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I have an old laptop I bought for $20 & thought I'd install Linux & XP in a dual-boot. It couldn't handle the MINT installer, so I thought I'd go with Debian. XP was already on there, so I ran the Debian install CD (LXDE), set up the 2nd partition, and finished installation. It rebooted once, but since then will not load Debian.
I get the GRUB menu, pick the default (not single user), it runs through all the lines of text down to the block that says "starting gnome display manager gdm" & maybe 4 lines after that (which I can't read in time)... then the screen goes blank, there's a brief flicker, the CPU thinks a bunch, and then there's usually a low-pitched BOOP at which point the CPU stops thinking & the screen just stays blank. The power is still on, but nothing happens.
Anyway, I don't know if it has an ATI card or whatever (saw something online alluding to that being a problem.) I also don't know how to use the single user mode, or how to display error messages, or do anything useful in the command line. Haha... But I'm a novice programmer & "computer literate" outside of Linux, so I can learn.
The laptop has 128MB of memory (which functions perfectly according to MemTest 86), I think a 450MHz PIII processor, 20GB HD (split between XP and Linux), a dead battery, a slightly damaged Power Supply, damaged screen... haha...
Please help. I'd really like to get Linux up and running on this laptop. Thanks in advance.
Another detail - I actually saw Debian twice - once after the post-install soft boot, and once after a soft boot from Debian. Once it was shut down, though, it hasn't loaded from the off position at all.
I reinstalled using the guided install this time (was using advanced LXDE install last time) so it installed GNOME.
Same story initially - soft boot from installer worked, soft boot from GNOME worked twice...
...there was an error after the "Waiting for /dev to be fully populated" line saying "IBM system detected; this module may corrupt your serial eeprom! Refusing to load module!" but after a couple seconds it always said "done" and moved on...
I noticed the "boop" sound whenever GNOME's login screen came up, which was interesting... I was thinking LXDE & Fluxbox may have actually loaded & wanted me to enter a password, but for some reason were unable to display the GUI...
Anyway, after turning off the computer & rebooting, it crashed when it was about to load GNOME. (Same problem, but no boop or response to login attempts.)
Tried rebooting again, and it finally worked.
3rd attempt failed.
Normally I'd assume this meant the problem was hardware-related, but Windows hasn't had any issues along these lines. I guess it could be a Power Supply issue or something & maybe Debian takes more power to boot than XP???
I'm stumped, but at least now it will boot sometimes.