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Old 09-01-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
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Linux on old PC Hardware

I have several old PCs Pentium 4 from 2002, 2005. Originally they were running Windows XP. Each PC on its turn got stuck because of h/w problems, and I couldn't install Windows on it anymore. But linux works seamlessly on the PC.
My theory is, that linux drivers can cope with malfunctions that windows drivers can't.
Does anyone know why this is happening?
Old 09-01-2010, 12:51 PM   #2
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My theory is, that linux drivers can cope with malfunctions that windows drivers can't.
I don't think linux drivers are any better at handling errors in hardware than windoze drivers. That said, you should see errors reported in linux that windoze may not report.

You say linux works seamlessly. Was this on a live CD you tested from, or did you install to the hard drive? A live CD bypasses any HD problems that may exist, until you install to the HD.

I have had years of experience installing both. On a windows install, I usually delete the old partitions, create new ones, format, and install. Has this been your approach? If not, you may be having problems with partition tables, and bad blocks on the disk. They can cause the install of any OS to fail.

Disk problems show up before you start installing the code, most often. ( no guarantees though ).
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:09 PM   #3
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In almost all cases every company that makes a part uses some version or more of windows to test their systems. Almost no part is ever checked on linux.

It would be almost impossible for me to believe that you have a few systems that can't run windows and yet runs linux. You can use linux to help you track down the drivers you may need for windows.

As above there used to be an odd issue with partition numbering that may have prevented dos/win98 from installing. XP should not have that old issue.
Old 09-08-2010, 04:08 PM   #4
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I can believe it. This machine runs Win98 (it is not mine, mine is Linux and is off-internet). The hardware keeps changing as newer old machines become available. I have had peripheral problems with getting drivers for Win98. Later Win offerings are not attractive. They require faster machines with more memory. I have known of customers that have come back to have their Vista removed so they could go back to XT.
This machine is going to go to Linux, as soon as I can prove to another person that Linux can handle the emails.

Most of the Linux drivers were written to support older hardware, and that capability is maintained. You can still load the graphics drivers for a Voodoo, or a first gen network card, or an pre-IDE Soundblaster-cdrom driver, or an XT harddrive, on the latest Linux.

Last edited by selfprogrammed; 09-08-2010 at 04:15 PM.


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