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-   -   Safe to install on laptop running Vista? (

hazmat54 10-20-2007 08:20 AM

Safe to install on laptop running Vista?
I am going to try Linux again. I have a Compaq V6305NR laptop. AMD Turion64X2. Graphics by nvidia. Will the installation trash my Windows Vista? I want to dual boot so I can still play Morrowind. I would like the built in wireless to work, after reading a lot of forums I understand there is not much hope for that. I guess I can plug it in when I am at home and access the internet.



Brian1 10-20-2007 10:02 AM

Can't see why not. First you need a partition for linux to install too. There are many tools free to shrink a windows partition to allow free space after it for linux if you only have a single partition. Then install your linux distro. Now the nvidia may depend on the distro. some have nvidia support others don't Which I am not sure of. Worst case is have the nvidia drivers downloaded and follow the install docs to install from a linux console terminal. Now for wireless it all depends on what chipset it uses. You can get info from the command ' /sbin/lspci -v '. From that you should be able to tell what chipset and go from there. If say Atheros then madwifi, if bcm43xx then maybe bcm43xx module or ndiswrapper usually works better. The bcm43xx works with some nics but not all in the same series. Ndiswrapper should work with any card out there. It just needs the windows inf driver to interface with the nic.

Best thing is get a distro of choice and install. then first get video configured if issues arise then the wireless. Just take one step at a time. Ask one question per topic and only in one place here. Post as much detail as you can. Distro, version, kernel version, hardware, (Use the /sbin/lspci -v command for that), Gui you are running, and anything else that applies.


Brian1 10-20-2007 10:12 AM

I would first download a live CD of linux like knoppix or kubuntu and run the /sbin/lspci -v command and see what you have and see what will need to be installed based on the distro you choose. You can use the search tool here with distro name and the related hardware and see what is required. I would just about any type of simply video and wirless has been asked here multiple times.


hazmat54 10-20-2007 10:24 PM

Okay then. Burned a Kubuntu 7.04 iso and booted it. Started up, cool Kubuntu graphic. Started doing stuff. Got to something like installing drivers and locked up. No key response, no nothing. Had to unplug and pull the battery. Turned it back on and got some Vista recovery screen which was enough to get the cd ejected. Started up again into Vista no problem, nothing damaged.

This is the Zenwalk forum which is what I was planning on trying first. Guess I will try that next. Worst comes to worst I can use my MacBook until I get home to the Compaq restore disks. Zenwalk Live here I come.


hazmat54 10-20-2007 11:59 PM

Zenwalk Live boots up fine. No wireless network of course. It couldn't find the lspci command. I couldn't remember what the root password is in the Live CD so I got back in Vista. The device manager says I have Broadcom wireless. The driver is BCMWL6.SYS. PCI bus 3 device 0 function 0. Whatever that means. Oh and IRQ 19.

I'll try the Live CD again and see if there is anything that says, 'Set Up Wireless Networking'.


wraithe 10-21-2007 12:08 AM

are you saying you have a partition empty or you resized vista, if so, you better check some things out about resizing vista...

live boot discs are available for most distros and i try ubuntu, fc7 live kde, knoppix, and i cant think of the other ones(there at home and i am not at the moment)...
a live boot disc will give you the chance to find what will run on your laptop an recognise the devices, if it dont recognise one but does all the others, it may not be impossible to fix but in 5 minutes you can boot another and get a different result...
i use wireless with my laptop and can say that not all distros support my chipset, and not all support my sound chip either, so play and ye shall succeed....

hazmat54 10-21-2007 12:46 AM

I am using the Zenwalk Live CD.

I am trying to see if the wireless card in my laptop can be used first, before I try and install to hard drive.

Yes I have cleared up 40GB of hard drive space. I found instructions on the PClinuxOS site about how to clear up some space using utilities that come with Vista. I downloaded EasyBCD which will allow me to load and use Grub whenever I do decide to install to the hard drive.

In any case I found a ndiswrapper install thing in the Zenwalk menu. It says I need some .inf file from my Vista installation. I just have to find out what and where that file is and get it somewhere Zenwalk can find it. But its late and I am going to bed. Later.


tommcd 11-13-2007 12:40 AM

Ndiswrapper requirers you to put the windows driver (which includes a .inf and probably a .sys file) in the /etc/ndiswrapper directory. The .inf and .sys files are probably stored on vista somewhere but I have no idea where. The ndiswrapper tool that comes with zenwalk will install the .inf and .sys files for you. I don't think you will be able to load the windows drivers in zenlive, but I'm not sure. After you install zenwalk (from the zenwalk install CD, not the live CD) you should be able to use your wireless with ndiswrapper. You will have to find the .inf and .sys on vista or download the driver from the laptop manufacturers website.
The root password for zenlive is "ZenLive". To load a terminal click on the terminal icon on the bottom panel, or go to accessories > terminal, log in as root and run "lspci -v" to see your hardware listed.
Here is the zenlive manual:
Read through the zenwalk manual to learn about installing zenwalk:

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