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Old 05-17-2003, 09:56 AM   #1
Brianstech
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: northeastern Ohio
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1,Icepack 2.75, Xandros, Knoppix 3.2 Lindows 4.0, Evil Entity
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Mandrake and my ignorance


Growing tired of win98, been reading all the hype for Linux distro's, dying to try one. If satisfied, I plan to run my new comp
w/no ms prods, only open source. I've got a few weeks to play with Mandy on my current machine 'til I acquire all the hardware
to complete my dream machine. For a newbie to pc's, ( 11 mo's ),
I've been proud of many accomplishments up until now.

So here's my dilemma;

Bought 3 disc Mandrake 9.1 w/no manuals and installed without studying first. Planning a dual boot, I used the help buttons to better understand the install process as I went along.

Now I'm completely stuck, and would appreciate any help!

When I fire up the machine, it goes through the normal routine, Compaq logo, then loads the blue Mandy screen with 4 options that I can't change with the keys. Then on to another blue screen before the black one that looks like DOS.
Type in name/pswrd ,and get 2 lines that read; Idm_validate_partition_table()isk read failed. Then,"Last logged on", then my name a few times with a "$" on the end. It
waits for a command while I look on, dumbfounded.

I wish I could at least access win98 to carry on with my normal routines while I figure this out. I get into the compaq bios,
and what a joke, no help. I would also consider uninstalling Mandy for now 'til I've learned more. As a last resort, I would Fdisc
the whole mess, and start fresh. I just can't get past this screen to do anything else.

As you can tell, I still have a lot to learn. But for now, I could really use some help!
 
Old 05-17-2003, 10:02 AM   #2
Crashed_Again
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I'm not sure if I complety understand your situation. After the ldm_validate error you get to a prompt right? You are able to type commands correct? If so try typing:

startx

to get to the desktop. On the blue mandy screen what option is it choosing to boot to? It is odd that you can not navigate the choices with your keyboard yet you are able to enter username and password.
 
Old 05-17-2003, 11:16 AM   #3
Brianstech
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: northeastern Ohio
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1,Icepack 2.75, Xandros, Knoppix 3.2 Lindows 4.0, Evil Entity
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Okay, red Compaq logo appears, then nums lock light on kboard
fires, then goes back off with first blue/gray window. Options;
linux (highlighted)
linux-nonfb
failsafe
floppy
counts down from 7 secs while I have no kbrd ability to change options. Then goes on to larger bl/gry window where nums lock lite reappears. More funky lingo, and onto black DOS-looking stuff.
I then tried "startx", here's what I get;
hostname: Unknown host
Writing authority file /home/brian/.X authority
excve failed for /etc/x11/x (errno2) giving up
xinit: no such file or directory (errno2): unable to connect to x server
xinit: no such process (errno3):server error

This looks way complicated, unless it can be fixed easily, I'm very open to an uninstall, or a reformat of that partition, or whatever viable solution there is.
I thank You, Crashed, and anyone else who would like to help an idiot out of trouble.
 
Old 05-17-2003, 06:40 PM   #4
destry
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Brainstech-Mandrake

First of all Brainstech, your not stupid! Do you have a disaster backup of your Win98 harddrive? If you are not able to get back into your original configeration or find and repair the problem, you will need to restore your drive!

As a newbie, I cannot help you with Mandrake, having never installed it, however as with all Linux programs which are boxed, when you first install a Linux program you are presented with the option to install the Linux OS on the unpartitioned space and preserve the existing data. Did you do this?

If not your Windows partition may have been overwritten! If that is the case you will need to restore your original partition using win98 as the first installed OS because Linux is good at reformatting and preserving and Windows is not.

When your computer comes up type in ls -l to see your Linux dirs. and make a list of them. Then you can boot into your drive with the win98 startup disk and at the prompt type in Dir/w to see your dos dirs. There may be a way in Linux to see both but I dont know the commands.

If you will give Linux a chance, even though it is harder to configer, in the end you will enjoy it more.

destry
 
Old 05-18-2003, 07:18 AM   #5
geoff_f
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Location: Canberra, Australia
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First of all, there is no need at this stage to format Win 98 and start again. I had some trouble installing Mandrake 9.1 myself and was able to restore the ability to boot into Windows. Shutdown your machine and insert a Win 98 Emergency Boot Disk. Start the machine and wait until it gets to the command prompt. No particular boot method is needed; if you get presented with a choice, pick one that does not involve mounting the CD-ROM. When you have a command prompt, enter:

fdisk /mbr

This will reset your hard disk's Master Boot Record, which will remove the Mandrake boot screen and ths should let you boot into Windows again. OK, this should have taken you back to square one for installing Mandrake.

From the info you provided, you were able to successfully install Mandrake, but hung on the first attempt to boot into Mandrake after the installation. This also happened to me, so I'll let you know what I did to fix it, in case it is applicable in your case.

Firstly, make sure Plug N Play OS is set to 'No' in the BIOS. This is necessary for the BIOS to correctly identify all the hardware for Linux.

Secondly, make sure the ACPI (Power Management) is disabled in the BIOS.

Thirdly, if your motherboard has on-board graphics which shares system RAM, you may have to tell Mandrake's installation routine how much RAM it has to play with after the graphics RAM is allocated. For example, if graphics RAM is set at 64MB (this setting would be in the BIOS) and your total RAM is 256MB, you press F1 at the start of the installation routine and enter:

linux mem=192M

If the installer hasn't detected the graphics RAM correctly, then this step should prevent any memory violations.

Finally, near the end of the installation procedure when the Bootloader options are being put in, make sure 'Enable ACPI' is unchecked, and that 'Force noapic' IS checked.

Hope this is useful,

Geoff.
 
Old 05-18-2003, 09:15 AM   #6
destry
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Location: Texas
Distribution: Win2000, Lindows, Xandros, Mandrake?
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geoff

geoff, do you know if turning off plugnplay in the bios is always necessary to install Linux? If so, this may be why we have had some problems in the past!

I agree that tk will not have to restore his drive as a first step, however every computer user should have a backup of their drives when ever anything which could hose the system is attempted!

Thanks, destry
 
Old 05-18-2003, 12:02 PM   #7
Brianstech
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: northeastern Ohio
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1,Icepack 2.75, Xandros, Knoppix 3.2 Lindows 4.0, Evil Entity
Posts: 16

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Ignorance Update

First off, thanks to Destry and Geoff for your replies. I'm now on this site through my new Mandrake 9.1, the only OS currently on this computer at this time. Through my struggles yesterday, I was
hoping to format only the Mandy partition. BIOS boot to Win98 start
up floppy got me in. Again lost keyboard function until I switched from USB to PS/2 board. Went into FDISK blindly with an attempt for a partial wipe and ended up dumping everything BUT Mandy! Oh
well, no real harm. BIOS boot to CD, reinstall. First Mandisc allowed full wipe for clean install, which went a lot better than the first time. No black DOS-looking screen of death. Few issues left, but
happy so far.

I really want to say how much fun this is. I'm driven with a purpose. I have been very anxious to dive into the Linux commune
for awhile now. I'm pretty sure that this is my future, given my propensity for alternatives. A little defiance makes one feel alive.

Back to my new OS, I'm getting a couple of disc partition read errors, which may explain why things load a bit slowly, I dunno.
Most hdwre up and running, haven't tested scanner & print yet, can't find their access or icons. It claims to recognize sound but I haven't heard a peep yet. Loaded music disc into DVD-rom, but
CD program won't run it. I have to shut down manually, and restart the comp to fully eject disc. Tried MSN radio, denied without Internet Explorer. Whew!, someday I'll hear My 6 speakers
again. Haven't tried loading any games yet, maybe I'll get sound then.

Within a few days, my 3rd Linux purchase should arrive. It's
Man 9.1 plus many extras, including manuals. I probably should of waited for it before installing. If the manuals are any good.

Anyway, thanks again. This whole experience, including this forum, is a blast! And I'm still open to suggestions, if anyone is interested.
 
Old 05-18-2003, 01:08 PM   #8
mhearn
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Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Durham, England
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
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To be honest it sounds like a dead disk. Errors on login. Partition problems? Check the hard disk for bad blocks, maybe buy a new one?
 
Old 05-18-2003, 08:20 PM   #9
geoff_f
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Registered: May 2003
Location: Canberra, Australia
Distribution: openSUSE 11.3
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Destry,

I got the tips I posted here from many sources, but the one about PNP OS setting in the BIOS came from the Mandrake 9.1 Quick Startup Guide that comes with the Powerpack edition. It makes very clear the need to switch PNP OS to No, so that the BIOS can initialise PNP devices to help Linux recognise some devices, which it would not be able to recognise otherwise. And yes, this could very well be the reason for many people having installation problems installing Linux, especially where they are experiencing hardware problems. Note that the Mandrake guide makes a general reference to 'Linux', not Mandrake Linux, per se.

Brianstech,

I agree with mike - your hard disk seems suspect. Run a disk checker over it; there are a few good ones available for download. I recommend gwscan, from the Gateway site here:

http://support.gateway.com/support/d...=all&chkWord=1

I suggest you get version 5.07. gwscan is made by Maxtor (from memory) but will happily work on other brands. I was able to resurrect a Seagate drive by writing zeros to all locations to fix a partioning problem. Most of the hard drive manufacturers have similar free disk utilities for download.

I strongly recommend you resolve these hard drive issues before proceeding much further. You will be building on a bad foundation, so to speak. It would be much better for your future sanity to have fundamental problems sorted out at the outset. gwscan will be able to let you know if there are major problems with your hard disk, and be able to fix the minor ones. Then re-install Mandrake; you may find that a lot of your problems disappear with this one step.

Good luck,

Geoff.
 
Old 05-18-2003, 08:50 PM   #10
rufius
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Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Miami, FL
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 184

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Brian, a quick word of advice, you may want to check into your video card manufacturer's site and find yourself the drivers for your card for linux. This will help your computer perform somewhat better and allow you to play some of the games that arent compatible when you're using just the linux default driver. Same with sound, if MDK doesn't already have support for it, you should go looking for it via your manufacturer's website.
 
Old 05-18-2003, 09:18 PM   #11
geoff_f
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Location: Canberra, Australia
Distribution: openSUSE 11.3
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Brian,

To get sound working, start KMix (K->Multimedia->Sound) and make sure the applicable inputs are turned on. For some reason, Mandrake has the system sound turned off by default. Turn it on by activating the PCM icon (hover the mouse to see which is which). While you're there, turn on the CD, WAV,etc. When you exit, KMix will leave an icon in the taskbar. The last thing you will need to do is to right-click it and select the Mute item to toggle it off. This is MUTED by default (!!!!!!). Mandrake developers must not use the sound.

FDISK is a very blunt tool, sort of like a sledgehammer on a tack; there is no 'partial wipe', it's all or nothing! The only non-destructive command is FDISK /MBR, which writes the standard master boot record to the boot sector, and touches nothing else. All other operations in fdisk wipe everything. The best partitioning tool you have at your disposal now is the partitioning tool in the Mandrake installer (also available in Mandrake Control Centre). This can do non-destructive resizing of partitions, adding and removing partitions without affecting others, etc. Keep it in mind.

Geoff.
 
Old 05-18-2003, 09:55 PM   #12
destry
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Location: Texas
Distribution: Win2000, Lindows, Xandros, Mandrake?
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Brainstech

Brainstech, I agree with other posts which state that you may have drive problems, however did you have any problems with your drive before attempting the Linux install? If not then the drive may not be a problem, at least enough to replace. Any time an install is done on a drive it should be formatted and as was stated zero filling a drive can make sure that no extraineous data is left to cause problems. If your drive gets the "death knock" you know its finished!

destry
 
Old 05-18-2003, 10:03 PM   #13
destry
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Location: Texas
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geoff

geoff, thanks for your reply. Could you elaborate on Mandrake 9.1.

We installed Suse Pro 8.2 but found it a little daunting. It seems to configerable for our ability and we never were able to get the modem working for some reason along with the cd burner. We finally found out that the CD rom was configered as the slave to the IDE buss, but we were never able to change it to the secondary buss.

Would you say that if we were not able to use Suse the same would be true of Mandrake 9.1. If so it could save us some time.

An opinion would be helpful. In Dos or Windows we have no problem, however in LInux we are totally lost.

destry
 
Old 05-18-2003, 11:48 PM   #14
geoff_f
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Location: Canberra, Australia
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Destry,

I can't give an opinion on Suse because I've never used it, but I can with Mandrake because I've dabbled with 7.2, 8.0 and 8.2 before getting serious with 9.0 and 9.1. For a little more background, see here:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...960#post307960

I found the 9.1 installation to be very easy compared to the earlier ones. It's quite easy to follow the prompts in the installation process and just answer the questions. The only problems I had were in configuring my computer correctly Before starting the installation (as above); once I got that right, the rest was a breeze. I was then, and still am now, a complete newbie with Linux, so I think that says heaps for the quality of Mandrake's Installer. My computer has some newer components, so I was not sure if Mandrake would recognise some of the hardware. My previous experience with earlier versions was on an older computer.

For reference, these are my computer components, which Mandrake had no trouble in working with:

ASUS A7S333
Athlon XP 1800+
512MB Kingston DDR RAM (2 X 256MB sticks)
ASUS V7100 Pro MX400 graphics
Seagate 20GB drive primary
Seagate 80GB drive primary on plug-in PDI IDE card (ie, not detected by the BIOS)
CMD 0649 Ultra ATA100 PCI controller
Soundblaster Live 5.1 DE
Lite-On 40125S CD-RW drive
Pioneer DVD-116 DVD-ROM drive
Netcomm NP1100 10/100-TX fast ethernet adapter
Kyocera mita FS-1010 laser printer.

I was particularly concerned about the motherboard, as the SiS 745 chip was not mentioned as being supported. I was very impressed that Mandrake detected the plug-in PCI card (and its connected 80GB drive), especially as the card is from a not very well known manufacturer.

First, on your comments about your CD-ROM and CD burner, Linux (similarly to Windows) does not determine whether they are on primary or secondary busses, nor whether they are master or slave; this is all done by the physical connections: ie, the IDE cables are plugged in to either the primary or secondary IDE port, and jumpers on the back of the drives determine whether they are connected as master or slave. Refer to the drive manufacturer's site for the detail on how to check if this is set as you want it to be. The BIOS setup will confirm how it is set, but you can't change it anywhere but making changes to the physical connections. As a broad generalisation, If you have a DVD-ROM drive, set it as master to the secondary IDE port (assuming your hard disk is on the primary port) and connect your CD-RW as slave to the secondary port.

The biggest concern I had was with setting up a dual-boot situation, as I was nervous about blowing away my Win ME installation because of my inexperience. I needn't have worried - it all went very smoothly, able to boot into either installation. Between LILO and Mandrake's partitioning tool, there is no need to purchase Partition Magic or the like; it can all be done with 9.1. I was able to transfer my Mozilla bookmarks and e-mail to Mandrake very easily as well, so I've had little reason to boot into Windows since.

In summary, I found Mandrake 9.1 very easy to install, eveything was configured when it was up and running. All I have had to do is tweak and play - and I am enjoying it. I would heartily recommend 9.1 to anyone. I have read on many forums that Mandrake seems to be the easiest for the beginner, and that Suse is perhaps not quite the easiest.

HTH,

Geoff.
 
Old 05-19-2003, 12:01 AM   #15
geoff_f
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Destry,

Sorry, I missed saying something about the modem. If yours is an internal modem, chances are that it is a winmodem and that it will not work with Linux. Google Linmodem for the latest info on that. Most forums recommend an external modem that is guaranteed to work with Linux. The difference is that winmodems are missing some hardware chips, and instead rely on Windows software to complete the functions that would be otherwise done by the chips in a 'real' external modem. Be careful with this: apparently some USB modems are not real external modems, just winmodems that reside outside the computer.

Geoff.
 
  


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