LinuxQuestions.org
Go Job Hunting at the LQ Job Marketplace
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 12-09-2008, 05:42 PM   #1
jfm2301
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
How to prepare HD for Linux install


I'm trying to install Linux on a legacy m/c donated to a notforprofit organization. The donor had the HD wiped - it was running XP OK prior to that. I've tried xubuntu - it failed to install. I tried DSL (only have 128MB RAM) but it came up with a stream of initread errors. What do I have to do to reset the drive so DSL will install.
 
Old 12-09-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
pljvaldez
Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Somewhere on the String
Distribution: Debian Squeeze (x86)
Posts: 6,092

Rep: Reputation: 269Reputation: 269Reputation: 269
What are the specs of the machine (besides the RAM)? What exactly failed about the install of xubuntu? Sorry, just need a bit more information to help you.

In general, this is what I do: format the drive using the GParted Live CD into four partitions: /boot, /swap, /, and /home. You can get by with just / and /swap though. I use ext3 right now, just out of preference. Then I just install...
 
Old 12-09-2008, 06:59 PM   #3
thorkelljarl
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,721

Rep: Reputation: 192Reputation: 192
Old and Slow-applying to the writer, not the machine.

Yes, what are the specifications? You would have a better chance if you could find more RAM.

I might suggest another light distro, Puppy, VectorLinux? Try a Puppy live-cd and see what happens.
You can as mentioned download a Parted Magic or GPartedLiveCD or SystemRescueCD live-cd and use one of them to partition the HDD, then open a terminal and run "fdisk -l" just to check that the disk partitions.

You have, I take it, installed linux before? You did burned the CD as an ISO image file, did change the boot order in the BIOS, have done all the obvious, basic things?
The giver didn't by chance remove the harddisk and reinstall it with a bad connection?

But, if it worked before, it should work after.
 
Old 12-09-2008, 08:57 PM   #4
lakedude
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: Puppy, Sabayon
Posts: 141

Rep: Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorkelljarl View Post

I might suggest another light distro, Puppy, VectorLinux? Try a Puppy live-cd and see what happens.
I'll second the Puppy live CD suggestion.
 
Old 12-10-2008, 03:07 AM   #5
jfm2301
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks for the replies people.

Yes - I have successfully installed Linux before - xubuntu on my own legacy machine that I keep around for legacy s/w that will only run on Win98. I have Win98 on one hd and xubuntu on a second hd.

Yes - I do burn ISOs - at 2x.

Yes - boot order is OK floppy, CD, HD - booting from CD has not been an issue.

Yes - I tried SystemRescueCD - had trouble making heads or tails of what I was looking at.

System is HP Vectra P3 (SL35E) 500Mhz, 40GB, 128RAM, wired internet.

I re-tried xubuntu live from CD - v8.10 - it just hangs up with blank scree. I left it running while I was out for the evening - before I left it went to a blank screen after showing a progress bar for a while. Was still blank with ticking cursor top left after 6.5 hours.

I retried dsl - dsl-syslinux v4.4.10 - it puts out a few encouraging messages indicating progres is being made then gets into spewing ....

hda: read-int error = 0x04

and an alternating status message and a regularly occurring message about sectors - 0, 2, 4, 6, recurring. Hard to read completely they flash by too quickly - didn't find a mouse or keyboard operation that would pause it.

And I tried Puppy from the CD - it was much more successful - it did at least show me a usable desktop. I chose the default boot option, and all the default/recommended h/w options.

I tried the install icon. I chose Internal IDE or SATA HD. It found the HD - ATA ST340016A but size 37 (GB I assumed - 3GB missing then).

I carried on and was told there are no partitions and to run GParted - which I did and chose the default msdos Disklabel but it came back with "Error while setting new disklabel"

Last edited by jfm2301; 12-10-2008 at 03:09 AM. Reason: typo
 
Old 12-10-2008, 05:37 AM   #6
onebuck
Moderator
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Midwest USA, Central Illinois
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
Posts: 11,022
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364
Hi,

I would pass the parameters 'noapic' and 'apci=off' to the kernel at boot time for any of the newer distributions you are attempting to use on the older hardware. You could always roll back to earlier versions of the desired distributions for the legacy hardware. If your system BIOS doesn't support 'acpi' then your could use 'apm'.

Be sure to check the md5sum. If you downloaded the cd/dvd iso then be sure to check the md5sum for the original iso. From the cli;

Code:
~#cd /downloadisolocation      #cdromiso.iso cdromiso.md5 

~#md5sum -c cdromiso.md5       #substitute the correct name to check
If the iso md5 is OK then you should try 'CdromMd5sumsAfterBurning''.

This way you will know if the burn was OK!

This link and others are available from 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 12-10-2008, 10:55 AM   #7
thorkelljarl
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,721

Rep: Reputation: 192Reputation: 192
Curious and Clumsy

If the problem is the msdos disklabel.

I once played around with a live-cd partitioner, erased the msdos disklabel and had trouble restoring it. From memory I recall using Parted Magic and trying a few times, erasing the partition, rebooting the live-cd, and using the function for setting the disklabel before I succeeded. As I remember, the partitioning function seemed to work but didn't without a good disklabel.

You might use a live-cd of Parted Magic or GParted to check the ability of the harddisk to accept partitioning.

Setting a bootlabel must be possible in a terminal and someone else knows how.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 12-11-2008 at 07:41 AM. Reason: style and clarity
 
Old 12-10-2008, 09:00 PM   #8
lakedude
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: Puppy, Sabayon
Posts: 141

Rep: Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfm2301 View Post

System is HP Vectra P3 (SL35E) 500Mhz, 40GB, 128RAM, wired internet....It found the HD - ATA ST340016A but size 37 (GB I assumed - 3GB missing then)
This is completely normal. The usable space is always smaller than the advertised size. It think this has to do with losing some space to the formatting/file system and perhaps that whole 1k = 1000 or 1024 issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfm2301 View Post
And I tried Puppy from the CD - it was much more successful - it did at least show me a usable desktop. I chose the default boot option, and all the default/recommended h/w options.

I tried the install icon. I chose Internal IDE or SATA HD. It found the HD - ATA ST340016A but size 37 (GB I assumed - 3GB missing then).

I carried on and was told there are no partitions and to run GParted - which I did and chose the default msdos Disklabel but it came back with "Error while setting new disklabel"
Between this and your other errors I suspect the HD is not it great shape. Do you have another one you can try?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jfm2301 View Post
I retried dsl - dsl-syslinux v4.4.10 - it puts out a few encouraging messages indicating progres is being made then gets into spewing ....

hda: read-int error = 0x04
This points to the HD as well.
 
Old 12-11-2008, 01:22 AM   #9
Junior Hacker
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: North America
Distribution: Debian testing Mandriva Ubuntu
Posts: 2,687

Rep: Reputation: 59
Onebuck:

I hear they're looking for a new governor in Illinois, are you thinking of running?
I also hear the food is bad in the jails there. You might want to consider that before deciding to run.
 
Old 12-11-2008, 06:37 AM   #10
onebuck
Moderator
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Midwest USA, Central Illinois
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
Posts: 11,022
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364Reputation: 1364
Hi,

I really don't get into politics!

Our so called Gov is corrupt and finally can be ousted. The feds have been investigating his administration for a long time. He knew it but still communicated as if nothing was wrong. Talk about arrogant or just plain stupid?
 
Old 12-11-2008, 07:05 AM   #11
Junior Hacker
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: North America
Distribution: Debian testing Mandriva Ubuntu
Posts: 2,687

Rep: Reputation: 59
It's good to have a little laugh "off the topic" once in a while.
Your response appears to be more proactive than your state's governor's directives.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New motherboard old install, what should I do to prepare? kendall14 Ubuntu 3 10-06-2008 07:10 AM
how to prepare automatic linux installation a.toraby Linux - Desktop 2 03-04-2008 04:21 AM
Prepare DVD video on linux... lingeek Linux - General 1 10-28-2005 09:33 PM
How do I prepare, and then install and use, MS Office on SuSE 9.0 MatthewASmith79 Linux - Newbie 9 03-25-2004 01:55 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:37 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration