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Old 11-02-2010, 01:34 PM   #1
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Gave up on UBUNTU/LINUX due to no support for my "legacy" hardware

I finally had to give up on UBUNTU/LINUX because I cannot afford to buy a new PC, and so far the "supported" and "new" versions do not recognize my external hard drive, or my Dell Latitude Wireless NIC.

Sadly disappointed, if I want to use a Wireless connection, or use my external hard drive, I HAVE to return to Microsoft Windows XP.

It seems apparent that the volunteer programmers are either unable or unwilling to support at least some "legacy" (my Dell laptop is about 5 years old) hardware.

I tried 3 different UBUNTU versions, but they didn't accept new version installs for some new "add-on" proprietary on-line media files (especially Adobe and Apple). And none of them support my wireless NIC or my 100GB external backup drive.

I don't understand why there appears to be powerful motivation to continually bring out new UBUNTU/LINUX versions, rather than improve current tried and true versions so all hardware is supported. But I am not a programmer, just a used-to-be UBUNTU/LINUX newby.

Perhaps when I can afford a new PC, I will try UBUNTU/LINUX again, but it seems unlikely any future versions will support older hardware.

Hopefully, by that time, Adobe and the other proprietary software companies will provide LINUX drivers and LINUX-compatible versions.

Last edited by gtamplin; 11-02-2010 at 01:36 PM. Reason: grammar & syntax
Old 11-02-2010, 01:45 PM   #2
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5 years old laptop is not really that old. I am not an Ubuntu user, but I am able to get my old Dell Latitude to work with Fedora 13 without any special driver setup require. I doubt Ubuntu is any different.
Old 11-02-2010, 01:46 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear that you've given up. I'm surprised by these two things (well, maybe not the wireless). But as this is your first post, maybe we could have helped you if you had posted some information about the errors you received or things from the log files. Some of the older wireless cards require a bit of a hack called ndiswrapper to get working. As for the hard disk, it's possible you just need to tweak the mount command to mount it up. Other than failed or encrypted drives (of which I didn't have the encryption key), I've not found a hard disk that I couldn't mount under linux.
Old 11-02-2010, 01:49 PM   #4
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You haven't really given any information about your system which makes commenting on your claims rather difficult. Your remarks are limited to Ubuntu but you must bear in mind that there are many many other distributions around. Linux has an excellent record for dealing with hardware no longer supported by Windows. It's a pity you didn't take the trouble to tell us about your own system. Oh well.
Old 11-02-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
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ndiswrapper FTW.

And by "does not support my external hard drive" do you mean that it does not automatically pop up when you plug it in? Do the following to remedy this:

1. Let's create a place to mount your external hard drive
you@ubuntu:$ cd /mnt
you@ubuntu:$ sudo mkdir external

2. Plug in your hard drive, and then do
you@ubuntu:$ dmesg |tail
You will see some stuff here, but you should at the bottom see "blah blah blah detected. mounted to /dev/sdc" or something along these lines.

Let's assume it's /dev/sdc

3. Let's put this in your /etc/fstab so it will automount
you@ubuntu:$ sudo nano /etc/fstab

Now you will get an output like this:

udev /dev tmpfs rw,mode=0755 $
tmpfs /var/cache/apt tmpfs rw,noexec,nosuid $
tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs rw,nosuid,nodev $
devpts /dev/pts devpts rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,$
sysfs /sys sysfs rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev $
proc /proc proc rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev $

NOTE: My fstab is a little wonky because this is installed on a plug pc

You now need to add a line which will identify said drive. For me, my external drive is /dev/sdc3. We take the reference point from dmesg for proper mounting.

So add a line at the bottom like so:

udev /dev tmpfs rw,mode=0755 $
tmpfs /var/cache/apt tmpfs rw,noexec,nosuid $
tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs rw,nosuid,nodev $
devpts /dev/pts devpts rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,$
sysfs /sys sysfs rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev $
proc /proc proc rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev $

#mounts the USB drive
/dev/sdc3 /mnt/external reiserfs rw,user,auto 0 0

Dissected: /dev/sdc3 is my drive, /mnt/external is where I'm mounting it too, reiserfs is the filesystem, rw,user,auto means we're automounting read/write for the drive

Another note here, is that my filesystem type is reiserfs on my HDD, you may be using ext3/ext4/etc. Identify what it is prior to doing this

4. Mount your drive
you@ubuntu:$ sudo mount -a

And that's all there is to it.

Now, if you don't know what the filesystem type is, you can do the following prior to the above steps

you@ubuntu:$ cd /mnt
you@ubuntu:$ sudo mkdir temp
you@ubuntu:$ sudo mount /dev/sdc3 /mnt/temp
you@ubuntu:$ df -HTv
Filesystem Type Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
tmpfs tmpfs 264M 0 264M 0% /lib/init/rw
udev tmpfs 11M 775k 9.8M 8% /dev
tmpfs tmpfs 264M 4.1k 264M 1% /dev/shm
rootfs rootfs 485M 182M 303M 38% /
tmpfs tmpfs 264M 40M 224M 15% /var/cache/apt
/dev/sdc3 reiserfs 499G 355G 145G 72% /mnt/tmp
you@ubuntu:$ sudo umount /mnt/temp

Let me know if you have any questions.

Old 11-02-2010, 03:14 PM   #6
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Dear me, First post and all you can do is greet and girn. When your Windows system doesn't recognise a bit of hardware what do you do? You go out and look for it on the Web! To slate Linux because you have to do the same thing is a bit off.
I'm sure I've read somewhere that Linux has more drivers than Windows 7!

Give us some details and we can help. Linux is NOT Windows, you can make it do what YOU want, you're not restricted to someone else's interpretation of how something should work.

Go on... Give it a go, don't give up before you've started!

Play Bonny!

(I only use old systems - Ten and counting...)
Old 11-02-2010, 03:17 PM   #7
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Why not post your issue and let us try to fix it?
Old 11-02-2010, 03:41 PM   #8
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Location: Waaaaay out West Texas
Distribution: AntiX 17
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And as a side note. I have 2.6.35 Liqourix kernel working. All my sound,external mic, external camera,skype,latest browsers, java jre6u22, Shockwave 10.1 r85, Icewm and Fluxbox Desktops, using Sid repos on a IBM A22m , pentium 1000, 256MB ram, 20gig Hardrive, Dualboot with Puppy Dingo 4 with all the above plugins and applications and Hardware working also. Oh yeah, External Hardrive auto-mounts in AntiX and Puppy also.

So if Unhappy with Ubuntu Gnome or KDE install. Go for a

and build it to suit. Unless you are happy running Windows XP. I can't afford a new PC also. But I'll be horn swaggled if I'll put Windows 2000 Pro back on that Laptop.

Happy Trails, Rok


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