While doing network installs of recent -current versions (FTP & NFS), I
have experienced a problem I can't live with - and which needs the
laptop to be sent to Acer to get fixed.
The problem is: the installation freezes (usually quite early in the
installation process, doing /bin or something), and after a hard reset
(power off + on), the darn craptop has "PlatinumPAS - PreBoot
Authentication Services Verify" enabled.". This is a protection mode
which needs a valid smartcard to unlock the computer, which makes the
BIOS not let you boot from anything. I didn't ask for it to get enabled,
and the smartcards I got with the computer are not valid. I can't even
boot a floppy at that stage, and I don't know of any way to fix it
except send it to Acer for repair (already did it once, I'm not happy
about doing it once more in one week).
I'm planning to stop using this laptop (since it belongs to my company:
ask them to throw it to the junkyard or something), unless there is some
neat trick to disable the PlatinumPAS thing, or if there's a solution to
making -current not switch it on. In the meantime: my advice for all
Acer TravelMate users is to not use or try -current on them.
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