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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 08-12-2004, 01:06 PM   #1
too_many_people
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Registered: May 2004
Distribution: Mandrake 10, College 2.5
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Linux Install on a Compaq Presario


This feels rather embarrasing for a first topic...

So I got myself a new Compaq Presario (a SR1123WM if you're wondering). I was quite pleased with my choice: I avoided having to build my own system (I'm far too lazy for that) and it was a decent deal.
I opened the box up, set up everything and booted the computer to make sure everything worked. As I waited for XP Home (*shudder*) to boot, I perused the manuals that came with the product.
After assuaging my "does this thing even work" concerns, I popped in a Knoppix Live CD (to see how well Linux would work in general) and rebooted. The friendly Knoppix boot screen popped up and I hit enter, assuming a default boot would be fine. The boot loader ran...and the computer froze.
This struck me as odd, so I stuck in a Mandrake 10 install CD and booted from it. The friendly Mandrake 10 boot menu appeared ("<F1> for Help," "<Enter> to Install") and I hit enter. The computer promptly rebooted.

What I'm wondering is:
Does anyone here have any hints or anything about this? I contacted HP (who owns Compaq) support and they said:

"The Presario product line was developed for home users utilizing
Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, and Windows XP Home operating systems.
Mandrake Linux is primarily a business application and Presario
products were not designed as business systems. Therefore, you will have to
contact the Linux support for further help and we do not have the
authorization to support for any Third party programs."

This struck me as a little bit of BS. I was under the impression that Linux was for both home and business use...
Any help I could get would be appreciated.
 
Old 08-12-2004, 01:15 PM   #2
webwolf70
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I have a Compaq Presario S6000CL. I just bought it earlier this year. Don't bother calling Compaq. They have no clue what going on unless they have it in there manual infront of them. I went in circles with them for hours trying to trouble shoot XP.

As far as Linux goes the distros that work the best for me are Suse and Mandrake. If you have a dial up connection then I recomend suse. It is a lot easier to get the winmodem working then Mandrake. A good recuse/bussniess card distro is Damn Small Linux. All are good and work fine with my Compaq. What kind of hardware do you have? My girlfriends computer is an HP Pavilion 533w and our computers have almost the same hardware, bios, etc.


Webwolf
 
Old 08-12-2004, 03:00 PM   #3
too_many_people
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yeah...

Hardware is here:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...A41937%3A64213

What's kicking my ass is the computer's inability to boot from anything but the pre-installed OS. I haven't tried any other MS OSes yet, but I'm getting the feeling that they won't work either...
I had heard once that Compaq does something screwy with the drive to block it from being re-done.
I looked in the HCL and couldn't find anything about Presarios...
 
Old 08-12-2004, 04:16 PM   #4
webwolf70
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If you don't need XP for anything then use Damn Small Linux or another distro to completely wipe the drive and instal linux. Compaq and HP computers have a rescue parition on them. Also Dells and so on are starting to have their own type of partition on it with teir stuff. If you do need XP do what I did. Go out and by it seperate and don't use the bundle XP that comes with Compaq computers, they are sh*t. They also wipe the whole drive if you have to re-install it. They Take down all partitions. I'll check out your hardware and see if it is like mine. my bios is pheonix award bios(can't remember the version of hand,) and my hardrive is a western Digital Ultra DMA 80 GB.


Webwolf

Last edited by webwolf70; 08-12-2004 at 04:17 PM.
 
Old 08-12-2004, 11:57 PM   #5
too_many_people
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Fun update:

Both the College and Debian installers loaded fine, but Fedora's also rebooted the computer. I find this strange.
On the other note, I had thought of just reformating, but I would kill the restore partition if I did (because I can't stand those things) and I don't have a restore CD set. Good advice though...
My overall impression (based also on the strange HPFS/NTFS shown in cfdisk) is that HP/Compaq does put some type of proprietary coding on the HDD. Why they would do this baffles me, but then again, it's taken Compaq how long to build a case that doesn't suck?
 
Old 08-13-2004, 01:06 AM   #6
webwolf70
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If you want to use their software/XP call them up. I did and I bitched at them. They didn't have any cd's and I wanted the cd's. I wasn't going to rely solely on a partition. I also did this for my girlfriends computer. She has an HP Pavilion 533w. They sent them out within a few days. Actually, lol. I was so frustrated with the set up and some other problems I told them never mind I was going to return the computer and get a real one. They sent the cd's to me within twelve hours after talking with them and they originally said it would be a few days at least. I am not sure how they got them to me so quickly but they didn't want to loose a customer, lol. Call them and tell them you want the cd's or you will get another computer. That will get them moving.

But I stopped using their software. XP is screwed up enough and IMO what ever they added to it made it much worse.



Webwolf

Last edited by webwolf70; 08-13-2004 at 01:09 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2004, 01:10 AM   #7
too_many_people
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This is kind of degenerating from a high-minded kinematic workout of difficulties with proprietary hardware setups to a HP/Compaq bitch session, isn't it?

Can you get drivers off those CDs? 'Cause they stopped putting the drivers on their site (if they ever did). Going to the "Software and Drivers" page for my box gives me two driver updates and, if I remember right, the Theme! pack from Windows 98.

Thanks for your help.
 
  


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