Recommended Linux OS for an old Dell clean install?

VP9KS

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Thanks Paul, It is so much fun to have others to help solves puzzles with. I'll try the usb before turning the machine on. I got the diskette info from the BIOS boot menu. No usb option there. It does read usbs, just didn't boot from one yet. Will try and report back. Thanks again.
Good Luck.
 


Vicktoria

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Paul,, It didn't work. I was realizing that in order to boot from a usb, one must always start with the machine off, or perhaps from a restart, yet i usually shut down, so I've tried that before. It was a good exercise since it inspired me to test the usbs I intended to use to make sure they worked. They do, so the Dell cannot be booted from usb. I guess that means it may be useless to me unless There is some magic trick to get Linux installed. Maybe it will just be for old software that won't run on windows. I will have to test the old software on my tower Kubuntu. Maybe that will work. If you know of any potential magic tricks please let me know. Thanks.
 

Vrai

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Paul,, It didn't work. I was realizing that in order to boot from a usb, one must always start with the machine off, or perhaps from a restart, yet i usually shut down, so I've tried that before. It was a good exercise since it inspired me to test the usbs I intended to use to make sure they worked. They do, so the Dell cannot be booted from usb. I guess that means it may be useless to me unless There is some magic trick to get Linux installed. Maybe it will just be for old software that won't run on windows. I will have to test the old software on my tower Kubuntu. Maybe that will work. If you know of any potential magic tricks please let me know. Thanks.
Does it have an optical drive? You can install Linux from a DVD.
 

Vicktoria

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Hiya Vrai, the optical drive doesn't work. Tried that, it's broken, and I have no extra's to swap out. Is it Spring yet in your area?
 

Vrai

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Is it possible to install Linux directly from ethernet connection? Or from one computer to another?
I think I remember reading something about that years ago. I've never tried it. It may be rather 'geeky' and technical. I'll see if I can learn anything and will let you know.

P.S. I have a spare laptop optical drive you can have if you want it.
 

VP9KS

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217
Paul,, It didn't work. I was realizing that in order to boot from a usb, one must always start with the machine off, or perhaps from a restart, yet i usually shut down, so I've tried that before. It was a good exercise since it inspired me to test the usbs I intended to use to make sure they worked. They do, so the Dell cannot be booted from usb. I guess that means it may be useless to me unless There is some magic trick to get Linux installed. Maybe it will just be for old software that won't run on windows. I will have to test the old software on my tower Kubuntu. Maybe that will work. If you know of any potential magic tricks please let me know. Thanks.
Vickey, I will attempt to get a picture of the bios screen that I am talking about on my old Compac. When you go into the Bios, in the "Advanced" tab, there is the "Boot Order" section. If you highlight it, and press enter, you should see the Boot Order listing. Highlight the "Hard Drive", and press the enter key. It should expand to show the hard drive, and the usb device as shown in the picture below. You should be able to move the USB device to the top of the hard drive list using the F5 or F6 key. This shows a Sandisk Adapter. That is the 16GB thumb drive. Try that and see if it works.:)
Bios Screen.jpg
 
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Vicktoria

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Thanks Paul, I'll go back in there and see if I can get it to expand and access the USB. That would be awesome! Thanks for playing!
 

VP9KS

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Thanks Paul, I'll go back in there and see if I can get it to expand and access the USB. That would be awesome! Thanks for playing!
I forgot to mention, that you use the F5/6 key while the the Usb or hard drive is highlighted. Hope it works for you!
 

Vicktoria

Active Member
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504
Vrai you are awesome. Let's see if Paul's magic trick will work. Then I'll due surgery on the Dell to see if I can get it out, and what is involved. Dell is very proprietary, don't know if all drives would work. You should see the plug for this thing. Virginia is in High Bloom and Beautiful.
 

darry1966

Active Member
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There is the plop boot manager which apparently works wih machines that do not normally boot from sub. Never tried it personally.
 

Vicktoria

Active Member
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504
Hello All you Detectives! I've got a new puzzle piece. First Thanks Darry 1966, I read about that plop boot and did download the utility when I was on high speed. Didn't understand it very well, and may pursue that later. I just tried your approach Paul. and of course things are wonky with my equipment. I must use <Alt-P> to change tabs/pages on the BIOS menu. Got to the 'Boot Configuration' Page where you select boot order and we get several options [all the same I believe] at position 1, 2, 3 etc. They are 'None', 'Modular Bay HDD', 'Reserved', 'Mini PCI or APR NIC' , 'Card Bus NIC, CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive', and 'Internal HDD'. I tried Modular Bay HDD', and CD/DVD/ is number 2 position with Internal HDD at number 3 position. Does that give any clues? Meanwhile I'll look at the 'plop' info again. As always thank you for playing.
 

VP9KS

Well-Known Member
Credits
217
Hello All you Detectives! I've got a new puzzle piece. First Thanks Darry 1966, I read about that plop boot and did download the utility when I was on high speed. Didn't understand it very well, and may pursue that later. I just tried your approach Paul. and of course things are wonky with my equipment. I must use <Alt-P> to change tabs/pages on the BIOS menu. Got to the 'Boot Configuration' Page where you select boot order and we get several options [all the same I believe] at position 1, 2, 3 etc. They are 'None', 'Modular Bay HDD', 'Reserved', 'Mini PCI or APR NIC' , 'Card Bus NIC, CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive', and 'Internal HDD'. I tried Modular Bay HDD', and CD/DVD/ is number 2 position with Internal HDD at number 3 position. Does that give any clues? Meanwhile I'll look at the 'plop' info again. As always thank you for playing.
I sure wish that I could get a look at the bios on that machine, Vickey:confused:. Would it be possible for you to post a picture of the screen that you are describing?
 

darry1966

Active Member
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Hey Vicktoria the usb boot maybe F12 - can you try it please?

Yep found a manual and f12 is pressed when Dell Logo appears.
 

VP9KS

Well-Known Member
Credits
217
Hello All you Detectives! I've got a new puzzle piece. First Thanks Darry 1966, I read about that plop boot and did download the utility when I was on high speed. Didn't understand it very well, and may pursue that later. I just tried your approach Paul. and of course things are wonky with my equipment. I must use <Alt-P> to change tabs/pages on the BIOS menu. Got to the 'Boot Configuration' Page where you select boot order and we get several options [all the same I believe] at position 1, 2, 3 etc. They are 'None', 'Modular Bay HDD', 'Reserved', 'Mini PCI or APR NIC' , 'Card Bus NIC, CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive', and 'Internal HDD'. I tried Modular Bay HDD', and CD/DVD/ is number 2 position with Internal HDD at number 3 position. Does that give any clues? Meanwhile I'll look at the 'plop' info again. As always thank you for playing.
But did you highlight "Boot Order" and press "Enter" to go to that screen?
 

Vrai

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1,115
But did you highlight "Boot Order" and press "Enter" to go to that screen?
And - save any changes?

Also, the "Boot Order" will instruct the BIOS to search each device in a certain order. If no 'bootable' OS is found on the first device the BIOS proceeds to check the next, and the next, etc.
For example; if Floppy drive is first and no floppy with a bootable partition is present then the BIOS will move on to the next entry, perhaps a CD/DVD drive, no bootable disc there?, it will move on to the next item, perhaps a USB, and so forth. Shouldn't 'have' to put USB 'first' if there is not bootable device in prior devices.
 


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