Restoring a Linux partition on the T100

Having been disappointed that Ubuntu Linux Version 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) didn’t seem to provide any new support for the Asus Transformer T100 hybrid tablet, I decided to give Fedlet a try. This customized version of the Fedora distro is specifically aimed at computers with Bay Trail CPU’s, but with an emphasis on the Dell Venue 8 Pro (i.e. the developer’s machine).

The live-USB version of Fedlet ran quite well on the T100. I had no Wi-Fi connectivity through the on-board wireless card, but my TP-Link USB wireless adapter worked just fine. I had one error message, something to the effect that a kernel error was detected and I submitted an error report.

Once I had figured out how to use the anaconda installer, I was able to start up the installation routine. Since, even on the 64 GB version of the T100, disk space is still tight if Windows is left as a boot option, I opted to use the existing 10 GB Ubuntu partition on which to install Fedlet.

Regrettably, the installation seemed to stall. Ctrl-Alt-F4 showed a seemingly endless loop of “Buffer I/O error on device mmcblk0p5.” I imagine that this problem is related to the timeout issues on the SSD that I experienced previously with Ubuntu.

However, now there was a problem. The disk partitioner had overwritten the Ubuntu installation, but the Fedlet installation had not completed. I had a dead partition.

The solution was simple. Boot into Windows, run Macrium Reflect, and restore Partition No. 5 (the Ubuntu OS) from my backup disk image. I am pleased to report that this process ran smoothly and within just a few minutes my T100 was once again able to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu.

So, three cheers for disk image backups. Hip-hip…

References:

Unicorn remains a mythical creature
http://linuxnorth.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/unicorn-remains-a-mythical-creature/

Fedlet: a Fedora Remix for Bay Trail tablets
https://www.happyassassin.net/fedlet-a-fedora-remix-for-bay-trail-tablets/

Semi-manual LVM disk partitioning guide for Fedora 18
http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2013/02/08/semi-manual-lvm-disk-partitioning-guide-for-fedora-18/

Backup, backup, backup…
http://linuxnorth.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/backup-backup-backup/

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Unicorn remains a mythical creature

For those of you owning an Asus Transformer T100, who were anxiously anticipating that the newest release of Ubuntu Linux (Version 14.10, Utopic Unicorn) would boot effortlessly on this hybrid tablet, you can stop holding you breath – it won’t!
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Establishing Wi-Fi connectivity on the T100

Now that we have Ubuntu Linux installed on the T100, it’s time to move on and establish a Wi-Fi connection using the computer’s own wireless card rather than a plug-in USB wireless adapter.
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T100 Timeout Issue Solved!

The previous post showed how to capture the details of the timeout errors on disk access that were plaguing the Linux boot process on my Asus T100. A Google search for the most prevalent error string – mmcblk0rpmb: timed out sending r/w cmd command – provided a link to a kernel patch (from Nell Hardcastle) that essentially prevents access to the rpmb partition on the T100’s eMMC drive and so avoids the timeout issue. My good friend Ruslan Kuznetsov on the “Asus T100 Ubuntu” Google+ Community added this patch to a new version of his 32-bit linux-image/header files, and updating Ubuntu with these modified files – finally – solved my timeout problem!
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Logging the boot process

Booting the Asus T100 into Ubuntu Linux takes forever – but why? To find out, we need to show the commands being executed as they occur and/or to review the commands used at the end of the boot process.
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Installing Linux on the Asus Transformer Book T100

Firstly, let me say that, while I have a version of Ubuntu running on the T100, the process is not simple, nor is it completely successful. Some functions (e.g. screen rotation) are not yet working, and a number of other items (e.g. sound and Wi-Fi) have somewhat limited support. One specific problem that I (and others) have encountered is a long series of timeout errors on disk access when installing Ubuntu. If this is a problem for you, if you persevere, the errors will eventually resolve themselves, and the installation will complete. The result is a system that can run a word processor, a spreadsheet, access the Internet, and no doubt do much more. (To date, I have done much more installing than using!) Lots of people are working on trying to fix/provide enhanced support for the non-working items. So, the bottom line is that is early in the game for running Linux on the T100. However, if you want to give it a try, I hope that this posting will help.
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Updating the Asus T100’s BIOS

Now, for yet another non-Linux post – although – once again, this is in support of the end game, which is to be able to install Linux on an Asus Transformer T100. The problem to be solved this time is how to update (flash) the T100’s BIOS with the latest update.
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