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Old 08-01-2004, 10:08 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 519

Rep: Reputation: 35
I need further advice on getting Slackware onto this ancient laptop, please!

I'm attempting to install Slackware on a Twinhead Slimnote-8100CX, specification:

100 MHz
500 MB hard drive (+ 16 MB swap space)
Floppy drive.
PCMCIA network card (Netgear FA411 - well supported by linux generally on the 8390 module I believe)

The last thing is a problem, if it had a CDROM drive, I would be happy - things can get installed easily. However, I've tried a lot and I still can't install Slack -

Option 1)

Install Slackware 7.1 (the last version of slackware to provide floppy sets for series A/N)

Okay, not a problem, I'll just make 18 disks up, one lowmem.i, one color.gz, 16 series A disks.

However, they invariable will be corrupt, even though I've formated the disks and verified them, then copied the files over, all the disks I have become unreadable - probably due to the fact that they're old - I've now thrown away around 30 disks which didn't work. I want to try and avoid making floppys again or buying them - they cost a lot in England - everyone uses CD-Rs or USB drives

Option 2)

Network install - or at least 'wget' the disk sets onto the hard drive and install from there

Okay, so I make up four disks - fight against the corrupt disk problem and eventually I have four disks. Boot up - lowmem.i from 7.1 refuses to boot - redownload - still doesn't work. Scrap that, go for 7.0 - everything boots up - I run pcmcia, card services starts up. Then I run network, probe for 8390 - it loads.

Now what?

# ifconfig

brings up a loop back device

# ifconfig eth0

No such device (or something along those lines)

I'm stuck

Option 3)

Sisela boot disk - loads up, notices the FA411 network adaptor - I can ping my local network BUT I can't mount my hard drives. Oh dear.

I'm fast running out of options - I want to avoid making floppy disks - my desk is now covered in old and broken disks - I don't mind making the four for booting up the Slackware 7.0 install with pcmcia network support if someone can tell me how to give it an IP address and a gateway.

Cheers for reading that, hopefully you're still awake!

Last edited by SBing; 08-01-2004 at 10:09 AM.
Old 08-01-2004, 10:43 AM   #2
Amigo developer
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Germany
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 4,856

Rep: Reputation: 547Reputation: 547Reputation: 547Reputation: 547Reputation: 547Reputation: 547
have you read up on the net install method? Don't you need to run netconfig?
I have several mini-Slack.alike distros starting at 20MB, and I've meant to provide the smallest as a split-zip file like you tried. 8MB/1.4=6 floppies.
Old 08-01-2004, 11:54 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 454

Rep: Reputation: 32
Option 2)
How do you expect eth0 to get an IP address? Do you have a DHCP server? If you want a static IP add it to the ifconfig command:
ifconfig eth0 ipaddress netmask or whatever.

What does lsmod show?

Did you try to create eth0 with insmod or modprobe?

Another option would be to use tomsrtbt or loaf or such that has wget.

If you are going to netboot, try a newer version, like 10.

Last edited by RobertP; 08-01-2004 at 11:57 AM.
Old 08-01-2004, 02:37 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 519

Original Poster
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Cheers for your input!


Here's what I've done:

1) Insert lowmem.i and boot
2) Insert color.gz when prompted
3) Login as root
4) Set up my swap partition, 'mkswap /dev/hda2 ; swapon /dev/hda2'
5) Start card services, 'pcmcia', insert pcmcia.dsk when prompted
6) Type 'network', type 'p 8390' when prompted, the hardware is recognised.

Now, I should have explained I had tried these:

# lsmod
lsmod: not found
# netconfig
netconfig: not found
# modprobe
modprobe: not found
# insmod
insmod: not found
# ifconfig eth0
Device not found

I think I'm gonna try tomsrtbt / loaf first, if not, I'll try amigolinux

Edit soon :)


Well, tomsrtbt found the pcmcia network card straight away - it didn't pick up the DHCP server, but never mind -

Set up the IP with 'ifconfig'
Set up the route with 'route add'
Set up the nameserver with 'elvis /etc/resolv.conf'

And the laptop is online.

I downloaded /mnt/cdrom/slakware/a/ and /n/ to the hard drive, this means I can create two floppys from slackware-10.0 and install from the hard drive. Once A and N are installed, it'll be slightly easier to add what I need by getting each package one by one :)


Last edited by SBing; 08-01-2004 at 04:07 PM.
Old 08-01-2004, 04:15 PM   #5
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: California
Distribution: Slackware & LFS
Posts: 799

Rep: Reputation: 33
I have an old Toshiba laptop with 100MHz Pentium and 4MB RAM. I went through a lot of the same issues as you, and finally what I did was to reformat one partition as fat32 then install zipslack on that partition. Then I booted with a win98 bootdisk, used loadline to boot zipslack, then moved the zipslack install to my ext2 partition and reformatted the fat32 to ext2 and used it as /home. Finally I set up lilo.conf and fstab to reflect the correct partition setup.

--- Cerbere
Old 08-02-2004, 02:27 AM   #6
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Birmingham, UK
Distribution: Ubuntu,Debian
Posts: 381

Rep: Reputation: 30
I had a very similar issue with a P166 laptop with no CD, and I used the following which supports numerous network cards. Yes I know its not linux based (it's based on DOS) but it is menubased when you boot off it, thus making it good for newbies (like i was/am).

Just thought i would drop this in here for people's future reference.
Old 08-09-2004, 10:07 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Earth
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 6

Rep: Reputation: 0
Try Serial?

I have had the same problem on many laptops. While installing win 95/98 and downloading all the packages is one way to go, it is not the best that I have come accross. The way I got slack 10 onto a Toshiba Libretto 50c (100 mhz, 500 mg disk, 8 mg ram) was to use a serial connection. Boot with any mini-distro that supports serial (I chose WOLF, very easy to use) and then run a null-modem cable from one machine running Linux to the one that doesn't. I made a 32 meg partition and stashed the packages there. Kick off the install with the lowmem.i boot floppy and the rootdisk, and just point the installer to the mounted partition. The trick to this install is that if you tell slack not to make a swap partition, after everything gets installed, you can boot into the system, and turn that 32 meg partition into your swap, so no space is lost/wasted. Be sure to read up on how to establish a serial connection between two pc's before you do this, but if you do it once, it gets real easy. Best of luck.
Old 08-09-2004, 12:54 PM   #8
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Distribution: Slackware, Debian
Posts: 484

Rep: Reputation: 30
ZipSlack Take the Slack 10 CD and make the 33 floppy disks, and extract them to a FAT partition, then boot that with loadlin. You should make a swapfile right away, with an 8MB machine - there's a ZIP file of an 8MB swapfile on the CD, and you can make your own, bigger one with the dd command (I forget the exact syntax).

That'll install the A and N series, and a ton of modules, so you can get the network card going.
Old 08-09-2004, 10:14 PM   #9
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Virginia
Distribution: Slackware 10.1 & 12.0
Posts: 66

Rep: Reputation: 16
slack on lap

Howdy... I have an old Toshiba that has "Basiclinux" installed. It is
based on 3.5, but the latest version of Basiclinux is now using
7.1. Do a Google search for 'Basiclinux' . They also have a great
forum where all you Basiclinux problems will be solved. Give it
a try.... Cheers
Old 08-10-2004, 12:48 PM   #10
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Kennesaw GA
Distribution: Slackware-current , Slack81Zip, Smoothwall v2
Posts: 427

Rep: Reputation: 30

You might want to try slack81zip It sets up a basic system then you can ftp and get whatever files you need to complete the installation. I have it installed on Toshiba satellite 100cs (75 mz, 500mb disk , 8m ram) and it works great.

Old 08-10-2004, 01:42 PM   #11
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: New Albany, OH
Posts: 190

Rep: Reputation: 30


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