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help me please, I have just installed Mandriva 10.1 on my Dell Dimension 8200. First it wouldnt let me install without doing a custom partition, which I did. Now after ...
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  1. #1
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    Help, graphical desktop not working on 10.1


    help me please,
    I have just installed Mandriva 10.1 on my Dell Dimension 8200. First it wouldnt let me install without doing a custom partition, which I did. Now after installation, it wont load a graphical desktop when I boot up. It doesnt even ask me to log on after it boots up. It loads straight to a blue screen with a mandriva logo on the bottom right and a cursor in the middle. I can move the cursor around but there is nothing to click on. The only response i can get is from the keyboard commands (ctrl+alt+F1, etc) and entering what I think is the console.
    My system has a pentium 4, 768Mb RDRAM, 2 hard drives, 120gb and 40gb (mandriva is on a partition of 104Gb on the 120 one)
    And on top of that, I know nothing about Linux , I just wanted to escape the shackles of Microsoft.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    I would just check to see if you are using a barebones window manager. What do you get if you right click on the background? Try pressing ALT+F2 and see if you get a run prompt.

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    The mouse gives no response whatsoever, it just moves the cursor around an empty screen. I am using windows temporarily to ask these question and I would have to reinstall linux again (I have already done that twice to make sure i didnt select the automatic logon option.) I think theres also a problem with the kernel (I dont know what it is), because during the install, it said that no kernel was found, until I did a custom partition. Also, I have seen messages during bootup/reboot sequences saying that the kernel "panicked" for some reaon or other. Might this be a problem?
    Thankyou for the advice, I will ty Alt+F2 when I get linux back up.

  4. #4
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    It sounds very much like a problem with the bootloader. The default one is called lilo (some people prefer Grub). There's nothing wrong with the kernel itself, it's just that lilo can't find the kernel, or the file(s) required by the kernel to boot.

    Your bootloader needs to have the correct path to the kernel loaded into its configuration file. Having said that, the installer should have taken care of that!

    When you installed, did you specify a bootloader? That's a very important part of a graphical installation.
    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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    When installing, the manual recommended that I choose The First Sector of Drive (MBR). I chose that during the install.
    Does it matter that I did a custom format before that? Is it because the boot sector was put on a different partition than the rest of the stuff?
    I made three partitions (I actually chose auto allocate when partitioning) and I ended up with three partitions, a 5.8gb, a 1gb called "swap", and a 104gb partition. I installed Mandriva into the largest partition.
    There was another option when specifying the bootloader which was "first sector of root partition". Would that be the one I should have chosen?

  6. #6
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    When installing, the manual recommended that I choose The First Sector of Drive (MBR). I chose that during the install.
    Does it matter that I did a custom format before that? Is it because the boot sector was put on a different partition than the rest of the stuff?
    That shouldn't matter. I don't think it's quite as common to have a separate boot sector as it used to be, but I've personally had problems before if this is too big. It used to be the case that if you went over the first 1024 kbs of the hdd with this sector you would have problems ... so possibly your MBR partition (5.8gbs?) is too large.
    I made three partitions (I actually chose auto allocate when partitioning) and I ended up with three partitions, a 5.8gb, a 1gb called "swap", and a 104gb partition. I installed Mandriva into the largest partition.
    The swap partition size is fine for a large hdd
    There was another option when specifying the bootloader which was "first sector of root partition". Would that be the one I should have chosen?
    I honestly don't know. I've never chosen that option before ... or I have and I've forgotten :-/ Having said that ... it's not rocket science to work out that it's just a workable option which shouldn't make a huge difference. You might even try it! This could be important.

    I would be tempted not to have a separate boot partition and keep things very simple. People have different methods, but I think:

    / = your root partition - You only have access via a password and your system files are here
    /swp = swap as discussed: having one can speed things up for you.
    /home = As user, you have full access to this and keep your personal stuff here.

    If you were running a server you would do things differently!

    Slight edit: Be careful when deciding how much size to give to each partition. If not you'll end up like me, with a *huge* /home partition and a / partition which is running out of room. I could resize, but I won't!

    Sorry for this long rambling post ... I hate those! Let us know how you get on mate.
    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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    Help!!!
    I tried reinstalling Mandriva and then specifying "first sector of root partition"
    It still doesnt work, the result was the same.
    There are only the options of putting it on a floppy disk or "skip", not installing one at all.
    Is there any way to try those without reinstalling?
    What else can I do? The Dell technicians told me that my computer was built exclusively to run windows XP only! Then they told me that my warranty had expired a year ago and that that I should have a good day
    Then again they have told me that I shouldnt change/add my HDD, RAM and graphics card, and they have all been since upgraded without problems. Please tell me they're wrong.

  8. #8
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're having a rough ride. In the interests of truth, beauty and universal harmony I'll tell you what I think:

    - The Dell people you spoke to are a bunch of f*^%ing W&*!s;
    - installing Mandriva (particularly an earlier release) on a laptop was always going to be hit or miss;
    - it *is* possible to get a distro running on a lappy, but the hardware setup is different to a PC. Therefore, more problems with some distros;
    - earlier versions of Mandriva have a reputation for being buggy, and this is largely true. Useful, great when working, but with gremlins.

    It's very possible that Mandriva is having trouble with you hardware (the graphics card??) but not true at all that you shouldn't play around with your hardware, software or anything else for that matter. We're all on this forum because we love doing those things.

    So, if you aren't getting anywhere with Mandriva you might consider using a different distro (or a later version of Mandriva). Slackware is probably good for a lappy. Don't give up!

    Visit the laptop section of these forums, read up a bit and you'll get there in the end.
    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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    Sorry if I didnt already say, but the Dell Dimension 8200 is a desktop computer.
    the Mandriva 10.1 was meant to be the latest release as well.

    If I was to get a new computer, what model (or custom combination of hardware) would work perfectly with Mandriva 10.1?

  10. #10
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by streakingsnake
    Sorry if I didnt already say, but the Dell Dimension 8200 is a desktop computer.
    the Mandriva 10.1 was meant to be the latest release as well.

    If I was to get a new computer, what model (or custom combination of hardware) would work perfectly with Mandriva 10.1?
    Ahhh sorry! I made an assumption for some reason. There's a hardware HOWTO here. Most hardware is well supported now, so a lot is down to personal choice but I would avoid ATI video cards and motherboard chipsets. Nvidia are better supported in general - the 600 series are supposed to be good, and they offer drivers for Linux users.

    Hard drives? Maxtor, Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate. I hear Samsung are good these days. Samsung also do good TFT monitors.

    CD/RW DVD/RW - I would go for LG every time (native Linux support in their firmware). I use a combination of Lite-on and LG.

    3Com Nics (network cards).

    AMD processors (more 'bang for your buck')

    Soundblaster audio cards are quite well supported. A database is available here.

    The latest Mandriva version is 2006, and I think you would be better getting that. It's much more stable than it was in the 9.* versions. SuSe is also very good for a newbie, and I like to recommend that distro (I've got someone at work interested in it!! It helps to give things away sometimes.)

    I was in the same position as you a few years ago, but I got there. So can you.
    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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