Booting Ubuntu and Android on the T100

Once my problem with BitLocker disk encryption was solved (see previous posting), it was back to trying out Magic Stick as a bootable Linux/Android device. The instructions posted in the xdadevelopers forum indicate that “The installation procedure is extremely simple”. By “installation” the writer means booting from the USB drive since the instructions don’t actually include details of how to install either Linux or Android to the T100’s SSD. However, the “extremely simple” part is true – with one small caveat (see notes 2 and 3 below).

The step-by step instructions are as follows:

1. Download the 1.47 GB Magic Stick zip file (T100TA Magic Stick 1.3.zip) from: https://docs.google.com/uc?id=0B_NLqfSyZfYAZjIwOXhIOElkb2s&export=download

2. Extract the ZIP file. In another forum posting, the package’s author indicates that 7-Zip should be used to extract the archive’s contents since LZMA compression was used. If you use 7-Zip, and you are trying to extract the archive directly to a USB drive, make sure that you open the folder “T100TA Magic Stick 1.3” and tag all of the sub-folders and individual files in this folder (i.e. .disk, pressed, dists, etc.) for extraction. If you simply extract the folder “T100TA Magic Stick 1.3” to the USB drive, the USB won’t boot!

3. If you extracted the zip file’s contents to a folder on your hard drive, copy the extracted contents to a USB stick. (This where the package author intends you to copy the files and folders contained in the extracted folder “T100TA Magic Stick 1.3” to a USB drive.)

4. Disable secure boot in the UEFI firmware configuration. (Boot the T100, and immediately tap on the F2 key – usually quickly and frequently – in order to access enter the configuration screen.)

5. Press F10 to save the changes to the configuration and reboot.

6. The T100’s screen will show a Grub boot menu with options for either “Android 4.4.2” or “T100 Ubuntu 15.04”. (Note that the latter is a custom distro for the T100 that contains several machine-specific patches.)

Select your preferred test operating system. Press Enter. Sit back and watch the magic occur!

Resources:

Asus T100-TA Magic Stick
http://forum.xda-developers.com/windows-8-rt/win-8-development/live-asus-t100-ta-magic-stick-t3091481

Asus T100 Ubuntu
https://plus.google.com/communities/117853703024346186936

android-x86
http://sourceforge.net/projects/android-x86/files/Release%204.4/

Posted in Android, Asus T100, Ubuntu | 3 Comments

Turn off BitLocker on the T100

In my previous posting, I indicated that my attempts to install Linux on the T100 had eventually lead to my bricking the machine and, after it had been restored to health by an Asus Service Centre, I was planning to sit back and see how things developed. However, in a comment to my posting, “tr3w” suggested that I should continue using Linux through a bootable USB drive. Then, recently, in the Asus T100 Ubuntu Google+ Group, Ciprian Negrila indicated that the “Magic Stick” software would allow either Ubuntu or Android to be booted from a USB drive – without the dreaded mmcblk0rpmb timeout errors! Now, this sounded too good to miss, so I downloaded the Magic Stick package, installed it on a USB drive, disabled Secure Boot on the T100, and booted into the USB drive – only to be greeted by a “Preparing BitLocker Recovery” screen!
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Asus T100 Transformer – A Cautionary Tale

This little tablet comes with Windows 8.1 installed and clearly has all the right drivers available for the OEM operating system to support the hardware. Regrettably, the same cannot be said for Linux. While various users are getting close to a working system, installing Linux on the T100 is fraught with difficulties – and some dangers!
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Posted in Asus T100, Installation | 4 Comments

Dual Booting Linux Mint and Windows 8.1

I recently installed Linux Mint 17 (Rebecca) on a Dell Inspiron laptop that had Windows 8.1 pre-installed and hence was using the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), GUID Partition Table (GPT), and had Secure Boot enabled by default. My first attempt, using a more-or-less “conventional” installation method ended up with Mint booting immediately once the computer was restarted, i.e. no grub boot menu was displayed to optionally load Windows. A few tweaks to the system settings and this problem was easily resolved.
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Avoiding timeout errors when installing Linux on the Asus Transformer Book T100

While a kernel patch for the mmcblk0rpmb timeout errors experienced on the T100’s solid state drive is available, the fix hasn’t yet made it into a Linux distro. Consequently, one has to suffer through the long delays produced by the timeouts while installing Linux, before being able to replace the kernel with a patched version that eliminates the timeouts in all future operations. At least, one had to do this before a temporary fix was suggested.
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Replacing the kernel

The second thing to do after installing the 64-bit daily build of Ubuntu Linux Version 15.04 (Vivid Vervet), and updating the Wi-Fi network connection, was to replace the Linux kernel with a patched version specific to the T100.
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Posted in Asus T100, Commands | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Finding the MAC address of the wireless card

After installing a 64-bit daily build of Ubuntu Linux Version 15.04 (Vivid Vervet). As described in the previous post, I switched the Internet connection from the temporary use of a wireless USB adapter to the T100’s on-board wireless card. I followed the instructions given earlier (Establishing Wi-Fi connectivity on the T100) with one exception.
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