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Debian for WM8505 Netbooks (like that Sylvania one)

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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2022-03-21 11:09 PM
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Although I don't own this model, some info here on booting Linux:

https://github.com/lrussell887/Debian-for-WM8505-Netbooks

from Using the build:
"In order to get a build running, you will need an 8 GB SD card (recommended, it can be smaller) and a Linux machine with GParted. On the card, first create a 16 MB FAT16 partition, followed by an EXT4 partition that fills the rest of the card. You will then want to extract the boot.zip file to the FAT16 partition, and rootfs.tar.gz file to the EXT4 partition. Once that is completed, insert the card into your netbook and boot into your new Debian system!"

Not sure where to get the battery for this, maybe somebody else knows.

-stingraze

Edited by stingraze 2022-03-21 11:09 PM
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Jornada+Linux Page Icon Posted 2022-03-22 9:51 AM
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Factorite (Junior)

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@stingraze: thanks for the info! So it looks like this netbook is factory-configured to boot from an SD card... Fascinating.

Now for that battery... The netbook won't even start with a power supply attached now that the battery is dead.
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2022-03-22 8:41 PM
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You're welcome!

I guess the option for the battery is find a broken screen (etc.) WM8505 Netbook and transfer the battery from there, or recell the battery.

Edited by stingraze 2022-03-22 8:42 PM
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Laci Page Icon Posted 2022-05-28 2:22 AM
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I bought a Jay-Tech branded one some months ago. Windows CE works differently than on the usual devices, it runs entirely from flash memory and everything you do is permanently saved even if you shut it down completely. Which you will do a lot since these laptops don't support standby at all. The display is unusually nice for such a cheap netbook. My unit is a German language one and came with a password set, reinstalling WinCE from SD card removed that. Interestingly the manufacturer of this particular model included Softmaker office to make it a bit useful.

A few days ago I installed Debian on it. The first SD card I tried had 8GB but somehow corrupted the system after an update. A 128GB Samsung card on the other hand works well. What doesn't work at all is the touchpad. There are some internal differences between these wondermedia laptops. Haven't tried messing with wifi yet. Audio also doesn't work but it's not a big loss since this netbook has one of the worst DACs I've ever heard.

I immediately upgraded to Debian 11 using "apt-get dist-upgrade". After that things worked normally. I managed to compile CDE on it, it took more than a day. But it's an interesting machine for sure. What kills it is the slow performance.
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