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Okay. I am having a couple of problems for which I have had no luck finding answers. I very much hope that somebody here will be able to set me straight on how to proceed on installing. Let me begin with what I am working with in case that has bearing.
My computer is a not too new 233 mhz Pentium class with 48 megs of RAM. After deciding I wanted to try out Linux, I chose to install RedHat 7.1 which I was able to obtain easily in a book and which seemed to be about the right thing overall for my situation. Everything went fairly smoothly at first, but of course that did not continue. After partitioning, which was itself surprisingly not a problem, I booted from the CD and got a nice long list of activity from the program. This I expected, but then it seemed to just get stuck. At the bottom of the screen it said something to the effect of "hdd........" followed by something about the interrupt. In the mess that followed I have, unfortunately, forgotten the exact words, but failure was at least implied. However, it would simply print this on a new line over and over again like it was still working, but on the same thing in the same way. This was not mentioned at all in the book, and after a long while I was forced to begin accepting that it was hung up and would simply continue in this indefinitely. So I reset the computer with CTL+ALT+DEL hoping that I could begin again. This, unfortunately, turned out to be a very bad idea as nothing would work then. The machine informed me that there is no HIMEM and just gives me a C prompt. So, I finally had to reinstall everything from the ground up. This did not go easily, to be understated, and so I am reticent to try again.
However, now I am beginning to wonder if I jumped the gun. Maybe it was supposed to repeat that for quite some time. Is this possible? To my uninformed eyes it appeared that 'hdd' in this case was a reference to the Iomega 100 mb, pre-installed straight from Satan's workshop, IDE Zip disk. This barely reaches the status of unreliable being of little value beyond filling the open space on my computer. Could the install have become confused on this device? Could it have thought it was the hard drive? Perhaps if I removed it physically things would go better? Or, again, was I just too jumpy about this and interrupted it when it was functioning correctly? And, if it did hang up is there something I could do to stop things without the apparently devastating HIMEM problem? I really do not want to face that again, to be totally frank.
Secondarily, I now seem to have another problem. The partition I created is now, since I had to reinstall everything, a FAT 32 Windows "D:" drive. How would I change that if I should be able to try to install Linux again in the future? I am assuming that one cannot use a Windows drive?
I am very appreciative of any help which anyone may be able to offer me on these things.
"Secondarily, I now seem to have another problem. The partition I created is now, since I had to reinstall everything, a FAT 32 Windows "D:" drive. How would I change that if I should be able to try to install Linux again in the future? I am assuming that one cannot use a Windows drive?"
You can easily convert a Windows partition to a Linux partition during the install. Just tell the installer to format that partition as ext2.
"To my uninformed eyes it appeared that 'hdd' in this case was a reference to the Iomega 100 mb, pre-installed straight from Satan's workshop, IDE Zip disk."
Linux uses absolute disk addresses versus the relative disk addressing used by Windows. hdd (or more properly /dev/hdd) is the slave device on the second IDE port (ie the slave device on the second disk cable).
"Perhaps if I removed it physically things would go better? Or, again, was I just too jumpy about this and interrupted it when it was functioning correctly?"
You were correct. Things weren't working according to the master plan. If /dev/hdd is the Zip disk and you do not plan to put anything there when you install then you can unplug the Zip drive and try again.
Thanks Steve. In looking back at the book right after posting I did in fact notice that partitioning would give me the chance to make that change. That is good to know.
And I think unplugging the Zip will be a good idea. It doesn't really work well anyway and already munched all my backups, so really why keep it? I am curious about the HIMEM thing though. Do you think that there is a better way to break out of the install which may not cause that catastrophe? In case it should occur again anyway. I will admit nervousness about this after that happened.
Perhaps I can find something online about that situation and how best to respond. Unfortunately, I am not adequately prepared, obviously, with Windows to really understand what happened. I did go ahead and pull the zip drive, and so will be trying one more time this weekend to install. Let us hope it goes well.
Just in case anyone should find this because of a similar problem I will mention that pulling the Zip fixed my problem entirely. Also, the HIMEM problem and Extended memory loss happened again, but I found out that by simply shutting down entirely and doing a cold boot, rather than the warm one I had been doing, it cleared itself up. At least somewhat. Now, post installation, my Windows OS is slower than my grandmothers colon. Oh well, seems rather needless now anyway.