2 Bronze

Dell Mini 10 with Ubuntu 8.04 OS freezes

Hi, I'm hoping someone here can help me.  I've just spent two and a half hours waiting on hold for Dell's Ubuntu support team before giving up and trying to get some help here.

My 9 year old daughter bought a Dell Mini 10 once she had saved up enough birthday money in June 2009.  It came with Ubuntu 8.04 OS pre-installed.  I should have made sure that she had Windows as the OS but she wanted to order herself.  My mistake.

The problem is that this laptop has NEVER worked.  First the sound did not work - I contacted Dell who told me that it needed an external disk drive (can't remember what their justification was now) so I duly purchased one.  Since then the laptop keeps freezing - I actually don't know if the sound is fixed as the keyboard freezes after about 1 minute of use.  Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't even work.

I want to return the laptop and either get a refund or get Ubuntu removed and Windows installed.  My daughter has never been able to use this.

I'm really at my wits end because Dell Customer Support have been so unhelpful.  They kept transferring me to the Ubuntu call queue.  I really believe that this number cannot be manned - it is just not answered. 

Any advice appreciated.



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6 Replies
7 Gold

Re: Dell Mini 10 with Ubuntu 8.04 OS freezes

Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't work because that's for Windows. What you have is Linux.


You won't be able to return the laptop to get a refund. You only get 21 days to do that.


At this point, you'll need to purchase Windows and install it yourself or pay someone to do it for you if you want Windows.



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2 Bronze

Re: Dell Mini 10 with Ubuntu 8.04 OS freezes

If your laptop came with a restore dvd, I would try that route. Otherwise if you really want windows on it, you will just have to purchase or perhaps put that up for sale and just get a new one.


good luck.

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3 Silver

Re: Dell Mini 10 with Ubuntu 8.04 OS freezes

I would be interested to know what the reasoning was behind the CD drive purchase... That just sounds a salesman trying to make his monthly quota or something.

You specifically mention that the keyboard locks up. Does any other part of the system work? You could  maybe try plugging in a USB keyboard/mouse and see if those still work. If you can get to it before things freeze, it might help to look at the system log which is located in the file system at /var/log/messages

You seem to imply that the lockups didn't start until after you purchased the external drive. Obviously simply purchasing a drive doesn't make a system lock up but you don't say what changed after you purchased the drive. Does it only happen when the drive is plugged in? Did you use the drive to load a driver onto the system?

Since the unit was purchased with Ubuntu pre-installed, it should have hardware support for all parts of the system. If it isn't working, you might want to pursue this as as a hardware warranty issue, not a software support issue since it may well be bad hardware that is at fault here.

Ubuntu really is a very nice operating system and if you can get the (possibly hardware related) problem worked out it would probably make an excellent computer for your daughter since a lot of software she may want to use is available for free from the Ubuntu repositories. She also wouldn't have to worry about viruses and other malware getting installed behind her back since these things don't really exist for linux.

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2 Bronze

Re: Dell Mini 10 with Ubuntu 8.04 OS freezes

ToeBee - I did find from searching on this site and Google that keyboard freezes is a common issue for the Mini10 with Ubuntu 8.04 so don't think it is related to the drive.  It freezes without the drive plugged in.  I've copy/pasted an extract about Mini 10/Ubuntu which doesn't give me much confidence that a fix is possible.

I think what really depressed me yesterday was the level (or should that be depth) of customer service from the Dell tech support helpline.  They really are dreadful - I think my service tag was a flag to ignore the call.  Worst telephone help I have ever experienced.  They managed to make the situation much worse.

I think we will go down the line of installing Windows - although my daughter did like Ubuntu (for the short time that she was able to use it), she wasn't able to download i-Tunes which I think was the deciding factor for Windows.

Thanks all for the responses. 

Dell's Mini-10 Ubuntu Netbook Has Big Problems

Written by Karl Martineau
August 25th, 2009

I've been interested in Dell's line of Ubuntu running netbooks. The Mini-10 looks like exactly what I've been looking for in a netbook, and the Dell name should provide some level of comfort and assurance that the hardware will work well, right out of the box. Right? Maybe not.

In an open letter to Michael Dell posted at Free Software Magazine, Tony Mobily details the difficulties he experienced with his Mini-10: freezing, driver problems, and bad tech support.
"As soon as the wireless card coughed into life, the computer froze.

Let me say this again: it froze.

A fantastic friend and IT scientist was sitting next to me as this happened. He looked at me. He said “This is impossible. They can’t sell something that doesn’t work. It’s like… it’s like selling a toaster that only gets the bread warm. Or… it’s like… it doesn’t work”.

At that point, I actually hoped my computer was faulty — I must be the only person on Earth who would even hope for that! I persisted and tried a few more times — the little beast would freeze within three and six minutes. Guaranteed.

I searched online. Mine wasn’t an isolated cases — other people experienced freezes too with Inspiron Mini computer in their stock installation. I wasn’t the only person who’d bought a toaster that only made warm bread."
He goes on to describe reinstalling a newer version of Ubuntu which fixed some things, but broke others. This was of course followed by lots of wasted time on hold, and speaking with tech support based out of India. The whole letter is definitely worth reading, but to summarize the Mini-10 is more headache than it's worth, and is not as carefully thought out a product as you might wish. I know I'll be looking elsewhere when I'm ready for a netbook.
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2 Bronze

Re: Dell Mini 10 with Ubuntu 8.04 OS freezes

I too have a Dell (Inspiron 1525) and I do not use Dell support. Instead I use the Ubuntu forums, which has answered all my problems (mostly trouble with sound). I started with 8.04 and it took a while to get sound consistent and I never was able to get sound and video out the HDMI at the same time. Changed to 9.04 and I should have done it sooner. Sound is much better and now the HDMI works correctly. I am now watching the clock for 9.10, a few more hours to go ...

Ubuntu forums:

Ubuntu forum search using google search engine:

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5 Rhenium

Re: Dell Mini 10 with Ubuntu 8.04 OS freezes

You should be able to download your updates for 9.10.


If my answer Was helpful?  Please let me know by clicking on the 'Did this answer your question' and clicking on the Yes button.  Thanks.



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