POST A COMMENT

41 Comments

Back to Article

  • neothe0ne - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    Check out Notebookreview's Samsung forum... it's well known that UEFI is asking for trouble with Samsung. Reply
  • Kevin G - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    From the sound of it, this bug does make the machines unusable but not dead dead. It sounds like it can be repaired with a disk swap. The one catch to potentially unbrick these laptops is that you either need another device to boot off of or move the disk to another system.

    On oddity about Windows and some EFI implementations is that they expect the boot loader to be in a specific place as well as a specific boot loader. Loaders like rEFInd can be used but may require some tweaking to get it work. Similarly, if you need to go back the Windows boot process will check the boot loader and undo the tweaking you've done with rEFInd.

    http://www.zdnet.com/the-refind-boot-loader-for-ue...
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    So the problem is a messed-up boat loader, or more precisely one that Samsungs UEFI doesn't expect? In this case booting a live-Linux from USB or optical drive wouldn't hurt the system, right? Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    ... in this case it should read "... installing linux", not "... booting linux". Reply
  • RealBeast - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    Hopefully that is the case, as many folks boot into Linux based utilities all the time on Windows machines to fix all the problems. Reply
  • bim27142 - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    It's probably just for some specific models as I have a 535U3C (AMD version), I have tried Knoppix live cd (USB in fact) and thank goodness it wasn't bricked...

    Oh... I think mine's not UEFI... so that probably makes some difference...
    Reply
  • lord_beavis - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    Just run Linux and those problems go away. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    .. only to be superseded by a whole bunch of other problems, of course ;/ Reply
  • powerarmour - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    Yeah sure, like reliability, stability, performance and scalability Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    ^ I'll definitely second this comment. Reply
  • Sivar - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    Another winner from Samsung. Reply
  • steven75 - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    Sounds about right. Samsung has never been known for their software prowess. Reply
  • powerarmour - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    Samsung have never been great with their Linux support either, it's about time they took the fact that maybe some people don't want to run Windows seriously. Reply
  • neothe0ne - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    How so? You can't install Windows in UEFI on these laptops either Reply
  • techguy378 - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    Um, why not? Reply
  • powerarmour - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    Because their implementation of UEFI is essentially borked, potential for corrupt hardware shouldn't be the fault of an operating system. Reply
  • gevorg - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    UEFI + Windows 8 = best PC evar! Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    Famous worlds from Microsucks, InHell, OCZ, Corsair, Samsung, et al. The majority of PC hardware manufacturers and a lot of O/S and software developers rush their half-baked crap to market because most consumers are idiots that will pay top dollar to be abused. Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    It is a Windows-Notebook, with a Windows-Sticker on it. It is never sold without Windows.

    The problem here is not that Samsung forgot to test Linux, the problem is that Samsung does not care about Linux on this notebook. I am sure they have not tested MS-DOS or OS/2 installation either. While there may be a difference between Linux and OS/2 for many enthusiast or semi-professional users out there, for Samsung there is none. Its just not part of business model to support alternative operating systems.
    Reply
  • jalexoid - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    It's a general purpose computer. They have to test the basic levels of functionality that correspond to certain publicly available interface specifications.

    For example, guess what OS was used to test USB3.0 chips from Intel? It wasn't Windows.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Unless they tested those USB chips using these Samsung laptops, then his point still stands. :D If you want a Linux-friendly laptop, get a Linux-friendly laptop. Check with the manufacturer and make sure they've tested Linux on it, or at least make sure it is supported and/or covered by warranty.

    I mean, did Samsung promise Linux would work on these? I could say that a Galaxy S III is a "general purpose computer" but that doesn't mean Samsung will care if I brick it by installing Linux (yes, it is possible :P).

    Should they fix it? Yes, because it is a bugged implementation and needs to be fixed. Should people be shocked and outraged? In my opinion no. But the precautionary article is nevertheless appreciated.
    Reply
  • powerarmour - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    If they don't test their machines with Linux, then they only have themselves to blame if it goes wrong. How about they get their hardware implementation correct in the first place, is that too much to ask? Reply
  • sherlockwing - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    It have a Windows sticker on it, suffice to say they don't care about linux at all. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    Per http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/130... the problem is related to the samsung-laptop compatibility driver. That should be disabled if booting into a uefi environment b/c it works by assuming a bios is at work.
    The quick fix is just to have the module check, upon loading, to see if it is being booted from a uefi machine.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    The fact that the driver can basically corrupt the NVRAM is scary, nonetheless. This is one of those new "features" I guess we get with UEFI? Reply
  • tuxRoller - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    We do get a lot of new features with uefi, but the spec is a mess (like ACPI!). Lots of needless complications (like ACPI!).
    Matthew Garrett has been the main guy dealing with this on Linux and has written extensively about the ordeals, including the many issues with the older efi spec used by apple.
    Here's his blog if you're interested.
    http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/
    Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    I don't really see this as a budget vs mid range issue.
    Considering that UEFI is designed not to have non-allower SW installed, I'd say that it is basic testing to check that:
    a) it lets install what it should be possible to install
    b) blocks what it shouldn't let you install
    So I see this as a big no-no for the quality dep of Samsung: somebody forgot to add some checks as part of their OQC ...
    Reply
  • lord_beavis - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    From the beginning, this has been Microsoft's goal: to limit the potential impact of Linux. If it is difficult to install/run it, the less people will want to deal with it.

    I can see it now:

    Me: Well to install Linux we need to disable this "security" feature

    Luser: Do what now? No.
    Reply
  • neothe0ne - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    Take off your tin-foil hat and understand that Windows can't be installed in UEFI on these laptops either. Reply
  • sherlockwing - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    Windows have already been installed, or do you not see that Windows sticker? Reply
  • powerarmour - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Your car engine might have a sticker for mineral oil too, but doesn't mean you couldn't/shouldn't put synthetic in it ;) Reply
  • Alexvrb - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Slightly OT: But the oil has to be compatible and meet or exceed specifications laid down by the manufacturer. If you stick 15w50 Mobil 1 in a vehicle calling for 5w20 conventional oil, don't be pissed at the manufacturer when you encounter problems down the road.

    Way, way OT: Funny enough though, nowadays even "conventional" oil is really a blend. Modern SN grade oils use a decent amount of Group II+ (hydrocracked) base oils so they are essentially part synthetic. The better base oils also allows them to use less VI modifiers, which are expensive and break down more rapidly than the base oils they improve. That's a big part of why even "conventional dinosaur oil" is significantly better and more durable, allowing for longer change intervals.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Ha ha!

    Well pointed out.
    Reply
  • 6tr6tr - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    Does the update you posted mean this is not a complete bricking but that it can be fixed by:

    1. Unplug

    2. Open the back of the laptop

    3. Disconnect the battery (is it soldered on?)

    Can you link to a source for that?
    Reply
  • Sahrin - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    abandon this false narrative that lower prices mean shitty products? I get that Apple has told you prices shouldn't fall over time, because they are never able to make efficiencies in design or engineering - but the truth is it is possible to build something good for less money.

    Samsung made a mistake. You generalize and say it's because they hate Linux. As likely/unlikely as that may be, the reality is that people make mistakes all the time for reasons other than negligence and they will continue to long after computers can only be afforded by the top 1% of income earners.

    EG: Antennagate. No one at Apple ever held the phone in their hand? Ever? Maps? These aren't signs of releasing a shoddy product even when a cursory examination would've shown that they weren't ready? And you certainly can't use the 'race' to the bottom' argument for a phone that costs $650. But it's a new technology? Yes, UEFI is too.
    Reply
  • embzyk - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    It's a race to the bottom when hiring engineers, programmers, and doing QA. Higher prices just mean more profit - something investors demand from all corporate machines Reply
  • lopri - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    What appears to be corrupted BIOS by unintended usage gets this much wall of text (w/ conspiracy theory added to it) is amazing. Things like this happen all the time on $300+ motherboards all the time. The fix is likewise simple, simple enough for those who were capable of messing it up to begin with.

    OMG it's a crisis! My phone rang at 4 AM! Blah blah blah. I hope the lives of AT editors were a bit easier. You have my sympathy.

    Samsung doesn't treat you well, I guess?
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Most who find themselves with a MB in their hands might be able to work it out.

    But my mother, father, / etc.

    I don't think so.
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    From Matthew Garrett's blog (http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/22736.html):
    "It also seems likely that it's possible for a userspace application to cause the same problem under Windows."
    Reply
  • sabrefresco - Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - link

    "Update: It appears the problem stems from NVRAM corruption. Removing power, opening the laptop up, and disconnecting the CMOS battery appears like it will clear the problem, but that's a pretty serious set of steps to take for most laptops."

    I tried disconnecting power (by unplugging the battery connector on the mobo) and disconnecting the CMOS wire from the mobo and waited around a minute with no fix. Am I doing the steps right? Am I missing something?
    Reply
  • Ab S. - Thursday, May 02, 2013 - link

    It's not just Linux. I need Windows 7-32. Installed it in a new NP540U3C and got it running beautifully. Ever hear of a touch screen working on Windows 7? All the Samsung utilities installed and worked. It was even using the SSD drive perfectly. A week after I got it, one time it went to sleep and didn't want to wake up. Finally got it to wake up to a blue screen about a driver error. Now it boots only to the Boot Menu. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now