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Old 03-11-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
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Question Keyboard Problem During Linux Installations

Have a VERY old Dell box I want to renew with a Linux install (also as OS test drive for my new computer build). Downloaded, checked, burned, checked Puppy Linux 4.2.1, Linux Mint 10, Peppermint Two, and Kubuntu 11.10. All discs are fine.

Have set up BIOS to boot to CD/DVD before HDD.

I get to a spot, though, where the install freezes up. Based on my experience with Puppy, it's where the software is trying to detect my mouse and keyboard. Puppy recognizes my mouse correctly, but I can't hit "Enter" on keyboard because Puppy does not recognize the PS/2 keyboard I have. The other OSs freeze at a spot where the icon is on screen and the dots have been changing color, but suddenly the dots stop changing color and the install disc is not spinning.

I have tried a USB keyboard, thinking that might be the culprit. I have changed the BIOS to disable "Legacy USB" and then I reenabled it. Nothing.

Do I have the wrong distro releases? Do I need to reformat my HDD to do a full install?

WinXP runs fine, but I'm tired of Whinedos.

Please help!

Dell Dimension L866r
P3 866 Mhz
512 Mb RAM
18 Gb HDD
Dell Quietkey keyboard
Microinv optical mouse
TDK 440N DVD Burner

Last edited by LinxN00B; 03-11-2012 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Add a spec
Old 03-11-2012, 01:09 PM   #2
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It will certainly be a good thing to use the entire hard disk, but is not essential.

Try using the boot parameter


(add it as an option)
Old 03-18-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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Tried that but no go. Again, I can't boot with any options if the OS I try to install won't recognize my PS/2 keyboard.

Maybe I have to install and use GRUB or some other bootloader? Otherwise, I have no idea. Interestingly enough, if I DO have to use a bootloader, then why don't the installation instructions for all the OS I downloaded not include that?

I'll try some older versions of these OS to see if that works. If not, then I'll know why Linux fails to dominate the market.
Old 03-18-2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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How long so you leave the blank screen before giving up? I ask because sometimes I have had installs "freeze" for five minutes or so then spring into life. You may just need to be a little patient.
Old 03-18-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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You shouldn't have a problem with a PS/2 keyboard: I've never heard of that happening before.

You certainly can't install Kubuntu on 512MB. Mint should install, Peppermint I don't know. Puppy should work with your specifications, but it can be temperamental about hardware. Try Salix, using the Xfce live CD version. That will run with half your memory and a slower CPU.

There is the possibility that you've got a disk-drive problem. I can use CDs on my old laptop, but not boot from them. One reason why I suggested the live Salix is that you can make a bootable USB version of it on Windows with no special tools required. Of course, that assumes you can boot from USB!
Old 03-24-2012, 08:00 PM   #6
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Impatience very possible :-}

I have not tried it yet, but it is quite possible that I have not given it enough time. THX, 273! Will do that next.

Also, in case I was a bit ambitious thinking my outdated computer could handle newer distros, I Googled "Linux+PIII" and found some suggestions for Linux Mint 9XFCE and Fluxbox, Kubuntu 6.6.1, and Peppermint Ice. Downloaded those distros and burned them using ISOBurner (thinking maybe my Roxio software at 4x was flawed). Will let you know. Don't mind burning coasters. :-)

DavidMcCann, I'll gladly try Salix, too! I think my disk drive is fine, though it, too is old. My main concern is that I won't grasp Linux enough to put it on my new build, but I'll keep trying. I will never, never, never give up.

Thank you, all! Will update when I find what works.

Went through trying to install the following possible coasters: Peppermint Ice, LMint9 XFCE, LMint9Fluxbox, and Kubuntu 6.6.1. All flopped but the Kubuntu 6.6.1 gave me status lines and such. Here's what the last few said:

*Preparing Restricted Drivers... [ok]
*Starting basic networking... [ok]
*Starting kernel event manager... [ok]
*Loading hardware drivers...
[17179650.592000] hw_random: RNG not detected

I looked up hw_random: RNG not detected and found that, possibly, my Dell Dimension L866R has no Random Number Generator in its chipset, which is why I have had trouble installing the seven or so distros. Interesting! Oh, I'll keep trying, don't worry. I'll download Salix from the office and try again. I'll also Google "Linux+Dell Dimension L866R" and try other searches, too, to find the distro that will work with this computer. Hopefully these distros will work better on my future build. :-) Again, thank you for the continued "support."

Last edited by LinxN00B; 03-24-2012 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Update . . . sort of . . .
Old 03-31-2012, 12:27 PM   #7
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Unhappy Latest Update

Well, I still haven't gotten any of the other Distros to work--will try Salix OS this weekend--but I DID get MacPup528 to work some. I basically did a clean re-install of WinXP to get all the crap off my hard drive and then tried installing Xubuntu 11.10, which installed BUT I could not boot to it when given the option. Found other "Fatal" errors when installing some other distros but the text rolled so quickly that I couldn't read any of it. I'm trying videorecording the screen so I can get some other stuff going.

Looks like my attempts to try Linux are, for the most part, failures, and I can't get any helpful answers. I did try waiting, but I figured after waiting thirty minutes for each attempted install to reconnect, it was pretty hopeless. Guess I'll try other lightweight distros to see what happens. Main problem I've had with MacPup is that I couldn't get the wireless to install, but could be I need a different driver for Linux. No problem.

Thank you for all your help! I'll keep returning, just in case someone can help. I'll post the videos, too, in case they will help any.
Old 03-31-2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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Use bios to see in any legacy usb features exist.


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