LinuxQuestions.org
Visit Jeremy's Blog.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 10-22-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
sparvin
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2013
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 7
trying (and failing) to load newer linux on not-too-old machine


Hi,

I've been a Linux user for a few years, but still a newbie. I've been through several installs and LiveCD's, but this one has had me perplexed for 2 years, and I'm finally asking about it, as I can't find the info I need on my own. On one hand, I hope it's something simple so I can just get this working, but on the other, I hope it's complex because I would hate to waste anyone's time with something trivial, lol. Here we go.

I have an old(er) Compaq Presario with an AMD 900 MHz and 768MB RAM. It has the original 40 GB HD. When I got it, it had w2k, and it was really slow. At one point, the HD "failed", so I got another one that was too big for it (200 GB), but I used it with xp. xp wouldn't recognize the old drive, so I put the old drive on a shelf. Then I learned about Linux LiveCD's. At the time, Knoppix worked great, and I loved it, so I learned more and learned about dual boots.

Anywho, Linux recognized the old drive. The way the system currently sits, it boots from the old drive with Puppy 4.2.1. The new drive has an old copy of FreeNAS. Ok, here's my problem:

It seems that if I use an installation CD or a LiveCD with a kernel newer than 2.6.25, it fails right after hardware detection. From what I've read, something newer should work just fine on this, but it doesn't, and it's really bugging me as to why. I don't need much out of this machine. I don't even need X. I want to use it as a print server, so it has to run CUPS and needs to work with my wireless USB (DWA-125, which puppy has a hard time with). I can supply other hardware specifics on request, but I've tried this with just one HD (both) so I don't think the boot process is choking on one of those. Any ideas? Thank you in advance.
 
Old 10-22-2013, 07:16 PM   #2
spazticclown
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2010
Distribution: Fedora, Android, CentOS
Posts: 91
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 21
Hello, without an error message there is not much to go on. Perhaps as the live disk is booting pressing 'alt+d' will drop out of the grapic loader and let you see what is loading up behind the scenes and where it is failing.

Probably also worth running Memtest86+ on the system to see if you have failing memory. The knoppix live cd/dvd or most install/live disks should have Memtest86+ on them.

On a side note the hard drive issues should have been resolved with Windows XP SP1 however if it still has problems it could be a chipset incompatibility, I have run across a few of these on similar era systems.

If it does turn out to be RAM is may be possible to get used RAM from a local used PC/PC Disposal type store. Or just go Xless and even on 256mb you should be able to run a decent enough print server.

Best of luck to you.
 
Old 10-22-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
sparvin
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2013
Posts: 3

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by spazticclown View Post
Hello, without an error message there is not much to go on.
I agree. While some of the installs I've done have been with the graphical install feature (Xubuntu, for one), most have been with the text screen boot process visible (with the "loglevel=7" startup option). All this shows me is the kernel detecting the hardware. Perhaps I could try again and then type what I see into here on my laptop. For the moment, as far as I can tell, it takes between 1.5 to 3.5 seconds (depending on distro) to detect my hardware, and then it stops giving messages altogether, then the DVD drive stops spinning about 10 seconds after the messages stop. None of the messages detect the hardware wrong (AFAIK) and they certainly don't indicate any type of error.

Quote:
Probably also worth running Memtest86+ on the system to see if you have failing memory. The knoppix live cd/dvd or most install/live disks should have Memtest86+ on them.
I did not consider then, and I believe both Knoppix and Vector have that option. I shall do that before what I said before. I didn't think to do that since it does work with the older OS I have on there, but it does make sense now. If I thought there was a problem with the HD's between Linux kernels, I should've suspected other hardware as well.

Quote:
On a side note the hard drive issues should have been resolved with Windows XP SP1 however if it still has problems it could be a chipset incompatibility, I have run across a few of these on similar era systems.
It's been years since XP was on there. I don't know what caused the original failure, and it is interesting (?) that the HD failed on POST before but it's fine now.

Quote:
If it does turn out to be RAM is may be possible to get used RAM from a local used PC/PC Disposal type store.
Yes, I have a good one in my area.

Quote:
Or just go Xless and even on 256mb you should be able to run a decent enough print server.
I thought this, too, and on more than one LiveCD there is an option to boot into "Xless" mode. Tried that, but it doesn't matter as it only makes it past the hardware checks.

Quote:
Best of luck to you.
TYVM
 
Old 10-23-2013, 09:38 PM   #4
selfprogrammed
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota, USA
Distribution: Slackware 13.37
Posts: 305

Rep: Reputation: 61
Sounds like the same problem I was having with an older machine with Linux 2.2. It was due to the BIOS and Linux having different ideas as to drive parameters.
The real culprit was an old BIOS that could not choose hard drive parameters that agreed with Linux. Try to get everything using lba.

It is may be hanging in the BIOS on a drive access that never returns. This can happen with a bad drive. There being several access methods that can be used to access a drive, it is possible for one method to succeed but others fail. The BIOS may use one method, and Linux is using another.

It also depends on what hard drive controller driver was compiled into that Linux 2.6 you are using. It may not have the right driver for your disk controller chip, or may be trying to use a generic driver. There is a whole page of disk controller alternatives in the kernel config.

It could also be another device.
The Huge kernels sometimes include a driver that while searching for its hardware it may touch one of the older Ethernet cards and which can hard hang the system bus.

Last edited by selfprogrammed; 10-23-2013 at 09:47 PM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reg: GUI applications on linux machine failing to launch in Xming after Server Reboot linuxuser2k11 Linux - Server 4 03-22-2012 09:31 AM
compiz failing, GLcore.so failing to load Schrambo Linux - Desktop 4 02-23-2008 06:13 PM
Bash backup script failing using tar and --newer option saldkj Programming 3 03-12-2005 12:03 PM
Installing Linux on older machine - Failing Trefalgar Linux - Newbie 9 09-18-2004 02:36 PM
X failing to load; AddScreen/InitScreen failing for driver 0 weblion Linux - Software 1 08-01-2002 06:14 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:08 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration