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Old 01-30-2014, 03:02 AM   #1
Fuzzy Klein
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Angry Fedora refuses to format a DVD-RW


I'm currently running Fedora on my laptop. I think it's really cool. It's the first distribution I've tried, though, & a friend of mine told me that Ubuntu is even better. So I downloaded an .iso file & tried to burn it to a DVD-RW. I did this by right-clicking on the file, choosing "Open With ..." and then choosing "Disk Image Writer." The Disks tools comes up and a Dialog opens with a popup menu offering me a list of targets. The DVD-RW is in the list, but it is dimmed & I can't select it. So I right-clicked the DVD-RW in the Files program and tried to Format it, first without overwriting all the data &, when that failed, I tried to overwrite the data. Nothing happens at this point, & the contents of the DVD-RW remain untouched.

Anybody know anything about this?
 
Old 01-30-2014, 03:19 AM   #2
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
I'm currently running Fedora on my laptop. I think it's really cool. It's the first distribution I've tried, though, & a friend of mine told me that Ubuntu is even better.
you'll find that there is a proliferation of Linux distros, some very much alike, others very different - and they all have their particular gains and pains. There's no other way than trying a few before you can tell which one is yours.
Of course, Fedora and Ubuntu are popular and widespread; so is Debian, which is a bit more conventional and "down to the basics".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
So I downloaded an .iso file & tried to burn it to a DVD-RW. I did this by right-clicking on the file, choosing "Open With ..." and then choosing "Disk Image Writer."
Sounds like the right thing to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
The Disks tools comes up and a Dialog opens with a popup menu offering me a list of targets. The DVD-RW is in the list, but it is dimmed & I can't select it. So I right-clicked the DVD-RW in the Files program and tried to Format it, first without overwriting all the data &, when that failed, I tried to overwrite the data. Nothing happens at this point, & the contents of the DVD-RW remain untouched.
CD-RWs and DVD-RW don't need formatting (although you can do that, but this is a very special way of using them), but when the disc has been used before, i.e. already contains data, you have to erase it before writing another ISO image to it. Usually a "quick" erase is sufficient; that's a process that should take about a minute or less, as opposed to a "full" or "complete" erase which takes as much time as writing the disc to its full capacity.

[X] Doc CPU
 
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:37 AM   #3
Fuzzy Klein
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Must just be a bad DVD. I tried to drag its contents to the Trash just now & a Dialog told me it's a Read-Only file system. Now I'm all out of disks but I have a Flash Drive so I'm gonna Google some more about making one of those into a startup disk I guess.
 
Old 01-30-2014, 12:34 PM   #4
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
Must just be a bad DVD. I tried to drag its contents to the Trash
what the hell are you doing??
No, when I said "erase" I didn't mean delete the files on it. I meant to open up your favorite CD/DVD burning software, whatever Fedora might offer (I'd probably use Brasero) and invoke this program's command for erasing a rewritable disc.

Sorry, I didn't even think I could be so misunderstood - for me, this is all so obvious that I sometimes don't try to think like a layman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
a Dialog told me it's a Read-Only file system.
Perfectly right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
Now I'm all out of disks
I don't think so, you still have the one you started with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
but I have a Flash Drive so I'm gonna Google some more about making one of those into a startup disk I guess.
You can try that, too. If it works, it's a lot more convenient to use than a CD or DVD.

[X] Doc CPU
 
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:59 PM   #5
Fuzzy Klein
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Thanks for your help, Doc. I appreciate it. I installed Brasero & it's more than happy to erase the disk & burn images to it. If I ever find an Ubuntu image that will actually work that'll be great, too. LOL I've tried 4 so far. If they have "i386" in the filename, they are completely ignored, which makes sense since I have a 64-bit processor. When I download the 64-bit image from ubuntu.com it has "amd64" in the filename & apparently an attempt is made to boot from it, but it only makes my screen look like the attached picture.

This same thing happened when a friend of mine tried to make an install disc of the same image for me using his Windows 8 computer, so I think the problem may just be that while my processor is 64-bit it's an Intel & not an AMD. I dunno. I'm not too worried about it except that another friend of mine swears up & down that Ubuntu is better than Fedora because it has Flash & MP3 support built-in right out of the "box." Lack of Flash & MP3 support in Fedora is kind of a bummer but I have various other gadgets & even another laptop to watch YouTube & listen to songs on, so it's not really that big a deal. I suppose I'll keep trying now that the disc image burning process is up & running, but I'm not in that big a hurry or anything.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:13 AM   #6
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
I installed Brasero ...
you didn't have to; I just mentioned it as an example. I would've used it because it comes preinstalled on my distro (and many others that use the Gnome desktop). But if it worked for you, it's okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
If I ever find an Ubuntu image that will actually work that'll be great, too.
If it's that difficult, you may have a very exotic computer, because usually these pre-configured Ubuntu Live CDs work like a charm. Or maybe you have one of those recent PCs with a UEFI BIOS? A few days ago, a newly purchased machine like that cost me nerves, too: I tried five different Linux Live CDs and/or USBs, and the Windows XP setup CD. All the Linuxes either stalled at a blank screen during boot, or they kept printing error messages. Only the Windows CD booted, but then the setup complained that it could find no HDD to install to (which I should've expected, because XP can't deal with native SATA).
Only after two evenings spent on that challenge I got a hint from somebody. Pursuing that hint, I found a mysterious BIOS option labeled "SATA/IDE Combined Mode", which I couldn't find any solid information about. I changed this to "Disabled" - and suddenly all my Linux USBs worked fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
If they have "i386" in the filename, they are completely ignored, which makes sense since I have a 64-bit processor.
That's not logical. All 64bit systems are backward compatible to 32bit. So you can install a traditional 32bit OS on a 64bit machine any time - you just can't use the machine to its full capacity then. A bit like a car which can't shift into sixth gear, but is stuck in fifth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
When I download the 64-bit image from ubuntu.com it has "amd64" in the filename & apparently an attempt is made to boot from it, but it only makes my screen look like the attached picture.
Wow, that looks weird. Looks like it puts your monitor into a display mode it doesn't support. But this happens on purpose for a short while during boot; some time ago the Ubuntu guys decided just to blank the screen by setting inappropriate parameters instead of showing boot messages flashing by. Some monitor, however, don't go blank, but instead show a garbled display.
By the end of the boot process (which can take a bit longer with Live systems) the screen is restored to normal. How long did you wait? Give it a minute or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
This same thing happened when a friend of mine tried to make an install disc of the same image for me using his Windows 8 computer, so I think the problem may just be that while my processor is 64-bit it's an Intel & not an AMD.
Actually, the "amd" in the names of 64bit images is misleading, because there's no "intel" counterpart. The "amd" in the name is meant to indicate that this image is intended to work "on AMD CPUs, too".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
I dunno. I'm not too worried about it except that another friend of mine swears up & down that Ubuntu is better than Fedora because it has Flash & MP3 support built-in right out of the "box." Lack of Flash & MP3 support in Fedora is kind of a bummer but I have various other gadgets & even another laptop to watch YouTube & listen to songs on, so it's not really that big a deal. I suppose I'll keep trying now that the disc image burning process is up & running, but I'm not in that big a hurry or anything.
If you like Flash and generous multimedia capabilities included in the default install, you might like Linux Mint, which is spin-off of Ubuntu. My Favorite over the last two or three years. For desktop PCs, anyway. For server machines I prefer a pure and clean Debian.

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 01-31-2014, 11:52 AM   #7
rknichols
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc CPU View Post
Actually, the "amd" in the names of 64bit images is misleading, because there's no "intel" counterpart. The "amd" in the name is meant to indicate that this image is intended to work "on AMD CPUs, too".
The x86-64 is sometimes referred to as "amd64" because it was originally developed by AMD. Intel does have its own IA-64 "Itanium" architecture, but that never gain a foothold in the desktop market because x86-64 had much better downward compatibility with the older 32-bit x86 instruction set. You can read about IA-64 on Wikipedia.
 
Old 01-31-2014, 12:30 PM   #8
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknichols View Post
The x86-64 is sometimes referred to as "amd64" because it was originally developed by AMD.
ah, interesting, thank you. I didn't know, but that explains it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknichols View Post
Intel does have its own IA-64 "Itanium" architecture
Yes, but that's an entirely different processor family, not a brother of the Intel CPUs used on the mass market, but rather a cousin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknichols View Post
but that never gain a foothold in the desktop market because x86-64 had much better downward compatibility with the older 32-bit x86 instruction set.
Correct. IA64 is targeted at the server and high-performance sector, not at the consumer market and desktop PCs.

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 01-31-2014, 02:25 PM   #9
rknichols
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc CPU View Post
Correct. IA64 is targeted at the server and high-performance sector, not at the consumer market and desktop PCs.
That's a case of market forces running counter to Intel's hopes for that architecture. Intel was dragged kicking and screaming into supporting AMD's x86-64 instruction set by Microsoft's refusal to support IA64 in MS-Windows.
 
Old 02-01-2014, 03:27 AM   #10
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknichols View Post
That's a case of market forces running counter to Intel's hopes for that architecture. Intel was dragged kicking and screaming into supporting AMD's x86-64 instruction set by Microsoft's refusal to support IA64 in MS-Windows.
a wise decision on Microsoft's behalf. Non-typical. ;-)

Wise because for the mass market, most of today's PCs are highly oversized in terms of power. I'm convinced that more than 90% of the average PC users leave more than 90% of the resources of their PC unused. Under this assumption, pushing a yet more powerful CPU family into the mass market would be sheer nonsense.

With a certain relief I notice that in recent years, the computer industry has finally picked up that trend, too. Along with their full-featured flagships they're offering smaller, low-power PCs again, with a power consumption somewhere around 30W or less, driven by Intel Celerons or Atoms, or by AMD E350's, or something of that caliber.

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 02-01-2014, 11:45 AM   #11
Fuzzy Klein
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Talking

Well, I tried 3 different versions of Ubuntu yesterday & every one of them gave me a messed up screen like the one I took a picture of. I suppose it must be something to do with my monitor but I can't for the life of me imagine what. I've had this laptop for almost a year if not a year & NOTHING has made its screen act like that to date. So, finally, I figured if Ubuntu was such a great distribution then its makers would be a little better at making an .iso image than they evidently are. I know for a fact that my disc-burning process is on track (thanks again, Doc) because I also burned a couple of 32-bit images & put them in an old laptop & they worked. (That laptop has a bad hard drive in it, though, so installing them did not work.)

So I got Mint. And so far it's pretty freakin' awesome. I opened up a terminal & asked if it had the gcc compiler & it said, "Sure!" I asked if it had g++ & it said, "No, don't have that but if you say please I'll get it for ya!" So I said please & got it. With Fedora I had to have Google find me the packages & instructions, etc. And I've spent a week Googling a (free) way to get Fedora to play a .mp3 file without success. (I did finally get Flash to work. Apparently the first time I tried there was some kind of system conflict because it kept freezing Firefox.) Banshee played me a song in .mp3 format the first time I tried. (I'm not emotionally attached to a particular file format but .flac files are SO much bigger!) And Flash works without a hiccup.

I'll probably try some others out eventually but in the meantime I have this thing called "stuff to do." Maybe I'll try Ubuntu again someday just to see if they got their stuff together.
 
Old 02-01-2014, 12:19 PM   #12
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
Well, I tried 3 different versions of Ubuntu yesterday & every one of them gave me a messed up screen like the one I took a picture of.
you didn't get back to my curious question: Did you have the patience to give the boot process a minute or two? If so, did the scrambled image recover? From what you report, I guess no, but then I don't know if you lost patience and interrupted in mid-air.

Anyway, I'm pleased to hear that you got Mint running and made friends with it. Which desktop did you choose, MATE or Cinnamon? For me, MATE was the main reason to switch to Mint after I had used Ubuntu up to version 10.10 (Maverick), because it preserves the look & feel of the Gnome desktop that I became fond of over the years (and I couldn't get friendly with Gnome 3 being used in Ubuntu, much less Unity). However, in Mint 12 (Lisa) the MATE desktop still had severe childhood diseases, but meanwhile it seems grown-up.

In case you decide to stay with Mint, I've got one more advice from a Mint user: You might be tempted to download and install the latest version (which is 16, "Petra" at the moment). Do yourself a favor and go back to Mint 13 (Maya). You say that sounds silly? Yea, maybe does. But Mint has extremely short support terms. Mint 16 was realeased in November last year, but its support ends as soon as July 2014 - and then you've got to go through the hassle of upgrading or re-installing to Mint 17.

There's a better way than that. Install Mint 13, which is an LTS (Long Term Support) release. It is supported and updated until 2017. Once you installed it, you run one big update orgy, and you're up to date. And continuous updates make sure you stay up to date until 2017.

There's one thing, however, you have to do manually when you start from Mint 13. It still refers to software sources from the medibuntu project, which has been dumped meanwhile. So you've got to go into your software sources and delete all references to medibuntu, because otherwise every attempt to check for updates will trigger an error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
So I got Mint. And so far it's pretty freakin' awesome. I opened up a terminal & asked if it had the gcc compiler & it said, "Sure!" I asked if it had g++ & it said, "No, don't have that but if you say please I'll get it for ya!" So I said please & got it.
What does "please" mean in Linux speak? - "sudo". ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
Banshee played me a song in .mp3 format the first time I tried. (I'm not emotionally attached to a particular file format but .flac files are SO much bigger!) And Flash works without a hiccup.
I discarded Banshee entirely, as I prefer VLC as my primary audio and video player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Klein View Post
I'll probably try some others out eventually but in the meantime I have this thing called "stuff to do." Maybe I'll try Ubuntu again someday just to see if they got their stuff together.
May the force be with you. :-)

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 02-01-2014, 01:38 PM   #13
Fuzzy Klein
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Oh, yeah. I put the Ubuntu 64-bit disc in, let it put that weird stuff on my screen, & then I went 2 rounds with Batman on the PlayStation just to be sure. Had to be at least 15 minutes. Then, just out of curiosity, I hit the Enter key, and the gobbledy-gook changed colors. :O Hit it again & the colors changed a little bit more. So I think it's some kind of display issue & the disc was trying to tell me something, but who has time for all that? LOL
 
Old 02-01-2014, 01:42 PM   #14
Fuzzy Klein
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I loaded Mint 16. So I guess I'll be re-installing either 13 now or 17 later or, for that matter, 13 later. Any way you look at it I'm gonna have to re-install so I guess I'll try this out for a while. A friend of mine recommended PCLinuxOS today so I downloaded it & guess what? My laptop just ignored the DVD at boot time. I didn't notice Brasero specifically writing Track 1 either so I guess they are pretty bad at making boot CD's too, I dunno.
 
Old 02-01-2014, 01:46 PM   #15
Fuzzy Klein
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Got 13 on the way for future reference. Thanks for the tips.
 
  


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