All Distro's hang/crash

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All Distro's hang/crash

Postby kiwi_vtr » Tue May 31, 2005 6:22 pm


I am totally unable to install any distro on my laptop, they all lock solid at the disk format stage , its only a 30 Gb 2.5 inch standard ide disk. as per normal other operating systems have no problem.
I have tried all the partitioning options manual, auto, expert and none work.
What can I do ??, short of going back to Win XP

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RE: All Distro

Postby Rhakios » Tue May 31, 2005 6:51 pm

Test your ram? Always a good idea, even if it appears to work well on day to day tasks it might not be up to the heavy load placed on installing an OS. Some distros, such as SuSE include a ram test (memtest) as a boot option on the installation medium. Otherwise you can make your own
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RE: All Distro

Postby davecs » Tue May 31, 2005 6:53 pm

No idea!

Well, just a glimmer of one, and it may be complete rubbish.

I remember using a proprietory program supplied with a Hard Drive to format it for Windows. Some took under a second to format the disk which otherwise took a hour or more. What if your laptop's drive is formatted in such a way, and it is preventing the Linux format program from understanding it?

Maybe the answer is to insert a Windoze disc, repartition and reformat the entire drive in FAT32, creating partitions ready for your Linux install. Then use linux's fdisk to reformat those partitions in a Linux format, say reiserfs.

I could be way out here, but it might just be worth a try.
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RE: All Distro

Postby kiwi_vtr » Tue May 31, 2005 7:56 pm

Thanks for the responses, I have reduced my memory to 512 mb and formated the drive as a fat32 of 28Gb & 2 Gb .....still no luck, but and it gets weirder.
Suse 9.0 installs fine , try to upgrade to 9.2 and nada craps out again.
So I dunno, give up I think, before my blood pressure gets too much higher

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RE: All Distro

Postby alloydog » Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:50 am

From what I gather, laptops have their own parculiarities when it comes to Linux. There is are several "projects", so to speak, concerned with running Linux on laptops, the first which springs to mind is, approriately enough, Linux on Laptops :!:

Have you checked the BIOS setting? Once, putting together my current PC, the mainboard had been used by my oldest boy earlier. I could not install any Linux, or Windows NT on it. DOS & DOS based Windows were OK. I reset the BIOS to "fail safe", then got it to detect the harddrive. After that, all flavours of LInux I tried worked (and still do) - I guess my kid tried to "optimise" some of the BIOS settings :?

As for reformatting the HDD, I have found sometimes using a FreeDOS boot disc, followed by simple two disc Linux distribution like BasicLinux to boot the PC with, then running cfdisk. It's quick and dirty, but it seems to work.

I use the DOS disc first, to run fdisk /mbr to clear the MBR.
Then I reboot with BasicLinux and run cfdisk, which is pretty much straight forward to use.
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RE: All Distro

Postby nelz » Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:12 am

You can clear the MBR and partition table from Linux with
Code: Select all
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1
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RE: All Distro

Postby alloydog » Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:57 am

I had been looking for that! Groovey stuff, bye bye DOS disc...
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RE: All Distro

Postby kiwi_vtr » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:27 pm

I have tried everything, the only distro that installs from the off is Suse 9.0 which is no good to me as it does not support my Netgear 54 Mbs Wirless card and USB 2.0.
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Postby wiz » Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:52 pm

I have been round & round in circles with this in the past. There may be a problem somewhere in the cd/dvd drivers which makes the system lose contact with the drive at some point during the installation.

I did a google search on it about a year ago and found a load of posts from people having the same problem when watching video dvd's with linux. The playback would stop halfway through for no apparent reason.

The distro's I have had a problem with are Ubuntu, Debian 3.0 & Mepis which I thought narrowed the problem down a bit but now Suse 9.2 installation stops with the same problem although Suse 9.0 is fine, no problems.

All the installations stop with an attempt to read beyond end of device error or a lost interrupt on /dev/hdx error.

The only answer I found is to copy the entire dvd to a hard disk partition using a working linux system & then doing the installation from there. If you are a complete newcomer then you are stuffed!
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