VectorLinux
November 28, 2014, 04:47:42 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Visit our home page for VL info. To search the old message board go to http://vectorlinux.com/forum1. The first VL forum is temporarily offline until we can find a host for it. Thanks for your patience.
 
Now powered by KnowledgeDex.
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Please support VectorLinux!
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Problems installing VL on Gateway Series E  (Read 1961 times)
sqijeff
Member
*
Posts: 8


WWW
« on: July 01, 2008, 09:23:26 am »

As part of the Computers for Kids program run here in Reno we are trying to load Vector Linux on a number of Gateways provided by a local school district. We have installed Vector Linux on about 300 other systems without any problems. Only these Gateway are at issue.

The systems come with Windows 98. We are installing VL 5.8. After creating the new disk partition the LV installation process calls for a reboot. At this point the system hangs during the reboot process and displays the Gateway splash screen. It does not respond to any keyboard input.

At Karl's suggestion I got killdisk and cleaned the disk. Now the VL installation CD will boot but the results are exactly as above.

I bought a new disk drive – Seagate - and installed in one of the Gateways. It works perfectly. (also able to get one donated Seagate to work)

I took the drives that are a problem in the Gateways and installed them in a Dell deskside. The LV installation works perfectly. I moved the Dell installed drives to the Gateway and it hangs on boot.

I have looked for a bios update but Gateway is out of business and nothing is available.

Also, I tried VL5.9 and got the same results.

Any ideas?

DETAILS

Systems:  Gateway Series E (Intel chip set E210882)
Bios Version:  BF86510A.15A.0043.P07

Drives that works:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 – 80G – Date code 08305   (new)

Seagate Barracuda ATA IV model ST320011A – 20G – Date code 02434

Drives that do not work:

Western Digital WD200 (WD Caviar) – 20G – manufactured Oct 2001

Western Digital WD400 (WD Protege) – 40G – manufactured July 2003

Maxdor 51024H2 – manufactured Aug 2003

Quantum Fireball Plus LM - 15G
Logged
sqijeff
Member
*
Posts: 8


WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 11:02:32 am »

More info

We tested Ubuntu 8.04 with grub boot loader on one of the old Western Digital WD400 drives. It installed and works fine.

So this looks like a LILO issue. Is there a way to use grub instead of lilo? And if yes, can this be done during the installation process without having to reboot VL?

Jeff
Logged
uelsk8s
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2504



« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 12:11:27 pm »

I dont think it is a lilo issue, because lilo is not ran after partitioning.
did you repartition with the ubuntu installer?
if so maybe try installing VL onto the partitions ubuntu made.

when you partitioned using cfdisk in VL did you set the linux partition active?


Uelsk8s
Logged
sqijeff
Member
*
Posts: 8


WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 01:07:02 pm »

Very good input. Installing using the partition created with Ubuntu works.

We tried fdisk from the shell of the VL install and that also has a problem. 

So we are now working on a small Linux live CD with the partition software – gparted – used by Ubuntu. So for the Gateways this would create a two phase install. Boot the first live CD and partition and boot the LV CD and install.

When we get this working we will post here and create a How To in the Vector Linux Knowledge Center.

Jeff
Logged
uelsk8s
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2504



« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 01:26:41 pm »

I am glad you got it working.
you may want to look at the HD with cfdisk after you partition it with gparted and see if you can create it.
you could also look into imaging the HD's with DD or ghost so you only have to install once.

HTH,
Uelsk8s
Logged
sqisteve
Administrator
Member
*****
Posts: 7


« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2008, 03:16:41 pm »

We have tried a few other partition managers and here is a summary:

Vector Linux 5.8 cfdisk (from installer): failed
Vector Linux 5.8 fdisk (from CLI, busybox): failed
Damn Small Linux 4.2.5 fdisk (busybox): failed
Ubuntu 8.04 Live CD gparted: passed
Knoppix 5.1.1 Live CD qtparted: passed

I do not know if that will help find a better cfdisk/fdisk version for Vector, but this seems to be an issue with the BIOS not seeing what it expected while detecting harddisks. The BIOS in the E4100 locks up before it even starts the process to find a bootable device, so it is not possible to boot from CD with the affected harddrive connected to the motherboard. It locks up before you can enter the BIOS menu.

In any case, the work around currently is to boot from Knoppix 5.1.1 Live CD and run qtparted to clear the partition table and create the partitions for install. Then, run Vector Linux install and skip the FDISK step. The install process performs normally after this point.

For the affected harddrive to be usable again after being partitioned by the installer and locking up the BIOS, you must connect the harddrive to another computer or connect it to a USB-to-IDE bridge (such as an external harddrive case) and zero the first sector. A simple `dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1` seems to work, but you loose all partition and MBR information. This step should not be necessary if you are clearing the partition table using qtparted, but has not been tested.

SQI will be writing a troubleshooting article for this issue on the Knowledge Center at http://vector.ecosq.com/.

-Steve
Logged
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 4031



« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2008, 06:21:59 pm »

In my tool box I have standard, metric and adjustable wrenches, plus some special tools for specific jobs like changing brake linings. I have found it is important to keep several computer tools around as well.

Most of the time the installer works fine, but other times I need *more power*. Knoppix is great but it needs a decent machine and can take a long time to boot. I like smaller, specialty distros like Gparted Live and Parted Magic. Other times I need the manufacturer's utilities which can be found on the "Ultimate Boot CD". I even have some floppies with similar apps for machines that won't boot from CD's. If the task is possible, chances are there is a free tool available for download.
Logged
toothandnail
Tester
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2527


« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2008, 02:37:32 pm »

Most of the time the installer works fine, but other times I need *more power*. Knoppix is great but it needs a decent machine and can take a long time to boot. I like smaller, specialty distros like Gparted Live and Parted Magic. Other times I need the manufacturer's utilities which can be found on the "Ultimate Boot CD". I even have some floppies with similar apps for machines that won't boot from CD's. If the task is possible, chances are there is a free tool available for download.

I keep a copy of SystemRescueCD around. Not only is it good for fixing broken installs, its great for fixing broken Windows boxes as wel... Small enough to fit on an 8CM CD. I've lost count of the number of times its got me out of trouble.

paul.
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!