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Old 12-09-2003, 08:18 PM   #16
LQ Guru
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Sparta, NC USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 5,141

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Since you apparently have the case of a failing hardware autodetection, I would next try booting with the "no-" options, one at a time, like in knoppix noagp noaudio noddc noapm noapic nodma nopcmcia noscsi nousb until I found the hardware giving you the problem.

                     CHEATCODES AND HINTS FOR KNOPPIX V3.3
                         (last update: 22.09.2003)

These options (can be combined) work from the SYSLINUX bootprompt:

knoppix lang=cn|de|da|es|fr|it|nl   specify language/keyboard
knoppix lang=pl|ru|sk|tr|tw|us      specify language/keyboard
knoppix alsa (or alsa=es1938)       Use ALSA sound driver (at your own risk)
knoppix desktop=fluxbox|icewm       Use specified WM instead of KDE (1)
knoppix desktop=kde|larswm|twm      Use specified WM instead of KDE (2)
knoppix desktop=wmaker|xfce         Use specified WM instead of KDE (3)
knoppix screen=1280x1024            Use specified Screen resolution for X
knoppix xvrefresh=60 (or vsync=60)  Use 60 Hz vertical refresh rate for X
knoppix xhrefresh=80 (or hsync=80)  Use 80 kHz horizontal refresh rate for X
knoppix xserver=XFree86|XF86_SVGA   Use specified X-Server
knoppix xmodule=ati|fbdev|i810|mga  Use specified XFree4-Module (1)
knoppix xmodule=nv|radeon|savage|s3 Use specified XFree4-Module (2)
knoppix xmodule=radeon|svga|i810    Use specified XFree4-Module (3)
knoppix 2                           Runlevel 2, Textmode only
knoppix floppyconfig                Run "" from a floppy
knoppix myconf=/dev/sda1            Run "" from a partition
knoppix myconf=scan (or config=scan) Try to find "" automatically
knoppix home=/dev/sda1/knoppix.img  Mount loopback file as /home/knoppix
knoppix home=scan                   Automatic search for knoppix homedir
knoppix no{apic,agp,apm,audio,ddc}  Skip parts of HW-detection (1)
knoppix no{firewire,pcmcia,scsi}    Skip parts of HW-detection (2)
knoppix no{swap,usb}                Skip parts of HW-detection (3)
failsafe                            Boot with (almost) no HW-detection
knoppix pci=irqmask=0x0e98          Try this, if PS/2 mouse doesn't work *)
knoppix pci=bios                    Workaround for bad PCI controllers
knoppix ide2=0x180 nopcmcia         Boot from PCMCIA-CD-Rom (some notebooks)
knoppix mem=128M                    Specify Memory size in MByte
knoppix dma                         Enable DMA for ALL IDE-Drives
knoppix noeject                     Do NOT eject CD after halt
knoppix noprompt                    Do NOT prompt to remove the CD
knoppix vga=normal                  No-framebuffer mode, but X
knoppix blind                       Start Braille-Terminal (no X)
knoppix brltty=type,port,table      Parameters for Braille device
knoppix wheelmouse                  Enable IMPS/2 protocol for wheelmice
knoppix nowheelmouse                Force plain PS/2 protocol for PS/2-mouse
fb1280x1024                         Use fixed framebuffer graphics (1)
fb1024x768                          Use fixed framebuffer graphics (2)
fb800x600                           Use fixed framebuffer graphics (3)
knoppix keyboard=us xkeyboard=us    Use different keyboard (text/X)
knoppix splash                      Boot with fancy background splashscreen
knoppix toram                       Copy CD to RAM and run from there
knoppix tohd=/dev/hda1              Copy CD to HD partition and run from there
knoppix fromhd=/dev/hda1            Boot from previously copied CD-Image
knoppix testcd                      Check CD data integrity and md5sums
expert                              Interactive setup for experts

Hint: Using the default DE-bootimage, SYSLINUX boots with german keyboard
layout. The '=' letter is located at Shift-0 on this keyboard (just in
case you want to change keyboard and language with lang=us).

*) Try "knoppix pci=irqmask=0x0e98" if (you have a notebook and) your
PS/2 mouse doesn't work. (Possibly caused by a BIOS-flaw on your board,
BIOS updates can help.) Sometimes, switching to the text console with
Control-Alt-F1 and back to the X-screen with Control-F5 solves the
problem without rebooting, since the X server reinitializes the mouse
driver during that procedure.

If your KNOPPIX CD makes strange noises during boot, or you see
frequent errors like "cloop: read error", or programs on your KDE
desktop keep crashing randomly, then your CD image is probably defective
or incomplete, or your CD-burner created a defective CD due to wrong
writing speed or bad media. This is the most common error reported.
Please boot with "knoppix testcd" to check if the CD is OK, and/or even
better, verify the MD5 checksums that are present on the mirrors before
writing the CD. In some cases, defective IDE controllers cause this
error if you have DMA enabled. Also, please read the KNOPPIX-FAQ.

In case of a failing hardware autodetection, try booting with any of
the "no-" options as shown in the table above, like in
   knoppix noagp noaudio noddc noapm noapic nodma nopcmcia noscsi nousb
to skip some critical parts of the autodetection system.

The "noswap" option is useful for a forensic analysis without touching
existing swap partitions.

Some Boards apparently don't pass the proper memory size to the 
linux-kernel. It may cause the message "Panic: cannot mount root file 
system" and the system hangs. Use "knoppix mem=128M" to solve that 
problem if your system has 128MByte memory for example (caution:
you MUST use a capital "M" here).

The "expert" mode provides a very simple interface to loading additional
Kernel modules from floppy disks (ext2 or vfat), plus interactive
configuration of mouse/keyboard/soundcard/xserver. "expert" mode supports
the same boot options as "knoppix".

The "floppyconfig" or "(my)config=/dev/partition" options allow you to
reconfigure the system after autoconfiguration by running a bourne
shell script called "" from the root directory on the given
device (or floppy). There is a GUI to create such a configuration
floppy disk calles "saveconfig" (also located in the KDE menu under
"KNOPPIX", but experts also know how to do this by creating their own
shellscripts. From Version 2.1 and up, a file called "", if
located in the toplevel KNOPPIX directory on CD, will also be executed
at startup. This makes ist easier to create customized versions without
having to change anything on the compressed filesystem KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX.

SCSI-Emulation is active for all CD-Roms, so IDE CD-Writers should
work with the installed versions of cdrecord and cdrdao (or the
graphical frontends thereof, k3b for example).

If your BIOS does not support el torito booting from CD, you can create
a bootable floppy disk by issuing (on Linux)
dd if=/cdrom/KNOPPIX/boot.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=18k
or, in case of DOS, use the rawrite.exe program provided in the
KNOPPIX directory on CD.

If you wish to remaster the CD, please don't forget to specify
	-b KNOPPIX/boot.img
for the german version of the bootfloppy, or
	-b KNOPPIX/boot-en.img
for the english version, as option to mkisofs. Otherwise your CD
won't be bootable. The directory KNOPPIX, containig the compressed
filesystem file "KNOPPIX", must be located in the top level
directory of the CD.

Caution: X-Screensaver: Don't start xlock or any screensaver that
requires a password. There are no default passwords on KNOPPIX,
i.e. all accounts are LOCKED unless you explicitly set a password.
See also README_Security.txt about this issue.
If you accidentially hit the screensaver button in KDE,
switch to one of the textconsoles by Control-Alt-F1 and kill
the screensaver (or just set a password for the knoppix user).

If you would like to edit your X-Server configuration manually
(/etc/X11/XF86Config-4 for XFree86 V4.x), use "knoppix 2" to boot
into runlevel 2 (textmode only) and, after changing the X
configuration, start the X environment with "init 5". Note that
you can always leave the graphical environment with "init 2", and
restart it later with "init 5".
Old 12-09-2003, 08:55 PM   #17
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0
Posts: 26

Original Poster
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Still no luck... maybe my computer just hates me.
Old 12-09-2003, 10:02 PM   #18
LQ Guru
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Sparta, NC USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
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I think Dell and Microsoft have a secret agreement, myself.
Old 12-09-2003, 11:32 PM   #19
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Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0
Posts: 26

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Thanks for all of your help... Maybe someday I'll get this to work. At least I learned a little bit about Linux and Dell laptops today. Thanks again.
Old 01-30-2004, 09:14 PM   #20
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: a little west of Birmingham, AL, USA.
Distribution: Porteus 3.1
Posts: 934

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Man, what a puzzle! Try to do a minimalist install and then install more stuff via the RPMs, the debian Apt-get, or whatever method that flavor uses. Right now, dodge RedHat, SuSE, Mandrake, (RPM flavors). Also try Dam Small Linux (I think It isn't as big or complex as Knoppix.
Old 01-31-2004, 12:01 PM   #21
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Suse Pro 9.0
Posts: 84

Rep: Reputation: 15
hey i have the same problem... all of my distros freeze during "second stage install" and others in different areas... my technician said to try low level formatting my hard drives but in a forum i posted someone said not to do that if i ever want to use them again! there is a command in linux to format the drives but i cannot get it to work... mkfs.ext2 /dev/hdb1

it says its mounted and will not make a filesystem here!

blah blah blah...
still stuck with suse 7.0, no internet, no sound, essentially very few hardware items have proper drivers... my technician never shows up when I call, this is getting old fast. I just want to get this working.

Last edited by kaz4u2dig; 01-31-2004 at 12:04 PM.
Old 01-31-2004, 12:41 PM   #22
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Sparta, NC USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 5,141

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Try this (ext3 filesystem):
Sat Jan 31 01:24pm root@uilleann /pub/iso # mount
/dev/hda7 on / type reiserfs (rw)
none on /proc type proc (rw)
usbdevfs on /proc/bus/usb type usbdevfs (rw)
/dev/hda3 on /boot type ext3 (rw)
none on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,gid=5,mode=620)
/dev/hda9 on /home type reiserfs (rw)
/dev/hda1 on /mnt/win98 type vfat (rw)
/dev/hda2 on /mnt/win2k type ntfs (rw)
none on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw)
/dev/hdb4 on /pub type ext3 (rw)
/dev/hdb1 on /pub/iso type reiserfs (rw)
/dev/hdb2 on /pub/iso/LinuxDistros type ext3 (rw)
/dev/hda6 on /mnt/gentoo type reiserfs (rw)
/dev/hda3 on /mnt/gentoo/boot type ext3 (rw)
/dev/hdb4 on /mnt/gentoo/pub type ext3 (rw)
proc on /mnt/gentoo/proc type proc (rw)
/dev/hdc1 on /mnt/storage type vfat (rw)
/dev/hdc1 on /mnt/destination type vfat (rw)
Find the mountpoint in the list and unmount the partition (make sure no filemanagers, consoles, etc are looking at the partition or you can't unmount it)
Sat Jan 31 01:24pm root@uilleann /pub/iso # umount /pub/iso
umount: /pub/iso: device is busy
Sat Jan 31 01:28pm root@uilleann /pub/iso # cd .
Sat Jan 31 01:28pm root@uilleann ~ # umount /pub/iso
Sat Jan 31 01:36pm root@uilleann ~ # mke2fs -j /dev/hdb1
mke2fs 1.27 (8-Mar-2002)
Filesystem label=
OS type: Linux
Block size=4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
977280 inodes, 1953905 blocks
97695 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=0
60 block groups
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
16288 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks: 
	32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632

Writing inode tables: done                            
Creating journal (8192 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done

This filesystem will be automatically checked every 22 mounts or
180 days, whichever comes first.  Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.
Sat Jan 31 01:36pm root@uilleann ~ #

Last edited by fancypiper; 01-31-2004 at 12:45 PM.
Old 03-24-2004, 11:26 PM   #23
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2004
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 0
Check your CDROM drive

I use two linuxes - Mandrake 9.2 and Morphix (a Knoppix flavor)

I know that Mandrake 9.2 shipped with a problem when used with certain CD drives based on a certain chipset. I'm not certain what that chipset is, but when I need to install on a box, I have to go fetch a CDdrive I know that works - most of the DVD drives I have are finicky with installation.

I have the same problem when I use Morphix. It uses a 2.4 kernel, probably about the same version as Mandrake 9.2. I can't use it on certain CD drives. It's gets as far as loading, and then hangs when it gets to init or loading modules.

I've tried this out on a variety of machines and configurations, and all it took for me was to change the CD drive to get things working perfectly.

I realize that on a Dell laptop, your options are limited, so this may not be of much help.
Old 03-26-2004, 09:24 PM   #24
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: a little west of Birmingham, AL, USA.
Distribution: Porteus 3.1
Posts: 934

Rep: Reputation: 32
I'm having the same thing on my Thinkpad as far as it not installing any flavor of Linux. I don't know why, and I used the CD drive on it to install Linux before, but it keeps failing. It acts as if the CD's bad though it appears scratchless. This happens with RedHat 9, Lindows 4, and Mandrake 9 & 9.2 (all flavors I have). The same CD's work fine on my desktop, whather in the DVD drive or the CD-RW, though the RW seems to do even better. What's going on? The same chipset problem mentioned a second ago?


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