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Old 05-24-2008, 03:55 PM   #16
QuickSHADOWMAN
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Aww....a new machine. I want one, too! But first, I need to get my house, then my stuff moved into it, and then after all that is done, get broadband, and find the parts to build my new machine, since my old one is over 7 years old.

Right now I am using an old library machine running, yuck, windows 2000. I have to say, that it is torture, not being on my wonderful old box running Debian Etch.
 
Old 05-24-2008, 11:47 PM   #17
alan_ri
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Do you know what I find really strange thing to be with that old machine?It's that no matter if you run it from the hard drive or live cd,the same thing happens,it chrashes and it's coming back to the login window.Anyway,I have spend few days trying to solve this issue,with no luck,and technicians that are now working on it still don't know any more then I do;that hard drive is bad,and I had to say that I already changed few places where my machine is being repaired,since the technicians in the originial store where the machine was made as configuration didn't do nothing in more then a week,and do you know what I found to be funny and sad thing in the same time;it's that I had to tell these technicians what a live cd and Linux is.

Last edited by alan_ri; 05-26-2008 at 02:23 PM. Reason: bad grammar(I'm trying)
 
Old 05-25-2008, 08:24 PM   #18
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Not surprising, Alan_ri about the 'funny & sad' part..

Interestingly (to me anyhow) I was driving into Truro a few months ago; Truro is the nearest 'large city-like place' to where I currently live in rural N.S. and is a rather conservative area. I don't really know how to get to more than the few places I go to regularly in that area (groceries, tobacco, etc), so I generally drive the same routes when I go there. Anyhow, this one day when I was somewhere near Truro, I passed a little computer shop of some sort, kinda like a residence but with a storefront-- I don't know if it was a sales place, a repair place, or what.. But I was very pleased to see on the outside of the place 3 little signs beside the door: A 'Windows' sign, a little apple sign for Mac, and... Tux the pengy! A Linux sign!

Try as I might, and I have, I have not been able to find the place again.. LOL. I don't even know what street it was on. I drove around and around a week or two ago, determined to finally stop in and check it out, but no luck.


Sasha
 
Old 05-26-2008, 12:20 PM   #19
alan_ri
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I understand,Sasha.
So,you know what you have to do next time.Write it down somewhere,street or store name,cause now you now that those kind of stores are hard to find.
About my old machine,still no news,so I wonder,is it that bad?

Last edited by alan_ri; 05-26-2008 at 02:32 PM.
 
Old 05-26-2008, 08:13 PM   #20
sonichedgehog
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I have old Microstar motherboard and similar issues, an old XP worked OK but there was a laugh a minute with DSL, and best we can do on Linux is a very slow version of Debian Lenny. Watch out for sysmontools, old HD's generally show prefails even when they're working- not to say that all failed HD's are really OK, you'd need to see it working as slave in another box.

I guess a 6 yr old windows works better on some old systems than newer Linux distros.
 
Old 05-26-2008, 10:20 PM   #21
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonichedgehog View Post
I have old Microstar motherboard and similar issues, an old XP worked OK but there was a laugh a minute with DSL, and best we can do on Linux is a very slow version of Debian Lenny. Watch out for sysmontools, old HD's generally show prefails even when they're working- not to say that all failed HD's are really OK, you'd need to see it working as slave in another box.

I guess a 6 yr old windows works better on some old systems than newer Linux distros.
I have linux on several older machines. You just need to know how and what needs to be done to the system. Legacy hardware can be tough at times with current Linux distributions. I prefer to use SlackwareŽ on older equipment but have used other distro to get a operating piece of equipment.

You just need to know the OS and what needs to be done. As for the HDD, I have no problems with older drives. If it is a failure then generally it is a hard HDD failure. Usually a IDE problem. Not worth it to repair the IDE board with cheap HDDs today. I've still got some systems with HDD MFM but don't think I'll use them, just keep them and fire them up for old times sake.
 
Old 05-27-2008, 04:24 AM   #22
alan_ri
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I agree with you onebuck,but what when we are trying to recognize a failure?That's a thing I'm having some doubts about,because when 10 different distros are showing different errors and sometimes the same distro upon reboot is showing different errors,then I wonder,what now?I know,different distros have different kernels which is a hand to my hardware,so one can expect different errors,but then again,if a hardware failure is the same for all distros,shouldn't errors be alike?How come I couldn't install 9 distros and only 1 I could.I have no doubt that good understanding of kernel itself could help in this matter.
Also,I agree that generally is a HDD failure.
 
Old 05-27-2008, 02:00 PM   #23
onebuck
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Hi,

If I suspect a HDD problem then I will run diagnostics on the piece of equipment. With the HDD I will start with the manufactures HDD diagnostic set. Easily obtained via a google of the manufacture then use their support.
 
Old 05-27-2008, 05:47 PM   #24
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Hi
If it helps with the current problem, the story of my ailing machine is on http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...rboard-640144/

It's moved on a bit- I upgraded completely to testing as part of an experiment with ipod software, later versions were required for the m4a's, and, having worked OK with stable (yes quickshadowman I agree etch is great, it's just that some hardware asks for later versions), it then went slow again. I believed that the HDD was OK despite showing prefails because it worked fine as primary in another box. (Going back to a point discussed earlier in the thread, I have also had problems with dirty/malfunctioning cd drives.)

Onebuck, I agree entirely on the use of Linux with older hardware, as I have been able to build several viable systems with 10+ year old kit. (My only reason for not using slackware is that dynamic package management is one of my favourite Linux features.) But I suspect that age and wear are not the whole problem, both for alan ri, and also in my thread noted above; and the item in the present thread that really caught my attention was the possibility that a system could run on windows but encounter problems with Linux. I'm sure there's much to learn from this and wish I knew how.

The box in question is not my oldest but it's the only one that plays this trick: when running testing (not etch, that was OK), boots quickly as far as "waiting for /dev to become fully populated"- and from then on, very slow. Here's a puzzle- on one occasion, I lost power (nothing technical, I fell over the lead) in mid install. The next boot was very fast- then I ran dpkg --configure -a to finish the job and went back to slow again. There's no clue in dmesg or ps -u root as to any process that's getting in the way.

The box I refer to is an experiment, expendable and will probably be recycled soon, Linux members have been very helpful. I'm not in a mess and I wouldn't ask for any more time to be spent, however I would like to find out for future reference whether the "/dev" problem is telling us something other than "chuck out the HDD".
 
Old 05-28-2008, 10:31 AM   #25
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrapefruiTgirl View Post
Awesome! A new machine is always fun and exciting, like a new car :-)

Have fun!!

Sasha
if only more girls thought like that

And as for how to know if a HDD is failing, run a test on it using smartctl, if your HDD is SMART capable, and it is enabled in the BIOS:
Code:
smartctl -t long /dev/hda
Remember to use you HDD device node (/dev/hda is just an example) Wait for it to finish then run:
Code:
smartctl -a /dev/hda
Then read these links to interpret the output:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Mo...ing_Technology
http://www.hdsentinel.com/smart/index.php

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 05-28-2008 at 10:39 AM.
 
Old 05-28-2008, 11:46 AM   #26
pusrob
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Hi everybody!
Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck
With the HDD I will start with the manufactures HDD diagnostic set.
Well I agree with this. The best way to run such diagnostic tools is to download and use the UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD). It is a bootable CD with tons of free system diagnostic tools (for motherboard, RAM, HDD, etc...). To be more specific, there are HDD tools provided by manufacturers, all in one place.

If there is a hardware related problem in my (and others') PC, this is the tool I use to search for the problem(s). Here is the homepage of the UBCD.

Last week I used it to find out what was the problem with my friend's PC. The symptom was: windows just didn't boot suddenly (he's still a win user ). So here's what I did:

1: check if the IDE and power cable was connected to the HDD as needed. They were, but to be sure I pulled them out and put back again.
This is a useful procedure on old hardware, since the surface of pins become oxidized after some time, resulting in high drop of conductivity. Pulling out and putting back components remove the oxidized layer, so it fixes the problem.

2: checked if the HDD was accessible: boot up Mepis live CD and mount partitions, open some random files.
Opening randomly selected files makes you sure the HDD can be accessed, and also makes clear if the OS is still there or not.

3. booted UBCD, and run the appropriate HDD and RAM diagnostic tool.
This made me sure there are no physical and hidden problems with the HDD or RAM.

After putting all info pieces together I concluded that the HDD and all the computer hardware is in good health, so it must be a software related problem. My attention went to the boot sector. I put in the Win install CD, and boot from it. Here chose the recovery console, and run the fixboot command, which rewrote the MBR. After this pull out CD, reboot, and wait. Win started up as needed.

The conclusion: without Linux and free tools it would've been much harder to find and fix the problem.


An analogy: fixing a friend's computer is much like healing his/her pet. You have to find the problem without knowing anything but symptoms seen from the outside. Neither PCs, neither pets can tell you what doesn't work as it should be, you can only rely on your knowledge and symptoms shown be PCs and pets. In all two cases you first search for all possible problems based on the symptoms, and then think what the cure can be. So next time you go and fix a PC, you can think that you're something what can be called "computer vet" .
 
Old 05-28-2008, 01:11 PM   #27
alan_ri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonichedgehog View Post
and the item in the present thread that really caught my attention was the possibility that a system could run on windows but encounter problems with Linux. I'm sure there's much to learn from this and wish I knew how.
Well it's not what it seems to be,because HD was dying and Windows that were already installed were also giving their last simptoms of life,but since I was trying to install Linux I didn't spend much time with my brother's Windows,but after I have succeed to install Backtrack I went back to Windows and guess what;blue screen came up and Backtrack was still somehow able to bring OS to the login window and after login there was still a little time to try and fix or see something before apps start to crash.Interesting thing is as I already stated,that 9 other distros failed to install,because they were unable to copy files to HD or because of some other error.and for things to be more interesting,I couldn't run a live cd because apps were crashing,but untill then I had no problems with cd-rom and it was clean because I was cleaning it regulary.So could it be that HD and cd-rom have died on the same day?
Anyway I'm still waiting for an answer from guys in the repair place.
As for SMART,I didn't check my BIOS to see if HDD was capable for it or not,but after reading online about it,I will check my BIOS on this new machine that I have now and see for all options and things you can do with BIOS,cause I never really played with it long enough.There are some interesting things about manufactures tools for checking,configuring your HDD,for example I didn't know that you can change your drive speed with some tools,of course depending on manufacturer.
 
  


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