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Old 07-08-2004, 10:59 PM   #1
EB_Girl
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Washington, USA
Distribution: Libranet 2.7 Classic
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Installing Linux on a Compaq Presario 1610 laptop PC


I'm currently trying to install Linux on an old Compaq Presario 1610 laptop with:

1.5 gigs free hard drive space
256 megs RAM
150 MHz processor

So far I've downloaded and burned CD images for Gentoo, Fedora, and SUSE 9.1, but all have returned errors and terminated the installation process. The laptop is pretty old, and consequently the CD drive's functionality seems rather sporadic, but I honestly have no idea whether or not that's what's causing the problem.

Is my system just too crappy to run any of the distributions I've tried so far? If so, could anyone recommend a different distribution/version? If my system specs are acceptable, and it's likely that the CD drive is what's giving me trouble, I'd like to try installing over a network. Of course, as my luck would have it, I run into another problem here.

I tried using the FTP/HTTP installation option while booting from the Fedora CD, but none of the provided drivers seem to be compatible with my Ethernet card, and it couldn't read the drivers from the card's installation CD. The card is a D-Link DFE-690TXD, and the box says it's compatible with Linux 2.2. Admittedly, in my newbieness, I don't even know if any of the distributions I've tried fall into the category of "Linux 2.2." Does anyone know if/where I can find drivers to make this Ethernet card work for a network installation?

When it comes down to it, I'm just lost. I've been a Windows user for years now, so when it comes to Linux, I'm completely and utterly clueless. I've looked for guides and FAQs, but nothing I found seems particularly helpful or even relevant to my situation. If any of you could offer some advice, that would be spiffy.
 
Old 07-08-2004, 11:18 PM   #2
HenchmenResourc
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: SLC, Utah
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Your system is definitely older hardware but that doesn't mean Linux is out of the question. Most recent distributions are going to be picky about having a faster processor that you have, though they should have kernels in the disto that will run on older hardware. but you may try finding an older distribution or one like vector linux that is compiled to run on older hardware. I know thatSuSE's FTP site has as far back as version 8.0 though you may need to find a copy of 7.0 or 7.3 for it to run fairly well (I use to run SuSE 7.3 on an old pentium 166 with 64Mb memory just fine). Another site you may try is Linux ISO's.

Last edited by HenchmenResourc; 07-08-2004 at 11:19 PM.
 
Old 07-08-2004, 11:20 PM   #3
vinay_s_s
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Registered: Jul 2003
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have u tried Slackware ? IMO, its probablly the best distro for an old laptop. U can also try debian if u want (but i'm not a deb fan)
 
Old 07-11-2004, 03:23 PM   #4
EB_Girl
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Washington, USA
Distribution: Libranet 2.7 Classic
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Thanks for the advice.

A few days and 10 distros later, I've finally found one that works with my crappy hardware: Libranet 2.7 Classic. I had to use the minimal install, but it seems to be working like a charm, and I was even able to use one of its provided modules for my Ethernet card. Peachy keen!

Thanks again.
 
Old 11-07-2004, 10:35 AM   #5
Lotus
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Registered: Nov 2004
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hey EB_girl!
im trying to instal linux on the same exact laptop! SO i took your advice and went for Libranet 2.7 Classic. I made the 3 Floppies (because it just wont boot from the CD) and i put the first floppy it starts libranet then i press enter on 'boot' and it starts the instalation. everything goes fine until i put the 3rd floppy when i get this message after some other lines of code.
Bummer, could not run '/sbin/installer': Exec format error

and i get the monitor filled with this message and it just stops there..
what am i doing wrong?? should i format the pc before trying to instal?? cause i got win 98 installed and got about 5gb of free space on disk.
what did you do??
thanks
 
Old 11-07-2004, 12:35 PM   #6
EB_Girl
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Washington, USA
Distribution: Libranet 2.7 Classic
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Hmm. Well, I'm not really sure about that. I installed from the CD. Because of past experience with floppies (especially with my old 1610), I'm somewhat inclined to say that maybe it's just a bad floppy issue, but like I said already, I don't really know.

Do you think there's any chance that you could get it to boot from the CD? I had a lot of problems with CDs myself, since the CD drive is just so old, but I found that higher quality (and of course slightly more expensive) CD-Rs would almost always run smoothly.

Anyway, I certainly can't claim to have a lot of knowledge in this area since I'm still a newbie, but I'd definitely suggest formatting before installing. Throughout my search for a distro, I found that I usually had to reformat before installing, or I'd get weird error messages I didn't understand.

So yeah, my suggestions are basically 1) format and try again. If that doesn't work, then 2) try fresh floppies. If it still doesn't work, then 3) invest a tiny bit extra in a quality CD-R and give that a shot.

Also, since installing 2.7 Classic, I've played around with a few other distros as well. I found that I wasn't able to install a lot of them just because I didn't have enough disk space. You'd probably have an easier time with that if you have 5 gigs, since I only had 1.5. But if you're looking for a sure bet, I'd suggest Libranet 2.8.1. It installed perfectly the first time I tried, and is just a little more polished than 2.7 Classic.

As a funny side note: The CD drive on my 1610 has since pretty much stopped working, and now I'm stuck with Win95 and no net connection.
 
Old 11-07-2004, 09:31 PM   #7
Lotus
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Registered: Nov 2004
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ahhhh im going crazy!!!
when i finnaly thought it was going to work i get a bootloader error (on the installation) and it just wont work! i already restarted the installation like 5 times and all of them stop on the bootloader prob!!! and just to get even better my hd has been formated!! so im really ****ed up!! now at least it boots from the cd.

have you tried vetorlinux!?! or do you think i should really try libranet 2.8!?
ive also tried installing suse 9.1 personal but it doesnt even boot from the cd! it just stays on the compaq screen.
help!??!
 
Old 11-07-2004, 09:48 PM   #8
jens
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Belgium
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If you only plan to use one OS, just install the bootloader on your mbr.

PS: I do recommend Vector Linux for old systems...
 
Old 11-08-2004, 04:39 PM   #9
Lotus
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Registered: Nov 2004
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yay! finaly manage to instal libranet!! eb_girl, how did you configure ur internet and the sound ?? cause i cant get it to connect to the internet. and also when i putted for it to detect automaticaly (sound, network and all others) it couldent do it by its self..
 
Old 11-08-2004, 09:37 PM   #10
EB_Girl
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Washington, USA
Distribution: Libranet 2.7 Classic
Posts: 4

Original Poster
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Hmm, yeah, if I remember rightly, it wouldn't automatically detect sound stuff on mine either. I think it's the Soundblaster module though, so try that one when it brings up the manual select screen. As for internet connectivity, that really all depends on what you're using to connect. If you're trying to use the internal modem, I can't really offer any advice there. If you're using a network card, then maybe do some googling to see if you can find out which module will work with your card.
 
  


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