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Whatif 10-12-2012 08:54 AM

Very Old PC
 
Hello,

I have an old PC, Pentium III 450MHz, 224MB RAM, and an 8 and 80 GB hard drives. I installed VectorLinux Light Edition. First the installation didn't recognize the 8GB hard drive which should be sda. How do I confirm that the 8GB hard drive is damaged? I installed Linux on sdb1 and use the installation CD to boot into Linux using

Linux root=/dev/sda1 ro

I want to save as much memory as I can to run other programs. It has 78MB free ram when I'm running GUI. When I used the who -r command it states that I'm in runlevel 4, shouldn't that be runlevel 5?

I then used the init 3 command. It switched to runlevel 3 but when I checked the free memory, only 85MB is free. Shouldn't be more ram available since I'm switching from GUI to runlevel 3?

Thank you,
Mike

TobiSGD 10-12-2012 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whatif (Post 4803907)
How do I confirm that the 8GB hard drive is damaged?

Use the manufacturer's diagnosis tool.

Quote:

When I used the who -r command it states that I'm in runlevel 4, shouldn't that be runlevel 5?
Vector is a Slackware derived distribution. Slackware is using runlevel 4 for multiuser GUI. Which runlevel to use for what is mostly an arbitrary decision, but not a standard. In Debian, for example, runlevels 2-5 are all the same.

Quote:

I then used the init 3 command. It switched to runlevel 3 but when I checked the free memory, only 85MB is free. Shouldn't be more ram available since I'm switching from GUI to runlevel 3?
Please post the output of
Code:

free -m

Whatif 10-12-2012 10:23 AM

The output of free -m in runlevel 4:

total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 209 132 76 0 8 94
-/+ buffers/cache: 30 178
Swap: 0 0 0


The output of free -m in runlevel 3:

total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 209 125 83 0 8 94
-/+ buffers/cache: 22 186
Swap: 0 0 0

snowpine 10-12-2012 10:39 AM

free -m is telling you that you have 186mb available:

http://linuxatemyram.com

Whatif 10-12-2012 01:59 PM

Does that mean Linux recognizes 209MB RAM? I have 224MB RAM and it shows in the BIOS screen.

MrCode 10-12-2012 02:02 PM

free only accounts for all available userspace memory; that is, all that is available to applications (and for disk caching). It doesn't usually account for memory reserved by the kernel or I/O addressing space.

(This is just my speculation; I may not be totally accurate with this…if anyone knows better, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. :))

snowpine 10-12-2012 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whatif (Post 4804178)
Does that mean Linux recognizes 209MB RAM? I have 224MB RAM and it shows in the BIOS screen.

Guessing the computer doesn't have a graphics card and so some of the RAM is being used for video?

TobiSGD 10-12-2012 02:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snowpine (Post 4804193)
Guessing the computer doesn't have a graphics card and so some of the RAM is being used for video?

I would think that computer normally has 256MB of RAM, but uses 32 MB vor the videocard. The difference between the 226 and the 209 should be the memory used by the kernel, as MrCode already stated.

frankbell 10-12-2012 08:32 PM

If the issue is determining the health of the hard drive, I would suggest booting to a Live CD or bootable USB stick with a distribution designed for system rescue and running diagnostics from it.

System Rescue (http://www.sysresccd.org/SystemRescueCd_Homepage) and Trinity Rescue Kit (http://trinityhome.org/Home/index.ph...&locale=en)are two good candidates.

Edit: For a computer of that age, a bootable USB stick may not be an option. I'd suggesting trying the CD.

This page offers some good hints about diagnosing hard disks: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/37659...isk-utilities/

TobiSGD 10-12-2012 09:09 PM

The easiest way is still to use the manufacturer's tool. No learning of Linux tools involved.


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