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Old 07-13-2005, 06:32 PM   #1
Xyem
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Installing Fedora With Nasty Limitations


I plan on installing FC4 onto my laptop (500Mhz 256mb RAM so it should handle it fine, aside from maybe the 2MB of video memory) but I have several issues to overcome.

I can't boot from CD (no CD drive)

I can't boot from floppy (no floppy drive)

I can get the images onto the HDD (by using my adapter cable and plugging it into my desktop) but the HDD is only 6GB and I can't boot to it if it's "clean" (also worried about not being able to reuse the partition the images are on as a native part of linux, I don't really want to have to mount it on startup, even if it is automatic).

Any suggestions on getting around these problems would be much appreicated!
 
Old 07-14-2005, 12:24 PM   #2
pats
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.....
well aside from saying your screwed i would suggest finding a friend with a usb floppy/cd drive.

also does your network card on the laptop support network booting (PXE) because that might be a possibility.

http://www.samspublishing.com/articl...&seqNum=2&rl=1
might be useful

how about taking the drive out of the laptop. putting it in a friends laptop who does have a cd drive then installing. kudzu should then take care of the hardware changes when you put the drive back into your own laptop.

http://fedora.redhat.com/docs/fedora...-guide-en/fc4/ gives you installation options


i do have a few questions. you mention "adapter cable", by this do you mean network cable or what?
what is the laptop running at the moment?
what do you plan on doing with the laptop once you have fedora installed. your gonna have little or no space left to play with

good luck
pat
 
Old 07-14-2005, 12:54 PM   #3
Xyem
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Adapter cable: for plugging 2.5" laptop drives into 40 pin IDE slots on desktop PC's

Laptop boot options:

PCI Slot NIC (no idea why this is an option, my laptop doesn't have a PCI slot I am aware of)
Dock NIC (I don't have the dock)
CardBus NIC (I have a Xircom CardBus Ethernet 10/100+Modem 56 which I use to connect to LAN but I have no indication it supports PXE and no mention of it on that site)
Diskette drive (No go as 1) I don't have it and 2) I don't have the bay that houses it, or the cable (it's very expensive due because it's discontinued or near too)
CDROM/DVDROM Drive (see above)
Modular Bay HDD (see above)

Internal HDD (only viable option that I'm aware of)

I don't have any friends who have a laptop, although I suppose it MAY be possible to install Fedora using my desktop PC (using the IDE adapter cable) and have it change to my laptops hardware although I'd prefer to avoid this.

Laptop is currently running Windows 2000 which I managed to install by:

Creating 2 partitions, copying Windows 2000 CD files to second partition, copying required booting files to first partition. Boot it up and then ran the install from the command line. It took over 7 hours to get past the very first part of the install (copying files I think) because disk caching wasn't on! *Shudders* Then I installed partition magic to delete second partition and expand the first one into the remaining space.

I plan on using it. For just things like doing Perl coding. Writing some notes, stories etc. Nothing that would take too much space up.

I never actually turn my laptop off, Windows takes forever to load on it. (off topic but thought it had to be said)

I think my best option, and possibly my only viable one, is to plug my laptop HDD into my desktop and install Fedora using that and then just reconfigure it once it's back in my laptop.
 
Old 07-14-2005, 01:31 PM   #4
pats
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no your totally right. plug the drive into your pc and install FC4 then transfer. fedora runs kudzu at startup which monitors hardware changes so in theory it should reconfigure the the hardware it finds on the laptop and get rid of the hardware its lost from the pc.
i've done similar between desktops and has worked so in principle could work on this way. i would invest in a usb cdrom drive however. you can pick them up fairly cheeply.
good luck
let me know how you get on

ps also i know exactly what you mean about win2k. have done that before. an absolute whore.
 
Old 07-14-2005, 01:57 PM   #5
logosys
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Quote:
Originally posted by pats
no your totally right. plug the drive into your pc and install FC4 then transfer. fedora runs kudzu at startup which monitors hardware changes so in theory it should reconfigure the the hardware it finds on the laptop and get rid of the hardware its lost from the pc.
i've done similar between desktops and has worked so in principle could work on this way. i would invest in a usb cdrom drive however. you can pick them up fairly cheeply.
good luck
let me know how you get on

ps also i know exactly what you mean about win2k. have done that before. an absolute whore.
Noob Question: Although the software may be on the drive then, isn't the MBR on the Laptop going to need some adjusting?
 
Old 07-14-2005, 02:43 PM   #6
pats
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logosys, not quite sure what your getting at but i'll explain what i was saying to Xyem. Hes gonna (or not) plug his laptop hdd into his pc. he'll install fedora onto it, take it out then put it int his laptop. about the MBR... depending how he installs it (id recomend having only the 2.5" drive in the pc and installing off CDs..) the MBR should be written to the laptop drive then everything should go fine.

now i just read your post again maybe you are getting at the fact that the OS is being taken from one set of hardware to another. this is not the concern of the MBR whatsoever because drivers are loaded later. once linux kicks off properley past its bootstraping it'll start loading the kernel, do a bit more stuff and run a nice little progy called kudzu which has made linux easy. kudzu checks for hardware changes at boot (and after if you run it manually but you shouldn't be making hardware changes while your systems up). if you didn't have kudzu yes it'd be nasty. bit like when you take a windows installation and put it into a different machine. the funniest thing i've ever seen. it thinks you've installed new hardware and suggests you remove it because its not compattible or some bollocks. i cna't rememebr exactly but anyway good on you for moving over to linux

that was meant to be a quick message.
i'm going out
 
Old 07-14-2005, 04:33 PM   #7
logosys
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Quote:
Originally posted by pats
logosys, not quite sure what your getting at but i'll explain what i was saying to Xyem. Hes gonna (or not) plug his laptop hdd into his pc. he'll install fedora onto it, take it out then put it int his laptop. about the MBR... depending how he installs it (id recomend having only the 2.5" drive in the pc and installing off CDs..) the MBR should be written to the laptop drive then everything should go fine.

now i just read your post again maybe you are getting at the fact that the OS is being taken from one set of hardware to another. this is not the concern of the MBR whatsoever because drivers are loaded later. once linux kicks off properley past its bootstraping it'll start loading the kernel, do a bit more stuff and run a nice little progy called kudzu which has made linux easy. kudzu checks for hardware changes at boot (and after if you run it manually but you shouldn't be making hardware changes while your systems up). if you didn't have kudzu yes it'd be nasty. bit like when you take a windows installation and put it into a different machine. the funniest thing i've ever seen. it thinks you've installed new hardware and suggests you remove it because its not compattible or some bollocks. i cna't rememebr exactly but anyway good on you for moving over to linux

that was meant to be a quick message.
i'm going out
Good deal, I learned something new today! As far as what goes on from power button to login screen, I just chalk up to magic for now. Now I know someone I can go to when I have questions about the boostrapping sequence though!
 
Old 07-14-2005, 04:39 PM   #8
Xyem
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I have done it. Just as you expected. I removed all other drives and installed it. Unfortunately I am not over confident that it has been sucessful. I got errors before the install began in the graphical install and errors regarding the bootloader (post install) in text mode.

I will be plugging it into my laptop shortly, I am slightly worried that if Fedora detects the changes, it will ask for the disc to install something. If it does, I'm royally screwn :P

I'll keep you posting in my endeavour
 
Old 07-15-2005, 08:02 AM   #9
pats
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what errors did you get?
did it manage to boot when plugged into the PC?

i wouldn't worry about needing the cd post install i didn't when i've done a similar thing. the important thing is that if these errors stopped it from booting on the PC then you might wanna start again before you put it in the laptop
 
Old 07-15-2005, 08:14 AM   #10
Xyem
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I tried to post this last night but I couldn't get this window in focus because I have no mouse at the moment! Couldn't be bothered to turn MouseKeys on... :P

I didn't note the errors, the graphical one stopped the install, the text one seems to have done absolutely nothing and my laptop now has Fedora Core 4 on it working perfectly. It's a little sluggish but everything seems to have been detected fine (though I'm not entirely convinced the CardBus will work straight off)

Worrying thing is the 50-60% CPU Usage I get swirling the mouse around :P

It just worked so... well. I was shocked. Linux continues to impress me. Even though I had to modify the xorg.conf to force 1024x768 (as flatscreen displays looks odd in anything other than native resolution) it was nice and simple to do.

Even though I used the method I preferred to have avoided I had no "real" problems and I believe the error during graphical install may have something to do with the disk geometry being wrong because of PartitionMagic. Thanks for your time!

ADDITIONAL: I have discovered the cause of the sluggish-ness. I had the CPU on "Compatible Speed". I put the CPU Scaling thing on and the CPU was only running at 136Mhz instead of 500Mhz. Once I turned the speed back up Fedora is very responsive!

Also, I think I could extend this thread as I have discovered a problem. Sometimes, during boot-up, after the "Starting udev" it gets stuck on initializing the network. Also sometimes I get "Cannot create /dev/null" and "Cannot create /dev/zero". Linux has not booted when the second thing has happened but just so it's clear, it doesn't say those cannot be created every time it doesn't boot. They are two separate issues.

Last edited by Xyem; 07-15-2005 at 02:34 PM.
 
Old 07-16-2005, 09:16 AM   #11
pats
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hehe good old processor settings. at least the laptop support works.

errm as for the dev/null and dev/zero malarky haven't got a clue. possibly s side effect of installing on a different machine and then transfering the disk. not linked to you unplugging or plugging in devices??

if it keeps bothering you then you could repeat the whole process but with a minimal hardware setup in the pc. no sound card etc.
 
Old 07-16-2005, 09:41 AM   #12
Xyem
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That problem seems to have vanished, along with the hang at initializing networking, without me messing but now I have another 3.

My network card did work fine before (when Fedora booted anyway) but now it seems to not "start". When Fedora tries to get it's IP, it fails and I haven't changed anything to cause this.
Secondly, my battery drops from 60% to 7% in an instant and in general it seems to drain faster (than with Windows 2000 on it), even though Fedora reports my battery will last nearly 4 hours on full charge. It actually lasts around 30 minutes...
Thirdly, I have only 300MB of space left. My laptop has 256MB RAM but Fedora still made a 1.5GB swap partition. With only 6GB to play with this is worrying. I can't even yum update because it thinks there isn't enough space.

Would it be OK if I reduce the swap partition to 512MB, or perhaps lower, and how much space does a minimal install take (and development tools as I will probably need to compile programs)? I presume minimal install doesn't include browser, IM etc. so I will have to install them manually.

EDIT: It seems as though my card is getting it's IP address correctly but when it pings my router, it is being ignored and therefore never activating. Very odd. I'm very confused right now.

Last edited by Xyem; 07-16-2005 at 11:12 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2005, 11:53 AM   #13
pats
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network...power...disk

ok i'll go in order

have you tried the simple things like network cable plugged in.
where is the laptop getting its ip from? i assume adsl modem/router..

first check to see if you have got an ip
/sbin/ifconfig
i get:
[root@patserv pat]# /sbin/ifconfig
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:50:8D:A6:19:90
inet addr:192.168.1.4 Bcast:192.168.1.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
inet6 addr: fe80::250:8dff:fea6:1990/64 Scope:Link
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:1050549 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1143540 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:523398057 (499.1 MiB) TX bytes:831417320 (792.9 MiB)
Interrupt:11 Base address:0xa800

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:16436 Metric:1
RX packets:1600 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1600 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:2299538 (2.1 MiB) TX bytes:2299538 (2.1 MiB)

if you haven't got an ip and there is a dhcp serer on your network then try as root
/sbin/dhclient
this should find the dhcp server on the router.
you could instead set it up manually
/sbin/ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.X up
then /sbin/route add default gw 192.168.1.1 (assuming the ip of your router is 192.168.1.1)
or if you wanna do it nice and simple avoiding the command line then KDE has a nice GUI config - Kmenu/system setings/network

power stuff not really sure at all. sorry. haven't got a laptop yet (will do soon ) so as for power settings i don't know. try googling for help with that.

disk space...
right so if you did a stock install from cd and didn't mess about the the atuomatically assigned paritions that diskdruid gave you then it should be pretty easy to change the size of the swap partiations.
fedora after at least 3 maybe 2 started using logical volumes and volume groups. for more info on what these are the do a google.

provided you didn't mess around with anything then you should have your hard drive as volume group and that divided into logical volumes. look on the web for a better explaination that this...!!

using /sbin/lvm you can resise your swap partition down and then make the data bit bigger.
type help once its loaded. theres a set of commands begining vg.. and others begiining lv.
you wanna use the lvresize one. don't touch the volume group one.

i've never done this before and its supposed to be perfectly safe but i'd have a look arround on the net first before going straight for it.
also its probably worth starting a new topic just for this subject (logical volume resizing)
 
Old 07-16-2005, 12:50 PM   #14
Xyem
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OK I don't think Linux will ever work on my laptop properly.

80% of the time my laptop hangs at
Quote:
Initializing hardware... storage network
Plus I can't reboot it otherwise 1) it won't even finish loading the bios or whatever it's doing (Dell loading screen prevents me seeing what it's actually doing) or 2) I get plug and play errors, I presume regarding my network card.

Maybe it's not Linux though, this all seems to be network card related. Even though Linux seems to have the exact driver for it, maybe it's not 100% supported. I have a wireless card somewhere but there is nothing else in my house that is wireless to test it with. (I brought the card for hooking upto college and friends home network).

Regarding the power consumption, I believe enabling ACPI may help (it's turned off due to the BIOS age cutoff) but where do I need to put
Quote:
acpi=force
to enable it? (I am instructed to do this by Linux to enable it).

For the question about the disk space, I was asking if having the swap partition as 512MB (2x my actual RAM) would cause any problems. I intend on doing a reinstall so I can change the size during the installation.
 
Old 07-16-2005, 01:28 PM   #15
pats
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sorry was in and out while replying to the swap issue. i think it'll be fine to decrease the swap size that much. if you wanna convince yourself. once its been installed with 521 then check the swap usage stats and it'll probably be at zero. linux has much better memeory management than windows so doesn't need to use the swap space all the time.

acpi=force....
i remember having this before at some point on an old test box. i think it might be a kernel parameter to put in grub.conf/lilo.conf whichever your using. i believe you get the acpi error just before/after (arround_) the kernel uncompressing section

acpi not being set properly sould be the cause of your computer freezing as well at the 'bios' stage
 
  


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