (boring) work around. The second one is really a solution.

For now I’m sticking to the first one, happily typing this post, now. :)

Let me know what your findings are.


You’re just too new to be GNU

(But) I can’t take my ubuntu off of you! :)

This post is the description of my adventures during and after the buying of the laptop. Maybe my findings could be useful to someone else.

For quite some month I was looking online to identify a new laptop to buy. One day I went to a shop and end up with the choice between a Lenovo X301 and a Sony Vaio Z.
I was more impressed by the Sony, so I bought the super new Vaio VPCZ11Z9E.
[singlepic id=390 w=320 h=240 float=none]
[singlepic id=391 w=320 h=240 float=none]

I wanted to buy it without the Redmond closed source operating system but unfortunately there was nothing to do with the shop guy. They sell it with that OS. Period.

One more requirement for me was to have OS, manuals, keyboard and everything else in English. Although at the moment I’m based in Germany, I’m not German.

Unfortunately it turned out that even the software to initialize my laptop (OS installation, drivers, etc.) is in German (of course) but thanks to their kindness they provided me an “English” version of the OS. I double quoted English because they told me that they have an utility that simply translate the German text to English (?). Unfortunately what comes before the OS loading is still in German.
Edit: I took the laptop once again at the shop and they put everything in English, even the recovery partition. Hurra’! :)

I thought to put Ubuntu Lucid Lynx into an usb key and play with it for a while. Then, after solving at least the most important issue, I would install it on the HD.

To create the Ubuntu bootable usb key, I used Universal USB Installer with the useful Persistence feature.


  • touchpad not working -> solved!
  • brightness keys not working
  • ambient light sensor not working

Touchpad not working
Solving the touchpad issue was easy.
A simple search on internet revealed that it’s enough to simply insert in the kernel parameter:


To be continued