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  1. #1

    Installing Linux on old laptop

    I have an old laptop (Compaq Presario 1200) and I've been trying to install a version of linux on it. I already tried Ubuntu, Xubuntu, DSLinux and I'm currently attempting to install Puppy linux (or that's what I think it's called). I'm also downloading Zenwalk just in case puppy linux doesn't work.

    Anyways I messed the laptop up ages ago, and whenever I start the machine up (without a CD in it) it says "Invalid system disc" or whatever, that's not exact word for word, but it's close enough.

    Anyways I need suggestions on free linux versions that I can install on an old laptop like this.

    If I posted this in the wrong section, then please do move this.

  2. #2
    Just Joined! mhanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    San Diego CA
    What hardware specs are you working with?

    Hdd size?

    I had good luck with earlier versions of Mandriva on older laptops... might give that a try.

    Also, it sounds like you have at least a partial OS already installed on your hard drive, if there is file system corruption you may need to delete existing partitions and start from scratch before attempting to install over top. You can use a boot cd for this.

  3. #3
    I have no idea of the specs. I think I had a 8GB HD, and 128MB of RAM, but I'm unsure. But yeah, I was able to load up puppylinux, but it froze.

    I've also tried booting windows with a boot disk, but it never works. I even tried to re-install Windows 98, but it never loads the disc up.

    I'll try out mandriva though. I'll also try Zenwork.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    I Installed Damn Small Linux Current on a Compaq 1540 DM a while back
    The bios on it wasn't capable of cdrom boot, so the install procedure I used might be easier for you since you can boot from cdrom in boot order.If you need to wipe the hardrive, I use this Active@ Kill Disk. Hard Drives Eraser. Free Download. instead of Dariks boot and Nuke . I used a Xircom PCMCIA 10/100 Ethernet Cardbus for Internet connection, Worked right out of the box after install. Here is how I did it if interested.

    Yet Another Technology Site: Damn Small Linux 4.0 install on Compaq 1540DM
    I refuse to let fear and fear of others rule my life. It puts my humanity at risk.
    Accepting Death is the only way to stay alive.

  6. #5
    I'll try the Active Kill Disk once I get a hold of a blank CD.

    By the way, I think my BIOS is pretty much dead, what do I do to fix this?

  7. #6
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Bremaine View Post
    I'll try the Active Kill Disk once I get a hold of a blank CD.

    By the way, I think my BIOS is pretty much dead, what do I do to fix this?
    If your BIOS is dead, you might want to consider purchasing a new Mother board, why do you think the BIOS is dead? If you get this error message
    "Invalid system disc"
    Your BIOS is not dead, but your Operating system may be toasted or the hard drive itself could be bad.
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
    All new users please read this.** Forum FAQS. ** Adopt an unanswered post.

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  8. #7
    Linux User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    The easiest way to check the bios and cd/hdd is by going into the setup when the pc boots. When the system boots, have a look at the screen. You should get a message at the bottom of the screen 'press del for setup'. Depending on what make it is the setup varies. Some use F2.
    You can then check to see if the bios recognises the disk.
    The message you are getting means that there is no operating system on the disk. You installation never worked.
    Does ubuntu or any other distro run from cd? (You may need to start in failsafe mode) If it does, you can use the live cd to check the hdd and install.

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