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Okay, so I'm wondering if it is normal to have as many problems as I've had with Mandrake or if I should just re-install either Mandrake or another distro and ...
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  1. #1
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    Should I Re-Install Mandrake? Maybe Another Distro?


    Okay, so I'm wondering if it is normal to have as many problems as I've had with Mandrake or if I should just re-install either Mandrake or another distro and see if it works better next time. *crosses fingers* BTW, I've been using this install of Mandrake 10.1 for more than a half a year now, so me thinks I've given it a pretty fair shot.

    * I've had several crashes since I've installed it (Compared to none in the same time frame with Windows XP Pro which I use much more often. Amazing and unusual, I know.)
    * XMMS has never worked. Visual display comes up and then it freezes. I have to use XKill to stop it every time. Eventually I just uninstalled it.
    * Randomly, all of the games that came with Mandrake quit working one day. Not a huge deal I know, but aggravating nonetheless. I ended up having to delete that user account and create a new one to fix the problem.
    * KsCD has an option to stop auto playing CDs when you insert them. I tell it to quit by unchecking a box *or maybe checking, dont remember* and it doesn't have any effect. Just keeps doing what it feels like.
    * NoAtun (sp?) works great. Wish it could do everything that XMMS or Windows Media Player can do though.
    * KsAudioCreator (sp?) for Ripping music from CDs. Is the SLOWEST piece of junk ever created on my computer. You click on something, wait 5 seconds, it does something. Click on something else... etc. Still haven't gotten it to rip anything.

    There are so many great things in Mandrake though. The urpmi program works very well, and all of the configuration utilities are great. I just wish there was an easy way to get everyday things that I do in Windows to work just as easily. There have just been so many flakiness type issues in Mandrake. It's like being back in Windows 98 again (I dub thee sir-crash-a-lot.) Only in Mandrake it's not so much OS crashing as it is unstable programs and flaky operation. So far messing with Mandrake has been even more aggravating than Win 98 was.

    Once again my question is basically:
    Should I just reinstall Mandrake and cross my fingers? Should I try another distro in the hopes that it'll give my computer less indigestion? I'm not quite ready to give up on Linux yet, though I'm getting very close with Mandrake. I guess I'm just trying to get a flavor for if it's common for people to go through this many problems with Linux and I should just deal with it. All suggestions and advice are welcome. Even if it's just to flame the newbie (seemingly a favored pasttime of some experienced Linux users), at least I'll get a kick out of it.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    Well,
    When I started using mandrake many generations ago (Mandrake 8), I also had the same problems as you have. In my experience, this software crashes are due to somewhat incompatiable hardware. However, with each generation, the software seems to get better (and in some cases worse , now I cannot read ntfs partitions in Mandrake 10 , but I could read them in 8 ).

    Whatever you do, don't give up on linux yet, try a different distro e.g. Fedora or Morphix, or Xandros its all good.

    My recomendation for you is try Xandros, it eerily looks and feels like Win98 without the constant crashes. It includes plenty of games (kolf anyone?) and XMMS and the like are included by default and support a wide variety of hardware.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    I wonder why you are having so many problems as my 10.1 Official release is really stable with great software - It seems strange that some people have heaps of trouble with it while others (like me) have very few issues. I'm beginning to think that these are hardware support issues.

    I agree about KsCD though. It's really annoying: mine autoplays like yours. Maybe worth submitting a bug report about that one! AmaroK is good for mp3s - that's worth looking at some time in the future.

    You don't say how you've been running 10.1 or how you installed. Are you dual booting with Windows? Are you using Community or Official release? What's your setup - mobo/chipset/video card.

    If I was having all that trouble and decided Mandrake was no good (I have very little loyalty here :o ) I'd probably reformat the whole disk and install SuSe - Slackware is good too, but is less newbie-friendly.
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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    Just to answer questions, I'm using the community edition of Mandrake. It's not a dual boot, I had enough computers so that I could make a dedicated Linux computer. I have an MS-6340M motherboard (older MSI board) with a 1600+ Athlon XP. Everything is basically integrated except for the ethernet adaptor. Everything seemed to autodetect perfectly well when I installed the OS at first (though I never checked to make sure it didn't get the motherboard wrong or something like that). I believe I installed Amarok, don't remember much about it. I'm perfectly fine with using NoAtun, it's one of the few programs I've never had an issue with. Another great program I failed to mention was XKill, with all of my problems it's saved me tons of times from having to reboot.

    Many people recommend slackware, but yeah, it seems like it would just be way too much work. I just don't have the time for it I think. Xandros is interesting, I'm up in the air a little between that and Fedora Core which I have some experience with at school. The only thing that worries me about Xandros is that it doesn't seem to have too much support, which means not many precompiled packages and a big pain in the butt anytime I want to install something. Do you think it would be worthwhile to give Mandrake one more clean format and install? I know that dependencies can be a pain, so it seems like maybe the order that I installed things in or certain specific things I installed might have triggered... stuff. If it's hardware, another distro would probably be the only realistic option.

  5. #5
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    Xandros is basically intended for hardcore windows users who are scared to step into linux. If you are planning to do development work, then I would recomend that you stay clear of Xandros or Morphix or any of the Linux/Windows lookalikes. However, if you are intereseted in just doing day to day work such as the things what you may do on a Windws machine, then Xandros is just fine. I wouldn't worry about precompiled packages, as Xandros has RPM support.

    If you think that you can handle another Mandrake installation, then go for it. If during the installation of software packages, it asks to install the extra stuff required to run certain apps, then allow it to do so. Or you could skip individual packet selection alltogether and let mandrake install the default options for you. And then when it is running smoothly, install the optional packages via the control center.

    If you do go for another mandrake installtion, try get the sound and video drivers correctly (e.g AC97 audio and geforce4 graphics).

  6. #6
    Linux Guru Flatline's Avatar
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    use official

    If you want to use Mandrake, use the Official releases. They are available for free download, same as the Community releases. The Community releases are basically betas for the Official releases and will have a LOT more bugs.
    There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence.

    - Jeremy S. Anderson

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