Linux suggestions?

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Postby fussnfeathers » Mon May 17, 2010 6:49 am

That was the plan. I use it sometimes on my Windows machine, for old, wierd codecs.
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Postby Mr T » Mon May 17, 2010 8:26 am

Hmmm, thats odd, you may have an issue with your other hardware... Puppy will install on about anything over 200Mhz and 128mb of RAM... Installed 10.04 netbook remix on an 800Mhz PIII laptop with 256mb of ram in about 15 minutes... I try a lot of these distros out on old hardware to see were the limit is, so far I have got Damn Small Linux on a 275Mhz CPU with 8Mb of RAM, running off a 4Gb flash card (slow, but works)... Try an older version of Ubuntu such as 9.10....
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Postby Droth » Mon May 17, 2010 2:03 pm

Thats what got me. I installed Linux inside windows without a proper partition. :?
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Postby fussnfeathers » Mon May 17, 2010 7:30 pm

I'm 99.8% sure it's the modem in this. It's the old style "Winmodem". Last time I messed with this, you didn't have much for drivers in the distro itself, you added all those later, Windows-specific hardware like that just wouldn't work. What with the drivers being installed automatically now, I get the feeling that the installer is hanging at that point, since it can't initialize the modem. Everything else should work fine, it hangs at the exact same point every time, and switching the IRQ assignments (of course, the BIOS doesn't tell me what they're assigned TO, but I can look in Windows now to be sure) just switches the install hang to that IRQ, tells me the hardware is the issue.

Actually, this is sorta fun. I put XP on the laptop, for a couple of (go figure) screwed up reasons, and it's actually noticably faster than W2K was. I can install Xubuntu or whatever through Windows, that might resolve the install hang for the short term, until I can figure out a fix.

Mr T, I assume the command line boot parameters go at the end of the string on the bottom of the boot menu screen? Nobody is exactly clear on that one, at least not for me. A whole bunch of sites talk about using various Linux programs to edit the blah blah file to add these parameters to the boot loader, which would be nice if I HAD a working Linux install, and a good number tell you what they do...........but nobody, even the Ubuntu forums and FAQ's, tell you exactly where to put them, and the syntax. Maybe a primer on how to get started...........I'm finding these "user friendly" installers are a pain in the butt. If I just had a command line, no GRUB, install whichever boot loader I want manually, like 12 years ago, I'd probably be fine. This is just annoying, you can't see anything, or configure it beforehand.
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Postby fussnfeathers » Tue May 18, 2010 6:09 am

Argh..........left it alone, got XP up and running solid, now here's what I can do. I can start the Xubuntu install from within Windows, fires right up, pulls the files off the CD, and installs what it needs to get going. When I reboot, though, it hangs at the exact same dang place. Can't finish the install. When I kill the power, and reboot into Windows, the only Linux related files on the HDD (drive C, Windows partition) are two WUBI files, and on drive D (Xubuntu partition) it appears there's only maybe a quarter of an install there. I looked thinking there might be a boot option file already installed that I could edit to avoid certain hardware IRQ assignments, like the modem. Nada.

Any ideas? Two days into this, I've installed two versions of Windows, including XP on a machine that shouldn't even be able to start it, but I can't even get the easiest Linux distro to get halfway through the boot loader. :? This is getting highly frustrating.
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Postby evasive » Tue May 18, 2010 6:58 am

can you set the bios to non Plug'nPlay OS in some way? How much of the non-essential hardware can you disable in the bios/remove physically from the laptop?
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Postby Mr T » Tue May 18, 2010 7:33 am

Have you run it as a live CD?
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Postby fussnfeathers » Tue May 18, 2010 6:23 pm

Evasive- disabled everything in the BIOS that can be. All possible power management off, IRQ's set to manual, not that it matters. If it is the modem conflicting there's not a whole lot I can do about that other than physically remove it.

Mr T- Nothing works. I've tried everything you suggested, and a couple you didn't. Everything hangs right at that point. However, I did find one mistake, and maybe my only one. The help pages I read said to add various commands such as noapic, nolapic, acpi=off, irqpoll, etc to the end of the boot command line. What none of them said, though, was to add those commands BEFORE the -- at the end of the line........... :roll: Gonna try again in a few with the commands in the right area. I'm doubting it will work, since the newer Ubuntu versions have an F6 menu to select those options automatically, and those didn't work either. What I'm specifically needing, I think, is a command to not initialize the modem. The problem there is that card is also the LAN card, and if it disables by IRQ, I also lose the PC card slots, so no 'net connection at all. Basically the same issue I had the last time I messed with this.

Also gotta remember to set the VGA mode right, vga=799 I believe.
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Postby Mr T » Wed May 19, 2010 9:22 am

Check this out.....

Is your laptop listed here?

You are at a peculiar state here, usually, in fact all the time I have found Linux will install and XP won't.....
I have been programming on computers since the ZX81.
I am an apprentice trained Electronics Engineer with qualifications to back it up.
I have been repairing computers since 1996.
Yet to some people I still know nothing...
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Postby fussnfeathers » Wed May 19, 2010 12:14 pm

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTe ... adT23-2647

Thing to remember there is I have the pre-Lenovo model, they did change it a bit when they fully took over the brand name.

Yep. From what I've read, newer Ubuntu derivatives initialize the modem/network card at boot, but it's only mentioned after the install is complete. XP installed without a hitch, but I'm having a problem with the modem, XP freezes when it tries to install. I'd just yank it, but it's a dual purpose card, also has the network card built in. Pulling the modem means no wired networking........I might have to. As long as I can get wireless working, that's all I need.

From what the Ubuntu forum guys (all two of them so far) have said, I should be able to ESC once Ubuntu starts to load (before it dies on me), and add commands to grub.......problem is, I'm not getting that far. I don't even have anything on the Windows partition beyond two useless wubi files. I ran into this problem when I started playing with Linux years ago, Windows-specific hardware was used in the main brands, and there's no Linux drivers for them that I can find, since MS never allowed the source code to be released. Exact same thing, with some fiddling, I could get the OS to install, figure out what GUI to use, and use it, but I couldn't get mainstream modems to work. I'd almost say it's a video problem, but even the failsafe, generic VESA drivers don't appear to work.

Where's AmEv.......that guy can install anything on anything.
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