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Help me leave the dark side...

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I have a really old computer I want to install SUSE LINUX Personl 9.1 on. It can't boot from cd. Also, the cd-rom driver is not very popular, so the generic drivers won't work. How do I set it up so I can boot the thing of the harddrive? Gmail invite to anyone who can help! EDIT: I wanna now install slackware. [Edited by - Sagar_Indurkhya on September 16, 2004 6:57:27 AM]

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information about this old computer please.

I've installed linux on a compaq 486 with 33mhz and a CDROM connected to the sound card (!), so I'm sure this will be easier.

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Stats:

Pentium 90: 90 mhz
64 mb ED RAM
5 gigs of harddisk, can't recognize more than 2 gig partition.
CD ROM driver is old, and has some retarded drive which doesn't conform with generic ones.

BIos won't let me boot from cd, period. I have installed win98, but it is so bloated. I have dos 7.1 right now, with 493k conventional memory. Suse boot disk says i need 512k conventional memory. I than decided I would install the cd rom driver, copy the crap to another partition, use win 98 boot disk tools to format C:, copy d: to C:, and then try booting from the harddisk. THis didn't work very well.
Any ideas as to what to do? I would prefer suse, though slackware is acceptable to.

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Quote:
Original post by Sagar_Indurkhya
Stats:

Pentium 90: 90 mhz
64 mb ED RAM
5 gigs of harddisk, can't recognize more than 2 gig partition.
CD ROM driver is old, and has some retarded drive which doesn't conform with generic ones.

BIos won't let me boot from cd, period. I have installed win98, but it is so bloated. I have dos 7.1 right now, with 493k conventional memory. Suse boot disk says i need 512k conventional memory. I than decided I would install the cd rom driver, copy the crap to another partition, use win 98 boot disk tools to format C:, copy d: to C:, and then try booting from the harddisk. THis didn't work very well.
Any ideas as to what to do? I would prefer suse, though slackware is acceptable to.

Windows 98 isn't bloated. Your computer, simply, sucks.

You'll have to load a kernel that supports old non-atapi/non-ide CD-ROMS. I have NO clue (and I don't think it's possible) how to do this with SuSE, but it's a lot easier with Slackware.

Even if, by a small chance, your CD-ROM isn't supported at boot you can make a boot floppy (the utils should be included on every Linux CD image) which you stick in, and once that's booted the CD-ROM should work fine.

But SuSE Linux on a 90 mhz machine? Good lord, I'd die of aggrovation waiting for that beast to boot up ...

EDIT - I would suggest Gentoo but you'd be old and withered by the time it finished compiling [wink] ...

I say, give Slackware a go (it's my favorite) - it runs much better than bloatware like SuSE or Redhat or Fedora on old hardware, I'll tell you that much; but don't expect to get anything too graphical out of that machine, I'll warn you now.

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also debian would be a viable choice, but as the previous poster mentioned: suse is about as resource hungry as xp so without A LOT of tweaking it would just crawl horribly

that said debian is not very user friendly (if you just switched) but can be really trimmed down to what you need.

the booting problem should be resolved rather simple by using a boot floppy as suggested above, after the kernel is loaded odds are near 100% that your cdrom will be detected (not beeing able to boot has nothing to do with linux recognizing the drive) and usually also your full (5gb) harddisc should be available...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Drevay
EDIT - I would suggest Gentoo but you'd be old and withered by the time it finished compiling [wink] ...


You could try using a stage3 install and using the binary packages CD. Then you'd only have to compile the kernel, but if you use 2.6-series at least subsequent compiles would be quicker. Also, you could use distcc to have a faster machine help with the compiling. Gentoo would be good because you'd know how to compile the kernel, which you'd likely have to do to add in support for all the wierd, old hardware.

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Sorry for my lack of linux knowledge, but I was wondering if this work: I would use dos to format the C:, then copy CD crap to C:. Would it be possible to use the slackware boot disks to boot of the hard drive? Oh yeah. That isn't my main cpu. Just a spare. I know it sucks.

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Quote:
Original post by Sagar_Indurkhya
Sorry for my lack of linux knowledge, but I was wondering if this work: I would use dos to format the C:, then copy CD crap to C:. Would it be possible to use the slackware boot disks to boot of the hard drive? Oh yeah. That isn't my main cpu. Just a spare. I know it sucks.

Sure, you can install Slackware without a CD and just a CD image, but you'd have to use the UMSDOS filesystem which I don't particularily like, myself.

Just get a floppy, and make the boot disk with rawwrite or something like that (which comes on the first CD).

Oh, and, you deffinately won't need the second CD with a computer like that (2nd CD includes Gnome/KDE/KDE Internationalization).

In fact, I didn't even bother with the second CD.

So, yah, floppies aren't expensive, and you won't need to keep any windows partitions. Before you install slackware you make your partitions anyway.

I suggest twice the amount of your RAM for the swap partition, and the rest for your / partition.

Also, you can install Slackware via FTP, but it's not recommended for a newbie since you may miss some necessary files.

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ok. I loaded boot disk and rootdisk 1(install.1), but my root disk 2 is corrupted. It takes me to a command prompt. I have started learning some of the basics:

i have to do something like: fdisk /dev/hd1 right?
also, what is the cd? is is something like /dev/hd2 or something? Thanx for all the help. In worst case I might end up using UMSDOS, but right now, i am doing anything buy MS!

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Well I'm probably not going to be of much help by suggesting another distribution, but I say try vector as it was meant for older systems and tends to be easier to install than slackware and runs faster as well.
There's a document with a howto install on an old computer that doesn't have the ability to boot from CD.
Clicky

For that old of a computer you might be better off using Vector 3.2 than the latest version, I'd check the sys req's for you, but the page seems to be down.

Anyhow if you have any more questions just ask.

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I suggest Vector too or Damn Small Linux. Slackware is great but really it's quite tough to get it to do what you want it to do. That system is very very outdated so don't expect to be using a fancy graphical interface. I don't know what you are going to do with that computer but there are some very minimal window managers out there which may help out somewhat.

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