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Old 03-15-2014, 06:57 PM   #1
SolusUmbra
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Linux Install


So we are trying to install Linux Lite on my mom's old windows xp desktop and are having some problems. When she restarts her computer I told her to look for the boot menu option, however she doesn't get one. Her computer just flashes and goes straight to the windows xp start up screen. We where able to get to her BIOS screen but she forgot her password so we can't check to see if other boot options is even checked. Is there any other way to get Linux installed?
 
Old 03-15-2014, 07:34 PM   #2
yancek
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Can she access the BIOS or not, your post seems to make contradictory statements in that regard. Generally, a specific key needs to be tapped to enter setup (BIOS) and that depends upon the manufacturer. You don't indicate the manufacturer of the computer? If she can get to the BIOS, does she have a BIOS password set and that is why she can't change the boot priority?

You could install virtual software such as VirtualBox on xp and then install Linux in VirtualBox. Why Linux Lite rather than something that has a little wider use and more support?
 
Old 03-15-2014, 07:39 PM   #3
SolusUmbra
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No she can not access the BIOS at all, at one point in time she had set her own password to it. As for the manufacturer of the computer she doesn't know what it is, she said North Gate is the only thing listed on the tower.
As for why Linux Lite its most likely one of the only ones that will run on her old system. I tried 5+ different Linux OS before I found the Lite to be the only one that worked.
 
Old 03-15-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
Shadow_7
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You should be able to unplug it and remove the battery from the motherboard for a period of time to reset the password to factory defaults. Depending on the hardware in question. Many of my ancient by not that ancient boxes let me boot from USB. So I've set up a few usb sticks and SDHC distro installs. Which you can do on completely different hardware. As long as you can get to some sort of boot sequence menu you can run those types of distros. File I/O is really slow on most of those options, but it's linux and it works.
 
Old 03-15-2014, 08:48 PM   #5
SolusUmbra
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Can you type up a step by step walkthrough of that? I'm in a different state from my mom so I can't do it for her, and she is not very good with a computer.
 
Old 03-15-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
Shadow_7
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It's always easier to install linux inside linux imo. Probably not of use to someone on a windows system.
 
Old 03-16-2014, 05:32 AM   #7
roy_lt_69
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Are you trying to go into Bios to change the boot order?
On some computers you don't need to go into Bios setup to boot via usb/dvd/network.
They often have a separate function key (eg Toshiba's use F12) to pull up a menu of devices to boot from without having to go into Bios setup.
In fact I believe some Northgate's use F2 to change boot devices.
So try different function keys to see if one works.

But how did you determine Linux Lite works on her computer, especially if you cannot change the boot order?
What other o/s did you try and how did you try them?
 
Old 03-16-2014, 08:14 AM   #8
SolusUmbra
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I have a desktop with almost the same ram, cpu, memory as my mom's, so I tried many of them out on my system. Ubuntu and ones like it (kbuntu, lbuntu, ect...) where some of the first ones I tried. The graphics didn't want to work right. Tried fendora but I had issues figure out how to do things, tried another one (can't recall the name) and the graphics where really messsed up, missing icons and nothing wanted to load. Tried Linux Lite, graphics load, I can figure out the basics. So that is how I determine it would work for hers.

I will have her try f2, thank you
 
Old 03-16-2014, 10:19 AM   #9
Shadow_7
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It normally says at the bios screen / pre-bios screen. F12 on this dell laptop. ESC on the desktop. F10 on another tower machine. I seem to recall SPACE, DEL, and other odd key or key combos in the old days, but I haven't seen many of those in a long time. The old laptop didn't have it, but you can use a grub boot cd to load the grub config file on an installed distro. Spamming F8 on some windows versions lets your get to a boot menu of sorts that lets you select safe mode, so probably not F8, but useful to know about. I've used that to correct some malware or to reinstall the windows version of the MBR.
 
Old 03-16-2014, 11:47 AM   #10
SolusUmbra
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found out my mom's computer says her motherboard is sis-650
delete takes her to her BIOS settings

Last edited by SolusUmbra; 03-16-2014 at 11:50 AM.
 
Old 03-16-2014, 12:36 PM   #11
John VV
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not all current Operating systems will install on old XP boxes . It dose depend on just how old and the system specification

for instance if it has a OLD nvidia gforce4 or older card , you might have some problems installing the OS

and if it has LESS than 2 gigs of ram
fedora will not like to install

can you post the hardware specs
that way we can start to recommend a OS for it
 
Old 03-16-2014, 12:49 PM   #12
onebuck
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Member Response

Hi,

Welcome to LQ!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolusUmbra View Post
So we are trying to install Linux Lite on my mom's old windows xp desktop and are having some problems. When she restarts her computer I told her to look for the boot menu option, however she doesn't get one. Her computer just flashes and goes straight to the windows xp start up screen. We where able to get to her BIOS screen but she forgot her password so we can't check to see if other boot options is even checked. Is there any other way to get Linux installed?
Look at: Minimal/Optimized Gnu/Linux Distributions that can be used with Older hardware(XP)

Hope this helps.
 
Old 03-16-2014, 06:45 PM   #13
roy_lt_69
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Saying that your computer has the same ram, cpu, and memory as your mother's does not make your computer the same as her's with regard to what distro will run on her computer!
You really need to have the same motherboard, bios version, graphic card, cpu, etc, which does not seem to be the case.
In fact the distro that runs on your computer may not run on her's especially if the motherboard and gpu are different.

As for the distro's that failed to run on your computer, it sounds like your video card is the problem.
For Ubunutu and it's different flavours (eg Xubuntu, Kubuntu, etc) did you try booting into vesa graphic mode.
Vesa is pretty well supported by all video cards, so it tends to work just a bit slower and lower resolution.
I suspect Linux Lite (??) may have selected vesa by default, rather than trying to detect the gpu.
Also Ubuntu has a boot option nomodeset see http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1613132 for explanation.
You can even boot to console mode then try startx to manually bring up the GUI, but this is a last resort.
Etc...you get the idea hopefully.
Try Googling or searching here at linuxquestions for keywords Ubuntu (or whatever distro) and "boot options" for help.

Ubuntu and Mint have great community help available especially when compared to Linux Lite (??), for new users to Linux.
For that reason they tend to be recommended more often.


Finally the F2 is only a suggestion.
She should try <Esc>, F1, F2...F12 to see if any of them brings up a boot order menu.
 
Old 03-17-2014, 05:13 AM   #14
chrism01
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In terms of trying to get into the BIOS menu, also try the <Del> key.
Generally though, it'll tell you which key to use, if briefly. If you ask her the exact make/model of her PC, you should be able to Google the right key.
 
Old 03-17-2014, 07:14 AM   #15
nigelc
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it sounds like to me that the grub bootloader is corrupt or missing.
 
  


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