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Old 01-24-2011, 02:52 PM   #1
BellevueTechie
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New install of SuSE Linux 8 Professional on old laptop


Hi,

I am a complete neophyte with Linux. I bought SuSE 8.0 professional a long time ago, while living in Germany. I have an old German laptop that currently has Win2K installed, and I would now like to replace Windows with Linux on it. The computer boots the initial CD fine and gives me a number of installation choices. If I do not add a "root=/dev/hda1" to the parameters it stops the installation with a "Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 08:01" and if that line is there the error message changes to 03:01.

Is this because the hard drive is already formatted to NTFS? Is there a way to delete the partition and create a new one from the Linux installation disks?

Thanks for any ideas!
 
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:56 PM   #2
arizonagroovejet
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Forget SuSE 8.0. It's been end of life for about six years, it's a waste of time installing it. You installation problem could very well be because it's so old it doesn't support your laptop's hardware.

Download openSUSE, open up a new thread if you get any problems installing that
 
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:05 PM   #3
snowpine
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Please post your hardware specs if you would like a specific distro recommendation for this laptop. If the computer is from the Windows 2000 era, you may have better luck with a distro like Puppy, SliTaz, or Tiny Core that is designed specifically for older hardware.

That being said, if you are new to Linux and want an easy and fun introduction, I highly recommend installing a currently-supported, user-friendly distro such as Ubuntu or Mint on modern (Pentium 4 with 512mb RAM is my is my minimum recommendation), Linux-friendly hardware. Installing an outdated distro on ancient hardware is not a beginner project.
 
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:24 PM   #4
BellevueTechie
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More info

I deleted the partition with a Win2K installation CD and formatted the partition as FAT32. Same issues.
 
Old 01-24-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
jefro
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For some reason I think Suse 8 already went to using sda instead of hda.

If you are in the boot and installing part I can't see why you'd even add that. I'd be more inclined to think it is an adapi drive issue. Maybe no-atapi.

Does the system allow for booting to a usb device?

I agree that ram and other specs would be useful as well as a maybe a better disto choice.

Last edited by jefro; 01-24-2011 at 05:36 PM.
 
Old 01-25-2011, 09:41 AM   #6
BellevueTechie
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Thanks to all who have responded! It's a Pentium machine from Germany with 32 MB of RAM, so I have decided to beef up the RAM to the max (128 MB) and install Puppy since it is small but still supports wireless connections to a LAN.

The main function of this computer will be to check and reply to e-mail in German and for short bursts of internet lookups while watching TV.
 
Old 01-25-2011, 09:45 AM   #7
snowpine
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I have no personal experience with Linux on a computer that old, so I'll wish you the best and move on from the conversation. Before I go, here is a link to one of my favorite blogs. The author is a real expert on older hardware, so perhaps you'll pick up some helpful tips and tricks: http://kmandla.wordpress.com/
 
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:19 PM   #8
jefro
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Ouch, 128 is still an issue for any gui based install. May also present a lot of issues with isolinux/syslinux.

Stick with puppy or slitaz or arch or some other old hardware type of distro.

Forget using suse on it.
 
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:57 PM   #9
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Stick with puppy or slitaz or arch or some other old hardware type of distro.

Forget using suse on it.
Arch is a no-go for a Pentium, because it is optimized for i686.
For such a system I would recommend a minimal install of Debian or Slackware, with a lightweight Window Manager, such as IceWM or one of the *boxes. I also heard that Vector Linux should be good to such old systems. But Slitaz is also very good.
 
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:42 PM   #10
jefro
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Thank you for correcting me on that. I should have said antix.
 
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