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Author Topic: Installation TEST on old hardware [STATUS=HELP NEEDED]  (Read 2979 times)
alienlifeform
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Posts: 11



« on: March 23, 2008, 10:25:12 pm »

Hi all,
as I said on my blog about VL (http://gsscoder.blogspot.com/2008/03/try-vector-linux.html), now I'm ready to install it on real old hardware (current installation is on virtualization software).

CPU: Pentium MMX 225 Mhz
Memory: 256 MB
CDROM: MITSUMI FX120T !B
CDRW: PHILIPS PCRW804
HD/Master: 14GB
HD/Slave: 2GB (I'm not joking... now we can buy greater USB pen!)
Net.Card: VIA VT6105 Rhine III
Gfx.Card: Voodoo II (3D Labs Ltd PERMEDIA 2) x2 (two cards)
Audio Card: a very obsolete one (stopped working when "upgrading" from Win98 to Win2000)

When the PC was running Windows98, it was able to run even Quake II in a cool way!
But I don't know... with Windows2000, performance deteriorated; application are usable but only after you wait this ones loads for about 3-5 minutes!

Good luck VL (and to me)! Updates on this story on here...

Roll Eyes bye,
 Giacomo
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 10:47:16 am by alienlifeform » Logged

nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 4018



« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 04:12:18 am »

Sounds like fun!   Grin
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alienlifeform
Member
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Posts: 11



« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 07:21:01 am »

A first problem appeared...
(But before I want to say that this pc was not new to Linux, in past I was able to install SUSE 7.0 with good results - but that times for me Linux was just a word...)

So, let's proceed.
The computer is able to boot VL 5.9 STL GOLD CD but after the first screen the setup live system goes kernel panic when tries to unpack the initial ramdisk:
 - invalid compressed format (err=1)

As soon I hope to have some time to investigate; but for me the problem is that the boot device is the CDRW not CDROM. I remember that in past CD burned with some device was not read correctly by devices of other constructors
(the VL CD was burn with the multifunctional Optical Device of Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21M;
for the old pc device see the first post).

So before pick the screwdriver, I hope the old BIOS allows me to change the boot order from the CDRW to the CDROM.
But, as always, there's other things to try: other live cd, the old SUSE 7.0 Disk 1 and, in general, other bootable Linux CD.
But I'm almost sure that using CDROM over the CDRW will solve the problem.

Wink stay tuned
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alienlifeform
Member
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Posts: 11



« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2008, 10:46:37 am »

No, I was wrong! Shocked
I did following tests for understand that is not an optical device issue.
I burned the iso with my lowest availablen speed (x4) and disc-at-one (vs default: track-at-one -> multisession), but I got the same error.
I tried my old SUSE 7.0 DISC 1 (it's so old that it wasn't download, but I bought the boxed version; at that time no one had enough bandwidth to download 6 iso) and ->TA DA<- as in past it worked; it was even able to open YAST2 in X graphic mode!

OK, there's some logic -> old live linux setup cd + old pc := it works!

So I tried another installation CD not so new, but not so old: GENTOO 2005.1 UNIVERSAL INSTALL (another distro I really love for its instructive power and flexibility). The computer was able to boot but the installation had some problem (I think) with gfx card. At a moment the setup (or better the kernel) asked me to select a textual resolution. I did a reasonable select and -> PANIC! <- I got exactly the same error:
 - invalid compressed format (err=1)

Now I'm pretty sure that the ISOLINUX used in new distros installation CD is incompatible with very old hardware or at least with the one I used here.

Anyone has some idea to get out mud?
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uelsk8s
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 2504



« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 11:02:15 am »

I think you should try another cd reader, or different cd-r media.
our isolinux is not very new, and the error you have posted is from the kernel after isolinux has done its job.
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alienlifeform
Member
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Posts: 11



« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008, 10:49:35 pm »

So my original idea to use the CD-R instead the CD-RW was good ...
OK I will try and post results here! Grin

Thanks!
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alienlifeform
Member
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Posts: 11



« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2008, 11:53:03 pm »

First of all I apologize for the delay I back to this forum... (Sorry, work kept me very busy!)

uelsk8s,
my friend, you were right!
I removed the CDRW from the computer and the CDR has become the boot device (without changing nothing in the BIOS boot sequence).
The VL setup process went much further! (I was able to setup language and do other things...)

But when it appeared the message: "Finding installation media", I got another crash:

Kernel Panic - not syncing:
Fatal exception in interrupt


I'm not an hardware expert, so I made thought: and if I connect the CDR to the same bus were CDRW were connected?
I tried to do this, getting a PC unable to view its own hd  Shocked

Unfortunately I did not have time to put hands on again...
I think I need to read some documentation about basic hardware intervention!

Can anyone suggest something?
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bigpaws
Vectorian
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Posts: 1843


« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2008, 04:58:00 am »

Your problem maybe in one of 2 areas.

One being motherboard support, the old Suse is probably using
the 2.4 series kernel which does well with older hardware.

Second is that the drives are not in the correct ide slot.
The HDD should be on ide 1. Try with the one HDD instead
of two and the CDROM one ide 2. Also make sure the jumpers
on the HDD are correctly set.

HTH

Bigpaws
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