Originally Posted by gael33
I have a HP Compaq dx2250 with very average specs (nothing wierd, nothing special). I have tried Ubuntu 8.10, 9.04 and 9.10, Maldriva-One 2010 and PClinuxOS and none of them recognize my HP 1040 DVD-RW. My DVD-ROM is recognized and found, as is my hdd ... all I want is a distro that will see, recognize make it available for me to burn CD's and DVD's.
Question; is there a distro that will find all my hardware ... or do I have to elliminate them one at a time?
CD/DVD writing is usually done with a separate program rather than built into the Linux operating system. Until recently even Windows did not support CD/DVD writing. Windows XP added some drag-and-drop CD writing features and Vista / Windows 7 extended those to support DVD writing.
I use the Slackware distro that includes KDE and a utility called "K3B" for CD/DVD recording. There is also a command called "cdrecord" that you can use from a terminal shell prompt. There are other Linux programs for burning discs.
Some hardware is more difficult or impossible to get working with Linux. A CD/DVD drive is usually not a problem. What might be a problem is the SATA or IDE controller used to connect the drives. Disk controllers that have RAID features can be more of a problem.
You can find out exactly what hardware is in the computer using this command.
If you put the results in a file and post it, that will help with troubleshooting the problem.
lspci > config.txt
Also, some combined IDE / SATA chips do not work with Linux when you try to configure them to support both IDE and SATA. You might have to change the disk controller to use a "legacy" configuration in order for it to work.
The device name assigned you your optical drive might not be what you expect. It can be a lot of different things.
That depends partly on the distro and partly on exactly how the disk controller chip is detected by Linux. Newer SATA chips are often detected as SCSI controllers and have names like "/dev/sr0" for the optical drives.
What I suggest is that you pick one distro and then ask for help getting the hardware working. You will need to post more details about what isn't working, what you expect to see, and the error messages. Saying that something "doesn't work" is not enough information for anyone to help you solve the problem. Unless someone has your exact laptop model, even knowing that may not be too useful.
I'll be happy to help you with Slackware, and I know that there are lots of people familiar with Ubuntu. If neither of those supports your hardware it's unlikely that some other distro will. Ubuntu and Slackware both use up to date Linux drivers.
There are lots of good Linux distros and which one is best depends on what you want from the distro. Ubuntu is probably the easiest to install if everything works right. Slackware requires a bit more work to install and some reading but it may be easier to figure out how to fix problems.
Fedora and Debian are other good distros that you may like. In some respects the distro that you are familiar with is the "best" distro. I wouldn't be unhappy using any of the ones I mentioned plus many more. They all support similar hardware because they are all based on the same Linux kernel and drivers. A few devices may have better or worse support on some distros but that changes with every new version of every distro.