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Old 05-12-2006, 01:28 PM   #1
iamforgiven
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Registered: Feb 2005
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I would like to install any linux distro to my HP Pavilion a1129n


I bought my computer several months ago and posted here for help but did not get too far. Hopefully there are more people with a similar problem now. One last stab....

Problem: Linux will not install properly on my HP Pavilion a1129n.

Hardware: AMD Athlon 64 3400+
1.12 GB RAM
Samsung 200 GB SATA HD
Seagate 160 GB IDE with 4 Linux Partitions (MEPIS, SUSE, Mandriva, and one I forget) from my old computer
ASUS DVD
HP DVD burner with Lightscribe
an external ADS USB drive with Maxtor 60 GB HD
Logitech cordless USB mouse
HP PS2 keyboard
HP 17" LCD monitor
Realtek 8139 NIC
On board Legacy sound and ATI video (128 MB)
The BIOS is proprietory HP.

The only Linux CDs that will boot without problem are Puppy and DSL.

I can get MEPIS CD to boot if I use the following commands:
apm=power-off vga=normal nomce acpi=off pnpbios=off idc=nodma xdrvr=vesa. This will allow me to install MEPIS on my IDE drive, but not SATA which does not even show as a drive.

Without my SATA drive and no USB support, I have trouble accessing files I need from Windows.

BTW, The OS that comes with it is Windows XP Media Center Edition running on the SATA drive that came with it. Of course my IDE drive with Linux partitions does not show in Windows.

I want to take advantage of the 64 bit processor and use Linux as my primary OS.

I have used just about every distro at one time or other.

Right now I can run any distro inside Windows using VMWare, but that sucks, too.

I contacted HP and they said that the computer was made to run with Windows XP MCE and that they do not support running Linux on the computer. Since I bought it to run Linux on I am more than frustrated.

All other distro install CDs run to a point before either giving a kernel panic error or hanging.

I have tried to use various monitors, input devices, disconnecting drives, etc.

It is a mystery to me why Damn Small and Puppy will work fine and no others will.

Frustrated and mystified.
 
Old 05-12-2006, 01:35 PM   #2
burntfuse
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I guess it's possible that few distros have support for your SATA host (I wouldn't know)... What kernel panics do you get?
 
Old 05-12-2006, 01:38 PM   #3
pljvaldez
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You might boot with Damn Small and/or Puppy and see if you can see what modules are being used. Try using modprobe -l, lspci, and dmesg to see what hardware modules are being loaded. Maybe that will help you out. It seems like a pretty newish machine, so you might try the Ubuntu testing edition (Dapper, due out next month). Maybe it has the kernel modules you need. I think this is one of those cases of finding the right kernel for your machine...

Also, you might be able to find in the Bios an option to make the SATA drive act like a PATA (IDE) drive. Sometimes this can fix the problems...
 
Old 05-15-2006, 03:36 PM   #4
iamforgiven
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I am not sure what information you want re: kernel panic. I just gives that error and halts booting.

I made an omission in my original post. I also must include nousb with the boot up parameters for MEPIS. Otherwise it stalls when loading usb support.

I will try the modprobe with puppy or DSL and see what it shows.

I have installed MEPIS and it works fine, but it will not load without the nousb parameter which means no auxiliary drives, thumbdrives, camera or printer.

I will look into Dapper. I have a version of it. Also MEPIS is switching to a Ubuntu base from Debian because it will detect hardware better. This seems to be an admission from MEPIS that it does not detect hardware as well as it might.

Thanks for your input. I am still mystified with HP's response because I have since read that they are increasing their support for Linux, except not in my case.
 
Old 06-04-2006, 09:21 PM   #5
Illbay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamforgiven
Problem: Linux will not install properly on my HP Pavilion a1129n.
If it helps, I recently installed Fedora Core 5 on my HP Media Center PC, with no problems whatsoever. However, I am having intermittent problems with the sound card recognition.

Fedora IS rather bleeding edge, however.

Have you tried Ubuntu?
 
Old 06-06-2006, 11:52 PM   #6
Old_Fogie
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be cool get slack. supports sata.
 
Old 07-14-2006, 12:04 PM   #7
iamforgiven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illbay
If it helps, I recently installed Fedora Core 5 on my HP Media Center PC, with no problems whatsoever. However, I am having intermittent problems with the sound card recognition.

Fedora IS rather bleeding edge, however.

Have you tried Ubuntu?
I can't get the ubuntu disk to boot on my system. It does not like my setup. I think the problem is with my video setup. I have tried to use vga=normal and xdrvr=vesa which works for MEPIS, but not ubuntu --- yet.

The video is onboard and uses ATI Radeon drivers, but for some reason Linux dies not like it. With Fedora Core 5 or 6 I get a warning that my input is out of range on my HP LCD monitor.

When I first got my system and first posted here the versions of Linux generally did not recognize the SATA drive. Six months later almost all of them are able to read the SATA drive. The problem is that I have been having enough problems with Linux installations that I have not wanted to install Linux onto my SATA drive which holds Windows and all of my data files for fear of losing everything. HP in their wisdom did not provide me with XP disks and it must re-install Windows from a partitiopn on the SATA drive.

I prefer to install Linux on my IDE drive for that reason. It is 160 GB and is empty.

I can boot MEPIS 3.4-3 and 6.0 RC 2 with no problem and everything works just the way I want, usb, SATA, etc. The problem is that once I install MEPIS it asks for a root password and then refuses to set the password, saying password cannot be set. I have tried everything under the sun from four letters to a 9 letter alphanumeric and it won't accept anything.

I am also able to boot Suse and Mandriva disks but both say the rpm package cannot be found on the disk. Strange to get the same error message with each. I have done disk checks and they says the disk has no errors. Even so, I have redownloaded and reburned the ISOs with the same result. I have tried a minimum install with each as well.

I did get a Linux distro to install and work, but found it to be too bare bones. It was StartCom Linux. Most of the packages were out of date and the package updating was less than impressive.

I remain frustrated. I am annoyed with HP for not supporting Linux on this hardware and am annoyed that I cannot use my favorite OS. Whenever I use Windows it grates on me.

Thanks for your suggestions. I am hoping that ubuntu will eventually work. I like Suse and Fedora as far as rpm based distros go, but prefer Debian. I have used Mepis the longest and find it to be the most complete distro for my purposes. I went through dependency hell with Mandrake for a year before I discovered Debian. The only rpm based distro to come close is Suse for my purposes. Although I have not used Fedora since Core 2.
 
Old 08-09-2006, 09:21 PM   #8
OSKwest
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Location: Denver, CO, US
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HP Pavillion a1200Y

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamforgiven
I bought my computer several months ago and posted here for help but did not get too far. Hopefully there are more people with a similar problem now. One last stab....

Problem: Linux will not install properly on my HP Pavilion a1129n.
...

I contacted HP and they said that the computer was made to run with Windows XP MCE and that they do not support running Linux on the computer. Since I bought it to run Linux on I am more than frustrated.

...

It is a mystery to me why Damn Small and Puppy will work fine and no others will.

Frustrated and mystified.
I also purchased an HP Pavillon a1200y last month, tried to install Linux and failed. I also contacted HP and was told that HP would only support windows.

I tried RedHat 9, FC 4 and Suse. The install would go fine until the restart after the install. It would get so far and hang. Checked the msgs file in /var and found various references to the SATA drive, so that was obviously the hang up. The interesting thing about that was that I read the spec on SATA, and the spec seemed to claim that the SATA protocol should be transparent to any driver using the PATA protocol.

I would like to discuss this with that author. I don't think so.

For reference, the Sysadmin at the school where I teach gave me a copy of Knoppix 3.6. It booted fine. All of the functions seemed to work. It is a minimal distro and I'm still trying to get one of the majors to work. Until then it's a windows box working as a scanner/printer server.

Actually, I'm a bit of an optimist and think the drivers will catch up fairly soon.

Incidentally, there is a utility on your drive that will dump the system backup partition onto a DVD. Do this (It will only run once) and you can freely repartition the disk without fear.

I had to do a reinstall from this backup DVD. It worked fine.

Take care,
 
Old 08-09-2006, 11:00 PM   #9
Old_Fogie
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Maybe you can try slackware? Pat put's a bunch of kernels and one is a sata kernel and it works really well, tho my pc that has sata is not "new".

You tell the slackware installer that you want sata kernel maybe, 3 steps into the installation if that.
 
Old 08-09-2006, 11:40 PM   #10
OSKwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Fogie
Maybe you can try slackware? Pat put's a bunch of kernels and one is a sata kernel and it works really well, tho my pc that has sata is not "new".

You tell the slackware installer that you want sata kernel maybe, 3 steps into the installation if that.

Thanks. I have bit torrent going for it now. I appreciate the thought.
 
Old 08-10-2006, 12:01 AM   #11
rickh
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Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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It always intrigues me to see people referring to Ubuntu, Mepis, etc, as "Debian," like they really were Debian. The best you could say about them is that they're Debian Lite. I don't know your hardware specifically, but I've installed Etch on a half dozen computers in the last few months ... laptops, towers, old, new, sata drives, ide drives, wireless built-in and PMCIA, you name it, with no problems whatsoever. I'll grant you that I know the Debian install process very well, but it sure seems easy to me.

The only other distro I would consider is Slackware, and if that works for you, great. If it doesn't, try the real thing.
 
Old 08-10-2006, 09:22 AM   #12
iamforgiven
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Distribution: MEPIS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OSKwest
I also purchased an HP Pavillon a1200y last month, tried to install Linux and failed. I also contacted HP and was told that HP would only support windows.

I tried RedHat 9, FC 4 and Suse. The install would go fine until the restart after the install. It would get so far and hang. Checked the msgs file in /var and found various references to the SATA drive, so that was obviously the hang up. The interesting thing about that was that I read the spec on SATA, and the spec seemed to claim that the SATA protocol should be transparent to any driver using the PATA protocol.

I would like to discuss this with that author. I don't think so.

For reference, the Sysadmin at the school where I teach gave me a copy of Knoppix 3.6. It booted fine. All of the functions seemed to work. It is a minimal distro and I'm still trying to get one of the majors to work. Until then it's a windows box working as a scanner/printer server.

Actually, I'm a bit of an optimist and think the drivers will catch up fairly soon.

Incidentally, there is a utility on your drive that will dump the system backup partition onto a DVD. Do this (It will only run once) and you can freely repartition the disk without fear.

I had to do a reinstall from this backup DVD. It worked fine.

Take care,
I have had success with MEPIS. Persistence pays off. In fact, I am using Linux now on the above machine.

I have learned a few things along the way. I did not use the SATA drive, mainly because HP in their wisdom did not give me Windows disks and everything is run from a second partition with the install software on the first partition. In other words, I did not want to risk losing my Windows OS in case things messed up. I hope HP starts giving DVDs with the software on it in the future.

I installed a 160 GB IDE drive and partitioned it with qtparted. I booted up MEPIS 3.4-3 and chose the VESA option. It booted fine and I installed MEPIS. It loaded but ran fast. I slowed down the keyboard to avoid repeats, etc. The clock ran at twice the speed. Movies and music ran in fast forward.

I now boot with the following added to grub: noapic irqpoll. Everything works just fine.

I tried installing other distros as well. SUSE disk will not boot. Fedora Core 6 gives a kernel panic. Ubuntu hangs. Mandriva installs but hangs when booting.

There is more wrong with the hardware than just the SATA drive. The HP LCD monitor gives problems with some distros saying to change the settings to what they already are set at. The booting process continues, but I can't see a thing. I tried hooking it up to a CRT monitor and found that the distro works with it, but not the LCD.

I get several irq error messages on most distros. The BIOS is proprietary so that could be the source of the problems. I can get into the BIOS and could probably sort these out if I had a mind to. But, I am happy now that I can run Linux.

I will try to install other distros to this machine just for the challenge, but not over the summer. The weather is too good and I would rather be outside.

I have found that problems that I had initially started to sort themselves out as distros got updated and the equipment became older and more common.

Good luck!
 
Old 03-14-2008, 09:45 AM   #13
zaivala
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I have an HP Pavilion a1020n, essentially the same computer but with an Intel processor. I have been having this same problem, and am hoping for a solution.

The problem appears to me to be in the HP software/hardware, and there SHOULD be something in Setup to tweak.

What is happening to me is that I can install Linux just fine, but my computer detects that the MBR has been modified (duh, it's the bootloader) and (1) wipes the MBR and (2) detects that I no longer have my original Registry, and changes the Registry back and informs me to load the setup disks. This means I have to add all the crap back in that I had deleted (like AOL and Norton) and that my Registry entries for all software I have loaded since Setup have been deleted.

Loads of fun. I can get Windows back the way I want it, and have a perfectly good installation of Linux in the proper partition... but no bootloader.

There should be some switch or switches in Setup (during bootup) that can turn this monitoring software off.

Moss
 
  


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