DSL 4 on Compaq

Forum: User Feedback
Topic: DSL 4 on Compaq
started by: DSLNeat

Posted by DSLNeat on Dec. 04 2007,07:49
So I heard about DSL and figured it was only 50 meg. I'll download it and see what happens. I got out an old Compaq with 128 meg ram, S3 Pro Savage graphics, 900 Mhz AMD Duron. Running Windows XP. (shipped with ME)
Booted up and ran like a charm. All hardware was detected. Could play MP3's and surf the net like a pro and access the Windows XP partion. I don't know about NTFS or not as it is formatted FAT 32.

Went to bed, woke up tried it again. This time everything worked except I couldn't surf the net. Restarted to Windows XP and the internet worked fine. Restarted DSL again, still couldn't surf the net. Tried a couple things to make sure DHCP was being used, but did nothing.

After a little googling I found out the problem was specific to the network card. Realtek 8139 with a manually updated driver and dual booting XP. Windows XP will shut it down in such a way that Linux cannot wake it up. A quick fix is to enable Wake on Lan in Windows XP, shut down and reboot Linux. DSL was again surfing the net like a charm.
< http://www.mail-archive.com/ubuntu-....18.html >

< http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=538448 >

Then I didn't use it for a day. I only used XP. I did a reboot in XP and all of a sudden I got blue blocks all over the screen and the system just hung with no POST. Rebooted just fine surfed the net, and didn't think anything about it. Went to bed woke up and tried to reboot the computer and got no POST again. Nothing but a black screen and the FAN blowing. No drive noise, no CD-Drive going.

Tried to power on several times, and kept getting the same thing. Then all of a sudden Windows XP magically came up. I burnt a couple files to disk just in case it didn't boot up again, and it never did. Two days now it's just dead. I'm going to try and remove the mobo battery to reset the CMOS when I get a chance, but I think the comp is just dead.

Now I hadn't used DSL in a day or two when this happened so there is no saying what caused this. This comp was six years old, and it was just time to pay the fiddler.

I also use Linux at work and have never had a problem installing it or running. But we only use IBM's there. However, at home this makes the second time I've killed an old computer around about the same time as trying Linux on it. The other was a different distro.

So then I read some things online about certain bugs in Linux damaging hardware. Such as Mandrake killing LG CD drives.
< http://www.linux.org/news/2003/10/27/0001.html >

Ubuntu wearing laptop hard drives.
< http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/30/1742258 >

Ubuntu corrupting DELL clocks and bios.
< https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu....45 >

All these problems seem to stem from hardware makers not building their product to spec. So not really Linux's fault.

But I have a few questions.

1: Am I doing something wrong?

2: Is there any warnings that can be given about how to identify hardware that I shouldn't install anything but Windows on because it might damage the computer?

Posted by lucky13 on Dec. 04 2007,13:02
This should probably be in the laptops section. This isn't a Linux-specific problem, as you ultimately got around to writing. I've dealt with a similar issue using XP.

Did you try booting from other media like a floppy (rescue) or run the live CD, or try booting with a Windows recovery CD? If you can boot from CD, then the problem should be isolated to your hard drive and the rest of the system is fine.

If that's the case, check with your hard drive manufacturer's website for a floppy test the hard drive. Then go through other parts of your system such as the fan. Was it running while you were running DSL? Did you check to see if it was running too hot? Etc.

As for your questions, any change to any computer can create problems, even (including) Windows. The Slashdot article (which links to the same launchpad bug tracker) you linked about hard drive failure isn't limited to Ubuntu: "Ubuntu (and perhaps any OS)." Did you do something wrong? That depends if your hard drive tests okay, if your fan is working, etc. It could just be coincidence that this happened near the time you ran DSL.

FWIW, I've installed and run DSL on several Compaqs without any trouble.

< http://www.tutorials-win.com/WindowsXP/Dead-hard-1841863/ >
< http://www.linux-hero.com/rant....nd-tear >

Posted by curaga on Dec. 04 2007,16:58
Try removing the net card (if it's a card, that is)
Posted by DSLNeat on Dec. 05 2007,04:03
Oh it wasn't laptop. It was an old desktop, I forgot to mention. But the hard drive works fine on another comp. There's just no power going to anything but the fan. Hard drive. CD. I've taken everything out except video now, and still nothing. No POST or video signal. But all the parts seem to work fine on another motherboard. It's just a dead mobo or power supply. If it was just a bad MBR or something I could have fixed that in a jiffy.

I think this comp is just dead. I surely wouldn't blame it on DSL because it now to is working on a computer at work just fine.

My real question was, I want to buy a new computer and run Linux on it at my home, and was wondering if there was any other bad hardware to be on the lookout for since so much is only tested on Windows. It may seem like a dumb question, but all the hardware at work is selected for us at work you see. So I have no experience selecting good hardware for Linux.

Sorry if I posted in the wrong topic. I was just trying to give an all around of my experience.

Posted by DSLNeat on Dec. 05 2007,04:09
Oh, and I forgot to mention. Thank you for your help :)
Posted by curaga on Dec. 05 2007,07:52
Get one with Intel or Via video card..

Not much more to want :) Well 'cept if you're going for printers also

Posted by john.martzouco on Dec. 05 2007,09:04
If you're talking about getting a new PC for DSL then almost any 5$ computer will do. That's the beauty of DSL.  I'm running it on a P2-300MHz laptop with 128MB of RAM and it works wonderfully (except for fan control but I'm dealing with that as time permits).

Dig up any old box you've got hanging around and DSL will run like a dream.

Now, if you're thinking about Ubuntu or one of the other full-sized distributions... you'd best look at their recommended hardware minimums because they're in the same ranges as the machines needed for Windows.

Remember, compare apples with apples.  And there are no Microsoft apples that compare to DSL!

Posted by lucky13 on Dec. 05 2007,13:05
Oh it wasn't laptop. It was an old desktop, I forgot to mention.

Not sure where I got the idea it was a laptop, unless it was in one of the links or something. Anyway, most hardware is fairly Linux-friendly. Check with whichever distro you want to use and see if there are reported issues like the one you found about Ubuntu and certain hard drives.

If you like DSL and intend to run it, you don't need a new computer. Find an old one someone has abandoned or build a system from scavenged parts. If you want something new for DSL, consider the Damn Small Machine.
< http://damnsmalllinux.org/store/Mini_ITX_Systems/Damn_Small_Machine >

Posted by DSLNeat on Dec. 09 2007,05:00
I don't know. I would have assumed it's a laptop. Putting a different PSU in seemed to wake it up, but since the last few parts I've order for my custom built system will be here soon I probably won't be using it much.
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