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-   -   Bought computer that has Unregistered Linux (

Journeyer 11-30-2007 07:05 PM

Bought computer that has Unregistered Linux
i bought a computer from a guy leaving school. He told me it had Linux, but he didnt tell me it was unregistered. Now I cant do anything with the computer. It doesnt recognize any disks. How do I remove it or register it? I would either like to try Linux or load Windows.

Peatmoss 11-30-2007 07:13 PM


Not sure what you mean by "unregistered". It either has Linux on it or it hasn't and if it has, it should just work. If not, and you are willing to do a little work, read on... or wait for other posts....

If you have access to a fast internet connection and a CD burner, you could simply download one of the Desktop distros - Ubuntu seems to be the most popular. Burn the CD ROM, install it into your computer and press reset. What *should* happen next is that the computer boots off the CD ROM drive into Linux. It won't touch what's on your hard-drive, so don't worry about that. If you like what you see, simply click the INSTALL icon that should be visible on your desktop and it will put Ubuntu onto the machine permanently. Warning - it will wipe out anything that was on your hard-drive if you do the INSTALL, though.

The latest distro is called Ubuntu 7.10. For it and others, try googling distrowatch.



vansch76 11-30-2007 07:34 PM


we need a lot more info to help you.
what does the screen say when you boot it?
what version of linus is it?
what kind of computer is it?
Linux is free so there is nothing to register. do you mean
that you cant log into it? do you know the user name and password?


wraithe 11-30-2007 08:12 PM

to be an unregistered copy, would probably mean one of the commercial distributions of linux...
If you can(being at uni shouldnt be a problem tho), get a current distribution thru the university network...most universities would have a site that they allow you gain a current copy of linux and just install that...
Only a few distro's would require any form of registration and its better to avoid them unless you are using them for commercial(business) reasons...

What you may be experiencing with it not reading any discs, is the fact that either the distro your using requires you to manually mount a drive or you are logged in to an account that has no permission to mount that drive....

By getting a later distro and installing it yourself you should be able to have the ability to read the drives then....

Journeyer 11-30-2007 08:43 PM

Thank you, for all responses. But...
Computer is Compaq Presario SR5030NX , Intel Pentium 4

The message Im recieving is: Linux XP Activation
It has a box and a button that says "Activate"

This is so frustrating. I have work to do and I cant get any results.
All suggestions are appreciated.

thloh85 11-30-2007 08:53 PM

Can you elaborate on the "It can't recognize any disk"?
I don't really understand what's "registration" on Linux either (Since no one owns Linux)...
Even with commercial distribution, you're not required to register to use Linux...

thloh85 11-30-2007 08:56 PM

Well... Linux XP is something I really don't know about...
But if the problem persist, you might want to try Ubuntu Linux, Fedora Core 7, Debian, etc.
These distros are very user friendly and shall assist newbies from installation to using it...
Thank you...
Hope this helps!!!

Journeyer 11-30-2007 09:02 PM

Linux XP Activation
It doesnt open any programs. It gives me a message that says "Cant display results" when I try to use any programs. My first encounter with Linux has been ....less than happy. Its asking me to enter a registration code. If I cant have the code, I would like to install windows. But the computer will not auto run the disk.

billairds 11-30-2007 09:09 PM

sounds to me like you have linux running on top of windows. best thing to do is follow the above advice
and get distro such as ubuntu or kubuntu. if you are familliar with windows this is your best bet

netcrawl 11-30-2007 09:17 PM

Sounds like Linux XP... 99 boots then you have to pay to register it. You could do that, or google for some thing or other, or install a better version of Linux.

syg00 11-30-2007 09:17 PM

Unfortunate you happened to bump into one of the "commercial" distros - Russian by the looks of it. here is the homepage.
This experience is not typical - keep trying; something like Ubuntu (free and unfettered) would be a good choice.

Linux doesn't stop other CDs from booting -the hardware does. Some even ignore the BIOS boot order - this Toshiba laptop for example. I have to hold the "C" key down during the Toshi splash to force a CD boot, even with the CD first in the BIOS boot order.
On my Dell, F12 gives a (device) boot list - have to pick the CD from that.

custangro 11-30-2007 09:18 PM

Linux XP is one of the _FEW_ distros that requires activation. There are better Linux distrobutions out there. You can try Ubuntu, as (IMHO) it's the most user friendly distros out there (and it dosne't require activation)


Journeyer 11-30-2007 09:30 PM

Thank you! Last questions...
When the above post said "permanantly", does that mean I cant use another OS later, if I change my mind?
Can i download the distro to a disk and transfer it to the computer thats giving me the problem?
This forum has been great ,I really appreciate the help.

Peatmoss 11-30-2007 09:39 PM

Hi Journeyer

Re: your question about "permanently", you can always install another O/S later, but obviously you would need the O/S on a CD or something before you could do it. For instance, if you wanted to run Windows later, you would need to have a copy of it on CD so you could install it. You can even have Dual Boot on your computer, meaning you could have it boot into Windows or Linux by selecting from a menu when you power the computer. However, a description of exactly how to do that is beyond my abilities so I'll leave it to someone else.

Having mentioned dual-boot, I don't think it applies to your case right now since you have a version of Linux you are unhappy with anyhow. You might as well just install Ubuntu (Gnome Desktop is what I use) and do away with the troublesome version. Once you get a working machine you could later experiment with Dual Boot, if applicable.



mdlinuxwolf 12-01-2007 04:38 AM

Good Distro
Since you probably don't have any personal data on the machine yet, I'd say remove the hard drive and put it into a cage or data cable. Hook that into a computer with a disc cleaning program that meets DOD specs and wipe the drive clean. You can use another computer running Linux with something like the wipe command or a Windows machine with the right software to do this. Most of these cables use USB to interface. Here are examples.

I would suggest trying Simply Mepis 6.5.02 which is a live CD. You could also try other versions of Mepis. If it works with you hardware (sound wireless graphics etc), then use it. I feel that Mepis is an excellent distro. I also recommend Fedora 8 or SuSE 10.3. Usually, I use the KDE desktop. That, however, is a personal preference.

Look for a hardware compatiblity list to see if any distros are recommended or not for your machine.

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