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Help! Cannot install any version of Linux on 12 yr old machine

Flashing the BIOS is not as simple as it sounds.

The Q-Flash utility that is built into the BIOS doesn't see any of the SATA drives or the USB stick. So no way of getting it to load the file.

The @BIOS utility which luckily I still had on the original DVD seemed to be working, it found the correct version but when it appeared to be starting to flash, Windows told me it had stopped working and did I want to close it? Restarting the machine I find I'm still on F1.

I don't think it's going to turn out to be the BIOS but it's worth ruling it out, but even that's being a p.i.t.a.
 


Flashing the BIOS is not as simple as it sounds.

The Q-Flash utility that is built into the BIOS doesn't see any of the SATA drives or the USB stick. So no way of getting it to load the file.

The @BIOS utility which luckily I still had on the original DVD seemed to be working, it found the correct version but when it appeared to be starting to flash, Windows told me it had stopped working and did I want to close it? Restarting the machine I find I'm still on F1.

I don't think it's going to turn out to be the BIOS but it's worth ruling it out, but even that's being a p.i.t.a.
Probably a silly suggestion from a noob but is there an equivalent to windows pagefile in linux you could increase so the cpu has more than 300mb to play with for graphics?
Just thinking it might stop or lessen the crashes and give you more time to figure out the issue.
 
Right, thanks to all the help I now know how to get a command line up with the graphics drivers loaded and with screen set to 1920x1080.

Now running inxi -Fxdz -G --display, the line for Graphics gives me:
Code:
Graphics:
  Device-1: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics vendor: Gigabyte 
driver: i915 v: kernel bus-ID: 00:02.0
  Display: server: X.org v: 1.21.1.3 driver: X: loaded: fbdev,modestting,vesa gpu: i915 resolution: 1920x1080
  Message: No GL data found on this system
 
Probably a silly suggestion from a noob but is there an equivalent to windows pagefile in linux you could increase so the cpu has more than 300mb to play with for graphics?
Just thinking it might stop or lessen the crashes and give you more time to figure out the issue.

I did think about that but I can see there's a 2Gb swapfile set up so that's not an issue.
 
Running inxi -Fxdz without the -G the output for "Display" is
Code:
Display: server: X.org v: 1.21.1.3 with: Xwayland v:  22.1.1 driver: x
 loaded: fbdev,modesetting,vesa gpu: i915 tty: 240x67 resolution: 1920x1080
 
Okay the situation is:

All the distros of Linux I've tried on this machine will crash unless running in "safe" graphics mode. Even CentOS 7 crashes during install unless I select the safe miode option. Same with Mint and all the others.

Fedora was looking good, that one would actually run in full HD as a live session from the USB. But once installed, it was the same story.

Once installed, if I boot Mint Cinnamon with the desktop set to 1920x1080 it will crash, either at the login screen or as soon as I start browsing or opening files. Even just opening the terminal, it will at some point crash. Don't think it actually makes much difference whether it's in software rendering mode or not in the end.

If I boot with the desktop set to 1280x1024 (but with the monitor recognized i.e. the graphics drivers are still loaded), it's more stable, I can have more things going on, but it's still not hard to make it crash.

If I boot in recovery mode so no graphics drivers, unknown monitor and default 1280x1024 resolution, it seems stable.

It seems like the correct drivers are getting loaded.

Unless anyone can suggest where I might get alternative drivers from I think I'm done with this. There is no solution that's going to be found for this particular hardware. If it's a BIOS update that's needed then the motherboard is scrap as far as this task is concerned because neither of the methods available to flash it actually work.

I may try and source a cheap graphics card just to see if that fixes it.

This wasn't supposed to go like this, I thought I was going to spend this weekend getting to grips with ffmpeg!
 
Have you tried the nomodeset option?

Wiz
 
Okay the situation is:

All the distros of Linux I've tried on this machine will crash unless running in "safe" graphics mode. Even CentOS 7 crashes during install unless I select the safe miode option. Same with Mint and all the others.

Fedora was looking good, that one would actually run in full HD as a live session from the USB. But once installed, it was the same story.

Once installed, if I boot Mint Cinnamon with the desktop set to 1920x1080 it will crash, either at the login screen or as soon as I start browsing or opening files. Even just opening the terminal, it will at some point crash. Don't think it actually makes much difference whether it's in software rendering mode or not in the end.

If I boot with the desktop set to 1280x1024 (but with the monitor recognized i.e. the graphics drivers are still loaded), it's more stable, I can have more things going on, but it's still not hard to make it crash.

If I boot in recovery mode so no graphics drivers, unknown monitor and default 1280x1024 resolution, it seems stable.

It seems like the correct drivers are getting loaded.

Unless anyone can suggest where I might get alternative drivers from I think I'm done with this. There is no solution that's going to be found for this particular hardware. If it's a BIOS update that's needed then the motherboard is scrap as far as this task is concerned because neither of the methods available to flash it actually work.

I may try and source a cheap graphics card just to see if that fixes it.

This wasn't supposed to go like this, I thought I was going to spend this weekend getting to grips with ffmpeg!
Funny you mention ffmpeg as I was unable to install that on Fed 36 a few days ago just before having a nightmare with a gpu driver and live usb ISO issues.

Did you try Puppy?

Its the only one that managed to boot when Fed 37 flashed on different usb sticks using different methods and even a formerly working live Kali ISO were both failing.

This is the distro I was recommended - might help eliminate whether its a hardware or software issue if Windows still boots too?

 
Have you tried the nomodeset option?

Wiz

Yes that seems to be effectively the same as booting in recovery mode, that gets me to the desktop with "unknown" monitor and default 1280x1024 display. That seems to be stable but it's not optimal obviously, not least because there's no graphics acceleration and I will want to be using this machine for at least some video processing work.
 
Funny you mention ffmpeg as I was unable to install that on Fed 36 a few days ago just before having a nightmare with a gpu driver and live usb ISO issues.

Did you try Puppy?

Its the only one that managed to boot when Fed 37 flashed on different usb sticks using different methods and even a formerly working live Kali ISO were both failing.

This is the distro I was recommended - might help eliminate whether its a hardware or software issue if Windows still boots too?


I will give Puppy a try, I mean what have I got to lose except another hour of my time! Not holding out much hope though!
 
I will give Puppy a try, I mean what have I got to lose except another hour of my time! Not holding out much hope though!
Fair enough - lol.

I was in the "stuff this for a game of soldiers" place after days of hitting brick walls too so I get it.

Should only be 5 mins to try it out the live version if all goes well - not sure how long the full install takes.

To be fair it seems the recommended way of running Puppy is live from a USB with persistent storage but it does support dual booting systems on internal drives too so who knows.

Has been very stable for me and looks like a simple, robust system to my untrained eyes so far.

Hope it works for ya

Alex
 
Fair enough - lol.

I was in the "stuff this for a game of soldiers" place after days of hitting brick walls too so I get it.

Should only be 5 mins to try it out the live version if all goes well - not sure how long the full install takes.

To be fair it seems the recommended way of running Puppy is live from a USB with persistent storage but it does support dual booting systems on internal drives too so who knows.

Has been very stable for me and looks like a simple, robust system to my untrained eyes so far.

Hope it works for ya

Alex

I'm sorry but I'm afraid your puppy died along with all the others.

I think it's this i915 graphics driver. I guess it would be common to all Linux installs so it doesn't matter which one I try. Running without it seems stable. Running with it, the more is asked of the graphics in terms of screen resolution, the quicker it crashes.

My next step is to obtain an old graphics card for this m/b (PCiExpress 2.0) so that a different driver is in play, I have a strong suspicion that will fix the issue.
 
Does it have different graphics drivers to all the other distros?
You said 'nothing to loose'.:)

MX and Tahrpup surprised me lot of time. If it boots, connects and sounds play...then things work AFTER installation, unlike some other distros.

I have just saved a 'difficult' 2010 MBP from the garbage heap with MX.

Machine: Type: Laptop System: Apple product: MacBookPro6,2 v: 1.0 serial: <filter> Chassis:
type: 10 v: Mac-F22586C8 serial: <filter>
Mobo: Apple model: Mac-F22586C8 v: MacBookPro6,2 serial: <filter> UEFI: Apple
v: MBP61.88Z.0057.B0C.1007261552 date: 07/26/10
 
MX and Tahrpup surprised me lot of time.
I don't consider Mx as new user-friendly as others, but I often recommend people to try it when other distributions fail to perform
 
You said 'nothing to loose'.:)

No I said "nothing to lose" :D

MX and Tahrpup surprised me lot of time. If it boots, connects and sounds play...then things work AFTER installation, unlike some other distros.

I have just saved a 'difficult' 2010 MBP from the garbage heap with MX.

Alright you've convinced me, I'll give it a go.

But I think Osprey might be onto something with these missing files....with the emphasis on "might".

I need to know how to install the missing ones, do I just download them into that directory or is there a more involved process?
 

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