[kwlug-disc] linux on old hardware

R. Brent Clements rbclemen at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 01:04:30 EST 2010


If you treat this as a standard hardware diagnostic it helps to have
spare parts to swap in.

In this order:  swap in a new drive, swap in a new drive cable, then
try the whole thing on a different IDE bus--either other plug on board
or in a different system. I have seen all three of these failures in
the past. But deffinitely check the ram. And thermal issues with the
processor and the northbridge. Inconsistant points of failure are
often thermal or bad cabling

Brent

On 2/16/10, Terrence Enger <tenger at iseries-guru.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 2010-02-16 at 14:31 -0500, john at netdirect.ca wrote:
>> kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org wrote on 02/16/2010 01:54:43 PM:
>>
>> >
>> > I'm installing mandriva 2010 on an old computer (AMD 2000+, 256 megs of
>> > ram (maybe 512 if I can find another stick)) and not having any luck.
>> >
>> > When I boot from DVD, it dies at varying points.  Sometimes right away,
>> > sometimes it reads for a bit then dies, sometimes I get the initial
>> > install screen then it dies with something like "isolinux: disk error
>> > 80, ax=4210"
>> >
>> > I'm reasonably sure that the dvd is fine - I've used it for installing
>> > numerous systems.  I'm suspecting something in my old hardware.  Any
>> > ideas on where to start diagnosing?
>
> Can the target system boot from a USB stick?  That would remove--well,
> swap out--one DVD drive from the situation.
>
>>
>> I'm not familiar with AMD 2000+, but I do know that distros have left 386
>> and 486 processors behind, maybe this is another casualty. The processor
>> sounds like it's Pentium III compatible though.
>>
>> Another thing to try is a memory check. Don't use the BIOS use memtest86.
>> This is a boot option on Red Hat and Fedora dvds, perhaps it's there on
>> Mandriva. Once you get memtest running let it run for as long as you like.
>>
>> We usually see memory problems within a minute, but running it longer can
>> locate some transient problems.
>
> The USB stick which comes to hand--from ubuntu 9.10 32-bit
> desktop--includes Memtest86.
>
> Cheers,
> Terry.
>
>>
>>
>> John Van Ostrand
>> Net Direct Inc.
>>
>> CTO, co-CEO
>> 564 Weber St. N. Unit 12
>> map
>>
>> Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6
>>
>> john at netdirect.ca
>> Ph: 866-883-1172
>> ext.5102
>> Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware
>> Fx: 519-883-8533
>>
>>
>>
>>
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