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Old 11-11-2005, 01:37 PM   #1
FunWun
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Unhappy Urgent Help Me! Can't boot install any Linux Flavor on i386 currently with XP Home


Hi, I am trying to install Linux on a i386 PC which currently has XP installed, 2.8Ghz Celeron, and 512MB RAM. I don't think the current OS matters as I am trying to do this as a Linux only system, but not sure. I must be doing something wrong or missing something.

I have downloaded multiple flavors of Linux ISO's, Fedora Core 4, Mandrake 10.1, and SUSE 10.0. I have successfully created boot DVD's and/or CD's of all ISO's using Nero. The checksum for all are fine and the data verification after burn from Nero checks fine. I say DVD's and/or CD's because I have downloaded and burned both variations for those available.

I have gone into my BIOS and changed the boot order to start at the CD/DVD drive first. I then install the DVD or first CD and reboot the system. I do get to the boot prompt screen in all instances. However it never boots. I have tried to use the basic graphical install where I just press enter and the "linux" without options. I have also tried linux with the resolution, noprobe, nofb, and skipddc options in all singular and combined variations. I have even tried the linux rescue option. No help!

I get this as a result:

Loading vmlinuz....................................
Loading initrd.img...................................................................
Ready

...then the screen goes blank and the computer reboots right back to the same boot prompt screen every time. The results are the same for all variations of Linux, so I tend to suspect operator error, just not sure what?!

PLEASE HELP!!!

Last edited by FunWun; 11-11-2005 at 01:53 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2005, 02:14 PM   #2
anti.corp
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Does your PC contain a preinstalled operatin system or did you install it yourself?

You tryed to Fdisk your MBR?
 
Old 11-11-2005, 02:25 PM   #3
FunWun
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The OS is a factory installed image with the appropriate recovery partition on the main HDD. Do I really need to format the hard drive prior to booting from the Linux install disc? Not sure just asking.
 
Old 11-11-2005, 02:30 PM   #4
anti.corp
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Well sometimes they put all sorts of different 'undeletable' software in there. Usually it's for the correspondance with an restore cd and stuff like that.

You can check your partition launching fdisk from one of the install disks before pressing enter.

What kind of harddisk is it?
 
Old 11-11-2005, 02:37 PM   #5
samael26
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I agree with that. Create a linux partition with fdisk (or cfdisk).
Is it a SATA hdd ?
 
Old 11-11-2005, 03:04 PM   #6
FunWun
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Okay I have a Samsung SpinPoint SP0802N 80GB ATA HDD and here are the specs:

Features
Formatted Capacity = 80GB
Ultra ATA 133 compatible (Default : UDMA 100 Mode 5)
Fluid Dynamic Bearing Spindle Motor Technology
High Speed Dual Digital Signal Processor (DSP) Based Architecture
ATA S.M.A.R.T. Compliant
ATA Security Mode Feature Set
ATA Host Protected Area Feature Set
ATA Automatic Acoustic Management Feature Set
ATA 48-bit Address Feature Set
ATA Device Configuration Overlay Feature Set
Multi-Burst On-The-Fly Error Correction
NoiseGuard™
SilentSeek™

I have now redone my MBR and then completely zeroed out the HDD and still have the same results. Urgh!!!
 
Old 11-11-2005, 03:28 PM   #7
anti.corp
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Did you try resetting your BIOS to the default values?

You can also try to make a pair of floppy bootdisk and see how they are gonna get...
 
Old 11-11-2005, 03:47 PM   #8
FunWun
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I didn't reset the BIOS defaults. I will try that next. As for the FDD Boot Disks - I Don't even have a FDD on this system.

Which brings me to a small rant...so many utilities assume you can boot from the FDD. Now-a-days PC's have so many media ports and types but no FDD's installed anymore. We should either allow for creation of boot CD's within these utilities or have FDD's on all systems. I prefer the first option.

Sorry! Now back to my prob...I have to go to a meeting and then dinner with a client. I'll try the BIOS defaults as soon as I get back. Thanks for your help and attention!

Kind Regards
 
Old 11-11-2005, 03:47 PM   #9
syg00
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Does Knoppix boot ???.
 
Old 11-14-2005, 01:46 PM   #10
sundialsvcs
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Here is what I'd do: buy a second hard-disk drive and install it. Most computers these days have two EIDE-type disk controller chains. That means they can support four devices but usually only use two: the (one) hard-drive and a DVD-ROM. There's probably space for two more. Installing a second drive is a snap. (Honest! If you want to let your friendly computer-shop do it, let them, but don't let 'em charge you for more than one hours' labor!)

Now, the BIOS should have a selection to let you specify which drive(s) will be considered for booting. (My machines even have the idea of a "profile" where you can establish two or more complete settings-profiles and select from them at will at boot-time... effectively a BIOS-implemented "multi boot.")

Now you can have two complete operating-environments... one for Win-duhs and one for Linux. "And never the twain shall meet." When you select drive #1 on the first chain as the boot-volume, you've got Windows. When you select drive #2, you've got Linux.

The two OSes can, of course, see one another, but they simply ignore each other. Win-duhs doesn't know how to access anyone else's drives, and you can instruct Linux not to. You can work with Linux in complete freedom, without doing any harm whatsoever to your XP Home configuration.

I recently cabbaged a disk-drive from a friend's old "klunker" and used it to put three hard-drives in a single box. Now I have... the primary Linux system-residence volume; the primary data-storage and backup volume; and the "klunker" drive just to experiment with. Build a new Linux system on that separate volume, shutdown and reboot selecting that volume, and ... presto, fast-and-easy testing with no "fun and games." If the new system checks out, either mirror the completed volume (perhaps using a removable drive to transport the data), or simply unplug it from one machine and plug it into another.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-14-2005 at 01:49 PM.
 
Old 11-14-2005, 02:28 PM   #11
titopoquito
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I would first try to boot from another Linux distro. For example Knoppix. like syg00 suggested. Or slackware, just to be sure that it boots at all. Slackware comes with no graphical installer -- when I first tried to install Linux I never got beyond the graphical part, it crashed each time. If in doubt if your computer is at all able to boot a Linux distro download Slackware CD1 or any other CLI based Live CD.

Just my 2 cents.
 
  


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