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Hi all, I've recently had a problem trying to install Fedora Core 3. My system has two 120Gb Seagate Barracuda hard drives. The first drive has XP pro and I ...
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  1. #1
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    Any Linux Distro locks up during installation


    Hi all,

    I've recently had a problem trying to install Fedora Core 3.

    My system has two 120Gb Seagate Barracuda hard drives. The first drive has XP pro and I installed Fedora on the second drive. Everything was fine until I found that Fedora had formatted the entire 120Gb of space into a Linux partition. I was extremely impressed at the ease of installation so decided to format the drive and reinstall, this time only allowing about 20Gb for Linux. The idea was that the rest of the drive could be set aside for NTFS.

    Unfortunately that's where my problems started. The installation began to hang my computer before it had finished. It was never in the same spot, just randomly. I tried various ways around this (as kindly suggested by a member of another linux forum) but none of them worked. Eventually I gave up and downloaded Mandrake 10.1 and SimplyMepis 3.3. Both of these distro's experience the same problem on my machine. They get so far and then the computer hangs.

    Now.. I shall tell you what I've already done to try and combat the problem in the hope that you can give me some other ideas to try:

    I've disconnected all peripheral equipment (including motherboard mounted USB connections)
    I've disconnected the master hard drive so there was only one in the system.
    I've disabled everything I didn't need from BIOS
    I've installed the latest graphics card and sound drivers (through XP).
    I've done a FULL low level zero of the hard drive in question.
    I've checked for bulging capacitors on the motherboard
    I've checked for CPU over-temperature
    I've successfully 'scanned' the disk in question with scandisk
    I've successfully run memtest86 (for about 8 hours)
    I've put on linux partitions via Partition Magic onto the hard drive in question.
    I've spent more time with the computer than my girlfriend


    That's about it so far... any other ideas?

    The full spec is this:
    ECS L7S7A2 Motherboard
    ATI Radeon 9200 Pro graphics card
    Onboard sound
    2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200 drives (both 120Gb)
    1Gb RAM

    If you need any more info just let me know...

    I'm at a loss to what could be causing this.

    Thanks for any light you can shed on this problem

    Cheers

    JT

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    I've spent more time with the computer than my girlfriend
    Ok mate... we are 100% sure you've tryed everything now

    I've disconnected the master hard drive so there was only one in the system.
    Did you switch the jumper to make the slave master?

    Are you using this drive actually? I meen does it have data on it. If not, erase the whole thing and start from scratch... By setting the partition manually during installation and let the installer do the partionning work. I'm not really fond of Partition Magic and personnaly dont like to have a windows application do my linux work.

    Thats the only thing I can think of right now... I installed MDK many times on various computer spec and all and never had a "real" problem... nothing like yours anyways...

    Please update us on this matter
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    Ugo

    I didn't swap the jumper but I can't see it making any difference?

    I have completely wiped the drive using DiscWizard to set everything on the drive to zeroes.

    I'm now just downloading the XP boot disks. I'm going to try fixing the mbr incase the original fedora installation did something it that is causing the hang?

    Worth a try... I'll report back...


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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyt
    I didn't swap the jumper but I can't see it making any difference?
    Try and see if it works once you have changed the jumpers to 'Master', I've heard some weird things about slave drives on cables without a master;

    dylunio
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    I've just finished using the XP boot up disks to "fixmbr".

    Strangely enough, when I tried to get it to fixmbr it did say that the MBR format wasn't recognised, would that be changes that have been made during the many attempts at installing Fedora and others?

    I did the MBR fix and then ran the Mandrake setup.

    It went right through to the part where it asks you to add users to the system (straight after determing if you want a root password or not), then it froze.

    On the positive side, that's the furthest its ever got....

    On the negative side, it means fixing the mbr didn't sort the problem

    I will try setting the secondary drive as the slave and seeing what happens.... meanwhile if you have any other idea's fire away...

    Thanks

    JT

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    This sounds an awful lot like a heat problem to me, and since you say your temps are ok, that might mean a borderline CPU. That's just something to keep in the back of your mind until you exhaust other options, unless you have another CPU to try.

    So you tried zeroing the drive and running scandisk, have you tried running Seagate's diagnostics on it? And you tried moving it from slave to master, have you tried switching channels? Knocking it down a DMA level or two?

    Also, try running Prime95 or some such CPU/Memory stress tester in Windows for a few hours.

    And yes, I've also seen strange things happen to slaves without a master.
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    Ethyriel, Dylunio, et al

    Right... I've just spent a good few hours exhausting some possibilities...

    I've made the secondary drive the master and disconnected the primary drive (the one with XP on it). Both Fedora and Mandrake still froze.

    I set all the BIOS settings to the safest (ie. disabled USB support etc). The installation still froze.

    I did a low level format on the drive.... you guessed it... froze.

    I then disconnected my DVD RW and left only my CD/DVD which I made a master. This time the Mandrake installation got right through to the bit where you Add a User (only the second time ever to reach this point) before freezing.

    This leaves either the motherboard or graphics card in my humble.

    Ethyriel, I'd never heard of Prime95 but I shall Google my way to it and leave it running over night.

    What do you mean by "knocking the hard drive down a DMA level or two"? Is that something in the BIOS?

    Thanks for giving me a few more things to try... I've also got a link from HarryC from another forum to a good ECS forum for my motherboard and I shall post on there.... I really hope I get this sorted... (although I must admit that I've been learning loads over the last few days as I've been working on the fault - thanks to lads like you who post on these forums).

    Cheers

    JT

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    maybe there is a bad secter why not try it on the other hard drive?

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    the_guy_dressed_in_black,

    I have ScanDisk'ed it and it says there are no bad sectors.. but I can't really afford to lose everything on the other drive. There's a lot of work stuff etc that would be simply impractical to backup to disc.

    I would have to be absolutely sure I had exhausted every single avenue before resorting to that, and even then I'd be more inclined to just stump up for a new cheap hard drive to test the theory...

    But, keep the suggestions coming mate, I appreciate any input I can get at the mo...


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