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Old 08-27-2007, 10:39 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2007
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Why won't any linux OS install?

I'm pretty sure this belongs here, if it doesn't please let me know so I can delete it and/or move it.
I am a newbie in all means and manners but I have something I promised I would do and am having a lot of problems doing it.
I am supposed to setup a dual boot system running both windows and linux on a computer which was bought part by part and assembled just fine.
I can get just about any version of windows to install just fine, that isn't the problem.
Any time I try to get any version of linux to install, the same thing happens.
It will load the install menu for Fedora 5 and 7 plus the latest version of Ubuntu (I can't remember what it is called though)
When I choose an install option (any of them, live, graphic, txt, etc.) there is some loading dialog and the computer just stops responding.
There are no error messages and there is almost literally no response.
When I try to push the power button, nothing happens. Ctrl-alt-delete doesn't work either.
Even if I push numlock or capslock or anything, the keyboard's l.e.d. remains in the state it was just before the computer froze.
In fact, the only thing that does respond is the reset button (the power button not so much)
With Ubuntu the computer will turn to a blank screen and all of they keyboard l.e.d.s will turn off and neither of the Fedora startup dialog freezes at the same spot.

It is a AMD athlon 64x2 4400+ processor
seagate 120gb pata 3
LIT ON IT corp cdrw/dvd combo drive
240 pin ddr2 dimm corsair valueselect 1gb ram
Amd690gm-m2 ecs elitegroup motherboard

Thank you anyone for taking the time to just read this information because I have not found any solutions so far because any boot options I try also result in the same error
Old 08-27-2007, 11:33 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2006
Location: Durham, NC
Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu (yes, both)
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Sounds like a kernel panic. Are you saying it freezes when you boot
after installation? Or does the LiveCD stop responding?

Are you using a 64-bit kernel?

I strongly recommend reading Running Linux from O'Reilly. I also strongly recommend trying PCLinuxOS.

There are plenty of people here who dual-boot, and I've seen them offer plenty of good advice. Scan the threads.

Old 08-27-2007, 11:51 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: France
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you should try to disable acpi at boot (from cd). at the CD boot prompt read the instructions.
Also, as Windows installs correctly, you could try a distro with proprietary drivers just to see if there is a problem with drivers (for instance mandriva one)

Last edited by Agrouf; 08-27-2007 at 11:54 AM.
Old 08-27-2007, 12:14 PM   #4
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Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
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Since you mention ubuntu, did you try running the live version? Does that work or does it fail to boot up as well?
Old 08-28-2007, 02:52 PM   #5
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What I mean is that I cannot get the Linux install menu to run.
Neither Ubuntu or Fedora can get past the menu that asks for what kind of install I want to run (Ie: for graphical instillation press enter for...)

I'm really confused because I got windows 2k and xp working on it (just the plain old versions) so I know that the system otherwise works fine.

An interesting thing that just happened is that when I tried to get fedora core 6 to install it doesn't freeze the same way as the other installs.
The last thing to show up is "running /sbin/loader" but it does respond to num lock (the light on the keyboard lights up) which none of the others did.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that originally there was no OS or anything on the drive and I still had the same problem which leads me to believe that this isn't a dual boot issue.

Last edited by Attamagaushi; 08-28-2007 at 02:54 PM.
Old 08-28-2007, 03:18 PM   #6
Registered: May 2005
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Can you run a live cd?

Did you download and burn the distros yourself? If so, are you sure the download and resulting burn was good?
Old 08-28-2007, 04:59 PM   #7
Registered: Aug 2004
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Distribution: Debian
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It's not a "dual boot issue", it's a hardware issue. In order to do a normal Linux installation, you've got to run Linux: that's what the install CDs are for. But to run Linux, the OS has got to be setup for your specific hardware rig which requires detection and probing of components and loading correct drivers for your components. One of the problems with Linux is that while the OS is constantly being improved, since no one in the design/manufacturing end of hardware is actually targetting a Linux customer base, the Linux developers don't have enough information to have software that's quite as cutting-edge as the available hardware. Your system (or parts of it) might just be "too new".

I suggest you try removing various components and get the system as simple as possible with less cutting-edge components and see what combination can get you to a command prompt. From there you will be able to dig deeper, like looking at boot logs and looking in the /proc directory and hopefully you will be able to identify what component or combination of components gives the problem. Note that in every install CD I've used, you can get a command prompt (after the system has boot through, of course) by pressing either "alt-2" or "ctrl-alt-2". Numbers other than 2 may be needed.

I hope that's helpful.
Old 08-29-2007, 07:55 AM   #8
Registered: Sep 2006
Location: Durham, NC
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Originally Posted by drakebasher View Post
It's not a "dual boot issue", it's a hardware issue.
I reiterate: try PCLinuxOS. I had all kinds of hardware issues with Ubuntu and Mepis. PCLinuxOS has the best hardware detection and live setup that I've tried (and I've tried a lot of distros). When the menu comes up, select to load the Live distribution, not install. Install once it's done loading.

Be sure you're familiar with drive numbering and other nuances of Linux before you try to install any distro.

You can read the story of my first linux installations at

Old 08-29-2007, 08:19 AM   #9
Registered: Feb 2007
Distribution: RHEL 4, SOLARIS 10
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You also might check the motherboard (and other components) manufacturer's websites for bios updates and to see if they have any custom linux drivers.

I personally prefer running linux via vmware (vmware server is free and fairly easy to use), which also has the advantage of using the windows drivers for the hardware and thus avoids tons of compatibility issues if you just want to learn linux this might be easier than trying to do an install on a system with hardware issues.

VMs are tons easier to manage than dual boots, which I have come to dislike. Not that using vms doesn't have its own pitfalls
Old 08-29-2007, 10:43 AM   #10
General Failure
Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Germany
Distribution: Slackware 13.37
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This should definitely be the hardware.

The AMD 690 chipset is quite new and there seem to be hiccups in graphics and sata chips from what I've been reading so far. I was thinking about buying a relatively similar board but refrained from that because I read so many "Why doesn't it boot" threads about it.

A recent kernel should work tho. You might for example try Slackware 12.0 which has quite a vanilla kernel and see if it boots through. You might also want check for BIOS updates as miedward already proposed.

Last edited by General Failure; 08-30-2007 at 03:19 AM.


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