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-   -   Install Linux Mint to bring bricked computer back to life? (

Kiff 01-20-2017 02:25 PM

Install Linux Mint to bring bricked computer back to life?
Hi everyone. This is my first post and I hope soon to be a Linux user.

My Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi2515 seems totally bricked. It says "Missing Operating System" and it also emits a high-pitched whine which upsets the dog.

My question is this: Would I be able to install Linux (Mint seems OK) to make this computer usable again?

So sorry if this is a stupid question. I don't need to recover any info from this computer and it doesn't matter if it is totally wiped, just so long as it can rise from the dead again with Linux.

Many thanks to anyone who is able to help in simple language!

agillator 01-20-2017 02:31 PM

I don't know about the whine, that may be trying to signal that something like missing OS is wrong or it may be an indication of something more serious. You won't know until you try to install a system.

If your computer will boot from a cd then you should certainly be able to install mint. Check the bios and make sure that it will boot from a cd and that the cd drive is the first place it looks for a system. If that is good, then a mint live/installation (or any distribution for that matter) should boot up and install without a problem, depending on the hardware, etc. However, I wouldn't expect any problems on that front.

Brains 01-20-2017 02:32 PM

Yes, Mint can work on that hardware, providing all components are good. As for the sake of the dog, the whine may not go away if it's a fan going down. My old laptop has survived over 11 years service, cleaning the fans every now and then is key to longevity.

Rickkkk 01-20-2017 02:50 PM

Hey Kiff - just for the sake of completeness, you can probably restore access to your current OS with BootRepair (also comes as a "live distro"). Choose the "Restore MBR" option instead of the "
Reinstall GRUB" option and specify the appropriate partition in the 4th tab for the OS you want to boot. Usually reliable and dead easy - worth a shot if you're interested in this option.

I heartily encourage your exploration of Linux, however - let us know how it goes !

Cheers :-)

Kiff 01-20-2017 03:01 PM

Thanks all for your speedy replies. Well the OS is definitely missing because I get that message come up.
Brains - The whine started about the same time so I'm assuming it is linked to the OS problem. Is the fan easy to get at to clean though??

I have tried to access the bios by tapping F2 (which I checked is the correct key for the Amilo) but it doesn't work. I have no idea otherwise how to check the Bios.

Rickkk - I will try what you suggest right away. If that works, well and good. If not then I must find a way to access the bios I suppose.

agillator - If Boot Repair doesn't work I'll go right ahead and just trial and error see if the computer will boot from a cd.

Thanks again folks. I am really grateful for all your advice.

suicidaleggroll 01-20-2017 03:02 PM

The missing OS and high pitched whine indicate (at least to me) a failing or failed hard drive. If that's the case, no OS will work until you replace it. You can try anyway and see what happens, but one of the first things you do should do is check the smart status of the drive (if it supports smart) to see if it indicates failure.

beachboy2 01-20-2017 05:14 PM


Lots of Fujitsu users having similar problems and unable to access the BIOS (F2) or change the boot order (F12):

You could try connecting a USB keyboard and see if that changes anything.

If that does not work, then I would recommend not wasting any further time (or money) on this device and ask around if anybody is disposing of an older laptop/PC.

Jjanel 01-21-2017 02:11 AM

Hi&welcome! -I- wouldn't 'throw it away' [yet]. Can you physically remove the disk (hdd)?

-I- would use it to practice, but first need to get into BIOS (to boot cd/USB).
Maybe with no hdd, it would default to cd. (is it 2G ram? or 4G? either ok)

** 'live' distros can be used withOUT a hdd ** (it's done a 'lot', to try distros)

I assume you have another computer to 'burn' .iso to dvd/usb-stick [?] 'practice';)

Best wishes! Patience & positive hope 'rules' ;) Oh, old-used hdd are cheap, like $10 maybe!

ondoho 01-21-2017 05:09 AM
review is from january 2008.

personally, i hate amilos.
had 2 of them, and problems aplenty.
siemens are good at making traffic lights, not computers.

Kiff 01-21-2017 11:08 AM

Suicidaleggroll - I Googled this but can't see any way to check the smart status when I can't get into the computer at all. You Tube wasn't much help either as his computer would actually open in the first place. However, thanks for the suggestion.

Kiff 01-21-2017 11:15 AM

Beachboy2 - tried this but sadly it didn't make any difference. Thanks anyway

Jjanel - I am now moving on to trying what you suggest. Just have to figure out how to do this so back to Googling... My other half has a working computer that will burn a disc so no worries there. If this doesn't work then the computer is going out of the house via the shortest route - the upstairs window.

ondoho - Ha ha No more Fujitsu Siemens for me either.

This seems to put a temporary halt to my Linux adventure, however, as someone once said, I'll be back!

arochester 01-21-2017 02:31 PM

An alternative source of "whines" is fans.

If the bearings dry out that can produce a noise like a siren

It can be cured either with a couple of drops of oil or replacement.

Rickkkk 01-21-2017 04:11 PM


Originally Posted by Kiff (Post 5658270)
... the computer is going out of the house via the shortest route - the upstairs window ...

lol .. OK I guess my BootRepair suggestion led nowhere ?

yancek 01-21-2017 05:17 PM


Well the OS is definitely missing because I get that message come up.
No, that isn't necessarily try as it could simply be a corrupted file system or corrupt boot files. The most logical step to take is to post some detailed informaiton on the computer as suggested above using the boot repair software.

Other information which would be useful: Did this computer ever have a functioning operating system, to your knowledge?
If so, what was it, the OS that is missing?

rknichols 01-21-2017 08:37 PM

In the standard DOS/Windows MBR primary boot loader, "Missing operating system" simply means that you do not have exactly 1 partition marked "active" in the partition table. Linux boot loaders don't care about the "active" flag and do not display that message. It's presence suggests that some DOS or Windows utility "repaired" the MBR.

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