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Author Topic: hd install issue  (Read 910 times)
kenny81
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« on: March 10, 2014, 12:27:23 AM »

ok guys i am very new to linux but i am trying to install dsl on an old dell i have i tried the tutorial http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/f/topic-3-26-18529-0.html and i try to run cfdisk and i get FATAL ERROR Cannot read disk drive press any key to exit cfdisk. do i have a bad disk image or what?
specs
Dell System GX280
processor Pentium 4 cpu 2.8 ghz not 64 bit
512 mb ram
onboard cd/dvd rom drive ide
onboard 80gig SATA Hard drive i completely wiped the drive with killdisk so there is not partitions or OS at all on it

i know it will run DSL very well
ps if anyone knows another version of linux that it will handle also any input will be appreciated 
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CNK
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 09:37:18 PM »

For SATA drives you need to issue the "sata" command at boot (see the boot options (cheatcodes) page on the wiki for more info). When the CD boot screen comes up, type "dsl sata" and press enter. To make things a bit quicker, you can also turn on DMA acceleration with "dsl sata dma".

If you were already doing that (or it doesn't help), try running "fdisk -l" and post the result here, with a bit of luck fdisk will be a bit more insightful than cfdisk.


That machine should run DSL lightning quick. I mainly play around with the lowest resource usage distros you can find, so I don't know that many that would take advantage of the extra power of your machine. If you can wedge some more RAM in it, you might be able to use one one the mainstream distros.

Knoppix (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html) will work fine with your hardware (though it might still help to bang in another 512MB stick of RAM) and would probably be what I'd choose for it, as it runs with all the latest software but should still work very fast. There's a program on the Live CD to install it to HDD. DSL is actually based on a very old version of Knoppix, but you won't need to use the "sata" cheatcode (though you might need to type "knoppix" for it to boot into the GUI).

Here's a quick list of some low resource distros picked from my pile of Live CDs:
Puppy Linux
Puppy Linux Pulp (even lower resource usage)
Tinycore Linux
DSL-N (development stopped earlier than main DSL, so you might prefer plain DSL)
Slitaz
Plop Linux
TinyMe Linux

Hmm, that messed up my live CD pile... oh well, hope it helped.
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kenny81
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 01:44:12 AM »

thx CNK im going to try that how ever would you recommend knoppix over DSL on my system is gonna be something for me to goof around on and to teach my kids more abound computers i want a visually attractive well running system im sorry i am truely really new to linux again if anyone else would like to chime in it is welcome i need to learn it more my self obviously any good places for me to learn lol  Shocked
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kenny81
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 02:43:04 AM »

ok i ran it as dsl sata now im trying to get it to let me partition it so i can install it this computer is fighting me like crazy the main reason i want it on the hdd is one so itll run faster and two i think the cd drive is going cuase there are times it wont see it once i boot it up and i select it to boot from cd itll say boot drive not availible take cd out put it back in itll boot up fine but thats off topic sorry i know my way around a computer linux is just something i never got into and id like to now thank you

For SATA drives you need to issue the "sata" command at boot (see the boot options (cheatcodes) page on the wiki for more info). When the CD boot screen comes up, type "dsl sata" and press enter. To make things a bit quicker, you can also turn on DMA acceleration with "dsl sata dma".

If you were already doing that (or it doesn't help), try running "fdisk -l" and post the result here, with a bit of luck fdisk will be a bit more insightful than cfdisk.


That machine should run DSL lightning quick. I mainly play around with the lowest resource usage distros you can find, so I don't know that many that would take advantage of the extra power of your machine. If you can wedge some more RAM in it, you might be able to use one one the mainstream distros.

Knoppix (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html) will work fine with your hardware (though it might still help to bang in another 512MB stick of RAM) and would probably be what I'd choose for it, as it runs with all the latest software but should still work very fast. There's a program on the Live CD to install it to HDD. DSL is actually based on a very old version of Knoppix, but you won't need to use the "sata" cheatcode (though you might need to type "knoppix" for it to boot into the GUI).

Here's a quick list of some low resource distros picked from my pile of Live CDs:
Puppy Linux
Puppy Linux Pulp (even lower resource usage)
Tinycore Linux
DSL-N (development stopped earlier than main DSL, so you might prefer plain DSL)
Slitaz
Plop Linux
TinyMe Linux

Hmm, that messed up my live CD pile... oh well, hope it helped.
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CNK
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 09:16:03 PM »

As I said, Knoppix is probably what I'd put on that machine. For playing around, it allows you to install a lot of new software that can be difficult or impossible to install with DSL (it has a lot of features to play with too). It's up to you though, if you're happy with the programs in the MyDSL Respository, then you could go for that, but Knoppix would be my recommendation.

For the partitioning problem, please open a root terminal and post the result of the command "fdisk -l".
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kenny81
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 11:01:20 PM »

As I said, Knoppix is probably what I'd put on that machine. For playing around, it allows you to install a lot of new software that can be difficult or impossible to install with DSL (it has a lot of features to play with too). It's up to you though, if you're happy with the programs in the MyDSL Respository, then you could go for that, but Knoppix would be my recommendation.

For the partitioning problem, please open a root terminal and post the result of the command "fdisk -l".

the results of the fdisk -l
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kenny81
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 11:13:42 PM »

CNK what version of Knoppix would you recommend
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CNK
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 09:27:07 PM »

OK, it looks like fdisk can read the partition table of your HDD alright, so things are workable. Actually, if you wiped the disk, there shouldn't be a partition table, did you manage to create some partitions?

Anyway, there are ways to make partitions in DSL without cfdisk, but if you want to install Knoppix it would probably be best to do the partitioning as you follow its installation program. Specifically, you need to create two partitions - one for swap space (where data goes when it can't fit in the memory), which should be the first partition on the disk and from memory needs to be a Gigabyte or greater in size, then another (eg. taking up the rest of the drive) for Knoppix itself. The installer will tell you how much swap space it wants and will open a graphical partitioning program (Gparted) to let you make the changes. You'd be best to delete all the partitions you've got on there already.

I've used the latest version of the Knoppix CD and it worked fine, so I'd say go with that (or, even better, the DVD).
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kenny81
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2014, 02:32:49 AM »

OK, it looks like fdisk can read the partition table of your HDD alright, so things are workable. Actually, if you wiped the disk, there shouldn't be a partition table, did you manage to create some partitions?

Anyway, there are ways to make partitions in DSL without cfdisk, but if you want to install Knoppix it would probably be best to do the partitioning as you follow its installation program. Specifically, you need to create two partitions - one for swap space (where data goes when it can't fit in the memory), which should be the first partition on the disk and from memory needs to be a Gigabyte or greater in size, then another (eg. taking up the rest of the drive) for Knoppix itself. The installer will tell you how much swap space it wants and will open a graphical partitioning program (Gparted) to let you make the changes. You'd be best to delete all the partitions you've got on there already.

I've used the latest version of the Knoppix CD and it worked fine, so I'd say go with that (or, even better, the DVD).

ok thank you CNK im down loading knoppix now to see how that works as for the partition table i attempted to get it right with SFDISK failing miserably i guess lol do you know any sites or anything i can get tutorials online for linux i really wanna know more about the programming aspect im great with hardware and what not software has always been my short comming thank you
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CNK
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2014, 02:10:26 AM »

Here are some picks of Linux help sites from my bookmarks, there are a number of others out there too:

Tuxfiles (http://web.archive.org/web/20130531230016/http://www.tuxfiles.org/) - Currently offline, link is to archive of the site.
The Linux Information Project (http://www.linfo.org/)
Newbie's Linux Manual (http://afrodita.rcub.bg.ac.rs/~ivica/nlm/index.html) - Old
Computer Hope (http://www.computerhope.com/unix.htm)

And some websites that are good for browsing different distributions:

Distrowatch (http://distrowatch.com/) - in case you didn't already know
The Live CD List (http://www.livecdlist.com/)
Wikipedia Lightweight Linux distribution page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightweight_Linux_distribution) - not all that comprehensive.
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kenny81
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2014, 02:22:46 AM »

Here are some picks of Linux help sites from my bookmarks, there are a number of others out there too:

Tuxfiles (http://web.archive.org/web/20130531230016/http://www.tuxfiles.org/) - Currently offline, link is to archive of the site.
The Linux Information Project (http://www.linfo.org/)
Newbie's Linux Manual (http://afrodita.rcub.bg.ac.rs/~ivica/nlm/index.html) - Old
Computer Hope (http://www.computerhope.com/unix.htm)

And some websites that are good for browsing different distributions:

Distrowatch (http://distrowatch.com/) - in case you didn't already know
The Live CD List (http://www.livecdlist.com/)
Wikipedia Lightweight Linux distribution page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightweight_Linux_distribution) - not all that comprehensive.

THANK YOU CNK i got knoppix downloaded it runs great kinda slow but i have some more ram coming so that will change it is truely much more user friendly as far as install and what not you have been a huge help and i thank you ill look into those sites also  Grin cnk im not sure what time zone u r in but please im me on here if you dont mind in case i have any issues thx for the help again
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