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Old 09-01-2007, 11:21 PM   #1
Teckno
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Unhappy Imposable to install Linux on a GX100 it seems


The problem:
i got an old computer I want to setup with Linux. However, when I install anything everything goes great until it starts installing the base system. At that point one of two things happen: most commonly seemingly random packages show up as corrupted (the files that come up with errors are different with each install), or the system will just lock up. No matter what distro I try, the same thing happens

The distros Ive tried:
Ubuntu 7.04 live and alt
Kubuntu 7.04 alt
Xubuntu 7.04 alt
Xubuntu 6.10 live
Damn Small Linux 3.4
Vector 5.8 std live and install
Slackware 12.0
Zenwalk 4.6.1
OpenSuse 10.2
Mempis 6.5.02
Linux Mint
Debian

With each distro I:
Downloaded ISO
Verified MD5
Burned and verified
Booted old computer with disc
Used the discs self checker
Went through the install setup (awnsered the questions, formated the drive etc.)
Curse at it when I hit the problem
restart
try different boot options
rinse and repeat, endlessly...

The Computer:
Dell OptiPlex GX100
700Mhz Celeron
512MB ram
Several different hard drives, currently a WD 20g Pata
Several different CD Drives

and as you have probably guessed, im running low on CDs
 
Old 09-01-2007, 11:40 PM   #2
AceofSpades19
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what is the problem, we can't help you if you don't tell us the problem
 
Old 09-02-2007, 12:53 AM   #3
Teckno
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I did at the top of the post.

No matter what distro or options I use, when it starts to install the base system there is always bunch of (seamanly) random packages that show up as corrupted.
The error message is always some variant of "ERROR BlahDeBlah-6.5.2.wtf is invalid or corrupted [Abort] [Retry] [Ignore]"

when I hit retry the same package will have the same error, the list of corrupted packages only changes what I reboot the computer and restart the whole install process.

Ignore lets it continue on, but so far the one or two time I got to finish the install (and the installer didn't lock up) I was left with a completely broken and useless installation.

btw, i tried net installs and got the same problem

Live CDs work fine though I need the vesa driver since its using a crappy Riva TNT2
 
Old 09-02-2007, 01:33 AM   #4
AceofSpades19
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clean the cdrom drive lately?
 
Old 09-02-2007, 01:46 AM   #5
2damncommon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teckno View Post
The distros Ive tried:
Ubuntu 7.04 live and alt
Kubuntu 7.04 alt
Xubuntu 7.04 alt
Xubuntu 6.10 live
Damn Small Linux 3.4
Vector 5.8 std live and install
Slackware 12.0
Zenwalk 4.6.1
OpenSuse 10.2
Mempis 6.5.02
Linux Mint
Debian
Can I ask why you tried distribution after distribution after distribution after seeing the error you got?
 
Old 09-02-2007, 07:54 AM   #6
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon View Post
Can I ask why you tried distribution after distribution after distribution after seeing the error you got?
Amen--after having issues with just TWO distros, I would be thinking hardware issues.
CD needs cleaning?
check memory
run diagnostics on the hard drive
clean the computer (including unplugging and re-plugging all connectors--but not the CPU)
 
Old 09-02-2007, 12:50 PM   #7
Teckno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon View Post
Can I ask why you tried distribution after distribution after distribution after seeing the error you got?
I was thinking it could have been a hardware support thing, like maybe I needed the 2.4 kernel instead of the 2.6 kernel, or somtihing like that.

as far as swapping out hardware? Im really shocked that not one of you fully read the first post.

CD Drive: swapped out with several different models and known working units, the one in there currently is brand new.

I did the same with the HDs, i tried about 5 different ones.

As far as corrupted media goes:
As I said before, Live CD run fine and Net installs encounter the same problem

I was thinking it might be the IDE controller or connection between the HD and motherboard, so I swapped out the cables and tried putting the HD on IDE2 (the one the cdrom was on) instead of IDE1, same problem. Tried them both on the same cable, same problem.

Connections have all been reseated.

Im going to try swapping out the RAM, although its a long shot considering that the LIVE CDs work fine and they (especially puppy) rely pretty heavily on the RAM.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 01:22 PM   #8
Teckno
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Holy crap, it looks like it was the ram, its installing just fine now or at least Debian is

Whats a good ram checking utility? i want to check all these ram sticks so hopefully I'm not stuck with the 128MB I got in there now.

Funny thing is that this is not the first time I've learned the hard way that: "When all signs point to the Hard Drive, check the RAM"
I think thats gonna be my new sig (^_^)

Now which distro to choose...

thanks for your time

Last edited by Teckno; 09-02-2007 at 01:24 PM.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 05:25 PM   #9
btmiller
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I use memtest86 to check RAM and it's always worked for me.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 06:50 PM   #10
2damncommon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teckno View Post
I was thinking it could have been a hardware support thing, like maybe I needed the 2.4 kernel instead of the 2.6 kernel, or somtihing like that.

as far as swapping out hardware? Im really shocked that not one of you fully read the first post.

CD Drive: swapped out with several different models and known working units, the one in there currently is brand new.

I did the same with the HDs, i tried about 5 different ones.

As far as corrupted media goes:
As I said before, Live CD run fine and Net installs encounter the same problem

I was thinking it might be the IDE controller or connection between the HD and motherboard, so I swapped out the cables and tried putting the HD on IDE2 (the one the cdrom was on) instead of IDE1, same problem. Tried them both on the same cable, same problem.

Connections have all been reseated.

Im going to try swapping out the RAM, although its a long shot considering that the LIVE CDs work fine and they (especially puppy) rely pretty heavily on the RAM.
I did notice you mentioned "Several different hard drives...Several different CD Drives".

I'm going to write this follow up as a note to people reading this as a thread about acquiring an old computer they wish to use.

The troubleshooting list pixellany posted should be done before you try to use the computer. The PC has been in and out of storage, probably transported in a vehicle so first open it up and reseat all cables and RAM. Blow out the dust while you are at it.

Get it connected and see if any existing software boots.

Then do some hardware checks. Run the hard drive manufacturer's disk utility to check the hard drive. Run a check on the RAM.

Clean any CD/DVD or floppy drives.

Then start testing live distros, partitioning the hard drive, and doing any installs.

The sad thing is that if Teckno had NOT tried 12 different distributions someone would have suggested he try their favorite.
Quote:
Funny thing is that this is not the first time I've learned the hard way that: "When all signs point to the Hard Drive, check the RAM"
...and the power supply after that.

Good Luck with your PC.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 07:22 PM   #11
pixellany
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I am really glad to see Teckno sticking with this---so many simply give up at the first sign of trouble....

I can't tell you how many times I have hot on the trail of a Gremlin, repeating to myself: "I know its not the ____." I also cannot count the time that I have fixed something by taking it apart and re-assembling it---but never knowing WHY....
 
  


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