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Dell Inspiron dual boot

 
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steveob



Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 8:23 am    Post subject: Dell Inspiron dual boot Reply with quote

Like oiyou earlier this month, I am attracted to the Dell Inspiron 1300 because of its price and upgraded spec. At the moment I use Mandriva 2005 LE on my eight year old system using swappable hard disks in caddies rather than dual booting. Oiyou did not say whether he was dual booting which I would need to do. Has anybody got any experience of this with a newish Dell Inspiron? Quite like my old Mandriva, used Mandrake since 7.3!!! but would change to another distro such as kubuntu or Suse if they are more Dell friendly.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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M-Saunders
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:14 pm
Posts: 2893

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:12 am    Post subject: RE: Dell Inspiron dual boot Reply with quote

Strangely enough, I'm getting one delivered today! Will install Linux on it over the weekend and let you know how it goes. If you search the net there's a good guide for running Gentoo on the 1300 -- looks mostly straightforward as it's standard components.

M
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steveob



Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M

If it's good enough for you! Will probably go ahead and order today.

Could you post with the distro you install anyway and any probs, particuarly the "hidden partition" that Dell apparently use in conjunction with their rescue disk, as I do need it to dual boot?

Many thanks
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MartyBartfast
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:25 am
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Location: Hants, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
I bought an Inspiron 6000 last year and had it dual boot Mandriva & Windows XP home. It's now dual booting Ubuntu & XP. IIRC there were 2 small Dell partitions, which I left in place as they didn't cause any problems and I've heard that if these are removed and you need to return the box to Dell for a problem then they will get shirty about it, as it happens I now have the Dell diagnostic partition as a boot option too although I've not used it in anger.

The only problem I had was that I managed to screw up the partition table when manually resizing the Windows partition, but that was my fault and I managed to recover it without too many problems. However I would advise taking an image of the disk to CD before messing about (something I didn't do!)
Martyn
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M-Saunders
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:14 pm
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got it here -- looking good, nice wide screen and feels very sturdy. Gave Windows its first boot and fought through a billion junk freeware crap 'First use' screens. No wonder people go mad using computers.

Burning Ubuntu Dapper Flight 7 now to install tomorrow -- will let you know how it went on Mon!

M
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M-Saunders
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:14 pm
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, here's a quick report. Installed Ubuntu Dapper Flight 7. Couldn't resize the Windows NTFS partition; must be a bug because the Ubuntu 5.10 CD worked fine for that task.

Video: Works great out-the-box with 3D acceleration. To get the native 1280x800 resolution, you need to install the 915resolution package and tweak xorg.conf

Sound: Again, all fine. Front-mounted speakers are pretty good.

Input: Touchpad works well, including tap-to-click. Gnome has a little notifier as you use the Fn key to change volume.

Network: Onboard ethernet works out-the-box. Wireless is a bit trickier: you have to extract the firmware from the Windows driver, so that the [i]bcm43xx[/b] kernel module can load it. I took the firware from the driver on the Windows partition and the machine locked up solid. Found an older driver on the net -- now recognises wireless networks, but won't connect properly. Needs more investigation.

Modem: A WinModem. Apparently works with some special driver -- not checked yet.

On the whole, very little fiddling required, thankfully! If wireless support is critical to whatever you're doing, it may be worth researching the support before. It'll probably work given enough experimentation with firmware versions. Good solid laptop, and a bargain for the price.

M
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steveob



Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M

Thanks for the rundown. As a result of my tardiness, I've missed the two best recent offers of the upgrades to 80gb for the hdd and 512mb for the ram. Am about to go on holiday so will wait until I get back and hope they repeat the offers.

As a matter of interest, did you remove XP as you could not resize the partition or keep it and if so did you go for the basic spec of XP home? I intend to dual boot so will probably go for XP Pro.

Thanks again.
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M-Saunders
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't resize the Windows partition with the Dapper 7 CD (some sort of bug), so I booted the Ubuntu 5.10 disc and did it from there. After that I restarted with the Dapper 7 CD again and continued with the installation.

Also, I recommend getting the Windows 'media' (ie CD) -- it's only a fiver extra, and if you delete the special Windows Restore partitions you can still get the OS back in case of problems.

M
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steveob



Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M

Thanks again for the info. I fully intended to get the XP cd, as you say, daft not to for a fiver. Will wait for the offers at the end of June and let you know which distro I go for and how well it installs.
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steveob



Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back from hols and Inspiron 1300 has arrived with 512meg and 80gb hdd. Paid the extra 50 for XP Pro and the cd. Have downloaded kubuntu ( Iprefer kde to gnome) and installed it as a dual boot on my old desktop. Have to say that I am not totally overawed by kubuntu. Perhaps I have been using Mandrive (since 7.2!) too long.

So tried Mandriva One live on the same desktop. Seemed to be up and running and then froze. Has anyone tried installing Mandriva One on a Dell from the live distro?

Any suggestions most welcome.
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steveob



Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just tried Mandriva One Live on the Dell and it seems to be working perfectly apart from the screen size, which is too big for the available screen, so having to scroll a bit. Assume that could be fixed if I decide to install. Only thing stopping me now is the fact that Mandriva One only has KDE 3.4 and I don't want to lose any of the hidden partitions if possible. Is it better to install Partition Magic or let Mandriva's installer handle the partitions? I've always found it to be one of the best at setting partitions butwill it see the three existing partitions?

Sending this from the Dell using Mandriva One btw.

As always, any advice/suggestions greatly appreciated.
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steveob



Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since my last post in this forum, have had a few problems which I detailed in the main help forum under "lost partition". I tried to use Partition Expert to create a 20gb partition in to which I could install Mandriva for a dual boot. Partitioning went wrong at the "commit" stage and I ended up with no partiton and missing 20gb off the hdd. Dell System Recovery stalled with an error message saying contact Dell!!!! Tried various things including trying to install my old Mandriva 2005 LE but that would not install as the installer reported no free space.

Have finally got DSR to work and now have the C drive restored to its original state. Noted in a previous post in the thread from M-Saunders that Ubuntu Dapper 7 would not resize the Windows partition and was wondering if anyone had had success with Kubuntu from the live cd or Mandriva One from the live cd or Mandriva Le 2005.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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steveob



Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got Kubuntu to install from the live cd at the third attempt. Had a couple of problems which I posted on the general help forum, now sorted. Remaining problems are no sound when playing cds and wireless networking.

Wired networking is ok but would like any suggestions to get wireless going.

With regard to sound, KsCD shows that the tracks are playing, volume is at max, Kmix looks ok and I get system sounds, so presume the speakers are ok. Again, any suggestions gratefully appreciated.
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Marrea
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:32 pm
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Location: Chilterns, West Hertfordshire

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveob wrote:

With regard to sound, KsCD shows that the tracks are playing, volume is at max, Kmix looks ok and I get system sounds, so presume the speakers are ok. Again, any suggestions gratefully appreciated.


Have you tried going to KsCD's Extras, Configure KsCD, CD Drive and enabling "Use direct digital playback", then clicking Apply? It might possibly be that.
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steveob



Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:59 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Marrea. Have tried that since the post and it worked on an old desktop which gave me the alternative of alsa or arts in KsCD. The Dell only has arts showing and it is greyed out. Also, the "use direct digital playback" check box is not there. Maybe I don't have alsa configured properly. will look at it again. Thanks again for the reply.
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