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lmcilwain 09-25-2007 03:02 PM

Fedora 7 Failed to Install - Dell c800 / Toshiba Portege 7200
Hello all,

I have been trying to get Fedora 7 installed on an old Dell C800 and an even older Toshiba Portege 7200 with absolutely no results :(

When trying to install from the live CD I get the following issues:

C800 - X11 is split in half. There is one line that is close to the right side and it looks like the desktop is shifted to the left. It makes it pretty much impossible to navigate.

Portege 7200 - It boots up fine from the live CD fine, but when I tell it to install from the hard drive, nothing comes up. I don't get any prompts at all. I can see the cd spinning but nothing comes up at all. Eventually the disk stops spinning and I'm left wondering what happened...

When trying to install from the DVD I get the following issues:

Portege 7200 - I am told it doesn't have enough ram to be able to run x11 setup, then dumps me into the text setup. While this is no big deal to do the setup using text, when the system is done re-installing and it reboots, X11 still doesn't start (which I'm not surprised), but doesn't help me for my use of the system (non-server).

Can anyone tell me if they have ran into any of these issues? Is it possible that the C800 or the Portege need bios upgrades to get the OS to install?

wmakowski 09-25-2007 09:10 PM

I've run into the problem you are having with the C800. Once installed I reconfigured xorg.conf to the specs for my monitor and video card and it was cool after that.

How much RAM are you working with on the Portege 7200? The Architecture Specific chapter of the release notes has the hardware requirements for Fedora 7.


lmcilwain 09-25-2007 10:19 PM

Thanks for the reply on this subject.

For the Dell c800 - How were you able to install from the Live CD? I don't have a dvd rom on that laptop so I can't install from the DVD. WHen I boot from the live cd I can't navigate to a point where I can start the install to the hard drive. Even if I could I wouldn't be able to make it through the prompts with the way the LCD displays.

For the Portege 7200 - I am working with 128MB of ram (that is all it holds). It seemed to be enough to get the Xserver to start on the live CD but not on the DVD install.

wmakowski 09-27-2007 10:27 AM

I used an alternative installation method so I did not experience the Live CDs. My install was also done on a machine that does not have a DVD drive. By downloading the DVD image and mounting it on another computer I am able to install using NFS. If you don't have another computer you can use ftp or http to install via the internet.

Check out section 3.3 Which Files Do I Download? of the installation guide under Minimal Boot Media. The key to this are the small boot images located in the images directory on the ftp server. I used boot.iso to create a boot CD and then perform the install. There is information about all the images in the README file.

On a side note, you may be interested to know that the images directory has been around since the early days of Red Hat Linux. Back then it was necessary to create a boot floppy because PCs weren't able to boot from a CDROM.

For the Portege you might be able to perform a text install and then switch over to a GUI after the install. I know the installation program uses a lot of memory during the install, but once the system is up and running it can run with less. XFCE is the lightest desktop among those provided. You may be able to use Gnome or KDE, but I'm not certain how fast it will be.


lmcilwain 09-27-2007 10:42 AM

Thanks for the info Bill.

After many hours of working on this with a co-worker, we narrowed down the X11 issue on the C800 to be related to the number of colors we wanted to display. It was set to millions but when we set it to thousands it seemed to work properly.

This was a test we did after doing a text install and a remote install using FTP from a machine in the same room. We googled for about 20 minutes and found the correct settings that someone posted on another forum. Once we got it working, we changed it to millions of colors and the screen went crazy like it was during the install.

Since I got this finally working on the C800 I have no need to do this on the Toshiba but I do have the same Toshiba at home running FC6 so I was concerned about not being able to upgrade that. I am glad that I went through this exercise to be able to understand how to do a remote install so now I can do it all the the time and not have to worry about the DVD :)

I can say that it took a good 2 or 3 hours of constant work at it to get it all and running.

wmakowski 09-27-2007 11:32 AM

Glad to hear that things worked out. I prefer remote installs such as NFS and ftp. They tend to move along much quicker than a CD or DVD. One of these days I want to set up a PXE server and try the pxeboot option. What can I say, there are worse hobbies. :)


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