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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 02-14-2013, 04:54 AM   #1
Herbert Pockett
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Is My Hard Drive Kaput?


I plan to install a Linux O/S on my 1993 Dell Dimension 8300 which is apparently mechanically sound but which I suspect may have a damaged hard drive. Windows XP home has finally suffered the death of deaths and I will be glad to get rid of it but I'm having trouble re-installing it from the cd-rom. Formatting takes hours and stalls at 73% every time. Does this mean that the HD is dead or is it just another typical Windows problem that won't affect Linux?
 
Old 02-14-2013, 05:07 AM   #2
kaz2100
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Hya,

Is it possible to take drive off?

cheers.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 05:24 AM   #3
H_TeXMeX_H
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Burn a copy of the UBCD, and run some of the HDD diagnostics tools on it. A SMART long test would be a good idea, as well as checking the attributes to see if any are failing.
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
 
Old 02-14-2013, 09:24 AM   #4
onebuck
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Member Response

Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbert Pockett View Post
I plan to install a Linux O/S on my 1993 Dell Dimension 8300 which is apparently mechanically sound but which I suspect may have a damaged hard drive. Windows XP home has finally suffered the death of deaths and I will be glad to get rid of it but I'm having trouble re-installing it from the cd-rom. Formatting takes hours and stalls at 73% every time. Does this mean that the HD is dead or is it just another typical Windows problem that won't affect Linux?
Yes, you should run some diagnostics on the hard drive. Please be aware the circa/age of the equipment may present a issue with using modern Gnu/Linux. If the memory is not maxed then you should look at adding as much as you can afford.

These are two good LiveCD for diagnostic work, hopefully they boot on your system;
Quote:
UBCD Ultimate Boot CD <- 'UBCD allows users to run floppy-based diagnostic tools from most CDROM drives on Intel-compatible machines, no operating system required. The cd includes many diagnostic utilities.'

SystemRescueCd <- 'is a Linux system on a bootable CD-ROM for repairing your system and recovering your data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the partitions of the hard disk. It contains a lot of system utilities (parted, partimage, fstools, ...) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools).' + 'Online-Manual
As to selecting a Gnu/Linux, you made need to roll back to earlier versions to support the legacy equipment. If the above LiveCD do boot then you are probably safe to run Gnu/Linux and just adding module/firmware for the legacy hardware.

Just do not expect much from the P4 class machine as compared to modern equipment. Be sure to use a lite desktop/DE for X. The video supports AGP 8X, be sure to select the best fit.

Here are the specs;http://www.softwaredriverdownload.co...cal_specs.html

Good luck!

Last edited by onebuck; 02-14-2013 at 09:25 AM. Reason: typo
 
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:43 PM   #5
John VV
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Quote:
I plan to install a Linux O/S on my 1993 Dell
A question ?
this windows 3.1 machine that was then upgraded to run win 95 then win 98 then win xp ???
is it even a Pentium 2 chip ( and not a 80386 chip)
is there more than 64 meg ram ( xp would have been slow on 128 or 256 meg ram )
and what size harddrive drive it in it - from 1993 ? a 3 gig maybe

Last edited by John VV; 02-14-2013 at 12:46 PM.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 06:37 AM   #6
Herbert Pockett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,


Yes, you should run some diagnostics on the hard drive. Please be aware the circa/age of the equipment may present a issue with using modern Gnu/Linux. If the memory is not maxed then you should look at adding as much as you can afford.

These are two good LiveCD for diagnostic work, hopefully they boot on your system;
As to selecting a Gnu/Linux, you made need to roll back to earlier versions to support the legacy equipment. If the above LiveCD do boot then you are probably safe to run Gnu/Linux and just adding module/firmware for the legacy hardware.

Just do not expect much from the P4 class machine as compared to modern equipment. Be sure to use a lite desktop/DE for X. The video supports AGP 8X, be sure to select the best fit.

Here are the specs;http://www.softwaredriverdownload.co...cal_specs.html

Good luck!
Hello onebuck.

Many thanks for this and my apologies for the delay in replying; I've had two very distracting days.

I don't know whether it was due to distraction, age, premature senile dementia or just congenital idiocy but I misstated the year of my PC. It's actually 2003, bought new, and not 1993, and has a gig of memory, which I intend to double whenever I can afford it. Until I can sort the windows re-installation problem out I cannot burn any CDs (as I'm forced to use my wife's Packard Bell netbook - bought contrary to my advice) so I'll have to obtain one by post, if that is possible. Is anyone offering either of those CDs by mail order?

Thanks again for your reply, which is most useful.

--
Herbert Pockett
 
Old 02-16-2013, 06:43 AM   #7
Herbert Pockett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John VV View Post
A question ?
this windows 3.1 machine that was then upgraded to run win 95 then win 98 then win xp ???
is it even a Pentium 2 chip ( and not a 80386 chip)
is there more than 64 meg ram ( xp would have been slow on 128 or 256 meg ram )
and what size harddrive drive it in it - from 1993 ? a 3 gig maybe
Hello John VV

Thank you for your reply. I misstated the year of my machine (see my reply to onebuck above), which was 2003, not 1993, and has 1 Gig of memory, hard drive is 120. My apologies to you for the confusion.

Thanks again.


--
Herbert Pockett
 
Old 02-16-2013, 08:32 AM   #8
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbert Pockett View Post
Hello onebuck.

Many thanks for this and my apologies for the delay in replying; I've had two very distracting days.

I don't know whether it was due to distraction, age, premature senile dementia or just congenital idiocy but I misstated the year of my PC. It's actually 2003, bought new, and not 1993, and has a gig of memory, which I intend to double whenever I can afford it. Until I can sort the windows re-installation problem out I cannot burn any CDs (as I'm forced to use my wife's Packard Bell netbook - bought contrary to my advice) so I'll have to obtain one by post, if that is possible. Is anyone offering either of those CDs by mail order?

Thanks again for your reply, which is most useful.

--
Herbert Pockett
That's why I posted link for your specs.
If you have the original product key label(on the back of machine) then you should be able to get a replacement Win/xp CD from Dell.

You can use;
Quote:
Pendrivelinux <- 'Pendrivelinux provides simplified information to make it easy for anyone to install, boot, and run their favorite Gnu/Linux Distribution from a portable flash drive! + Boot and run Linux from a USB flash memory'.
One way to instal a Gnu/Linux on the older Dell. I would choose a lite Gnu/Linux. As stated before you can/could have issues with legacy equipment with a newer Gnu/Linux.
Hope this helps!
 
Old 02-16-2013, 12:43 PM   #9
John VV
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ok better a 2003 p4 box

the drive
have you reformatted it to say ext3 or 4 ?

i ask because xp royally fragments up files ( even the bootloader )
i had a issue years back in that xp was booting from the beginning AND THE END of the drive

the read lever was cycling back and forth VERY FAST from the inner to the outer sections of the drive
it was VERY noisy

also seeing as the formatting is taking a very long time it is finding a lot of read errors ( bad sectors )
the drive might or might NOT be bad but just showing it's age

for example
i have a , now 13 year old ,80 gig drive that is down to 73 gig due to bad sectors .it works but i DO NOT 100% trust it

Last edited by John VV; 02-16-2013 at 12:47 PM.
 
Old 02-19-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
selfprogrammed
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Beware of hidden partitions containing a backup copy of installation OS. If you have an XP
installation cdrom then you should not need the partition, especially if it is an old OS.
However, some machines (like HP) require that partition because it contains a special version of XP just for their machine.

If you need the partition, then I highly recommend buying a new drive, and cloning the old drive to it, including the hidden partition. Then only modify the new drive. Put the old drive somewhere safe, you might need to clone that hidden partition again.
You can download drive clone tools.

Format stalls at 73%. That is where there is a bad track.

To save the drive you need to get the bad track recorded as badblocks and out of use.
Probably need the special program from the drive manufacturer.

Can run badblocks (which will also take forever, but it will log the bad sectors).
Boot Linux from a bootable cdrom.
Best help is in Linux HOWTO, and help for Linux partition tools (Parted).

Last edited by selfprogrammed; 02-19-2013 at 07:22 PM.
 
  


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