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Despite using Ubuntu on my Desktop for over a year now, I still consider myself a Linux Newb. However, by shear luck, I was able to get the notoriously difficult ...
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  1. #1
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    Dell Inspiron 2600 working with Lubuntu


    Despite using Ubuntu on my Desktop for over a year now, I still consider myself a Linux Newb. However, by shear luck, I was able to get the notoriously difficult Dell Inspiron 2600 to finally load a linux distrubution.



    Step 1. Replace Bios
    I found this bios from a Linux Mint Forum.
    "I2600A08" (can be found at dell)
    Download this older BIOS and install to a floppy disk. Then, boot from floppy to change BIOS.

    Step 2. Insert Lubuntu ISO disc (I used 10.04) and boot from CD-ROM Drive.

    Step 3. Before Distro automatically installs, hit one of the arrow keys. DO NOT ALLOW THE COMPUTER TO BOOT.
    -Select "English"
    -Then, scroll down to "Install Lubuntu"
    -Press "F4 (Modes)" and select "Safe graphics mode"
    -Then hit "Enter" to Install Lubuntu

    Step 4. That's it. Follow installation instructions. Partition Hard drive if you want., etc

    Before installing older BIOS and using "Safe Graphics Mode", all my distros would freeze up. Even Puppy Linux, Damn Small Linux, Ubuntus, etc.

    A few notes:
    Prior to this, I went through some necessary and superflous steps in my trial and errors. I wiped the hard drive with "Darin's Boot & Nuke". Reformatted hard drive with "Ultimate Boot CD". Re-installed Windows XP (this actually helped because it allowed me to burn floppy disc; I don't have another floppy drive).

    This was my mom's old laptop that just chugged after Windows Xp Service Pack 2 update. It has- Intel Celeron 1066Mhz, 500 MB Ram. It's very speedy now. It ran pre-loaded benchmark test very quickly.

    I've yet to plug into internet and printers. But, based on my Ubuntu experience, I'm not anticipating any problems. If anyone cares, then I'll update later.

    Just trying to save someone else some time.

    zekesax

  2. #2
    Just Joined!
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    Dec 2011
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for this info. My weekend project is restoring an old Dell Inspiron 2600 for my kids to use to access PBSKids.org. This sounds like just what I need.

    I tried downgrading my BIOS using the A08 Windows executable from the Dell site, but got a message at the end of the process saying I wasn't allowed because my current BIOS is newer (A11). I can't find a floppy at home, so will have to hunt one down at work tomorrow. Unless anyone knows a workaround?

    The 2600 is running XP Pro with SP3 right now.

    Thanks again.

    UPDATE:
    I tried following the install process above, but with A11 BIOS. I can confirm it does not work.
    Showed --> Graphics initialization failed.
    Error setting up gfxboot.
    Boot:
    Just FYI. Not a surprise.
    Last edited by docdl; 12-04-2011 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Update noted.

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