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Old 03-21-2010, 04:00 PM   #1
themess
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Open Suse installs but not other distros


BACKGROUND: After years of having an idle machine with Linux on it, I want to use it everyday. My preferred distro is Debian Lenny. It is running on a 1999 Compaq that I want to use for testing. So far, configuration has been logical and steady.

PROBLEMS: So far, only Suse will install completely on my newer machine.

DETAILS, HARDWARE:

MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3H (on supported hardware list) This has the AMD/ATI 780 chipset with integrated Radeon graphics.

VIDEO CARD: ATI PV 710, Radeon HD4550 chip.

DETAILS, INSTALLATION ATTEMPTS:

(XP is running and stable. All Linux installation attempts are on a separate HD.)

Debian Lenny (5.03?)(netinst): Installation proceeded smoothly. Removed CD, rebooted. If I boot into KDE, system hangs. Can get command prompt, and can get that to hang.

Ubuntu 9.10: Live version seems to work. Installation proceeded smoothly. Boots into Gnome, and as soon as the desktop appears, it reboots. Repeats in an endless cycle.

Mandriva Free 2010.10: Live version not available. Same as Ubuntu after installation.

Mepis 8.0.12: Works fine as a live CD. Installation option shaded, can't install.

Open Suse KDE 11.2: Runs fine as a live CD. Installs and runs OK. The configuration window shows the ATI 4550 video chip, but does not identify the driver being used.

Fedora and Knoppix were also tried, and did not work.

QUESTION: Where should I look to begin to troubleshoot this? This is not a rush job. I have time to do one or two things per day.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 
Old 03-21-2010, 05:46 PM   #2
kbp
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Could be a memory issue, hangs/reboots are more likely to be hardware related
 
Old 03-21-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
mark_alfred
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If OpenSUSE works, then why not select OpenSUSE as the Linux OS that you're going to use with this new computer?
 
Old 03-21-2010, 06:24 PM   #4
themess
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If this were due to memory, I would expect it to happen at random times. Yet it does not ever happen for XP, or for distros booting live. It only occurs at the transition to the GUI under several Linux versions after installation. So, if there is a memory issue, it would seem that there is a particular address that is never accessed except at that time, and in certain distributions. At least that is how it appears to me.
 
Old 03-21-2010, 06:28 PM   #5
themess
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_alfred View Post
If OpenSUSE works, then why not select OpenSUSE as the Linux OS that you're going to use with this new computer?
If I can't get Debian to work, I will stick with OpenSUSE. But I'm a beginner. I'd prefer to learn one distro for now. For several reasons, familiar to users who know the differences between major distros, I'd prefer the stable flavor of Debian.
 
Old 03-21-2010, 06:55 PM   #6
raju.mopidevi
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Stable flavor ?
openSuSE 11.2 is stable version. Working nice !
 
Old 03-21-2010, 07:07 PM   #7
vendtagain
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I had a similar problem, where there was only a couple distros that would install. The computer was from ~2000 as well. All of them that wouldnt install was because of the same issue. I found that the ones that weren't installing were the newest versions, I figured the issue may have been a bug in a newer linux kernel. I installed an older version of a distro and it worked.

So if you want to use a certain distro that isn't working, try a slightly older version. It worked for me.
 
Old 03-21-2010, 07:12 PM   #8
coolgreen1
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Hi,

I would run memtest for a couple of hours. Also, have you overclocked any of your hardware?
 
Old 03-21-2010, 07:20 PM   #9
jefro
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Look at the drivers in opensuse when booted. It might be some odd motherboard chipset.
Could be bios settings too for acpi or apm.
As above noted it might be the lack of memory. How much do you have?
 
Old 03-21-2010, 08:00 PM   #10
themess
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolgreen1 View Post
Hi,

I would run memtest for a couple of hours. Also, have you overclocked any of your hardware?
As in http://www.memtest.org/ ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
1) Look at the drivers in opensuse when booted.
2) It might be some odd motherboard chipset.
3) Could be bios settings too for acpi or apm.
4) As above noted it might be the lack of memory. How much do you have?
1) How can I find what drivers are being used?
2) Chipset is AMD780, fairly popular chipset that has been out for about two years.
3) BIOS acpi and apm settings are default. Is there anything in particular that I should look for?
4) 2 gig of RAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by vendtagain View Post
I had a similar problem, where there was only a couple distros that would install. The computer was from ~2000 as well. All of them that wouldnt install was because of the same issue. I found that the ones that weren't installing were the newest versions, I figured the issue may have been a bug in a newer linux kernel. I installed an older version of a distro and it worked.

So if you want to use a certain distro that isn't working, try a slightly older version. It worked for me.
The motherboard is a two year old model.
The kernel in Debian Lenny is about a year old, I think.
But maybe I should try to see if Debian Etch will install.
 
Old 03-21-2010, 08:17 PM   #11
themess
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolgreen1 View Post
Hi,

I would run memtest for a couple of hours. Also, have you overclocked any of your hardware?
Nothing has been overclocked. All timings are defaults. I like to run the computer conservatively. That's partly why I want the stable version of Debian.
 
Old 03-21-2010, 08:41 PM   #12
coolgreen1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themess View Post
Hi,

Yes, http://www.memtest.org/ is the correct site.
 
Old 03-22-2010, 04:35 PM   #13
themess
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I ran memtest86+ v4.0 for about 16 hours. No memory errors were found.
 
  


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