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  1. #1

    6 Flavours and none install or boot!

    I have tried

    Mandriva - won't install bootloader - can't find "atiixp.ko"
    SUSE live - "out of range"
    SUSE 10 - does nothing
    PCLinuxOS - from cover disk of magazine - blank screen

    Ubuntu - boots to windows anyway whatever I do!

    Fedora - that installs but again no bootloader so it might as well not be there
    at all.

    system is Compaq AMD 32 bit 1700MHz, pleanty memry and HDD

    what's going on. Linux is meant to be easy.


  2. #2
    If none of them are loading, you have either one of two problems:

    Most likely: The PC has hardware issues. Is the CD/DVD drive functioning properly? Set up properly regards slave/master/cable select? Is the memory knackered? CPU gone? Overheating? Hard disk clicking?

    Firstly, try downloading the ISO image of memtest86 and booting from that. Was another OS running on this machine previously?

    Or....: Without sounding condescending, are you installing it properly? Does it boot from a boot CD such as Knoppix? It might be worth booting into something like Bart PE which I'd assume you'd be more familiar with once booted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    It sounds like your hardware doesn't like Linux. You might have to try experimenting with some of the cheatcodes available through the F-keys right before the Linux install CD begins to boot.

    You could also try the Knoppix live-cd. It's very good at detecting hardware.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    From the hints above it seems to be your graphics card that's giving trouble. Maybe you could try some of the cheatcodes mentioned to try and load using VESA or VGA mode, might be the safest way.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bigtomrodney
    From the hints above it seems to be your graphics card that's giving trouble. Maybe you could try some of the cheatcodes mentioned to try and load using VESA or VGA mode, might be the safest way.
    I agree, the ATI cards sometimes have problems, but that should only cause the X11 to revert to VESA or something. It sounds like he did install FCx and Ubuntu, but "no bootloader", whatever that means.

    My opinion is that he should install Ubuntu or FCx again and then tell us exactly what he has done and what he is seeing. What partition is it on ? Does he have more than one disk ? Did he change the bios settings to boot a different disk ? Is he using Grub or Lilo ? I feel that he is probably extremely close in the FCx and Ubuntu cases, but he gives of no diagnostic information to work with.

    One very common problem on PCs is that the BIOS interface for disks 0,1 is determined by BIOS settings, but that the correct bus enumeration is different. This confuses the heck out of bootloaders, but it's simple to fix (in /boot/grub/ for grub, just as an example).

    bobetjo's conclusion "no bootloader" is almost certainly incorrect, but he hasn't told us the evidence for his statement, just his dubious conclusion.


  7. #6

    6 Flavours and none install or boot!

    Thank you all for your suggestions,

    Obviously there is a lot more to the error messages than the one line summaries I gave.

    Re Mandriva, the install correctly identifies partitions and gets all the way through the install untill it askes where to put the bootloader. MDR is default, but if I choose it, the drive cannnot be found.

    A lot of the answers in the forum are a bit technical (I put CDs in the drive and hope they work).

    I'll try the knopix approach. My level of knowledge is that i know the word Linux and the advantages but nothing at al else.


  8. #7

    6 Flavours and none install or boot!

    Regret to say Knopix does nothing at all.

    Good disk copy. But when I reboot it will go to Windows.

    I know the DVD/CD writer is fine because other things will boot or try to
    from it.

    I getting tempted to knock this on the head and come back in a couple of
    years when Linux works for non techie people like me.

    thank you all for suggestions


  9. #8

    Wink I Feel For You

    Hi Bob,

    Just a word of encouragement. Don't give up the ship yet. Actually Linux is an excellent Operating System but it is still plenty rough around the edges including the major distro's. One of the major problems is in the Installation process which you have experienced. Me too - many times, and with many distro's and I am not exactly a novice.

    This is what it takes to successfuly install Linux today. A lot of capital 'P' perserverance !!! One small glitch, bad script, isolated hardware issue, or other kink can send most Linux installs into a major tizzy. Linux recovery procedures are still in the dark ages requiring one to most of the time start over from scratch by repartitioning, and reformatting the hard drive and starting the install over from scratch. I hate to say it but most Linux installs are not designed for the novice no matter what they claim. Have they told you what to do after a system 'panic'? Are you told howto decipher a system 'dump'?

    This is what I recommend before any install. If running windows prior to the install on the machine, use MS 'System Info' to give you all the details of your current system. Use the 'more details' option. Then print this out Hard Copy. It does no good to you in a software file on the system you are installing on unless you have a second computer that you can use to view system files ( floppy or CD ) copied from the install system. Then after shutting down the computer and ( removing the power cord from the computer ); Next get a screw driver and carefully open up the computer. List every chip in sight and write down every number and letter in sight 'literraly' including hard drives, CD / DVD Rom drives including manufacturers, model numbers, etc. Also write down any information on the motherboard usually listed along the sides of the motherboard, including chipset, model number, revision numbers, etc. The System Info file printed out earlier does not go into detail usually on this level of detail. Also draw a sketch of your MB (Motherboard) layout. This should include ISA / PCI slots, etc. Record which slots that are populated with which cards which you should also list individually getting all the details about each board, chipset, numbers, make, model, etc. This is NOT WINDOWS. Linux does not install like windows and many times will not recognize some of your hardware. You need to prepare for a Linux Install ! You don't just install ! Unless you like to be dissapointed or like the trial and error method.

    Now once you have this wealth of knowledge of your systems makeup and internals you do some checking ! Yes, I am sorry to say you are not yet ready for installation even after going to all this work. Check online under Linux Hardware Compatability. There are a number of excellent sites to check out if your hardware is compatable with Linux. Spend some time checking out all of the hardware that you have listed 'methodically' with these lists of Linux Hardware Compatability. If you should find out that your motherboard is incompatable with Linux then you either need to upgrade / change your motherboard or forget about installing Linux on this system unless you are a 'serious system programmer.' Most of the other peripherals you can either find drivers for or swap out for compatable Linux Hardware. I know this sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But in the end you will have a better knowledge of why your install failed and possible how to fix it, or modify the install script for your particular system. If nothing else you will be able to post a technical description of your particular circumstances to a particular Distro's site for a more specialized and reliable answer to your particular problem. Linux Forum is more of a general forum and you may or may not get a response to answer your question(s) here. The more technical and exact that you can be in describing the details of your problem the more precisely and accurately a Linux Specialist can diagnose and answer your questions. Think about it ! When you say that my XYZ Linux won't install. This doesn't tell us anything ! Except that you are frustrated !

    There are many very, very knowledgable Linux professionals out there that would be happy to help you solve your Linux problem(s) and answer your questions. Linux is a 'learning process' and not a 'dumming down process' like you know who ! If you are inquisitive, apt to learn and teach others, slow to anger or be frustrated, seeking knowledge and wisdom, willing to 'go where no one has gone before' then you are well on your way to becoming a Linux User.

    I am happy that you have tried a number of Linux Distros but try concentrating on one or two Linux Distro's until you get them to install first before immediately discarding them to move on hap hazardly to another Linux Distro, because you will quickly become discouraged with this approach. Find out ? WHY the Linux Distro ? that you have chosen does not install ! Linux is not MS Windows and was never meant to be. Linux expects you to learn and be educated along the way unlike Windows which expects you to follow the crowd with little or no knowledge of where you are going.

    Your Friend, Uriah
    Yes - "We are our brothers keeper."

  10. #9

    Wink BIOS Information Also Helpful

    Hi Bob,

    Firmware also needed: Oh, I forgot to mention that any information that you can get on your system BIOS, type, manufacturer, Year, Version, Revision and of course your BIOS settings. If you dont know how to do this since it is a little more technical, then find someone that has computer BIOS knowledge to get the BIOS information for you. Some BIOS's give Linux fits when attempting installation. Be careful to record all settings currently set in your BIOS but do not make any changes to your BIOS until required. Usually you do not have to do any changes here, but sometimes you do for the older Distros which can't recognize Legacy Devices, USB, PCI, or Plug and Play. Just record as much information as you can here. Also when your system first boots up it usually flashes the BIOS type and Version number on the top of the screen momentarily. You have to be very quick with your eye to get this information recorded but it is very usefull in diagnosing some Linux Install Issues. Sometimes you will have to 'cold reboot - powered off/on' your system a number of times until you can get all the BIOS version numbers and letters recorded but they are very important to have. Sometimes you can use the pause key to pause the screen to record the BIOS. There are various keys to get into your system BIOS. These are the ones that I have used but there are probably many more: BIOS Keys: F1, F2, F10, F12, Del, Esc, Ctrl + Ins, Ctrl + Del, Ctrl + Esc, Ctrl + S, Ctrl + Alt + S, Ctrl + Alt + A, Ctrl + Alt + Ins, Ctrl + Shift + Esc, Ctrl + A, Alt + Del, Alt + Ins, Ctrl + Alt + Enter, F3 during re-boot then F1 or F2, Ins during re-boot, Esc during re-boot, F1 during Re-boot, pressing reset a couple of times during power on, and many others including Compaq Setup Discs / Utilities, IBM Setup Discs / Utilities, and Proprietary EEPROM's. Use these keys or discs when you first boot your computer to gain access to the BIOS. Sometimes you have to experiment here unless you have a manual on your computer. Most of the time you can find what the BIOS Key sequence is for your particular system unless it is an obscure or no name computer where you need to know what the BIOS manufacturer name is from above. Use the BIOS manufacturer name in your search for BIOS Setup Key Sequence instead. I think that one of the above should work in most cases. Sometimes there is a jumper on the motherboard which you need to reposition in order for you to get into the BIOS. Mostly on P II's or newer. Usually it is a (3 Pin Jumper.) The Motherboard will say something like Jumper in position 1-2 BIOS Enabled / Unaccessable / Locked or whatever; And Jumper in position 2-3 BIOS Disabled / Accessable / Open or something along this line. If you find BIOS Jumper covering Pins 1-2 then with "POWER OFF, of course" you need to move the Jumper to positions 2-3. When your system is powered back on you should have access to the BIOS. When you are done examining or changing BIOS settings as the case may be then you reposition with "POWER OFF" the Jumper to position 1-2 BIOS Enabled / Unaccessable / Locked. Sometimes the BIOS jumper is just a 2 Pin Jumper, not a 3 Pin Jumper. Usually it will be labeled with Jumper in position 1-2 BIOS Enabled / Unaccessable, in other words the jumper is over both pins 1 and 2. Usually to disable and gain access to the BIOS then you will remove the Jumper from off Pins 1 and 2, Pins are bare. Or to not lose track of the little jumper just place the jumper over one of the pins, say pin 1 while othe other hole in the jumper is free, not over anything. This will keep you from losing the jumper. Then of course it is placed back over the pins when done. Sometimes there is a Supervisor Password required to gain access to the BIOS. This needs to be Entered or Cleared before gaining access to the BIOS. Many times the Motherboard will have a way of clearing the supervisor password by use of a jumper to short out and clear that portion of EPROM which has the supervisor password set. In some old systems a certain capacitor needs to be shorted, sometimes certain mouse clicks will reset it, and sometimes the motherboard battery will have to be removed for say 15 seconds or so to reset (null) the password. Once cleared the jumper is repositioned as before and you can put in your own supervisor / administrator password if you so desire. I recommend that you 'DO NOT' set a supervisor password for your BIOS unless you really need to for security reasons. It's more of a hassle factor and nusiance then for any other reasons, but suit yourself. Just don't forget your supervisor password that's all.

    There are a number of other issues which are not addressed here which can also cause Linux installation problems. I hope that this will help you some.

    PS: It is also helpful to record how far you get in the Install Process. Lots of times you can isolate the problem to a piece of hardware or other attempted installation feature that Linux chokes on. With these pieces of information at your disposal you are far on your way to locating the problem and solving your installation difficulties.

    I wish you the best Bob.

    Your Friend, Uriah
    Yes - "We are our brothers keeper."

  11. #10
    I am new to Linux and having the same problem. Installed Fedora to the second hd. Took a while trying to figure out the partitioning but finally went with default and let it hog the whole drive. Went thru the install process including the grub loader. Went with the default setting. When I rebooted it went straight to Win XP. No sign of a loader. My second drive could not be seen by xp.
    I tried Ubuntu first. It locked up solid during the hd setup.
    I do have a ATI 9500 vid card. No Raid or other odd hardware.
    MSI m/b intel 2.4 cpu and 1.5gig of ram.
    hd1 is 160gig 2 partitions
    hd2 is 120gig all to linux but thats not what I wanted.

    Linux is not for the average Joe Windows user. Not yet anyway.

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