Critical Software Systems
HP Pavilion ZV5000Z
Technical Information


  • A 2.4GHz AMD-64 Desktop Replacement Notebook on the market in 2004
  • Similar to the Compaq R3000


This laptop has two SODIMM slots which HP sometimes refers to as "System RAM" and "Expansion RAM." The Expansion RAM slot is on the bottom of the computer behind an easily-accessible cover.  The System RAM is also slotted; however, it is more difficult to access, as it resides underneath the keyboard.  However, if you are reasonalby adept you can get to it using the following procedure:
  1. As for all operations on your hardware, make sure you are properly grounded to protect against ESD (electro-static discharge) damage.
  2. On the bottom of the PC, remove the four screws nearest the back of the unit (I consider the "back" to be where the LPT and VGA port connectors are).
  3. Turn the PC right side up.  You'll notice that between the F4/F5 keys and between the F12/scroll keys there's a slightly wider gap.  Insert a small flat-bladed screwdriver in this gap and pry up the plastic cover.  This cover includes the "wireless" button and also the power button, programmable buttons and far left and right hinge covers.  If you have removed the correct set of screws, a bit of careful prying should bring this cover off cleanly.  DO NOT FORCE it!  If it's not coming off, you may not have removed the right set of screws.
  4. Once the cover is off, you'll see the four smaller screws that hold the keyboard on.  Remove these, being careful not to let any drop inside the laptop.
  5. Lift the keyboard from the top, you'll see where it slots into the bottom.
  6. The System RAM SODIMM slot is now exposed.

I am using PC2700 333MHz 200-pin SODIMMS - the original 256MB one installed by HP and a 1GB purchased from has proven to be the best source of memory I've found on the Internet - best prices and support, for all my PCs from 200MHz P3s up to the latest generation of Pentiums and AMDs.

Eventually I will replace the 256MB with another 1GB, bringing the system to its maximum of 2GB.  HP only lists 333MHz memory on their web site, but it may be possible to put 400MHz PC3200 SODIMMS in this PC - as long as all the memory is the same speed.  However, I have not tried this, I'm going to stick with the PC2700 for now.

Windows XP Professional

Installed from the factory, including SP2.  I used Boot Magic and Parition Magic to create a multi-boot system and compress the original system volume to make room for some Linux ext3 and swap partitions.

One nice feature of the NVidia driver under Windows is the ability to define multiple desktops (kind of like what gnome and kde give you under linux).  The desktop swapping isn't error free however; it seems like if a task gets busy on the network, then you can't use the nvidia hotkey sequence to switch desktops.  Also, my Explorer windows seem to get closed at some point in the switching process too - that may happen when I go into and out of standby, or perhaps when the network is busy and I'm trying to switch desktops.

I'm using the Aircard PC5220 from Verizon Wireless.  This is a CDMA broadband access PCMCIA card.  That means it's like a cell phone that's dedicated to wireless Internet access.  The plan from Verizon Wireless is about $80 US per month and that gives me unlimited connect time.  There are two parts of their network - the National Access plan which is typically around 50 kpbs with bursts to 144 kbps (same as you can get with most 3G phones & a USB cable), and the Broadband Access that's available in limited areas. I happen to live in one of those areas, so I regularly get 300-500 kpbs with (theoretically) bursts to 2 Mbps.  At home, I'm on the fringes so I use an external patch antenna on the outside of my house with an adapter cable (Radiall/Larsen R284L3403005) that brings it from the FME male on the antenna cable to the tiny RF connector (MC) on the card. 

More recently I purchased the Verizon Wireless XV6700 that I can use as a broadband modem.


Configuration Files

Here's a directory of some of my Fedora configuration files.







Currently running x86_64 Fedora Core 2 with 2.6.8-1.521 kernel.  Using grub bootloader, that actually gets called after the "linux" selection is made from Boot Magic menu.  This allows me to have a single "linux" option on that menu and use grub.conf to configure all the linux boot options.

Display Driver

I downloaded and installed the nvidia driver script from their web site and used it to get to the maximum resolution of the laptop (1920x1200).


After much struggle trying to get the PS/2 Alps (synaptics) touchpad (trackpad) to work on Fedora Core 2 (FC2) I have a partial solution. 

  • get latest kernel source (I'm using 2.6.8-1.521) so you can build PS/2 mouse support as a module.
  • either edit .config file and set CONFIG_MOUSE_PS2=m or use make menuconfig and set PS/2 mouse (under Device Drivers/input devices) to "m"
  • You can leave CONFIG_INPUT_MOUSEDEV_PSAUX to not set or set it to y, all it does is create a /dev/psaux that's really just the same as /dev/input/mice (some older xorg.conf files refer to /dev/psaux).
  • make clean (follow instructions in README file in src directory)
  • make modules_install
  • the built kernel is now 2.6.8-1.521custom
  • copy the resulting boot image to where you boot from (/boot for example) and add it to the appropriate boot config file (e.g. /boot/grub/boot.conf)
  • mkinitrd to build the matching .img file (using 2.6.8-1.521custom as the name)
  • copy the file there too, put 2.6.8-1.521custom in its name
  • if you're using the nvidia driver from their web site, rerun the downloaded install script to reinstall it in your new kernel
  • reboot and select the new kernel
  • gpm will probably be started in your startup script ("starting console mouse services")
  • login as root (assuming you boot to init 3 console login prompt)
    • gpm -k (to kill gpm)
    • modprobe psmouse
    • gpm -m /dev/input/mice -t ps2
  • you should see the cursor appear and now be able to use the trackpad in both console and X.
  • If you boot straight to X login (init 5) ignore the gpm stuff but of course you will need to do the modprobe psmouse.

The key to this whole process seems to be building psmouse as a module and loading it manually (i.e. via modprobe) at some later point in the process.  I'm wondering if kudzu is killing it.

I'm still fiddling with the xorg.conf file and synaptics driver to get scrolling working in X, will put the updated file here if I get it working. Also, I guess there's a way to automate the modprobe, I'll look into getting that configured.

Building and running 32-bit legacy applications

One thing I haven't been able to figure out yet is how to make the -m32 flag to gcc work on the link step.  I have some legacy libraries that are 32 bit, so when I use -m32 to compile my source it's all good, but when I try to link I get a file not found error on crt1.o.  This is true even with a simple hello.c program.  I'm still trying to figure out how to get/install/make co-exist the 32-bit Fedora/gcc libraries.  I may cheat and simply copy those over from my RH9 system, but those are an older revison of gcc so that solution may not work.


Technical Information