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Hello, I am new to Linux. Sort of. When I was in my first programming class, our teacher passed out some Knoppix 3.4 cds, which worked fine on my laptop. ...
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    Difficulties between PC and CD


    Hello, I am new to Linux. Sort of. When I was in my first programming class, our teacher passed out some Knoppix 3.4 cds, which worked fine on my laptop. Since then (several years ago) the laptop has died off, but a week ago I was going through some old stuff and pulled out the old cd. When I tried to use it, it didn't work. So I made a Knoppix 6.2 cd and that failed as well.

    My problem is this: I have a HP Pavillion Media Center PC from around 2003-2004. It was a powerful machine when I got it, and when it's not choking on it's power supply or floppy disk reader, it is still somewhat above average. Recently it has been freezing on the HP logo screen when it starts up, prompting me to want to change OS's to see if it is Windows's fault. But when I try to boot into Linux, it always freezes. This is unlike the Windows where it only sometimes freezes.

    Is this the BIOS problem I keep hearing about? I haven't a clue how to access mine or even what I'd do if I managed to access it. Does this problem sound familiar to anyone? Would anyone know how to fix it?

    I know my computer is old and should really just be replaced. I'm working on that but I have no money, so I'm trying to stretch more life out of my current machine.
    Thank you for reading all that, and thank you for any help you might be able to give!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Hi and Welcome !

    It could be a Graphics Card problem. Linux doesn't configure Nvidia and ATI Graphics Card sometimes. Both cards are well supported now but it happens in a few machines.

    Which Graphics Card do you have? Have you tried LiveCD of any other Linux distro?
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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    I have an ATI Radeon 9200MCE AGP. Is this the problem? I have the freezing problem with Windows sometimes, too, so I am not sure what is going on here?

    I also have only tried Knoppix because I have used it before. I wouldn't know which other distro to pick because there are so many... I could of course try others I would just not know where to begin, sorry.

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    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    The Knoppix CD should be just fine...when you reboot the machine with Knoppix in the CD/DVD drive and you get to the Knoppix boot screen, press F2 or F3 for more options and look for acpi=off or noacpi, select that and try booting again...if it doesn't work try another. Sometimes it's just a minor thing like a video card or network card that messes things up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTbob View Post
    The Knoppix CD should be just fine...when you reboot the machine with Knoppix in the CD/DVD drive and you get to the Knoppix boot screen, press F2 or F3 for more options and look for acpi=off or noacpi, select that and try booting again...if it doesn't work try another. Sometimes it's just a minor thing like a video card or network card that messes things up.
    When I reboot with the knoppix CD in the drive, it stops on the HP start-up screen.

    It does this for Windows sometimes too, but it does it 100% of the time with the CD and I do not know how to proceed from there.

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    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Is the machine set to boot from the CD drive first? You must set this in the BIOS, which you can access by pressing the Del key, F11 or some other key sequence. When you reboot the machine you should see some text that tells you to press X for setup, where X could be one of the keys mentioned above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTbob View Post
    Is the machine set to boot from the CD drive first? You must set this in the BIOS, which you can access by pressing the Del key, F11 or some other key sequence. When you reboot the machine you should see some text that tells you to press X for setup, where X could be one of the keys mentioned above.
    I can't get past the HP Invent Splash screen, it freezes at the exact place where I would press that key.

    I have figured out what the problem is I think, but I still want to try out Linux. The problem seems to be a common design flaw and is explained at a site that I can't link to because I haven't made fifteen posts yet

    The best answer was this
    Best Solution
    posted on Mar 23, 2009

    johnnyzero
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    Rating: 92%, 37 votes
    Don't throw out that computer or replace any components just yet.

    After much trial-and-error, I finally figured out the solution for this common issue with certain HP Pavillion models. It turns out to be a design flaw with the front-panel memory card reader. Somehow the card reader's firmware gets scrambled, and it prevents the computer from booting. You can test this on your machine by temporarily disconnecting the card reader cable at the motherboard header. Voila - I'll bet you $1 that your computer will now boot!

    The solution is buried deep inside this HP tech support document. The card reader firmware needs to be reset.

    Here\'s how to fix it once and for all:

    1) With the computer power unplugged (duh), open up the case & disconnect the card reader cable at the card reader itself - NOT the end that connects to the motherboard header. Make sure the cable end is not touching any metal components before proceeding to step 2 (another duh).

    2) With the cable still disconnected, fire up the computer. The tech support doc says to let it boot into Windows and stay there for about 5 minutes.

    3) Shut the computer down and reconnect the cable to the card reader.

    4) Turn your computer back on - your memory card reader will work and, most importantly, the computer will no longer hang at POST!

    I suspect that when you fire up the computer without the cable connected, the card reader is designed to reset its firmware by grounding out through the case - sort of like a CMOS Reset jumper on a motherboard.

    I hope this solution is helpful to others.

    best,
    JohnB
    this was found after a google search for "hp invent freeze"
    but I do not understand how to fix it still because I do not know what most of the parts of the computer are (I could identify the hard disk and the optical disk reader, and that's about it...)

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    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    The card reader should have an opening on the side of your machine, it's used for camera memory cards and such. I have no clue if that would work on your machine or not, be careful what ever you do.
    Last edited by MikeTbob; 06-15-2010 at 10:41 PM.
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    Thank you for telling me, I will try to get into the BIOS without the memory card thing first though.

    Were I to get in, how would I switch the boot order? I tried to boot to Linux again, and it went straight to Windows. At least it didn't freeze.

  10. #10
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    how would I switch the boot order?
    If you can get into the BIOS, it's different for different BIOS's, you may need to go into the advanced settings but it will give you clues as well.
    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.

    I'd rather be lost at the lake than found at home.

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