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im trying to replace the debian installation on my Dell Dimension2400 when I tried slackware i got this hang. after the Dell flash i got a blank screen with a ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! ltnemo2000's Avatar
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    Blank screen flashing underscore


    im trying to replace the debian installation on my Dell Dimension2400
    when I tried slackware i got this hang.
    after the Dell flash i got a blank screen with a flashing underscore.
    same with gentoo, arch and slitaz
    im stumped. you?

  2. #2
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    Try Ubuntu Dell's and most computer company's do special things to make certain OS not work correctly. I had to wait until FreeBSD 9 came out so my Vostro 420 would work.

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    Linux Newbie hagfish52's Avatar
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    It sounds like your CDROM drive is not selected as the first boot device in your computer's BIOS, so it is not loading your operating system CDROMs. To enter the BIOS and change this,

    "Turn on (or restart) your computer.

    When F2 = Setup, F12 = Boot Menu appears in the upper-right corner of the screen, press <F12>.

    If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft® Windows® desktop. Then shut down your computer and try again."

    This webpage describes the BIOS in detail: http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...n/syssetup.htm

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    Just Joined! ltnemo2000's Avatar
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    the thing is, Debian based systems dont come with the ethernet driver I need. it also wont install the rpm file containing it.
    ive gotten slack on this computer before.
    Im using live USBs and BIOS is set to use them first. I also tried selecting USB device manually.
    no matter the circumstances I get a black screen and blinky underscore

  6. #5
    Linux Newbie hagfish52's Avatar
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    Still, the computer is acting like it is not finding an operating system to load. Maybe something wrong with the setup of the live USBs? You said it is doing this no matter what OS you try to load. Try loading one of the live USBs on the computer you made them with; you may see a blinking cursor there as well.

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    Just Joined! ltnemo2000's Avatar
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    thats my thought as well
    but then again, all i did was dd the isos over to the devices

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    Linux Newbie hagfish52's Avatar
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    I know the basics but am not a boot expert.. so sorry in advance if this isnt exactly related to ur issue...

    I never learned how to manually setup a linux USB, so i experimented with 'Universal USB Installer' from here i believe..
    pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/

    and it worked for me, a few things tho re this topic... I initially had USB boot issues aswell and what i found in my search was... Some USB sticks are just not bootable for some reason or another(nothing to do with cost or size), I thought i had one of those initially.... Untill i tried the Univeral Installer *however with the "Format(erase drive content)" enabled... Don't ask me why but That what the definitive factor for allowing it to be detected properly at boot for my USB stick..

    weather i formated it as Fat32 or the Univeral installer did, I dont have the knowledge on what the difference is, but i tested it various ways to repreat the resaults so i know thats what fixed my boot issue...

    If i manually formated the USB after using the Installer, and then tried it again with the Universal installer format option OFF it would fail to boot(even tho i used the exact same format).. I'd also try a different USB tool for like gparted or sysrcd for example and they would fail to boot (Untill i formated the USB with Universals format, and then went back to the other tool and skipped formatting and only installed the files to the USB without formating it with the other tools) and it woudl work perfectly.

    I'll also just note... you can partition the USB stick before using Univerasl USB installer and it will only format the boot partition so you can keep other storage space on the USB and consiquently dont need to fumble around with the "Persistent file size" option.

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    Just Joined! ltnemo2000's Avatar
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    Universal through WINE works fine for me.
    slackware installs under the "other linux" option
    it just seems that I should be able to do this with dd and I want to know why it wont work.

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    since someone more informed isnt answering... this is my *guess

    the bootloader for the USB flashdrive is probably different just like the Bootloader for a CD is different then the Bootloader for an OS Boot Partition... so DD either maybe doesnt copy the bootloader if its located in the first 512bytes of unpartitioned space just like a partition, or perhaps it does but since the flashdrive is not a CD, it doesnt work by default without modification to the bootloader.

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