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I've got a frustrating problem. I have a Dell SC440 machine that's worked perfectly for me for a couple years. Up until a few months ago I dual-booted Windows 7 ...
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  1. #1
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    Can't install any distro


    I've got a frustrating problem. I have a Dell SC440 machine that's worked perfectly for me for a couple years. Up until a few months ago I dual-booted Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.04 with Grub, with absolutely no problems. I upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10 and the new kernel, and the new kernel refused to boot - if I selected it in Grub it would lock up. I could, however, still boot into the old linux kernel.

    I killed and recreated the partition, and I've tried to install Ubuntu 9.10 from scratch. It gets past the initial boot screen, but locks up immediately after. The exact same thing happens for Fedora 12, OpenSolaris 2009.06, and Vector Linux. I can't install in text-safe mode (or its various other names) either. LiveCD doesn't work.

    The funny thing is that Ubuntu 9.04 still installs and loads just fine, and also runs the live CD. GParted boot-CD works fine. These two seem to be the only bootable CDs that work for me.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    Does your computer support booting from USB? I would try a live USB. Some folks find that works when a CD is being ornery.

    When you say you can't install in text-safe mode, do you mean you also tried non-live CD installers? Like the Ubuntu alternate installer?

    Otherwise, I can only suggest you keep trying other distros and see if the problem persists. I've personally found Debian and Arch to most consistently boot up on problematic hardware that other distros failed on.

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    Thanks, I'll give the live USB a try if I can make that work. I've never actually created a bootable USB drive - I'm sure I can figure it out, but do you know of any specific programs that work well?

    The text-safe mode I'm talking about is the non-graphical installer - if I remember, two of the four I've tried have this option.

    I figured four distros, including three very popular ones (Ubuntu, OpenSolaris, and Fedora) would be enough of a sample.

    Thanks for the ideas.

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    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    Some distros have their own tools for creating a live USB, but unetbootin is probably the simplest method.

    UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads

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    No luck with the USB installs - I used UNetbootin for Ubuntu and OpenSolaris, and got the same results.

    I tried Puppy Linux, and that one actually did install.

    I just updated my BIOS earlier today, so that's current. I heard rumors that Windows 7 funks up your machine somehow to stop you from multi-booting. Any chance there's any truth to that?

    Thanks again.

  7. #6
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtenos View Post
    I heard rumors that Windows 7 funks up your machine somehow to stop you from multi-booting. Any chance there's any truth to that?

    Thanks again.
    Not that I'm aware of.
    I know a couple of folks who have Win 7 installed alongside Linux, no issues.
    Jay

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  8. #7
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    Yeah, I didn't think so - good conspiracy theory, but I'm sure we'd have heard about it by now if it was remotely true.

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