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Linux on a Medion 9706 laptop

Last update : february 24, 2007

This page is here to tell my experience installing Linux on my Medion 9706 laptop.
I'll try to provide useful information for future owners of this laptop, or people currently shopping for a Linux-supported one.

Oh, of course : I am in no way affiliated to Medion or any other vendor. Please get in touch with their customer service for official support (although they most likely still live on a Windows-only planet…). I'll try and answer non trivial questions but I can only do so much…

I buy it in a supermarket in spring 2002, because I need it for personnal projects, and it was cheap (around 1800 euros).
In fact, I buy it even cheaper, because it was an exposition model. And I use it until February 2009, when it was stealed.

Overview of the Medion MD9706

  • pentium IV at 1.6 Ghz
  • 256 MB SDRAM
  • Graphics subsystem : ATI Radeon Mobility M6, 14.1“ TFT XGA screen
  • Integrated audio/modem chipset : 82801BA/BAM AC'97
  • RTL-8139C Ethernet 10/100 Mbits controller
  • Hitachi DK23CA 20 Gb hard disk.
  • Matshita CW-8121 8x4x24x CD-RW
  • PCMCIA : 2 slots, PCI4410 Cardbus Controller
  • 2 USB slots (i810), IrDA, parallel, serial, firewire PS/2, VGA out, TV Out
  • external usb 3.5” floppy

lspci output :
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset Host Bridge (rev 04)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset AGP Bridge (rev 04)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82801BA/CA PCI Bridge (rev 05)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82801BA ISA Bridge (LPC) (rev 05)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801BA IDE U100 (rev 05)
00:1f.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801BA/BAM USB (Hub #1) (rev 05)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corp. 82801BA/BAM SMBus (rev 05)
00:1f.4 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801BA/BAM USB (Hub #2) (rev 05)
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. 82801BA/BAM AC'97 Audio (rev 05)
00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp. 82801BA/BAM AC'97 Modem (rev 05)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M6 LY
02:02.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C (rev 10)
02:03.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI4410 PC card Cardbus Controller (rev 02)
02:03.1 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments PCI4410 FireWire Controller (rev 02)

note : for more comprenhensive output, use lshw

medion hardware failures

I had some problems with it :

  1. very soon a problem with the battery (can not load it), probably because it was an exposition model.
    I just call the hotline, explain the problem, and they change the battery very quick.
  2. then, just before one year old, a motherboard failure (the symptom was black screen, no bios message, no beep at startup). It was changed under the garantee.
  3. on end 2004, I now have some problems to record/read some cdrom, I had burned on this computer
  4. on May 2005, my AC adaptator stopped to work : it is possible to find universal adaptator, but I prefer to buy an an old one to a medion user
  5. 2006 : the cdrom does not read any more cdrw disks


  • memory update to 512 Mo
  • disk replaced by a 80 Go, to support several linux distributions
  • To my mind, many problems come from a too hot internal temperature : there is not enough space under the box to allow a good job for the fan. And in fact, the fan is running almost all the time !. So I add some pieces of wood to have it higher.
  • bigger holes to have more air going to internal fan

linux installation

This laptop was solded with windows XP, installed in 2 partitions

  • 12 Mo en NTFS for the system
  • 8 Mo in FAT32 for “tools”

I wanted to keep XP for games, my wife, probably for modem use, and so on, so :

Linux hardware support

this section is applying to redhat 7.3 install (I do not have any problem with other further linux install)

  • Keyboard : no problem
  • Mouse/touchpad : no problem with the touchpad, in console mode or under X
    as I prefer a “real” mouse, I also install an optical usb mouse (microsoft).
    I choice to have only the touchpad in console mode, so I do not modify /etc/rc.d/init.d/gpm
    but I wanted to have both on X, so I change the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file, with 2 mouse sections :
    Section “ServerLayout”
    Identifier “Anaconda Configured”
    Screen 0 “Screen0” 0 0
    InputDevice “Mouse0” “CorePointer”
    InputDevice “USB Mice” “SendCoreEvents”
    InputDevice “Keyboard0” “CoreKeyboard”
    Section “InputDevice”
    Identifier “USB Mice”
    # Modified by mouseconfig
    Driver “mouse”
    Option “Device” “/dev/input/mice”
    Option “Protocol” “IMPS/2”
    Option “Emulate3Buttons” “no”
    Option “ZAxisMapping” “4 5”
    Section “InputDevice”
    Identifier “Mouse0”
    # Modified by mouseconfig
    Driver “mouse”
    Option “Device” “/dev/psaux”
    Option “Protocol” “IMPS/2”
    Option “Emulate3Buttons” “no”
    Option “ZAxisMapping” “4 5”
  • Video : well recognized and configured during install
  • Audio : use the i810_audio module
  • Network : Supported by the 8139too kernel module
  • Modem : I have some doubt about it, and spend “some” time on internet. I tried :
    • intel ham driver (because I see another medion laptop with this kind of modem) : do not work
    • connexant driver, because it supports some 8086:2446 Intel Corp. e2801BA/BAM AC'97 Modem : do not work
    • pctel (0.9.5) driver, because XP show me “pctel driver : HSP56 MR modem” : do not work I finally put my eyes into pctel driver code, add some lines, reboot some times, and it WORKS
      (my patch is now integrated in 0.9.6 release)
  • external usb floppy : works well, it is just impossible to make a low-format on usb.
    I have tested a rescue floppy with grub
  • CDRW : I just had to configure /etc/cdrecord.conf to access /dev/sg0 (generic SCSI access)
    dvd not tested
  • PCMCIA : not tested
  • IrDA : not tested.
  • Power management : I use apmd (acpi does not seem to work).
    I configure it
    • to suspend on disk if battery is too low
    • to suspend on memory if I close the screen all two are working perfectly.
      The only problem is that apmd (3.0.2-10) can not read battery charge.
  • battery : the cpu is not a mobile pentium, so it is hot, and the fan is working often : bad for battery autonomy ! (near 2h ?)
    There is an interesting feature in the bios : “battery learning”, to discharge completely the battery before loading it (better for battery life)
    I can give 2 advices :
    • the battery does not charge if temperature is too high (45 C), so I charge when not working !
    • and I remove the battery each time I can to work only on AC adaptor (will extend battery timelife)


after some years of use, almost all works well, so I think it is was good choice

eric gerbier 2009/09/18 12:08

medion_9706.txt · Dernière modification: 2012/02/05 16:43 (modification externe)