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Situation so far: I have successfully lodaed and used Mandrake 9.1. However, I could not get it to recognize the print server I have (Hawking Tech PS12U). I've tried RedHat 9, College 2.3, and Icepack 2.75, but the all hang during reboot. I did successfully load the SuSE 8.2 Live Eval (liked the setup a lot). Tried the FTP download, but the boot cd (and bootdisk) failed to recognize (and/or set up) my nic. I broke down and bought SuSE 8.2 Personal Edition. But it has the same problem as Redhat and the rest. Tried to call the support line, but they're closed until 8/29. I have disabled plug&play in the bios. (Also verified all md5sums on ISO's when downloaded)
It will go thru and start processes and check hardware. With RedHat and SuSE, it usually stops where it seems that GRUB is started (?), at least there's a comment about GRUB on the screen when everything stops.
I tried to install SuSE with Lilo, but got an error during the install (not sure why), so I changed it back to GRUB and the install seemed to work. It still hung at the same point when I rebooted.
With Mandrake (the only distro the actually works on my machine so far), it will hang at a blank screen (before hardware verification and processes started) if i manually chose the linux boot option.
A friend at work had advised me to try to get a boot disk made during an install (up till now, none of the floppies I tried worked, but they were very old, don't use floppies much anymore). I go some new ones today and decided to try Redhat again. The new floppies did not work (think the floppy drive may be bad, will swap it out later), but I was actually able to reboot after the install!!
Two changes that I made: 1. used lilo instead of grub 2) chose "remove all partitions instead of "remove Linux partitions"
I don't know how much the second item helped (only had Linux partitions on the hd). Not sure why grub would not work. I'm going to check if Mandrake uses lilo by default (which would explain why it was the only distro to load previously).
Is there any reason to use grub instead of lilo?
I'm just so happy that I actually got another distro to load. Now, I just want to see about getting SuSE to work (I like the default desktop, especially the fact that it labels the DVD as DVD, instead of CDROM1, like Mandrake).
Having swapped out 3 floppy drives and two floppy cables on two different machines, it looks like I have two dead floppy drive controllers. That would make a total of 3 in the last two years out of 4 motherboards.
I tried to use fdisk to reformat my hardwarive, but i got an error message "unable to do that in standard mode". there's a non-standard mode? unfortunately no man pages for MS-DOS commands.
I found two old harddrives (2.5 and 6.5 G). the 6.5G had RH 7.2 on it (haven't checked the other one). Tried to fdisk the 6.5, but got the same error again. I then tried to load SuS2 8.2, but still get stuck at "Grub loading stage2".
If anyone has any idea what I can try next, please let me know.