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Old 01-26-2009, 06:53 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2008
Location: sw OR
Distribution: PCLOS, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Unity
Posts: 115

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Distro that supports 1998 bios?

Trying to install distro's that support old bios. I've got a pentium 3, running award bios vintage 1998. I see a hiccup at first about pre-1999 bios and acpi and then unexpected things seem to happen such as during install system will hang or I will click on something and whatever it was just won't happen. I've tried Debian, Mepis 7, PClinuxos and Puppy. I don't want a dual boot and need something simple easy to learn (end user is handicapped). Having to have a CD for booting is highly undesirable.

Suggestions please?
Old 01-26-2009, 07:37 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Summer Midwest USA, Central Illinois, Winter Central Florida
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
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Why not roll back to earlier versions of a distro? Pick one that was stable around your BIOS date. Sure you may not get all the bells and whistles but you can get the legacy hardware functional.

It's not just the BIOS as a problem but the legacy hardware. The BIOS may restrict to the 4K block reads vs the current 8K block reads for the CD/DVD. You could attempt to roll your own by editing a current distro install.

As for the 'acpi' or 'APM' problems you could disable during the install but you would have to patch after the install if you want the functions.

I use 'Slackware' on a lot of the older equipment. Sometimes I do roll back to earlier versions since that is the easy way at times. I feel lucky sometimes and attempt to use a current version to see if it will work out of the box.
Old 01-26-2009, 09:17 PM   #3
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Registered: Nov 2007
Location: Texas
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
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I recently installed OpenSuse 11.0 on a P3 with 512MB RAM. It even found the old PCI video card I had in it. I'd d/l the latest version of OpenSuse and give it a try.


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