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Old 07-10-2005, 03:46 PM   #1
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Unhappy Hardware Detection/Installation Freeze Mandriva LE 2005

I'm trying to install the latest Mandriva and I'm having some serious issues. I've tried to find common issues related to my hardware, but I haven't found any in my searches, so first I give my specs:

Asus A8N-SLI motherboard (nForce4), very recent or latest BIOS
AMD Athlon64 3200+ (90 micron)
2x512MB RAM, dual-channel (forget brand, but came in dual pack) = 1GB
IDE 0 Master: Asus DVD E616P2
IDE 1 Master: NEC-3500A (DVD RW)
nForce SATA: WD Raptor 80GB
1xGeforce 6600GT
SB Audigy2 Value (OEM)
USB: Logitech MX500 Mouse
PS2: Keyboard
PnP OS is off in BIOS

Basically, I can't get Mandriva to work. Different attempts result in different results. Booting from ASUS DVD doesn't work: LE i586 says that installation failed on startup, pressing alt-F4 to get kernel messages shows media errors, but I tried on two different burned DVDs including one burnt by another who installed Mandriva himself successfully from it. The DVD reads perfectly in Windows XP. I also tried 10.1 i586 DVD and installation boots boots just as before, then proceeds to tell me that there is no CD in the drive it just booted from!!!

So when I try to boot from NEC drive it works, except that when my mouse is plugged in and PnP OS is off in BIOS the USB detection fails. If I unplug the mouse it starts the installer but if I plug in the mouse the system freezes between 15 to 60 seconds after the plugin, although the mouse works for that time. After mouse fails, about 3 sec later keyboard fails and a few sec later I can't even press num lock or caps lock on keyboard and see the LEDs change. I tried Mandriva 10.1 and got similar results but I gave up very quickly on that as I wanted to install LE 2k5 and not 10.1.

Plugging mouse into PS/2 port and I got LE 2005 installed properly (finally), and although it did not detect my video card (I had to manually select vesa as nv driver did not work) or my sound card, it did install. But then on boot hangs at "detecting new hardware". So I put my mouse back on USB and it passes this point and gets to X but then system freezes as per previous description before I had a chance to get through mandrakefirsttime!

I would also like to mention that Knoppix 3.9 works PERFECTLY on this system -- it detects and boots from the Asus DVD properly, detects and uses the mouse perfectly, and Geforce card is detected and works perfectly (although no 3D acceleration of course as it does not include the proprietary driver). So I know running Linux is possible. Also memcheck86 shows no memory errors so I doubt my RAM is bad (although Win XP has been running for 6 months no problem).

I am extremely disappointed in Mandriva, but I am still willing to give it some extra effort. I feel the Audigy problem can be solved easily by playing with some driver stuff and the NV problem can be solved by installing the proprietary drivers. I haven't gotten far enough in the OS to check if the Asus DVD works besides the installation, but this whole freeze issue is an extreme problem. Can anyone please help me out?
Old 07-10-2005, 06:24 PM   #2
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Most people get frustrated with Mandriva sooner or later (no offence to those that like it). I would suggest you try a different distro. Maybe Ubuntu or something like that for n00b's. I tried Mandriva too, not long ago, it installed fine, but I very soon got the impresion that it was an extremely bloated distro, way to many unnesesary programs. But, of course that is your choice. You could borrow a ps2 mouse for the install and later plug in your usb mouse.
hope that helps.
Old 07-10-2005, 07:17 PM   #3
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I have a converter for my USB mouse to plug it into PS/2. It works fine in terms of the USB detection that case. If I plug in the USB mouse later, Mandriva freezes.

I'm keen to your idea of switching distros. I've been using Mandrake since 8.0 back in 1999 I believe, and I have an emotional attachment to it, but I am downloading FC4 as I type this to try that out. It seems to have a complete DVD for x86-64, whereas Mandriva's seems to be only a single CD. I only use Linux to play with so it is nothing major if I can't get it to work. In fact this has happened many times so I usually just try some other year. I do use Linux and Sun Solaris on a daily basis both on server and for embedded software development so I am not a *nix noob by any means, but Linux on desktop has been dissapointing mostly for years, so I try it out hoping it will get better. Mostly it is hardware issues like these, and that is more the fault of hardware vendors than Linux developers, but it doesn't change the fact that installing Linux and doing most things on Linux just a lot of times is too hard.
Old 07-11-2005, 07:47 AM   #4
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Update: so now I have tried FC4 and I'm having some of the same problems. While my USB works and I haven't encountered the lockup that occurs if my mouse is plugged into USB as I did with Mandriva, it still has the problem with the DVD drive where it boots perfectly and loads kernel from my primary drive and then proceeds to tell me that there is no CD in the drive (alt-F4 shows same kernel errors that were seen for Mandriva).

The graphical installer autodetected "nv" driver for my Geforce 6600GT, which does not work just as in Mandriva, so anaconda failed to start. "linux lowres" also fails, so I had to resort to "linux text". In text mode using the NEC drive instead of ASUS I installed FC4 properly. On reboot, FC4 starts to init, but after hardware detection it tries to go into graphical mode, I think (because it is on the "F7" terminal), and the system halts. I tried to use "I" to do "interactive startup" to startup in text mode but it never gave me any options to do anything. Now I don't know what I can do to change the boot process? I suppose it is time for me to move this discussion to the Fedora forum...


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