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Old 11-19-2007, 07:50 PM   #1
tnewman1972
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Registered: Dec 2006
Posts: 23

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about to try the 10th distro so far no joy


hi all,

i have a reasonably late tech machine with dual graphics cards and 4 HDDs.

i recently removed one HDD and now have it as external so have 3 left to play with.

on the primary HDD i have XP and a heap of games..this is the games machine.

i want to use linux for web development, browsing, email, video editing, graphics etc..and want to install it on drive number 3.

Do you reckon i can get it to work?- nope.

ive had to fixmbr about a dozen times so far as if grub doesnt hang then i reach a point during either hte live CD or install where my screen goes blank (all black no icons/mouse pointers) and i some instances only a reset will get it back.

a few times my XP boot was hosed to the blue screen as well.

i seem to be having graphics and boot issues that i dont know how to fix.

ive tried ctrl+F3, ctrl,alt, f3, f7, f8 etc etc etc...in some cases that takes me to a text based prompt and, being a complete newb- thats the end of the install for me.

the times i have got it to work with live CD and actually install, ive been asked where to put the boot loader.

i figure that that needs to be on the first drive my system sees- right?..i.e. together with the mbr (or does it replace the mbr?)..

so ive been sending it to the first HDD with linux on the third and no OS on the second.

ive tried gparted and a few bootloader edits but so far i really dont know enough to "make them work". I think if i can get past the blank screens then i can see how the other distros handle the install and then i can work out what of my choices is messing things up.

i'd like to use pclinuxos or mepis (has been good for me), but just d/l'd mint and mandriva to try...figure i might even put a BSD on my second drive.

can soeone please assist me with the boot issues and this blank screen?

literally ubuntu,kbuntu,xbuntu,fedora8 and mepis end up blank screen everytime..so ive ever even been able to install them.

mepis 6 worked fine. pclinuxos worked fine until i could work out how to get it to boot (error 22).

i hope someone can baby me through this.

until then im off to try the 2 latest..ill have my XP fixmbr ready!

Cheers,
Tim
 
Old 11-19-2007, 08:08 PM   #2
pixellany
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Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
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Whatever is going on here is not likely to be fixed by trying different distros.

The most common cause of blank screen is something wrong with the video configuration--two graphics cards makes me suspect that this is the issue.

Can you get running with a live CD? (You might have to specify "vesa" video)

Are the drives all IDE or SATA--or are they mixed. If mixed, it could cause issues with drive numbering.

The next time you install, take note of all the details when you try to boot---try to tell us exactly where things fail. If you do get a blank screen, do ctrl-alt-F1 to see if you can get a command prompt.
 
Old 11-19-2007, 08:58 PM   #3
ericartman
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Registered: Nov 2006
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64

I had this problem with a black screen and Ubuntu when I tried the 64 bit distro. Never had a problem with the 32 bit. I am using sata and ide drives mixed. Although I recently put Ubuntu on my Sata. It works swimmingly there. BTW I always use the suggested grub setting which I believe is on the MBR.

Cart
 
Old 11-19-2007, 11:39 PM   #4
tnewman1972
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Registered: Dec 2006
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Thanks guys. drive 1 is ide, 2 and 3 are sata.

out of the 10 distros only about 3 of them worked using live cd...the one i did get to work hosed the boot record.

i have tried just about every video option there is..vesa has been the most successful.

i have done a search for this black screen issue and get heaps of similar threads..but virtually no solutions. You'd think that if it was so common that the programmers would pay some extra attention to it (?)

I am really starting to think it is the dual video card setup..

ill try turning SLI enabled off to see...but i really wanted to use SLI in Linux.

Please give me some more ideas if you can.

i wish i could get some error messages but the screens are literally black...
 
Old 11-19-2007, 11:53 PM   #5
AceofSpades19
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Registered: Feb 2007
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Livecd installers don't usually work as well as full installers, have you tried using dedicated installers, or text based installers?, you could also use linux in a virtual machine just to get used to it
 
Old 11-20-2007, 04:23 AM   #6
arubin
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Another idea might be to install a distro which does not go straight to GUI. In slackware the installer is text based and when you first boot up the installation you go to the command line. You can then then try different configurations to get your GUI working.
 
Old 11-20-2007, 07:32 AM   #7
pixellany
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How about my question about getting a command prompt by typing ctr-alt-F1?

Another text-only distro is Arch. BUT---pick one and stick with it. You can always run any distro text-only by putting "single" into the kernel line in /boot/grub/menu.lst
 
Old 11-20-2007, 11:30 PM   #8
tnewman1972
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Registered: Dec 2006
Posts: 23

Original Poster
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thanks for all the help guys.

of all the distros ive tried- only mepis and fedora 8 will install.

now the next problem...neither of them install the boot loader so that it works.

question:...when asked where i want to put the boot file.(?)

i install the distro then select "use whole drive..." then get asked where i want to put the boot loader... do i put it where my xp boot file is (i.e. HDD 1)?....reason i ask is that i then get a prompt where i am asked if i "really want to install the boot file to location that is not the same as the install"....what the?!

i figure that the pc looks at HDD1 for a boot loader... in the past this of course has been the xp mbr and wasnt a problem when i had dual boot xp/vista. both OSs came up to select from.

if i select HDD1 as where to put the boot file i always get a grub error- either 22, or even get stuck at grub stage 2 loading..


last night i went into fedora and opened up the menu.lst file...is this whee i can configure the boot?

if so, what should that text look like considering my hardware...xp on disk 1, ntfs only on disk 2 and linux on disk 3?

this is really frustrating as thee are gaping holes in the intuitivity of these OSs in that there are a bunch of questions and options along the way and little, if any explanation of what they are and what are the consequences...

its fine to expect one to do some reading but i gotta actually be able to install it to see what it is all about before i decide to spend any time learning more about it.

i think in the mean time ill visit pixelany's links- they look relevant.

looking forward to some wisdom so i can actually use linux one day...

Thanks in advance. Tim
 
Old 11-20-2007, 11:39 PM   #9
tnewman1972
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Registered: Dec 2006
Posts: 23

Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceofSpades19 View Post
Livecd installers don't usually work as well as full installers, have you tried using dedicated installers, or text based installers?, you could also use linux in a virtual machine just to get used to it
yes this is a good option infact one that i might end up doing as ALL the distros worked doing it that way and i then have OSs on the fly.

BUT i was really wanting to make use of a completely free HDD really.

i had other issues with vmware also like drivers etc that didnt want to play using the virtual method.
 
  


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