Linux Installation 'horrors'
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Thread: Linux Installation 'horrors'

  1. #1
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    Linux Installation 'horrors'

    Last week I read the thread on 'linux unstable' and recounted that mine was when my video card driver was incorrect.

    BUT.....................

    I have just messed up 3 Linux installations, and finally figured out why !!

    I would like the senior members here at AO to try this and confirm my suspicions.

    1. Single computer with changeable IDE hard drives.
    2. Run Windows 98se for an hour or so
    3. Replace hard drive and load Linux (mine are Red Hat 6.2 ,7.2 and Mandrake 8.2) I swap in 10 seconds with cages.

    During installation of Linux on this 'warmed up' computer video card detection was impaired. My computer rebooted randomly during installation. Not all software was loaded, RPM failed to load any software after installation was complete.

    The reverse also happened. When I put my Win 98se hard drive back into the 'warmed up' computer....it would reboot randomly, and freeze during Anti Virus loading.

    I have done this over and over to confirm my suspicions and finally got a Linux to load 'cleanly' only after letting the computer cool down for 1/2 hour.

    Originally I assumed it was my video card causing problems, and replaced it. Same problem.

    I am assuming the memory (video, SDRAM) somewhere is holding information (virtually) blocking correct detection of video and possibly corrupting installation.

    I would be interested if anyone else has had the same experiences.
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  2. #2
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Are you powering down when you perform
    the swap?
    Naturally, if you don't power down,
    some devices remain initialized,
    and new OS can't function properly.
    If this swap is performed with power off,
    I would assume that all devices with RAM
    or configurable registers are flushed
    and re-initialized with cold boot.
    In this case you have a heat sensitive
    component. Which component, I dunno.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.
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  3. #3
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    Power down

    Yes, the system is powered down first. And yes, I'm aware that memory doesn't flush on CTRL-ALT-DEL.

    I guess the point I was trying make is that somewhere (possibly the video card, or I/O system) some remnants of operating system code/drivers remain, and that 'code' interferes with Linux installation.

    Further, I have a stack of hard drives (in cages) that I swap continually (all are MS products from 95 to NT to XP) and they don't exhibit this problem amongst themselves. It's only when I switch between Linux and Windows (or vice versa) that the problem appears.
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  4. #4
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    Did you try unpluging the power-supply
    between swaps?
    --
    \"UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.\"
    Dennis Ritchie.
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  5. #5
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    Further, I have a stack of hard drives (in cages) that I swap continually (all are MS products from 95 to NT to XP) and they don't exhibit this problem amongst themselves. It's only when I switch between Linux and Windows (or vice versa) that the problem appears.
    Hehe, interesting you should say that. One thing to know about linux and windows. Windows does NOT like anything other than MS OS's and isn't going to play nice. Coincidence that windows X plays nicely with windows Y but not with linux? Not hardly...reminds me of back in the day with Netscape on 95...that one patch and booya, netscape's dying left and right.
    We the willing, led by the unknowing, have been doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do just about anything with almost nothing.
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  6. #6
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    Unplug

    Glad Vorlin seems to think it's different O/S' not playing well together.

    I didn't 'unplug' the power supply, but I did turn off the 'master switch' on the power supply. (and left it for 1/2 hour)

    I had come to the same conclusion re 'power' and saving remnants of 'code' or ? in the memory, or in a rom chip somewhere.

    The re-install of Mandrake 8.1 was/is f lawless now, and I can install software.

    Cheers
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Vorlin

    .... Hehe, interesting you should say that. One thing to know about linux and windows. ....
    Ummm ... more importantly, I remember back in the days of the 486DX4/120 chips - Windows will quite happily wander around with BROKEN write-through cache on-board ... wander slowly and horribly, that is. Linux, on the other hand, will bitch and scream.

    My $.02 in the pot.
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  8. #8
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    Try this. Are all of your hard drives of the same geometery? It seems that the bios will autodetect the windows geometery, but
    it wont with linux. I switch hd's on my system, and each time I go from windows to linux i have to go into the bios and autodetect the hard drive.
    Bolt actions speak louder than words.
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  9. #9
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    Bios settings

    Because I do swap hard drives, my bios is set to 'auto detect' on the primary master. PNP is OFF, etc etc. IDE cables have been replaced. BIOS update to 'latest' for Asus CUSL2-c

    Redhat 6.2, 7.2, Mandrake 8.1 support autodetect of drives. And all my hard drives are now Fujitsu 20 gig. Did that deliberately to ensure compatibility. (the reduced price helped)

    The only time I ever change my BIOS is when I switch to OS/2 (memory > 64 mb)

    Nietzche - And if Windows will only boot into 'Safe Mode' ? Check the CPU fan.
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  10. #10
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Ok, some hardware is remembering its
    configuration, even with power off,
    like Flashable BIOS remembers its data.
    You'll have to dig into the docs on vid & sound
    cards etc. They invent these wonderful
    features and assume that most users
    only set up for one OS.
    I long for the days when everything
    was hard wired.
    People complained about setting jumpers,
    but when you set them, they stayed set!
    Now, some devices are empty containers
    that can't function without firmware
    loaded at boot time.
    Winmodems are the obvious example,
    but who knows what else you'll find.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.
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