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Old 01-08-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
tnandy
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Tennessee
Distribution: Fedora 22, CentOS
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Disable onboard video detection in favor of pci


I've got some very old hardware from which I'm trying to squeeze a bit more life. I am building this computer for use mainly as a file server. Unfortunately, I'm having some difficulty loading a modern version of Linux.

My SP97-V motherboard has onboard video. I am unable to shut this off in the BIOS. The onboard video has no monitor connected, and I have a 32MB TNT2 in a PCI slot that does have a monitor. When I try to load anything past Fedora Core 3, I can't get any graphics--I'm stuck in text mode for the install. I've tried both FC6 and CentOS, and both insist on detecting the onboard graphics and then failing because it's not good enough. If I could get the loader to bypass the onboard video and recognize the TNT2 instead of failing, I'm pretty sure this old box could sit in the corner and serve files for a few more years (and at a lot less wattage than newer CPUs!).

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Pentium I 233 MHz
SP97-V motherboard
256 MB RAM
some primitive SiS chipset onboard video
TNT2 32MB PCI
3COM 10/100 NIC
Promise Ultra 100 Drive controller with:
2 * 100 GB Hard Drives
(20 GB Hard Drive devoted entirely to Win98se.)
There's also an ISA Soundblaster Vibra 16 in there, but I don't care if there is sound under Linux. (This box may pull double duty as a Windows 98SE gamer and the sound card is there for compatibility with old DOS games.)
 
Old 01-08-2008, 11:54 AM   #2
Emerson
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Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Saint Amant, Acadiana
Distribution: Gentoo ~arch
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That's correct. 233 MHz Pentium can serve as a file server. Any GUI on this oldie seems odd though, considering it's a server. I'd use that onboard video and install some lean Linux distro, Slack or Debian for instance.
 
Old 01-08-2008, 02:43 PM   #3
tnandy
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Is there a way to do this?

So there's no boot parameter I could specify that will say "probe the second video card first" or "bypass the first video card and use the second" or "ignore the one without a monitor"?

I was hoping to use a distro I had SOME familiarity with rather than have to burn a whole new set of discs. (UGH!) I know that Xandros uses Debian as a base, but if it didn't have all the pretty GUI widgets to do all the administrative stuff, I'd be pulling my hair out. At least with the Fedora and CentOS, I've got some manuals that tell me where to go to do whatever.
 
Old 01-08-2008, 03:00 PM   #4
Emerson
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I see your point. FC suits you (but not that box of yours). In this case I can be no help, I have no experience with RPM distros and GUI installs. You may be better off starting a new thread.
Still, if you decide to go Debian way (which will suit your box) you do not need download anything but ~200 MB netinstall ISO (assuming you have an internet connection). Debian documentation is great and it's easy to get highly qualified help when needed.
 
Old 01-08-2008, 03:03 PM   #5
mrrangerman
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Have you taken a look at the motherboard, that old of a system may have a jumper to disable the onboard video.
 
Old 01-08-2008, 03:13 PM   #6
Emerson
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Forgot to add: Pentium I is an i586 class CPU, most modern distros are built for i686 meaning they will not run on this box.
 
  


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