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Old 07-01-2014, 02:00 AM   #1
Gremlin022
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Cannot install Linux on old Dell - any distro!


Hi!

Tried installing the following distros on my old Dell computer and not sure why none of them will install. All of them are 32 bit x86 or 486 distros installed with a usb stick. The CD rom drive does not work.

Slackware - Got a strange blue screen a little after installation.
Debian - Got strange garbage across the top of my screen.
Ubuntu - Graphics worked fine but installer crashed.
CrunchBang - Hung and got strange garbage across the top of the screen.
TinyCore - Also hung and got strange garbage across the top of the screen.

I don't have the specs for the old computer handy--only have one monitor and have to check and write them down later. But I know it's a Pentium 4 with 512mb of RAM. I think the graphics are integrated and I know the CD ROM is broken.

Could anyone tell me what might be going on?
 
Old 07-01-2014, 02:13 AM   #2
syg00
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Crap video card - may require a driver in Windoze that alloactes more memory to the video during boot.
When you boot the USB, you should see a message like "Hit <Tab> to update kernel options" or similar. Do so, and add the following to the boot line and see if that works for at least that boot (note blank first)
Code:
 nomodeset
 
Old 07-01-2014, 12:07 PM   #3
DavidMcCann
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Obviously the graphics support is usable, since Ubuntu started. The reason why it stopped is that it needs far more than 512MB, especially when installing. Lubuntu is based on Ubuntu, but only needs 256MB to run. Don't get the live disk — that might run low on memory during the installation — but the alternative disk that just does an installation (it's also less likely to have graphics problems).
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubuntu/Alternate_ISO
 
Old 07-01-2014, 01:08 PM   #4
szboardstretcher
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http://www.netbsd.org/

NetBSD will run on it, as long as the hardware isn't borked.
 
Old 07-01-2014, 04:01 PM   #5
jefro
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Almost every video made in the last 20 years should run in vesa 2 mode.

First look at bios to see if you can increase the ram for video.

Next tell us if the installer worked correctly and only the install fails. If the installer worked then we know the distro can work.

Try safe mode options maybe. One is something like nomodeset or such. Opps, stated above.

Last edited by jefro; 07-02-2014 at 04:09 PM.
 
Old 07-01-2014, 04:08 PM   #6
Gremlin022
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Tried nomodeset and the only distro that installed was Ubuntu...sort of. Ended up with a mouse pointer and a black screen. I'll look at the BIOS and try to increase RAM from there. Also going to look at Lubuntu and NetBSD.
 
Old 07-01-2014, 04:53 PM   #7
John VV
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it is NOT a good choice for a "new to linux" user
BUT

CentOS 5.10 will install and run well on a old Pentium 4 cpu with 512 meg of ram

i Had centos 5.1,5.2,5.3,5.4 installed on a box with 512 meg before i upgraded it to 1 gig for centos 6.0
 
Old 07-02-2014, 09:13 AM   #8
Gremlin022
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Lubuntu works! Thank you for all the help. Now I have other questions.
 
  


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