After my 8-year old laptop refused to work this year, I looked for a while to buy a new one. The Lenovo ThinkPads looked good, they are quite popular among Linux fans. Sony and Apple make good machines as well. Finally I decided to buy a new Samsung Series 7 “chronos” laptop, and tried to create a dual boot system for Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.10. This turned out to be more difficult than expected.
By default the machine has Windows 8 installed, uses UEFI and has “Secure Boot” switched on in the BIOS by default. After I switched “Secure Boot” off in the BIOS (and set it to “UEFI and CSM OS”) I was able to install Ubuntu, by booting from CD with Settings/Change PC Settings/General/Advanced Startup in Windows 8. The installation was cumbersome, because after the installation and the restart of the machine somehow ignored Ubuntu and booted only Windows 8. With the help of Boot Repair it finally worked.
So now I have got a new Samsung Series 7 laptop with dual boot setup for Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.10. Or so I thought. Windows 8 starts fine, but if I wanted to start Ubuntu regularly the following Machine Check Exception error occured:
[Hardware Error] CPU 1: Machine Check Exception: 5 Bank 6
[Hardware Error] RIP !inexact! 33
[Hardware Error] TSC 95b623464c ADDR fe400 MISC 3880000086
.. [similar messages for CPU 2,3 and 0] ..
[Hardware Error] Machine Check: Processor context corrupt
Kernel panic - not syncing: Fatal Machine Check
Rebooting in 30 seconds
As you know kernel panic is the Linux equivalent of the Windows Blue Screen of Death. Something which you don’t want to see too often. It certainly does not sound good. The laptop started to reboot every time after the Kernel panic. The second boot trial often worked, but the Kernel Panic errors were of course annoying. I wondered if it is a Kernel or a driver problem. I deactivated Hyperthreading in the BIOS and also disabled the Execute Disable Bit (EDB) flag in the BIOS. EDB is an Intel hardware-based security feature that can help reduce system exposure to viruses and malicious code. Then the error did occur less frequently, but it still appeared occasionally.
Finally I found a Kernel bug report 47121 where someone reported that it maybe helps to set the “OS Mode Selection” in the BIOS to “UEFI OS”, instead to “UEFI and CSM OS”. The packages and libraries that are loaded seem to be different. I needed to switch to “UEFI and CSM OS” to install Ubuntu in the first place. Now I had to switch it off again. But after I switched it back to “UEFI OS” the Grub boot meanu now seems to have a higher resolution and – it booted without errors. It looks like UEFI was the root cause for all the major troubles.
Thus if you get a Kernel Panic error on a Samsung Series 7 and Series 9 laptop like the above one, then have look at the BIOS settings. Deactivate all advanced settings to increase performance like Hyperthreading and EDB Bit, and set “OS Mode Selection” to “UEFI OS”. Using the right BIOS settings the laptop from Samsung works really well, with both Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.10. It is a nice machine, high quality, good equipment, comparable in every aspect to a Macbook Pro (just like the Samsung Galaxy S2/3 is like the iPhone 4/5, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab is like the iPad).
This appears to be a problem with the samsung-laptop kernel module when booted in UEFI mode. I had similar problems on my NP900X3C until I blacklisted the kernel module, see:
This is still an issue as late as Linux 3.6.x and 3.7.x. Hopefully it gets fixed soon!
I have a Samsung Chronos Series 7 and I thank you immensely for this post. I was already dreading some hardware malfunction but after applying this fix I believe the random Kernel panics are gone for good.
Really, thank you so very much.
JoFr, your comments on installing Ubuntu on Samsung Chronos Series 7 are very helpful, thank you! Actually, there has been a whole lot more going on behind the scenes with the Samsung Chronos series. Apparently, you have been spared of the horrendous issue when Chronos laptops get bricked during Ubuntu installation, see https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-cdimage/+bug/1040557 Personally, I never imagined that something like that — bricking a laptop to the point of black screen, no response, no BIOS screen, just nothing at all — would ever be possible with something like an Ubuntu installation. Apparently, it happened to many people who attempted to install Ubuntu on a Samsung 5 or 7 series laptop with UEFI mode enabled.
First, congratulations on dodging the bullet and having your system operational after all! Considering what happened to many people in similar circumstances, you are a lucky one.
Second, I would very much appreciate some details on the specifications and configuration of your system, such as what your Chronos model number was and what BIOS settings you had during your Ubuntu installation. Also, it would be quite helpful to know if you used a USB or CD installation and any other particulars that might help others to repeat your installation process and to avoid bricking their system.
I just got an NP700Z5C, and I am anxious to install Ubuntu on it and avoid having to go through the route of returning a bricked system back to the store.
Were you able to install Ubuntu on your Samsung NP700z5c ? Was the installation process exactly same as described in this post ? I have bought same laptop (NP700z5c-S02UB to be precise). I am worried about bricking laptop, therefore would like to know your experience.
Modify /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist with “blacklist samsung-laptop” … reboot. Problem fixed.
Unfortunately, blacklisting samsung-laptop disables some functionality, such as: webcam is no longer recognized (no Skype video!), power button is no longer functional once Ubuntu is loaded, keyboard backlighting no longer works.
Congrats!!! Great piece of advice given here!
I have a brandnew Samsung NP770Z5E S02DE and was really anxious to get Linux installed but at the same time heard all UEFI brick causing trouble Samsung has. So I took the whole way. Replaced the HDD with a nice Samsung 500GB SSD. An interesting experience in itself. Especially opening the housing…
Once you have the HDD mirrored on the SSD (Samsung tool did that reliably and smoothly!) and the base cover is removed – it’s easy. Restarted on W8 without any problems!
Then I did as described here! Thank you very much for that detailed description! Perfect work! Including settings on UEFI and CMS, just UEFI etc.
The only troublesome point was at boot-repair time which I did by USB stick boot and apt-get procedures described on the boot-repair link.
Boot-repair reported something like:”You hace legacy BIOS activated, maybe you want to retry repairing EFI settings after proper reboot!” Which of course is not possible (or at least was not for me, since the USB boot did not work under “UEFI OS only” – even though the stick was recognized properly!)
I ignored the warning went through the whole procedures which ended in an error message and the remark to consult a given link and send that link to boot-repair’s support team. I expected the worst after reboot – but it worked!!!
Boots kubuntu 13.04 and W8! And the SSD makes it an extremely convenient and fast experience!
So thanks again.
PS Touchpad is only recognized as Mouse. Keyboard backlight does not work etc. Not yet – anyway! ;-)