AcerAspire7720Z

  • Contact: MozDevil

  • Make: Acer
  • Brand: Aspire
  • Model: 7720Z
  • Website:

Current Issues

  • ACPI temperature monitoring does not work proper, Laptop overheats (see below)
  • Sound card volume is to soft
  • S-video out does only work when connected at boot and not after putting it off with xrandr (see below)

System Info

Acer

Aspire 7720Z

V1.19

Hardware details

Screen & Monitors

Device

Works?

Bug #

in Gutsy 7.10

in Hardy 8.04

8.10

Screen

Yes

Yes

Correct resolution?

Yes

Yes

Correct refresh rate?

Yes

Yes

3D Acceleration

Untested

Yes

External monitor works?

Yes

Untested

External monitor - mirrors

Yes

Untested

External monitor - extend desktop

Untested

Untested

Power Management

Battery detected?

Yes

Yes

Hibernates?

No

No

Suspend

No

No

Dim monitor on battery

Yes

Yes

Blank monitor on inactivity

Yes

Yes

Lid Close

Yes

Yes

Cpu frequency scaling

Yes

Yes

Sound

Sound works?

Yes*

Yes

Correct volume?

No, to soft

Untested

Hardware volume switch

Yes

No*

Headphone jack

Yes

Yes

Mic jack

Untested

Untested

Networking

Wired NIC

Yes

Yes

Wireless NIC

Yes*

Yes

PCMCIA NIC

n/a

n/a

Firewire

Untested

Untested

Bluetooth

n/a

n/a

Modem

Untested

Untested

Infrared

Untested

Untested

Touchpad & Mice

Touchpad

Yes

Yes

Touchpad - Doubletap = double click

Yes

Yes

Touchpad - Scroll down side

Untested

Untested

External mouse - USB

Yes

Yes

External mouse - Serial

n/a

n/a

Docking Station/Port Replicator

AC through replicator

Untested

Untested

USB

Untested

Untested

Serial

n/a

n/a

Parallel

n/a

n/a

External Monitor - VGA

Untested

Untested

External Monitor - DVI

n/a

n/a

Modem

Untested

Untested

NIC

Untested

Untested

PS/2

n/a

n/a

Additional Hardware

Fingerprint reader

n/a

n/a

CD/DVD drive

Yes

Yes

PCMCIA cards

Untested

Untested

Parallel Ports

n/a

n/a

Card reader(s)

Untested

Untested

Function and other keys

Fn key

Operation

Keycode

Works?

Bug #

in Gutsy 7.10

in Hardy 8.04

+ Space

Untested

Untested

+ Esc

Untested

Untested

+ F1

Don't know

Untested

Untested

+ F2

Don't know

Untested

Untested

+ F3

Don't know

Untested

Untested

+ F4

Sleep

Untested

Untested

+ F5

Don't know

Untested

Untested

+ F6

Screen

Yes

Yes

+ F7

Touchpad

Yes

Yes

+ F8

Sound

Yes

Yes

+ F9

Untested

Untested

+ F10

Untested

Untested

+ F11

Untested

Untested

+ F12

Don't know

Untested

Untested

Other special keys

Key

Operation

Keycode

Works?

Bug #

in Ubuntu 6.06 LTS?

in Gutsy 7.10

in Hardy 8.04

Screen brightness

Yes

Yes

Media keys

No

No

Wireless on/off

No

Yes

Browser

No

No

E-mail

No

No

Bluetooth

n/a

n/a

Acer

No

No

Notes

Souncard (for Gutsy, Fixed in Hardy)

The soundcard did not work out of the box. Edit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base Add the line: "options snd-hda-intel model=acer"

Enable the gutsy-backport repository Goto System >> Administration >> Software Sources >> Updates >> Unsuported Updates (gutsy backports)

Install linux-backport-modules-generic apt-get install linux-backport-modules-generic

Sound should be working now.

Wireless (for Gutsy)

Although the Acer manual says that the laptop contains a Intel PRO/Wireless 3945BG card lspci reports it as an Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5006EG 802.11 b/g Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01). With the ath driver modules ath_pci and ath_hal the card did not appear in the network tools like ip and iwconfig. dmesg reported an HAL error 13 for the ath_hal driver, saying something about an unsupported version.

There are different solutions to this.

  • 1. Install the ndiswrapper and use a Windows XP driver which does not offer all the possibilities the card has.
  • 2. Install a patched version of the MadWifi driver, I really dig this.

The other problem with the card is that it can be enabled/disabled by using a button on the laptop, this is actually a nice feature to save power. The problem is that the button is not implemented in the standard acpi package. To solve this I installed the acer_acpi package. (see below)

NdisWrapper

Install the ndiswrapper utils and the gtk interface. apt-get install ndiswrapper-utils ndisgtk

Blacklist the ath drivers by adding them to the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file blacklist ath_hal blacklist ath_pci

Download the net5211 windows driver from the internet and unpack the zip file.

Run ndisgtk and install the driver.

I needed to reboot to make the connection appear.

MadWifi with ath5007 support

!!! madwifi.org should now be madwifi-project.org !!! Download http://snapshots.madwifi-project.org/special/madwifi-ng-r2756+ar5007.tar.gz Follow the instructions on http://madwifi-project.org/wiki/UserDocs/FirstTimeHowTo

Wireless (for Hardy)

Although the Acer manual says that the laptop contains a Intel PRO/Wireless 3945BG card lspci reports it as an Atheros Communications, Inc. AR242x 802.11 abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01). With the ath driver modules ath_pci and ath_hal the card did not appear in the network tools like ip and iwconfig.

To resolv this problem: Install a patched version of the MadWifi driver.

Download http://snapshots.madwifi-project.org/special/madwifi-ng-r2756+ar5007.tar.gz I first needed to disable the drivers in Administration --> Hardware Drivers. Follow the instructions on http://madwifi-project.org/wiki/UserDocs/FirstTimeHowTo Add ath_pci to /etc/modules

acer_acpi (in Gutsy, Fixed in Hardy)

After using wireless for some time I noticed that wireless sometimes worked and sometimes not. After some searching I found out that the wireless card can be switched on and off with a key on the keyboard. Instead of starting up windows, enabling wifi, soft rebooting and starting up Ubuntu. To make it work install acer_apci 0.11.0. I needed to pull this from the git repository. Search around on the internet how to do this, it is really easy.

In Hardy the acpi for acer is included.

S-video

The s-video output only seems to work when the cable is connected at boot. When the s-video port is switched off with xrandr it can not be switched on again. The screen flashes a few vague lines but stays black afterwards.

Frame buffer

The vga kernel option did not work, so the tty's have big fonts that seem ugly, this has to do with the framebuffer. The frame buffer does not work since the kernel team disabled all frame buffer modules. This is not specific to this laptop. See https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/initramfs-tools/+bug/129910 for a bug report about this. To get a nice smaller font and work around bug:

1. comment the "blacklist vesafb" (but leave uncommented every others) line in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer 2. add "fbcon" and "vesafb" in /etc/initramfs-tools/modules 3. add the vga=792 in your boot list, 864(=1440x900) did not work for me 4. update-initramfs -v -u -k $(uname -r)

ACPI temperature monitoring does not work proper, Laptop overheats

Sometimes it does sometimes not. Especially after suspend the temperature monitor reports a wrong temperature, usually 0 degrees. Because of this the fan never starts and the laptop becomes to hot, especially while watching video. After reaching the critical temperature the laptop shuts itself off unclean. With lm-sensors I always get the right temperatures for the two cores, which are almost the same as the temperature reported by 'cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/TZ01/temperature'. The polling interval is also disabled when this happens. Setting the polling interval manually does not help, it does not give an error but it also does not result in polling it seems.

To diagnose I installed lm-sensors and executed sensors-detect, added coretemp to /etc/modules and use 'sensors -t' to see what the temperature is of the CPU's. There is also an applet called 'sensors applet' to show the reported temperatures in the gnome panels.

There is a problem with the acpi dsdt table in the bios, it is compiled with the microsoft compiler which makes dsdt tables that are not standard.

To manually set the processor speed so the processors do not overheat see: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=125830

You can add a Frequency Scaling Applet to one of your panels, to keep an eye on the CPU speed and indeed to choose the speed it runs.

Right-click any panel and choose 'Add to Panel' Scroll down to 'System and Hardware' and choose the 'CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor'.

Once its on the panel you need to enter the following command to allow you permission to choose the frequency. Code:

sudo chmod +s /usr/bin/cpufreq-selector

Then you can left-click the applet, to choose the frequency or the governor (which defines the throttling behaviour)

Not tested

  • Firewire
  • CardReader

  • Modem
  • Mic (I read somewhere that it does not work)

SergioZanchetta/Old/AcerAspire7720Z (last edited 2012-01-21 09:57:15 by jengelh)