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Old 10-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
user387
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Registered: Oct 2012
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problem with upgrading Linux on Dell Dimension 4300


I have an old Dell Dimension 4300, with a 1.8 GHz CPU, 512 MB of memory, and an 80 GB disk that is about half full.

I currently run SUSE 9.2 and Windows 2000 on it, without problems, and want to upgrade my Linux version so that I can run some specific software that requires a later version. I plan to put the new version in a separate partition.

I have all the current Linux distribution Live CDs, and have no problem in making Debian and Slackware work at the shell level.

However, when I attempt to run openSUSE and Lubuntu and Ubuntu, they start out okay, and then the screen goes blank and I have to start over.

I've tried all the usual "safe settings" angles, without success.

Since SUSE 9.2 works okay, I assume that there's nothing basically wrong with the hardware, and that the problem may be not enough memory.

So I am thinking of skipping the Live CD and just trying to do a regular install, or else using a partition program to set up a swap file or something before running the Live CD.

Can anyone help with this?

Thanks!
 
Old 10-26-2012, 07:58 PM   #2
markush
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Hello user387, welcome to LQ,

it is very likely that your graphics-adapter is the problem (to weak) and therefore any distribution which starts with X doesn't work.

Could you please tell us, which graphics-adapter your laptop has?
Please post the output of
Code:
lspci -k | grep -iA4 graph
(executed as root or with sudo). If this gives no output exchange "graph" with video.

Can you start fluxbox or any lightweight WM when running Slackware or Debian?

Markus
 
Old 10-26-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
syg00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user387 View Post
I've tried all the usual "safe settings" angles, without success.
Such as ?.
Is a shared memory graphics - some of the Dells reply on a Windows driver to increase the RAM allocation for graphics ?. May not play well with KMS - try nomodeset maybe.
 
Old 10-26-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
JaseP
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Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Distribution: K/Ubuntu 12.04/14.04, Scientific Linux 6.3/6.4, Android-x86, Pretty much all distros at one point...
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That machine is an older P4, 32-bit processor, probably without PAE support,... so You need a distro that still supports a non-PAE 32-bit kernel,... Plus the graphics work via older AGP port graphics cards... If it is nVidia,... It's likely a no longer supported type,... So, you're likely going to force the system to a vesa driver until you can get the appropriate driver for your system.
 
Old 10-28-2012, 06:52 AM   #5
user387
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Registered: Oct 2012
Posts: 2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by markush View Post
Hello user387, welcome to LQ,

it is very likely that your graphics-adapter is the problem (to weak) and therefore any distribution which starts with X doesn't work.

Could you please tell us, which graphics-adapter your laptop has?
Please post the output of
Code:
lspci -k | grep -iA4 graph
(executed as root or with sudo). If this gives no output exchange "graph" with video.

Can you start fluxbox or any lightweight WM when running Slackware or Debian?

Markus
When I run "lspci -k", I don't get any lines of output with "graph" or "video" in them.

The nearest output is for the VGA controller, which is an ATI Rage 128 Pro Ultra TF.

My goal is not a fancy graphics setup, but I'd like to be able to run a lightweight window manager and have a couple of shell windows. As I already mentioned, SUSE 9.2 runs fine on the hardware.
 
Old 10-28-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
cascade9
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Registered: Mar 2011
Location: Brisneyland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaseP View Post
That machine is an older P4, 32-bit processor, probably without PAE support,... so You need a distro that still supports a non-PAE 32-bit kernel,...
All the P4s I've ever seen have PAE support. After the release of teh pentium rpos, pretty much all the intel CPU suported PAE, the only exceptions I can think of are some 400MHz FSB Pentium Ms (though I have some odd idea that the original 'Covington' 266/300MHz celerons didnt support it either)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaseP View Post
Plus the graphics work via older AGP port graphics cards... If it is nVidia,... It's likely a no longer supported type,... So, you're likely going to force the system to a vesa driver until you can get the appropriate driver for your system.
No, shouldnt be that either. Even if the OP had an nVidia card.

I just did an install with debian 7.0 (beta 3) on a system with an ancient nVidia card, no problems at all.

BTW, that system was-

2.0GHz celeron
256MB RAM
GF 4200 Ti
40GB HDD

Which is lower in CPU/RAM than the system the OP is working on (assuming that the OP ha a full P4, not a 1.8GHz celeron). Debian Xfce installed just fine 'out of the box'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by user387 View Post
I have all the current Linux distribution Live CDs, and have no problem in making Debian and Slackware work at the shell level.
Have you tried installing a desktop with debian? Or running tasksel?
 
  


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