Success Story (eventually)

Forum: User Feedback
Topic: Success Story (eventually)
started by: yamahito

Posted by yamahito on Oct. 26 2003,18:04
Okay, I'm mainly posting this for your amusement, as well as to save a little time for anyone who comes across the same problems...

The Challenge

A Toshiba Satellite Pro 410CDT, 90MHz mobile Intel processor, 16 MB RAM, 800-ish MB HDD, dodgy keyboard.

The Solution

Someone suggested a cut-down or embedded linux, and after looking around I found this place.  Why not, I thought?

The Catch(es)

No bootable cd-rom on the laptop.  No working floppy on the laptop.  No other distros of linux in the house (other than the router).  Oh, yes, and if you hadn't guessed, I'm a complete newb.

Chapter I - our hero sets out

I downloaded DSL 4.9.  Waited four hours whilst housemate raped connection for anime.  Made meself some tea.

Chapter II - Weapons Training

Unscrewed laptop.  dropped screws.  Cursed.  Groped around under the desk for ten minutes until I noticed the screws lying where I knew i'd checked five minutes ago (this stage arbitrarily repeated throughout)

got hold of very handy usb-->laptop HDD adaptor, and inserted laptop HDD, and plugged into main machine.  Loaded up VMware, which luckily reckognises said usb device as a 'real' hard-drive.  Unfortunately, it will only fake it as a scsi device, rather than IDE.  I didn't realise this at the time, but it boded a great and lingering evil that was to come.  mounted the ISO image as the cd-rom, and followed the move to hard drive tutorial on the website here (thanks, guys).

Not too many problems here, once I went through the typical newb process of panicking and messenging every linux user on icq..  actually found the linux fdisk almost pleasant to use.  forgot the /dev/ infront of the drives a few times, though... doh..

Felt pleased with myself and went and got a slice of cake.

Chapter III - Rough Terrain

Now came the moment of truth - time to move the HDD into the laptop!  and, would you believe the very first time I powered up, the thing..  well, it crashed, actually.  A spectacular kernel error.

Now, with all the sickening feeling of something warm and liquid running down the back of your leg, I remembered our friend vmware insisting on making the HD sda instead of hda.  OK, I thought, how hard could it be to get it to boot now?  After all, I'm pretty sure I know what the problem is...

Three hours later, I figured out why the lilo arguments I was passing weren't working.. (btw, if anyone else gets stuck, hold down the 'alt' key to get a prompt, the type "linux root=/dev/hda1" or similar).

Looked at watch: 1AM - went to bed.

Chapter IV - Making progress

I'll make the rest sound easy, but really it was mostly guesswork on my part, with some very terse pointers given by some friends which contained the damage I was doing.  Here's what I did to make the thing happy with hda instead of sda:

1/ edit the /etc/lilo.conf file, replacing the sda bits with hda bits

2/ edit the /etc/fstab file, doing the same.

Wah lah, after a couple of boots where fsck moaned a bit, I was in a loving new invironment of graphics and styles.


Well, it's probably all a bit obvious to most of you, in which case I hope I've amused a little.  But for those people, who like me, are a bit clueless about this whole linux thang, I hope this might help someone out.  I'll do a follow-up sometime on how (whether) I'll ever get the sound working, as well as some wireless networking/ samba stuff (if it all works).

My personal conclusion: damn small linux?  Damn purdy linux, more like.

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