home: www.staschke.de Author: Arnim Staschke 11/15/2003 last update: 09/05/2005  

Using Medion MD 5400 laptop with Linux operating system

My distribution: Slackware

A. This site in German (maybe more recent)

B. Copyright

C. note

D. MD 5400 - message board

H. HOWTOs, written by some users

1 Technical specifications MD 5400

2 Configuration

3 ACPI and power management

4 Bios

5 Some files

This page still is under construction. Visit me again;-)

Using Medion MD 5400 laptop with Linux operating system

C Note

This documentation is written for a already somewhat experienced Linux user. Use it carefully.
If you donīt know what you are doing, donīt do it. You maybe able to destroy your laptop or your Linux-system!

If you do not agree which this, do not read on please!

1 Technical specifications MD 5400

1.1 General

The Medion MD 5400 laptop was sold starting from 23 October 2002 by Aldi north (Germany), and starting from 21.October2002 with ALDI south (Germany). It cost 1679.00 EUR (corresponds: 3283.84 DM).
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 Processor with 2533 MHz. 512 kb Cache, 533 MHz FSB
40 GB non removable disk, Hitachi DK23DA-40
CDROM/DVD-Combodrive, QSI SBW-161:
24x CD read
8x DVD read
16x CDR burn
10x CDRW rewrite

Video card:
NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go 64 MB, AGP 4 x with TV OUT

256 MB DDR RAM (Siemens)(maximal 1024 MB possible)
On my original module was written on the sticker:
SDN03264A 1B21MT-75
256MB DDR PC 2100
900209 - 0232 - SN 3492

So it should be DDR266, 133 MHz RAM.

FireWire IEEE 1394
10/100 Mbit Ethernet LAN (RTL8139)
Internal 56k Modem: Creatix V9x DSP Data-fax-Mod, Chipset: Intel®536ep
Sound: SIS7012 PCI
Synaptics Touchpad with 2 mouse buttons and 1 scroll button (PS/2)
3 Multimedia-Hotkeys for Windows-User
Li-Ion akku

15" TFT XGA Display


1x Parallelport
1x seriell (COM1)
Connector for an external Monitor
1x TV out
IEEE 1394 FireWire
4 x USB 2.0
Infrared (IRDA) (FIR)
Volume control
Line + S/P-DIF out
Mike in
PS/2 connector for a mouse oder keypad
Connector for Kensington safety lock


1.2 Listing lspci

root@snake:~# lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS645DX Host & Memory & AGP Controller
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS 530 Virtual PCI-to-PCI bridge (AGP)
00:02.0 ISA bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 85C503/5513 (rev 04)
00:02.5 IDE interface: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 5513 [IDE]
00:02.7 Multimedia audio controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7012 PCI Audio Accelerator (rev a0)
00:03.0 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7001 USB Controller (rev 0f)
00:03.1 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7001 USB Controller (rev 0f)
00:03.2 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7001 USB Controller (rev 0f)
00:03.3 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS7002 USB 2.0
00:06.0 Communication controller: Intel Corp. 536EP Data Fax Modem
00:08.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
00:0c.0 CardBus bridge: ENE Technology Inc CB1410 Cardbus Controller
00:0d.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Lucent Microelectronics FW323 (rev 04)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV17 [GeForce4 440 Go 64M] (rev a3)


2 Configuration:

2.1 Modem

Type: V9x DSP Data-fax-Mod
Chipset: Intel®536ep
Status: supported
Driver download: http://www.creatix.de/
Driver download: http://downloadfinder.intel.com/scripts-df/Product_Filter.asp?ProductID=977

It is an internal 56Kbps PCI-Modem. Specification: V92. Voice Support. Control over AT-commands. Fax is possible. Whether FAX runs also under Linux, I did not test! For more information have a look at the URL above
The modem will not work without this external drivers.

Here the quickinstall steps for using the internal modem, like described in the readme.txt from the modem driver package:
Be shure the kernelsource and kernelheaders are installed.

tar -xvzf intel-536ep-451.tgz 
cd Intel-536ep-451/
less readme.txt

make clean
make 536
make install

insmod -f 536epcore
insmod -f 536ep 

cat /proc/devices
#you will see: 240 536ep
#The major number of 536ep is 240

rm /dev/536ep
mknod /dev/536ep c 240 1
#In place of 240 use that number, which indicates cat/proc/devices for 536ep.

ln -s /dev/536ep /dev/modem

Some Linux distributions are known in the installscript. Some files will be placed in the init-directory automatically. Have a look at the readme.txt.
Now try to configure your internet gateway. May be the setup tool from your distribution is doing this for you? Try it.
Use /dev/modem as modem device. /dev/modem is a softlink, pointing to /dev/536ep. This softlink is installes by the install script. Have a look yourself:
root@snake:/etc/rc.d# ls -l /dev/modem
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Mar 26 21:43 /dev/modem -> /dev/536ep

NEW: Driver for use with Kernel 2.6.x:

The Intel 536 driver are not working with kernel 2.6.10 or nwer. But there is a patch , written for the kernel 2.6.10:
But I cant get it work with this patch. Try yourself.


2.2 Sound

You need Kernel 2.4.18 or newer. This soundchip is build in in the i810_audio modul. No Alsa necessary:-)
If you like ALSA, this soundchip is running with ALSA, too. Take your choice;-)


2.3 UDMA

With older Linux kernels I had to start DMA-mode manually. The Kernel option "use DMA by default" should do that, but it does not:-(
Starting UDMA-Mode manually:
hdparm -d1 /dev/hda
Use /etc/rc.d/rc.local (Slackware) for starting UDMA at boot time. Also possible: /etc/ini.d...
With use of newer Kernels than 2.4.20 the "use DMA by default" is running fine, without an entry is necessary in one the INIT scripts.


2.4 Video card

Driver on http://www.nvidia.com/

Download the IA32-driver, the Kernel-package and the GLX-package. Untar it. Install first!! the kernelmodule, then the GLX-package.A simple make will install the packages
The installes kernelsources are required!
If you compile a new kernel in future, you need to install the Nvidia-driver again.
NEWThere is only one binary.package. You dont need to download two packages any more.
Download this new installerfile. Make it executable, run it for installing the nvidia-drivers:
sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-4363.run
This driver seems to be broken: 1.0-4496
So pick out the older driver 1.0-4363

Running fine:
Version: 1.0-4363
Version: 1.0-5328
Version: 1.0-5336 (with support for 2.6.x Kernel)


2.5 TV-out

It is running, have a look at "Video card"
May be you want to have a look at my XF86Config file? Here it is: XF86Config.
I use two ServerLayout Sections. One for normal output on the Display, the other section for output on the display and on the television.
startx starting Xserver without Twinview, and without TV-out.
startx -- -layout tv starting Xserver with Twinview, and TV-out.
Remember this in your XF86Config:

# This loads the GLX module
    Load       "glx"
Remember also changing:
Option "TVStandard" "PAL-B"
This is my entry for german use.


2.6 Touchpad

It is a Synaptics Touchpad, connected to PS/2 port.
You can use it, if you like. But it is recommended to use the Synaptics driver for Linux.

Bin zufällig auf http:/tuxmobil.de/ gelandet. Dort gibt es einen Treiber, der auch mit diesem Touchpad funtioniert.
Es lohnt sich wirklich diesen Treiber zu installieren: http:/tuxmobil.de/touchpad_driver.html:-)
Man erhällt so viele neue Features, kann sogar auf eine externe Maus verzichten;-). Das Paket enthällt unter anderem auch ein vorkompiliertes Binary. Dieses habe ich einfach nach /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/input kopiert, die aus der INSTALL.DE ersichtlichen Optionen in der /etc/XF86Config eingetragen, und X gestartet. Mein Luxux-Touchpad lief sofort:-)
An dieser Stelle: Vielen Dank für die Programmierung dieses Treibers, er erleichtert die Arbeit mit diesem Touchpad erheblich.

NEW 31.07.2003
Zufällig habe ich folgende Seite gefunden:
Peter Österlund hat dort den Synaptics-Treiber von Stefan Gmeiner modifiziert, gepatcht. Nun funktioniert auch die mittlere Scrolltaste. Sie funktioniert nicht als dritte Maustaste, sondern nur als Scrolltaste.
Dazu unter oben genannter URL das gepatchte Paket runterladen, und das vorkompilierte synaptics-drv.o in das XFree Modulverzeichnis kopieren.
Ferner ist die /etc/X11/XF86Config anzupassen. Die Optionen gegenüber dem alten Synaptics-Treiber haben sich geändert! Nicht vergessen: In der modules-section: Load synaptics.
Dieser Treiber funktioniert auch mit Kernel 2.6.0-test2.

Es gibt noch ein kleines Tool: Mit Tpconfig kann man auf der Konsole auschalten, dass, wenn gpm läuft, immer alles markiert wird.
tpconfig (tpconfig-3.1.3)

My XF86Config, only mouse, without synaptics driver:

# with emulate third mousebutton
Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier  "Mouse0"
    Driver      "mouse"
    Option "Protocol"    "PS/2"
    Option "Device"      "/dev/psaux"
    Option "Emulate3Buttons"
   Option "Emulate3Timeout"    "50"
    Option "SendCoreEvents"     "true"
#    Option "ZAxisMapping"   "4 5"

# Second mouse, connected at COM1 *using two mice*
# You can use both mice:-)
# Here it is an old two button mouse
Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier  "Mouse1"
    Driver      "mouse"
    Option "Protocol"    "Microsoft"
    Option "Device"      "/dev/ttyS0"
    Option "Emulate3Buttons"
    Option "Emulate3Timeout"    "50"
    Option "SendCoreEvents"     "true"
#    Option "Resolution"         "500"


2.7 network controller

Running fine: RTL8139 Chipset
Modul: 8139too
Be shure, you switched the BIOS option [pnp OS] from WINDOWS to DOS. Many users are reporting this problem (me too). The networkdevice will not run during this BIOS-option is switched to WINDOWS.

If loading the kernelmodules automatically by hotplug, it tries also loading the module 8139cp. This module is wrong for this Realtek Chipset. The result is an error message during the boottime. If you don't like this error messages, make an enrty for the module 8139cp in the hotplug-blacklist. Slackware: /etc/hotplug/blacklist.


2.8 Infrarot (IRDA)

I used IRDA with Linux-kernel 2.4.21-pre3. I donīt know if it is running with older kernels. Newer kernels should do, because there are much changes about the irda-drivers included in the kernel.
For using the IRDA port, you need to install the irda-utils, included in your Linux distribution.
You have to turn on IRDA for the COM2-port in the BIOS. With out this, it will not work, of course.
Before going on, you need to configure dial on demand for the modem. If possible, test if this configuration is correctly: Make a dial out to your ISP.
Ok, next step:
The softlink /dev/modem is pointing to /dev/536ep?
ls -l /dev/modem
You have to change the destination for this link to /dev/ircomm0.
rm /dev/modem
ln -s /dev/modem /dev/ircomm0
Now do that:
/usr/sbin/irattach /dev/ttyS1 -s
I dontīt understand, what I am doing there, but it works;-)

For a little test, swich on your handy, of course switch on IRDA.
Now type in: irdadump If all is configured properly, you will see some messages from your handy.
Cancel irdadump with [CTRL]+[C]
If all is OK, try to make a dial out. It is the same dial out, you have done before with the internal modem.
I tested this with my NOKIA 5210 handy, and it works slowly but fine:-)

I put some entrys in my /etc/modules.conf. I found them by searching with google:
# From NVIDIA-Setup Grafikkarte
alias char-major-195 nvidia
## irda
alias tty-ldisc-11 irtty
alias char-major-161 ircomm-tty  # if you want IrCOMM support
# These values are hard-coded in irattach (not instance order)
alias irda-dongle-0 tekram       # Tekram IrMate IR-210B
alias irda-dongle-1 esi          # ESI JetEye
alias irda-dongle-2 actisys      # Actisys IR-220L
alias irda-dongle-3 actisys      # Actisys IR-220L+
alias irda-dongle-4 girbil       # Greenwich GIrBIL
alias irda-dongle-5 litelink     # Parallax LiteLink
alias irda-dongle-6 airport      # Adaptec Airport 1000 and 2000
# IrNET module...
alias char-major-10-187 irnet    # Official allocation of IrNET

The most of this, I found by searching newsgroups. I really donīt know what I was doing here, but it works. So be carefull, if you also donīt know what you are doing;-).



PCMCIA is running fine, too.


2.10 My .config from linux-kernel 2.4.21 (in extracts)

Also have a look at my .config for the new Kernel Linux-2.6.2 (may be itīs not perfect;-):
.config Linux-2.6.2

# Processor type and features
# CONFIG_X86_MCE is not set
# CONFIG_TOSHIBA is not set
# CONFIG_I8K is not set
# CONFIG_HIGHMEM4G is not set
# CONFIG_HIGHMEM64G is not set
# CONFIG_HIGHMEM is not set
# CONFIG_SMP is not set
# CONFIG_X86_UP_IOAPIC is not set
# CONFIG_X86_TSC_DISABLE is not set

# CONFIG_APM is not set

# ACPI Support
# CONFIG_ACPI_HT_ONLY is not set
# CONFIG_ACPI_ASUS is not set
# CONFIG_ACPI_DEBUG is not set

# IrDA (infrared) support
# CONFIG_IRDA_ULTRA is not set
# CONFIG_IRDA_DEBUG is not set

# Infrared-port device drivers
# CONFIG_MCP2120_DONGLE is not set
# CONFIG_ACT200L_DONGLE is not set
# CONFIG_MA600_DONGLE is not set


3 ACPI and Powermanagement

3.1 Powermanagement

Powermanagement is not working verry well.
The battrery is flat after less than an hour:-(
If your kernel has no ACPI implemented, you have to recompile the kernel for making it work.
Mostly with older kernels, you habve to check for new ACPI-kernelpatches, if you need more or better ACPI-support.


Patching the kernel (here linux-2.4.21):
If you donīt know, what I am talkig about, donīt read on! You may destroy your linux-sytem if you donīt know what you are doning. Be carefully.

Download the kernel for your need, unpack it to /usr/src/linux-2.4.21
Download the ACPI-Patch, matching yout kernel. unpack it to /usr/src/linux, directly in the kernel source tree.

cd /usr/src/linux
gunzip acpi-20030619-2.4.21.diff.gz
patch -p1 < acpi-20030619-2.4.21.diff.gz

Konfigure the patched kernel for your need: make menuconfig is calling the kernel-setup.
May be, you want to copy your old .config file in the kernel-source-tree (before calling make menuconfig), and call make oldconfig. It is your choice;-)
Now, call make menuconfig, go to "General setup" and switch on ACPI. I donīt use it as modules, I kompiled ACPI into the kernel.
Also switch Power Management Support to [y], because this is needed for switching off your computer after shut down.
This is the ACPI-part from my kernel:

   [*] Power Management support
   < >   Advanced Power Management BIOS support

ACPI Support  --->

   [*] ACPI Support
   [ ] CPU Enumeration Only
   <*>   AC Adapter
   <*>   Battery
   <*>   Button
   <*>   Fan
   <*>   Processor
   <*>   Thermal Zone
   < >   ASUS Laptop Extras
   < >   Toshiba Laptop Extras
   [ ]   Debug Statements
After saving the new configuration to .config, you have to compile the kernel.
cd /usr/src/linux
make dep clean bzImage modules modules_install
If done, copy /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage to /boot/vmlinuz
May be, you will make a backup of you old, working vmlinuz?
If necessary, edit your lilo.conf. Donīt forget to reinstall lilo!
If you are using an other bootmanager, like grub, I canīt help you. Do it yourself;-)
After compiling a new kernel, you have to reinstall the nvidia driver and modem driver!

If you like to read this, you will know moer about ACPI:
An other HOWTO from Emma Jane Hogbin, a verry good HOWTO, I think.


3.2 Power off after shutdown

Power off after shutting down

After recompiling the kernel, it operates.
[*] Power Management support

Shutdown after pushing the switch

After recompiling the kernel, it operates.
[*] Power Management support


3.3 Controlling the fan

The Medion MD 5400 laptop has two fans implemented (CPU and system?).
The fans are funning verry fast. I donīt like that noise;-)
After patching and reconfiguring the kernel, I was able to control the fans somewhat. I used the ACPI-patch from http://acpi.sourceforge.net/
With Kernel-ACPI support the first fan ist starting at over 45 degrees. The second fan ist staring his work at over 50 degees. He turns of at less than 50 degrees.

If I compile a kernel, my computer ist hard at work. I think the fans had better to go with more speed. The MD-5400 is verry hot during compiling a kernel.

Controlling the fans, keeping them into automatic state:
echo -n 3 > /proc/apci/fan/FN1/state
echo -n 3 > /proc/apci/fan/FN2/state

Switching off the automatic mode:
echo -n 0 > /proc/apci/fan/FN1/state
echo -n 0 > /proc/apci/fan/FN2/state

Before switching into automatic mode, you have to switch both fans into the automatic-off-mode with echo -n 0. After that you are allowed, switching into automatic mode! Always switch first off, then on.

Now be carefull! Have a look at the temperature. The following command reads the temperature from proc-directory:
cat /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THRM/temperature

Use it at your own risk! Let your laptop work harder, then keep an eye on the temperature!
If you are in trouble, the fans are not staring, switch off the automatic mode by typing:

echo -n 0 > /proc/apci/fan/FN1/state
echo -n 0 > /proc/apci/fan/FN2/state

Now both fans should staring.

Problem numer one:
Sometimes I have a lit trouble with automatic mode. If I switch to automatic mode during the laptop ist hot (laptop is running a longer time before, or after a reboot), (echo -n 3), the fans are stopping. They also donīt want starting again. I had to switch quickly into the off mode, because the temperature is going up to 65 degrees and higher!

Ones more: Be carefull with that. You may damge your laptop!
I think the automatic mode only operates corectly, when staring it during the laptop ist cold.

Enabling polling mode:
It is possible to reduce the noise from the fans in automatic mode:
1) Switch off both fans
  echo -n 0 > /proc/apci/fan/FN1/state
  echo -n 0 > /proc/apci/fan/FN2/state

2) Put them into automatic mode
  echo -n 3 > /proc/apci/fan/FN1/state
  echo -n 3 > /proc/apci/fan/FN2/state

3) Enable polling:
  echo -n 30 > /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THRM/polling_frequency

This means: poll every 30 seconds. I think 60 or 120 seconds will work too. May be 120 seconds are a log time, if the prozessor is working hard (100%)?

Be carefull, have a look at the temperature!
If the Laptop ist hot, before switching into the ACPI-modes, possibly the fans do not turn on again! Your Laptop may fire up!

I found this, about active and passive cooling. Read this, may be youīll better understand all of this. Itīs an english page.
Microsoft-Seite: active and passive cooling mode

Das einzige grafische Tool, das bei mir (Slackware) einigermassen lief, war wmacpimon. Ein kleines Status-Tool, das entweder alleine auf dem Desktop klebt, oder als Doc-app in ein Doc eingehängt werden kann (Blackbox, Windowmaker, Waimea). Es zeigt dem Ladezustand des Akkus, sowie die Temperatur an.


3.4 throttling: slow down the CPU

The Pentium IV is using throttling. With the original BIOS, there are 8 throttling states. If you have updated your flash-BIOS, there are only 2 trottling states left over: 100% and 50%.
How to have a look at the throttlingstates?
root@snake:~# cat /proc/acpi/processor/CPU0/throttling 
state count:             2
active state:            T0
   *T0:                  00%
    T1:                  50%
Throttling 50%:
echo -n 1 > /proc/acpi/processor/CPU0/throttling
Speed up again 100%:
echo -n 0 > /proc/acpi/processor/CPU0/throttling

3.5 throttling states: 2 or 8 steps throttling?

If using following BIOS files, you will have 8 throttling states:
Using this BIOS files you will have only 2 throttling states:
Hint: I donīt say that this BIOS files are build for use with MD-5400. Use this BIOS files for your own risk. See also paragraph 4: Bios on this site.

4 Bios

4.1 Flashing Bios file

At first, I deleted all including the partitions. Hey, I want to use linux;-)
Afer arranging new partitions, installing Linux and Windows, all is running fine.
But I canīt update my BIOS, because the third DOS-Partition, formated in fat16 is needed for that. Shit happens;-)
OK, I burned a DOS-Start-CDRom, included bios-files. I am booting from my new MS-DOS-CDRom. I was able to write the flashfile. It was a lit dangerous, but now I am happy;-)


4.2 Description of available BIOS files

comming soon
see this chapter on my German site temporary.


C Messageboard

C.1 Some notes how to use this messageboard

I donīt like messgeboards. But I think it my be usefull for all of us:-)
You donīt need to register! But please would you be kind enough to keep this messageboard clean
Donīt ask about Windows. This messageboard is desingned for linux users.
Please donīt use HTML or something like that.
Plain ASCII looks more nice than big coloured HTML, I think;-)
May be Iīll put some of your postings in my MD-5400-documentation. If you donīt like that, donīt post here.
Thank you for understanding this:-)

Go to the messageboard


Das Copyright für diese Seiten liegt bei Arnim Staschke, Flensburg, Germany. Für die Nutzung dieser Seiten auf anderen Rechnern oder die Verbreitung dieser Seiten gilt folgendes: Die Seiten duerfen in ihrer Ursprungsform unveraendert kostenlos weiterverbreitet werden, solange dieser Copyrighthinweis, der Name des Authors und die Herkunft erhalten bleibt. Die Weitergabe, die komerzielle Nutzung, auch in schriftlicher Form, gegen Gebühr oder gegen Entgelt ist untersagt, bzw. bedarf der ausdrücklichen schriftlichen Zustimmung des Authors. Links auf diese Dokumentation sowie das Kopieren auf Resourcen im Internet sind ausdruecklich erlaubt, solange ein deutlicher Hinweis auf die Herkunft und das Copyright, sowie ein Link auf die Originalseiten enthalten bleibt.

Arnim Staschke

made by staschke, enlish site: 11/15/2003