Thursday, August 6, 2009

Installing windows XP & Ubuntu to HP proBook 4410s – some common pitfalls

few days ago I bought a hp proBook 4410s from the local market here in Sri Lanka. Initially I was having an idea of buying a hp dv4 pavilion notebook. But it is bit out dated at the moment and proBook seems to be a great deal. Below are the machine spec,

  • intel core 2 duo 2.4 GHz P8600

  • 4 GB RAM

  • 320 GB hard drive

  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth

  • LED back-lit display(14.1 '')

  • came with Free Dos

thats all about my new notebook. I installed windows XP & Ubuntu 9.04 to my notebook. I rarely switch to windows, but it still handy to have windows with you in case of a need. This blog post will serve as a reference to me & to any other interested party.

As usual I started with Windows XP. After the initial file loading, the installation process hangs with a blue screen saying “something wrong with my hard drive & check it”(well, this is not the exact error message, but the summary :P). After some time I figured out that it something to do with my BIOS settings. I changed the SATA mode of the hard drive to IDE from the BIOS. After that th installation was smooth as usual.

As usual the sound is not working & the touch pad is not working properly either. You have to install some device drivers & can download them from the hp site.

Then I installed Ubuntu 9.04. Ubuntu installation is painless as always & make sure that you allocate double the size of your RAM capacity as your swap space. In this case I'm using a 32 bit OS & it will only utilize around 3GB of RAM. But still I'm generous enough to allocate 8 GB of swap space. :D

The most common problem with Ubuntu installation to the proBook is malfunctioning of internal speakers. The head phones works fine. To solve this,

open a new terminal & type,

cd /etc/modprobe.d

sudo gedit options

enter your password & it will open up the options file in the text editor.Now append this (or if the file is create by you for the first time just copy/paste this) at the end of the file.

options snd-hda-intel model=laptop

save & close the file, then re-boot the machine. Now you should hear that amazing drum sound of Ubuntu.... oh yeah, time to party.

For additional info refer this thread.

Install aome other useful software using apt package manager. Some of my favorites are,

vim editor

terminator – multiple terminal emulator

mplayer – movie player



  1. thanks you, i'll try this with ubuntu 9.04 on my probook 4515s

  2. I know capital letters is bad.. but....

    THANK YOU!!!!!


  3. thank you it worked f9.

    what if i upgrade from ubuntu 9.04 to 10.04.
    does the sound still remains & most imp. does the data on the harddisks remain??? please tell

  4. @Abishek : well, first of all i'm still using 9.04. ;).
    Normally, data on the hard disk get written, unless otherwise you have specified another partition for the folder (as an example i have my "/home" in a separate partition - this way data on my /home remains even if a distribution upgrade but it is not possible with /etc ).

    So, sound will not be there when you install the new version, IMO. But it is possible that 10.04 distribution is supporting sound without any of these modifications. :)

    If you are brave enough the best thing to do is to go ahead & install 10.04, & tackle any upcoming problems. :)

    Use Ubuntu forums, community will help you.

    hope this helps. :)