Two Epic Fails Trying to Install Mint on an Old Acer Aspire 3000 Laptop

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by stevefoobar, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. stevefoobar

    stevefoobar New Member

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    I'm really trying to use Mint Xfce on my old Acer Aspire Laptop because I heard it's a good lightweight, trouble-free version with most (if not all) common drivers and apps included.


    Sadly, I may have to look for another distro after two installation failures.

    The first attempt was Mint 15 ISO burn to DVD. The DVD didn't even load properly upon boot. I got just a blinking cursor in the upper left corner of the screen! Of course, I did a check-sum and burn verification in Nero first and the DVD reads fine on my desktop WinXP PC.

    The second attempt was after learning about a very cool app called UNetbootin http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/. I downloaded and used this app and this time let it download Mint 15 with Cinnamon and I selected the hard drive boot option. Upon reboot, it did start to load Mint it appeared but lines were scrolling too fast for me to see and I thought I saw a line that said something about "not found". It did continue to scroll lines however, but eventually just locked up on a line that reads:

    [ 117.756009] [<c1576ed4>] syscall_call+0x7/0xb

    Does anyone have any ideas or tips or should I just abandon Mint for another distro? Any ideas for another distro that's light enough for an old Acer Aspire 3000 Laptop?

    Hardware
    CPU: AMD Sempron 1.6 GHz
    GPU: SiS M760GX
    HD: 40 GB
    Wireless: Broadcom 802.11g
    Ethernet: SiS 900-Based PCI Fast Ethernet
  2. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Okay, personally I think anything Mint is garbage. But, that being said, I think if you want it to work we can help.
  3. stevefoobar

    stevefoobar New Member

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    ryanvade, what "boot" are you referring to? The hardware boot (BIOS), the boot from Unetbootin or something else?
  4. arochester

    arochester Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The linking cursor usually means a problem with your video card. You said that your video card was a SiS M760GX. One solution is shown at https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=100720#p100720

    Other answers are probably to be found in Ubuntu Forums. (Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu.) Unfortunately Ubuntu Forums has been hacked and is off-line at the moment.

    I had similar problems with an Intel Video. I came across on distro, Crunchbang Linux, which worked out-of-the-box.
  5. stevefoobar

    stevefoobar New Member

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    Since I'm new to Linux, I don't understand the solution in this link, nor do I want to put in the time to go down that particular rabbit hole. I think I'm going to try another distro. One eventually has to work, since others have gotten Linux to work on this laptop. If not, then I think I'll have no choice but to stay with WinXP since I don't have unlimited time to spend on this, even though it's fun to learn. :(
  6. Codypy1

    Codypy1 Member

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    Personally Mint is just horrible.

    With this being a old laptop. Why don't you grab Lubuntu? It's very lightweight and ideal for older computer use.

    I installed it for a friend using an old old Toshiba laptop that was running windows xp as.
    Since I installed it they've loved it.

    Other distros you could use could be

    Crunchbang(I've never tried it but I hear positive comments about it)
    Xubuntu(IF you want the xfce experience)

    If you wanna try these and have any trouble trying to test or install them you can send me a message and I could help you step by step.
  7. stevefoobar

    stevefoobar New Member

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    Thanks so much. I've heard of these distros so maybe I'll try them and I may take you up on your generous offer! It's sort of ironic to me that I'm an "old" UNIX guy and I'm finding Linux such a PITA to even get installed and booted.
  8. stevefoobar

    stevefoobar New Member

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    GAME CHANGER! I finally figured out that the primary problem (I'm sure I'll find more problems now but at least I can move forward) was that the DVD-ROM drive in this laptop will not read newer DVD+R disks that I've been using to create the Linux installations on! On a whim, I decided to dig out an old external USB DVD-RW drive, put the Linux DVD in this external drive, rebooted, and much to my surprise, it saw and started loading Linux!

    Now I've got to keep testing from here to see which distro and desktop works best (or at all) with the old hardware in this Acer Aspire 3000 laptop.
    Rob likes this.
  9. SLW210

    SLW210 Member

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    Biggest problem will be getting your drivers for the Broadcom wireless.

    There are several tutorials around depending on exact model.
  10. Codypy1

    Codypy1 Member

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    Wonderful! Let us know how it turns out.
  11. Primit1v3

    Primit1v3 Member

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    Try using a usb instead of a DVD, in my experience it works better and is cheaper. Since you're using Windoze to set it up, my suggestion is to try Pendrive Linux to create the usb. http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
    Also, the suggestion of Crunchbang is a good one. With the older hardware try Crunchbang Statler
    Rob likes this.
  12. MikeyD

    MikeyD Active Member

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    I've heard good things about Puppy Linux being very lightweight, I'm not sure how easy it is to install though as I've never used it. No offense to the OP, but if you don't have the time to troubleshoot much I wouldn't recommend CrunchBang as its a great distro, but can require some manual configuration although not as much as Gentoo or Arch.
    Unfortunately a lot of the 'plug and play' out of the box distros aren't quite as lightweight at the custom distros. If Mint doesn't work out I'd recommend a flavor of Ubuntu as some others have mentioned, namely Lubuntu or Xubuntu since most of the overhead will be in the GUI these forks offer very lightweight GUIs compared to GNOME or KDE
  13. tonyl

    tonyl New Member

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    I have the same acer aspire 3000 computer. Did you ever get it to work?
  14. pcpunk

    pcpunk New Member

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    Me too, please tell us what happened with your install!
  15. pcpunk

    pcpunk New Member

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    I don't have the answer for sure yet but I think it is because there is a partition in front of XP that is not allowing for a resize. Generally, there needs to be some Free Space at the end of the drive. With this small Acer partition in front of XP it don't allow it to resize XP partition, and the one that is in the way is way to small to resize and install linux.
  16. Rudi Pittman

    Rudi Pittman New Member

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    I'm using bodhi linux 3.0 32 bit (based on ubuntu 14.04) and it's working great on my acer aspire 3000 laptop. I maxed the memory to 2gb and put in a 128gb msata ssd with a sata to pata (ide 44 pin) adaptor and performance is great! Be aware bodhi uses the enlightenment desktop which is VERY configurable so if you browse their forums you will see how radically different each person's desktop can be. I run linux mint 17.1 kde on my desktop and had LM XFCE on the acer up till recently. Here's a screenshot (you will note that only 800mb is used and thats the whole os with stjerm pull down terminal (like yakuake) and seamonkey browser as well as terminology terminal open with conky showing the net speed):

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  17. pcpunk

    pcpunk New Member

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    Rudi Pittman, this doesn't help him install?

    Steve, you will have to post some screenshots of your drives if you want to resolve this. I'll show you how if you want. First off, when you boot the livedvd, when the LM screen comes up with the countdown, press Tab quickly > then choose "Compatability Mode" press enter and let it boot.

    Here is the issue as I understand it, but looking for a different way to fix it. You need a partiton at the end of your drive that has extra space to use. Then we will have to resize that partition to make room for a new one that you can install Mint on. I deleted the last partition D: > resized C: Drive partition(which is the next one) to allow for the new. It is very easy but you will need help. See, the D:partiton that I removed is not really necessary and mine was only 2GB in size. There are some things that I would like you to do before we delete it though so just reply to this and I will get back with ya. Here is the site that tells about the partition that we don't need D:drive: No go! site won't let me include link
    I fell that it is just a way to keep folks like us from doing just this, I could be wrong, but it surely keeps the noobs like you and i from doing this.
    I would love it if we could get the info for that partition before deletion, and you should back up your entire drive before hand. When you boot into live medium go into gparted, find it in the menu, I forget where it is in xfce, but I will look if I have time. It will ask for a password I think, but for a live user just hit enter. Take a screenshot of that with the built in screenshot tool, then post it here.

    You also have the choice of installing over XP if you like. There is also one other issue, you will need an ethernet connection to apply some wireless drivers that are not included for this pc, then you will have wireless.
  18. Rudi Pittman

    Rudi Pittman New Member

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    The 1st poster also asked "Any ideas for another distro that's light enough for an old Acer Aspire 3000 Laptop?" which my post answered. Both the wifi and the wired ethernet will work out of the box in bodhi (although you may have to hit the button on the front to turn wifi on).

    Although linux mint xfce will install on the aspire 3000 it runs sluggishly compared to lxle (lxde) and bodhi (enlightenment wm). If the user is set on using linux mint then they need to make sure they are using 17 or 17.1 as they are based on ubuntu trusty (14.04) which added back in some support for the sis video driver. The sis chipsets may be causing issues with earlier versions..a quick google of "ubuntu sis video" will pull up more then you ever want to read on the subject. The user can try booting up in vesa mode to see if the video driver is what is causing the crash.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  19. Rudi Pittman

    Rudi Pittman New Member

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    Here's an alternate solution to the problem....using Macrium Reflect Free( google for "macrium reflect free") to take a full image of the whole HD.It has both a live cd made from linux and one from winpe...ironically you want the winpe disk as it can be used to both backup and restore where the linux one can only be used to restore...you can then delete the 2GB partition and resize the xp one using Gparted (like Partition Magic) which is available on a few live cd's (google for "gparted livecd"). After resizing you can restore the 2gb partition from the image you made and finally create a new partition at the end of the disk with the now available free space.

    Since win xp is no longer supported and has several outstanding security issues it might be a wiser solution to just image the drive and do a full linux install over everything with the knowledge you could restore xp if you had to for some reason.

    I originally provided links but the system prevents me from posting them.
  20. pcpunk

    pcpunk New Member

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    I see Rudi, I was still fixated on the partitions being the issue as it still might be for Steve. I won't worry about that partition now as it's settings are lost and it don't seem necessary. I did imagine using the exact method as you suggested though, with macrium.

    I'm very happy to see that Bodhi works as that is what I need right now. You are saying that lxle will also contain these wireless drivers that I need? if so I will get it right away! or Bodhi

    I don't have ethernet to use to get the packages to make wireless work in mint. I'm not even sure that I could use the Ethernet with mint xfce, can you tell me?

    I'm very glad to meet you and maybe you could help me out as I am new to all this computer stuff. I like mint but have not been able to get the drivers installed to get wireless, tried for days. I found Mint xfce to run fine except for not being able to get wireless. I will go for the simple solution though in Bodhi and will try it today.

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