[SOLVED] Cannot boot livedvd on Gateway2000 C6-350 machine...
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Cannot boot livedvd on Gateway2000 C6-350 machine...
I just got ahold of a really old machine that is presently running Windows 95, making the machine about 20 years old. I haven't got ahold of a PS/2 mouse for it yet though. I want to install Linux on it, but I've got a bit of a dilemma. The machine (a Gateway2000 C6-350) refuses to boot from any livecd I throw at it. I have configured the BIOS to boot from live cds, but it still wont boot into the livecd. When i boot into the Win95 on the hard drive, and try to access the data from there, I get an error message that says, "Error: device not ready" or a similar message to that effect. I suspect that the cd drive is malfunctioning. I am not sure however, and I would very much appreciate your help.
Older machines can have problems with CD-RWs, so use a CD-R and burn it at the lowest speed possible.
Which distro do you intend to use on that machine? Also, do you know which hardware, especially CPU and amount of RAM, are in the machine?
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan, in what used to be the USA
Distribution: (Ex-Ubuntu due to Unity), Debian Squeeze, Bodhi w/ E-17 "Stable", MacPup525, Legacy (TeenPup) Live
First, your subject line says you are trying to boot from a DVD, not a CD, but your post says CD. Check that first. I don't even think there _were_ DVD drives back when they made that computer! I second what TobiSGD said; make sure it's a CD-R, and burn at a VERY low speed. If you have a 2x-speed drive, it will have hell trying to read a CD burned at 24x. I actually had a Gateway 2000, years ago, and if I recall, the CD drive was 1x or 2x speed, and fairly lame even at that. I _THINK_ it booted from a Live CD which was burned at only 4x, but that's a while ago, so don't quote me.
I have been told that burning speed shouldn't matter; but based on personal experience, I would disagree strenuously with that.
Next, consider that it's a 350MHz P2 processor; check to see if it meets the system requirements of the distro you have been trying out. Also, I think the GW2000 only came with about 190MB of RAM or so; maybe it was less. You may not have enough to effectively run the distro you've chosen, unless you upgrade the RAM. I have seen Win95 run VERY SLOOOOWLY on a P2 with only 32MBs of RAM. Right-click on your Windows desktop, and pull up properties, and you should see how much RAM you have. Also, I think it had like 4MB of built-in video, which means 4MB robbed from the system RAM. If you can find an old PCI video card, ANY card, it will help free up system resources.
I've found lots of "antique" peripherals at resale shops like Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. Every time I check there have been at least a few PS2 mice; sometimes bunches of them, and usually cheap. PS2 keyboards, and old CRT monitors, ditto.
For hardware that old, you might want to try using Puppy Linux; very lightweight and functional. It will want a MINIMUM of 128MBs of RAM, though. Of all the Puppy-based distros I've tried, "LegacyOS" (formerly: "TeenPup") has been GREAT for ancient boxes; I've never ever had a failure to boot with it. Alternately, I've kept an antique version of Knoppix, (3.1, I think), burned at 4x, which also generally works a treat with the very old hardware. It's based on Debian with KDE, back when KDE was a very functional, non-flashy desktop.
About your CD drive:
Have you tried booting into Windows, and reading a known good CD, like the Windows disk? If it will read it, then don't worry about the drive. Redmond doesn't want you to see anything that isn't Mickeysoft (tm)(c.) -related, and will prevent it; that's why you can't read the Linux disk from Windows. If the box won't boot from the Linux Live CD during start-up, you're not going to access the CD, period. If it's a CD-R, burned real SLOW, and it still won't boot, try checking your BIOS again, to make sure your changes were saved. That's all I can think of.
Good luck with your old iron!
Last edited by drachenchen; 05-20-2013 at 01:55 PM.
Reason: extra info
I am sorry to delay my reply, but I was preoccupied in obtaining a CD-R disc. Now I've got one (700 MB), but I have found that the Gateway 2000 machine only has 64 MB of RAM. What are some distros that can run within that limit, if any?
[To clarify, in the thread post I meant to write live DVD, not live CD, as I had attempted to boot from a live DVD-RW disc. Sorry about any confusion.]