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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 10-15-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
sk8trf
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Installing linux on laptop


My step dad's laptop recently crashed on him and he asked me to fix it instead of putting windows back on it i wanted to put a distro of linux on it, ive used gentoo linux in the past for a couple years my friend had to help me install it but i pretty much got the hang of it. i figured i would put mandriva on it for him since its the easiest to use(at least thats what i think) anyway i was just wondering how hard it would be to get the internet working on the laptop since the wireless is built into the laptop itself. it is a Acer laptop and ive never delt with wireless networking on linux before ive done a little reading and i dont think its going to be easy can anyone help me?
 
Old 10-15-2009, 01:45 PM   #2
sploot
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Linux on a laptop is just as complicated as a desktop machine, just with different bumps. Wireless networks are easy on most linux setups, the challenge is with authentication of those networks. So if you are using a secure network, you will have more challenges than an open network. I have never used Mandriva so I can't comment on the ease of use for that particular distribution.

What model Acer is it? And I am assuming you know that the issues the laptop has suffered to cause the crash are not so extensive as to prevent a successful installation of a linux system, right?

I have an Acer Aspire 5570Z which used to have problems with the wireless card, but I think they have fixed it with ath5k. Wireless card is AR242x Atheros on mine.
 
Old 10-15-2009, 02:13 PM   #3
sk8trf
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Its an Acer Aspire 3680-2682 im not sure of the reason it crashed in the first place its kind of old and when i boot it up it says no operating system found, and he doesnt wanna deal with windows anymore he hates it but cant afford a mac, so i told him i would show him how to use linux. i figured mandriva because i can hook him up with gnome which is more graphic than say fluxbox or anything like that, not mind you last time i even touched anything with linux on it was about 4 years ago
 
Old 10-15-2009, 04:04 PM   #4
yancek
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Download a Live CD of Mandriva (or whatever distro you want) and try it out on the computer to see if things work. If they work one the Live CD, they should work on a permanent install.
 
Old 10-15-2009, 04:09 PM   #5
sk8trf
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thanks im gonna just to the complete install if it dont work ill try a different distro like ubuntu or something, i heard ubuntu was one of the hardest to install right up there with gentoo.
 
Old 10-16-2009, 08:55 AM   #6
sk8trf
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ok so for some reason when i tried installing mandriva on the Acer Aspire 3680 after i set the clock and keyboard settings it gets stuck on the install, could it be the CD?
 
Old 10-16-2009, 10:57 AM   #7
sploot
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Does that LiveCD come with memtest86? Consider running it, if it does to verify that you don't have bad RAM sectors. If you have bad RAM, the installer could fail (or freeze) because it can't find the data its looking for (ie. already loaded into RAM.) The other problem that could have caused the crash and could create issues for your new installation is hard drive failure or corruption. This is hardy to test for, though.
 
Old 10-16-2009, 11:28 AM   #8
SaintDanBert
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... STRONG Recommendation ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
Download a Live CD of Mandriva (or whatever distro you want) and try it out on the computer to see if things work. If they work one the Live CD, they should work on a permanent install.
There are many linux distro LiveCD and LiveDVD editions out there. If you are new to linux, I strongly recommend that you try out several. The Live- media approach makes this almost trivial beyond the download-n-burn process. Unlike the world of proprietary OS, the linux community has made try-before-buy too easy to avoid.

Enjoy,
~~~ 0;-Dan

PS/ I currently use Ubuntu (and Kubuntu and MythBuntu and Ubuntu-studio ...) you get the idea. I've also used Fedora and RedHat-ES and OpenSUSE and Mandriva. ~~~ 8d:-}
 
Old 10-16-2009, 12:47 PM   #9
sk8trf
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ok so i got tired of trying to get the mandriva to work so i downloaded Fedora and burned it on a disk, i got the Live CD to run the only problem is when i click on the install to hard drive once i get to the part where you have to decide where to install it says the device is not valid. now im thinkging the hard drive is messed up because when windows was on it it said opertating system not found and now when im trying to install Fedora its saying invalid device as if there is no hard drive, im on the live cd right now and its working fine.
any suggestions?
 
Old 10-16-2009, 02:26 PM   #10
Moss
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Yeah, you pretty much have to check the hard drive before you install a new OS, especially if the previous install crashed.

What I do is get a copy of one of the hard drive wipe programs and run that. It checks the hard drive and removes stray code (I've had left over code mess up programs before). There are several that run as live CD's or off floppy.
 
Old 10-16-2009, 02:43 PM   #11
sk8trf
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is there a command in fedora that i can use to find out if the HD is corrupt or a command i can use to wipe the hd?
 
Old 10-17-2009, 10:07 AM   #12
sadiqdm
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First your problem sounds like a failed hard drive. I suggest you download and burn a copy of PartedMagic from here. This has all the utilities you need and the partitioner is great.

Check the hard drive is working using TestDisk on the System Tools menu. If you have to change it use PartedMagic to reformat the new disk before installing.

I've had most success with openSuse, and currently own or support 11.1 on several desktops and laptops. 3 of the laptops are Acer (2 different TravelMates and an Aspire) all pretty much worked out of the box. My own laptop has an INProComm wifi card which needed ndiswrapper to work, but that is available from the Suse repo so very easy.

Xubuntu works well on older hardware, and has a lighter desktop than the standard Gnome or KDE. It will depend on what he wants to do.

I find that Ubuntu & Debian is less tweakable, and I find openSuse more stable than Fedora, but this is every much a personal view. Try several Live CD's before choosing.
 
Old 10-17-2009, 04:10 PM   #13
Erik_FL
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If you don't have anything on the hard disk that you need, boot from a Linux live CD or a setup disk and run a command shell terminal program. Type in this command to check the disk for bad blocks (read and write).

badblocks -w /dev/hda

This will take longer but will preserve data on the disk.

badblocks -n /dev/hda

I don't think that computer has a newer SATA disk drive but in that case use "/dev/sda" instead of "/dev/hda".
 
Old 10-18-2009, 09:40 AM   #14
sk8trf
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i tried the
badblocks -w /dev/hda and
badblocks -n /dev/hda
i also tried sda and none of them work when i use hda it says no such file or directory and the same thing when i use sda and it is a sata drive i took it out and checked before i turned on the laptop
 
Old 10-18-2009, 11:28 AM   #15
numptypluggh
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Look at the dmesg output

to see what hdd your system has. Or, at least what is recognised by the Operating System.

dmesg | grep -i mb

That should show you the hard drive and what it is called (hda or sda or something)
 
  


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