How to install Ubuntu Linux on Acer ASPIRE 5736Z Notebook / Get around the black screen install CD issue

My sister’s newly bought laptop is Acer Aspire 5736Z . By the default this notebook comes with some kind of Linux distribution Linpus .
Even though this Linpus (crafted Linux especially for Acer notebooks) looked really nice, it prooved to be a piece of shit linux distro.
Linplus was unable to even establish a simple Wireless WPA2 protected connection with my wireless router, not to mention that the physical Linux consoles (CTRL+ALT+F1) were disabled …

This LinPlus was so bad that I couldn’t even launch any type of terminal on it (I was stuck!) so I decided to kill it and make a decent latest Ubuntu 11.04 Install on it.

I was surprised to find out that trying to boot up the Ubuntu 11.04 installer led me to a black screen (black screen of death).

The v Aspire’s 5736Z monitor kept completely blank, where the hard drive was continuously reading (indicating that the Ubuntu installer has properly booted but it couldn’t light up the notebook screen).

A bit of investigation on any issues with this Acer notebook model has led me to a thread in fedora forums:
On this forum the same kind of Linux install problem was described to also occur with ASPIREs 5736Z during a Fedora install.

I just tried the suggested fix and it works like a charm.

The fix goes like this:

1. Invoke the Ubuntu settings parameter Install pre install screen

Just press any button while the Ubuntu installer CD is reading and after few secs the Install options screen should appear, like you see it in below’s screenshot:

Ubuntu Install boot options parameters screen

2. Select the nomodetest Boot CD Ubuntu option

You see in the above screenshot the F6 Other Options . I had toto press F6 and choose the nomodetest boot option to make the Ubuntu be able to further boot up.

After selecting the nomodetest option and pressing on the Install Ubuntu menu option the graphic installer launched succesfully 😉
Hope this small tip to be helpful to some Ubuntu or other Linux user who is trying to install Linux on his Acer Aspire 5736Z
Cheers 😉

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21 Responses to “How to install Ubuntu Linux on Acer ASPIRE 5736Z Notebook / Get around the black screen install CD issue”

  1. admin says:

    The post install will not work. Seems like one needs to set the nomodetest option also to the installed grub on the hard drive.

  2. hip0 says:

    After installing it one needs to use the boot CD once again and mount the installed partition to fix some issues.

    One needs to place in /etc/rc.local
    setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00

    Also it’s necessery to edit /etc/default/grub
    in the file in variable
    “quiet splash” to “quiet acpi_osi=Linux”

    Next to set the new grub configuration, I issued:

    ubuntu:~# update-grub2

    One more thing I did during I was in rescue mode with the Ubuntu Cd was to install the xsplash package, e.g.:

    ubuntu:~# apt-get install xsplash


    After that I had a lot of issues still while booting I couldn’t properly boot the GUI (Gnome).

    To make the Graphic environment start I had to update to the latest packages with apt:

    ubuntu:~# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

    After a reboot the X server started but still when I leave the system for some time idle in graphic env it hangs out.

    In overall it’s terrible to install Ubuntu on this notebook I wonder if it will work better with Debian or some other Linux distro.

    • hip0 says:

      This can be set setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 on cron to restart if the monitor gets dark again, it will restart in some seconds though …
      for instance
      echo ‘*/1 * * * * setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 >/dev/null 2>&1’ | crontab –

      • hip0 says:

        Actually a better crontab to set up, which will work around a black screen waiting issues which appear whenever laptop is closed or opened goes like this:

        * * * * * sleep 15; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null
        * * * * * sleep 30; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null
        * * * * * sleep 45; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null
        * * * * * sleep 15; cp -rpf /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf
        * * * * * sleep 30; cp -rpf /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf
        * * * * * sleep 45; cp -rpf /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf

        • qkrika says:

          where to put these comands?? please help

          • admin says:

            setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 needs to be set in /etc/rc.local before the
            exit 0 command

            The rest is explained well I believe. Which exact commands are you referring to?


          • admin says:

            Type the following in your gnome-terminal:
            sudo su
            echo ‘* * * * * sleep 15; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null’ > workaround_blankscreen_bug.txt
            echo ‘* * * * * sleep 30; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null’ >> workaround_blankscreen_bug.txt
            echo ‘* * * * * sleep 45; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null’ >> workaround_blankscreen_bug.txt
            echo ‘* * * * * sleep 15; cp -rpf /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf’ >> workaround_blankscreen_bug.txt
            echo ‘* * * * * sleep 30; cp -rpf /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf’ >> workaround_blankscreen_bug.txt
            echo ‘* * * * * sleep 45; cp -rpf /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf’ >> workaround_blankscreen_bug.txt
            crontab -u root workaround_blankscreen_bug.txt

            This is it now the crontab is set.
            This should really work. Sorry for my veryyyy delayed reply :)


        • qkrika says:

          ok that. but i mean on these last comands

          * * * * * sleep 15; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null
          * * * * * sleep 30; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null
          * * * * * sleep 45; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null
          * * * * * sleep 15; cp -rpf /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf
          * * * * * sleep 30; cp -rpf /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf
          * * * * * sleep 45; cp -rpf /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf

          because whenever laptop is closed and opened i do not have light

          • admin says:

            hi you need to put that on crontab. You should open crontab with command:
            crontab -u root -e
            then paste inside this commands and save, that al..
            Tell me if you did it, if not I will try to explain better though I’m quite sure this should be enough as explanation.
            Also take a look at crontab’s manual write in gnome-terminal:
            man crontab.

        • qkrika says:

          sorry i am new at linux. I do not understand. when i put crontab -u root -e says to me:
          no crontab for root – using an empty one
          do i put all comands or just after ” ; “
          * * * * * sleep 15; setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null
          or just: setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null

          because when i put ” setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00 2>&1 >/dev/null ” in terminal ligh is automaticly on!
          can you tel me in which file to put comands

          Thank you very much. great post!
          helped me a lot.
          but I have still just this problem.

  3. hip0 says:

    This one might go to /etc/rc.local also

    echo 2 > /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness

  4. Kostas R says:

    THANK YOU!!!! It worked!

  5. asimi Mumini says:

    I have black screen problem.
    I m new to linux distribution all what you said above i don understand them i just what you to let me know how to get around it. thanks

    • admin says:

      Hello, please read carefully the article, I think I’ve explained step by step what to do to make the Ubuntu install on the notebook. If you have specific issues during install I can help. But tell me where exactly from following the article you get problems.

  6. hip0 says:

    Just wanted to say, the brightness function keys:
    Fn key + Left arrow / Fn key + Right arrow, works just fine on this notebook with Ubuntu Linux.

  7. Kimi says:

    You might have a patience for researching on the niche to produce such highly appreciable contents. I thanks you for your blogs sharing with us.

  8. Rafael says:

    Thanks for the install tip!!!

  9. Sam says:

    I know I’m a bit late to the party but I have to ask: which is the best version of Ubuntu that is compatible with the Acer Aspire 5736Z? I have Kubuntu 14 on mine and it has a host of problems with new ones popping up each time I fix them. Which Ubuntu version or Linux distro works best?

    • admin says:

      Hi Sam,

      I would recommend Linux Mint, as my experience with it for desktop was better than with Ubuntu / Kubuntu. Give it a try if you haven’t still. Drop a message on your experiences.


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