Recommended Linux OS for an old Dell clean install?

Vicktoria

Active Member
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480
Paul: Sorry, guess I didn't communicate clearly...the Dell does not have the option to boot from usb. This was the hold up from the beginning. I found a utility "Plop" which may offer a way to install that option in the BIOS, yet I haven't figured it out yet. It currently offers only DVD which doesn't work, or CD which does work, diskette, which isn't present, and some other options which I don't know what they are and are listed above, somewhere. I can get that info again later if it will help. I have to get to town today. Check in again later, Thanks.

Vrai: Thanks for checking. Yes Dell was no help to me either.

dos:tounsix: Thanks for the info. Maybe I can borrow an external DVD from a friend.
 


Vicktoria

Active Member
Credits
480
Hiya Vrai, That would require getting the machine on line right? I have not succeeded at that yet. Tried to get modem installed, and couldn't figure that out. The duel layered screen is an issue. I have at least two windows on top of each other and can't see a complete screen. It is making things even more challenging, and Linux requires more software savvy than I have. I've got clients these next couple of days at least. Just downloaded puppy. Guessing which form to try to install. Going with bionic first. Maybe I can get a functioning screen and find out how to get the modem recognized. Then maybe if I can figure out plop, I can use the usb bootable. I'm working on it. Puppy looks small enough to fit on a CD. If it has drivers to work the graphics card, that should take care of things. I'm hoping.
 

darry1966

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Vrai

Well-Known Member
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That would require getting the machine on line right?
No, not necessarily. When you start the computer it will usually show the BIOS brand name and version on the BIOS POST screen. It flashes by rather quickly!
You can also enter the BIOS settings (F12 or F9 or some such) and from there see the 'version' of the BIOS installed. Then you can go to the Dell support site, locate your machine, and check to see if there are any BIOS updates which may help.
If there are BIOS updates but they do not offer anything which may help your issue then I would not try updating it.
 

sp331yi

Active Member
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@Vicktoria
Went to Dell, found the following re: BIOS

Dell
Copyright (C) 2002, All Rights reserved.
www.dell.com


BIOS Release Notes

Systems: Dell Inspiron 8000 (Memory location F000:E845)
Version: A20 (Memory location F000:E842)
Build Date: 05/02/02 (Memory location FFFF:0005)

*********************************************************************
** IMPORTANT NOTES FOR THIS RELEASE **

1. Users with systems equipped with nVidia video controllers must
also download and install an updated video driver when upgrading
to this BIOS. Failure to do so may prevent the LCD panel from
operating at its optimal resolution or prevent the system from
resuming from Standby.
Please refer to the list of driver versions and file names below
to find the correct driver for your operating system.

Operating System Driver Version Driver File Name
-------------------------------------------------------
Windows ME A06 ME1660A6.EXE
Windows 2000 A07 W2K_1640.EXE
Windows XP A07 WXP_1640.EXE

2. Windows 2000 users with systems equipped with ATI video
controllers must also download and install the A07 video driver
(W2KA07.EXE) when upgrading to this BIOS. Failure to do so may
prevent the LCD panel from to turning on when opening the lid
after suspending the system by closing the lid.

3. Windows ME users must also download and install the OS Update
utility for Windows ME (OSUPA00.EXE) when upgrading to this BIOS
version. Failure to do so may prevent the system or peripherals
from functioning properly.

*********************************************************************

The following updates were made to the A19 BIOS to create A20:

Issues Fixed:
1. Fixed issue in which systems may fail to complete POST with 256MB
RAM installed.
2. Fixed issue in which Remote BIOS Update may fail to update the
BIOS.
3. Fixed issue in which the fans may remain on high speed constantly.
4. Fixed issue seen under Windows ME in which a <Fn+F8> display
switch may disable extended desktop or result in no video.
5. Fixed issue in which a suspend initiated by closing the lid may
cause the LCD display to resume in compressed font mode.
6. Fixed issue seen when using Safeguard Easy security software in
which a "No bootable devices" error is seen after entering
the correct password.
7. Fixed issue in which WinDVD will pause after a Standby is
initiated from the Start Menu with USB speakers attached.
8. Fixed issue in which the user is not able to enter System Setup
after booting to a CD-ROM drive.
9. Fixed issue where "Time-of-Day" intermittently shows up as all
zeros.
10. Fixed issue seen when resuming from hibernate on battery power
only in which the OS may report unsafe removal of a USB device.
11. Fixed issue where system does not correctly detect the battery
when inserted and removed several times.
12. Fixed issue in which the system fails to obtain an IP address
from a DHCP server when booting from a PXE-compliant CardBus NIC.
13. Fixed issue seen Windows 2000 and Windows XP in which a USB
device may be re-enumerated after warm undock.
14. Fixed issue in which the OS does not always detect a battery
change.
15. Fix CMOS error seen on some systems at POST (invalid CMOS
configuration) after over 3 hours of continuous reboots.
16. Fixed issue in which the OS may report that a battery is
charging even if the charger is disabled.
17. Fixed lock-ups seen when the BIOS password screen is repeatedly
aborted (i.e. wrong password entered) and the system re-suspends.
18. Fixed issue in which the system loops on suspend when a
critically low battery is installed.
19. Fix problem that leads to intermittent hangs when playing DVDs
under Windows XP and Windows 2000.
20. Fixed issue in which the serial port is not initialized properly
preventing some serial comms applications from working.
21. Fixed issue in which ACPI may report that both batteries are
charging even though only one can charge at a time.
22. Fixed intermittent flickering seen on some UXGA LCD panels on
systems equipped with the NVIDIA video controller.


Enhancements:
1. Configure PS/2 devices earlier in POST, allowing earlier detection
of "F2" and "F12" keys.
2. Increased the amount of time before the system shuts down when
swapping batteries without AC power attached when in suspend mode.
3. Added support for faster resume from hibernate.
4. Allow changes to Touchpad/Mouse settings in System Setup to take
effect immediately instead of requiring a reboot.
5. Updated the ATI Video BIOS to version 4.095.
6. Updated the NVIDIA Video BIOS to version 3.11.01.44.B4.


The BIOS release has been validated on the following operating systems:
1. Microsoft Windows 2000 ACPI
2. Microsoft Windows Millennium ACPI
3. Microsoft Windows XP


Look like some of your issues are BIOS-related?

NOTE: I simply renamed the .exe file to .zip so it could be attached, here. So, simply do the reverse in order to make use of.
 

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sp331yi

Active Member
Credits
1,900
Also from Dell:

Systems: Dell Inspiron 8000 (Memory location F000:E845)
Version: A23 (Memory location F000:E842)
Build Date: 01/21/04 (Memory location FFFF:0005)

*********************************************************************
** IMPORTANT NOTES FOR THIS RELEASE **

1. Users with systems equipped with nVidia video controllers must
also download and install an updated video driver when upgrading
to this BIOS. Failure to do so may prevent the LCD panel from
operating at its optimal resolution or prevent the system from
resuming from Standby.
Please refer to the list of driver versions and file names below
to find the correct driver for your operating system.

Operating System Driver Version Driver File Name
-------------------------------------------------------
Windows ME A07 NME1760.EXE
Windows 2000 A18 NXK4482.EXE
Windows XP A18 NXK4482.EXE

___________________________________________
So, Vicktoria, which nVidia card is in your Inspiron 8000, if any?
 

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Vrai

Well-Known Member
Credits
1,030
@Vicktoria
Went to Dell, found the following re: BIOS

Dell
Copyright (C) 2002, All Rights reserved.
www.dell.com


BIOS Release Notes

Systems: Dell Inspiron 8000 (Memory location F000:E845)
Version: A20 (Memory location F000:E842)
Build Date: 05/02/02 (Memory location FFFF:0005)

*********************************************************************
** IMPORTANT NOTES FOR THIS RELEASE **

1. Users with systems equipped with nVidia video controllers must
also download and install an updated video driver when upgrading
to this BIOS. Failure to do so may prevent the LCD panel from
operating at its optimal resolution or prevent the system from
resuming from Standby.
Please refer to the list of driver versions and file names below
to find the correct driver for your operating system.

Operating System Driver Version Driver File Name
-------------------------------------------------------
Windows ME A06 ME1660A6.EXE
Windows 2000 A07 W2K_1640.EXE
Windows XP A07 WXP_1640.EXE

2. Windows 2000 users with systems equipped with ATI video
controllers must also download and install the A07 video driver
(W2KA07.EXE) when upgrading to this BIOS. Failure to do so may
prevent the LCD panel from to turning on when opening the lid
after suspending the system by closing the lid.

3. Windows ME users must also download and install the OS Update
utility for Windows ME (OSUPA00.EXE) when upgrading to this BIOS
version. Failure to do so may prevent the system or peripherals
from functioning properly.

*********************************************************************

The following updates were made to the A19 BIOS to create A20:

Issues Fixed:
1. Fixed issue in which systems may fail to complete POST with 256MB
RAM installed.
2. Fixed issue in which Remote BIOS Update may fail to update the
BIOS.
3. Fixed issue in which the fans may remain on high speed constantly.
4. Fixed issue seen under Windows ME in which a <Fn+F8> display
switch may disable extended desktop or result in no video.
5. Fixed issue in which a suspend initiated by closing the lid may
cause the LCD display to resume in compressed font mode.
6. Fixed issue seen when using Safeguard Easy security software in
which a "No bootable devices" error is seen after entering
the correct password.
7. Fixed issue in which WinDVD will pause after a Standby is
initiated from the Start Menu with USB speakers attached.
8. Fixed issue in which the user is not able to enter System Setup
after booting to a CD-ROM drive.
9. Fixed issue where "Time-of-Day" intermittently shows up as all
zeros.
10. Fixed issue seen when resuming from hibernate on battery power
only in which the OS may report unsafe removal of a USB device.
11. Fixed issue where system does not correctly detect the battery
when inserted and removed several times.
12. Fixed issue in which the system fails to obtain an IP address
from a DHCP server when booting from a PXE-compliant CardBus NIC.
13. Fixed issue seen Windows 2000 and Windows XP in which a USB
device may be re-enumerated after warm undock.
14. Fixed issue in which the OS does not always detect a battery
change.
15. Fix CMOS error seen on some systems at POST (invalid CMOS
configuration) after over 3 hours of continuous reboots.
16. Fixed issue in which the OS may report that a battery is
charging even if the charger is disabled.
17. Fixed lock-ups seen when the BIOS password screen is repeatedly
aborted (i.e. wrong password entered) and the system re-suspends.
18. Fixed issue in which the system loops on suspend when a
critically low battery is installed.
19. Fix problem that leads to intermittent hangs when playing DVDs
under Windows XP and Windows 2000.
20. Fixed issue in which the serial port is not initialized properly
preventing some serial comms applications from working.
21. Fixed issue in which ACPI may report that both batteries are
charging even though only one can charge at a time.
22. Fixed intermittent flickering seen on some UXGA LCD panels on
systems equipped with the NVIDIA video controller.


Enhancements:
1. Configure PS/2 devices earlier in POST, allowing earlier detection
of "F2" and "F12" keys.
2. Increased the amount of time before the system shuts down when
swapping batteries without AC power attached when in suspend mode.
3. Added support for faster resume from hibernate.
4. Allow changes to Touchpad/Mouse settings in System Setup to take
effect immediately instead of requiring a reboot.
5. Updated the ATI Video BIOS to version 4.095.
6. Updated the NVIDIA Video BIOS to version 3.11.01.44.B4.


The BIOS release has been validated on the following operating systems:
1. Microsoft Windows 2000 ACPI
2. Microsoft Windows Millennium ACPI
3. Microsoft Windows XP


Look like some of your issues are BIOS-related?

NOTE: I simply renamed the .exe file to .zip so it could be attached, here. So, simply do the reverse in order to make use of.
Wow! Well found @sp331yi . Good job, well done!
When I went to the Dell support site it would not work for me :(

If @Vicktoria 's BIOS is not of the version indicated it looks like an update may very well be of use.
I am not generally in favor of a BIOS update unless there is a compelling reason because of the risk of 'bricking' a system. But in this case the reason may very well be 'compelling'.
 

Vicktoria

Active Member
Credits
480
Thanks Vrai and Sp331yi. I'm working on it. Looks like I can't download the BIOS on dial up...grrrrr. I thought I'd learned the patience lesson well enough...guess not. Maybe the BIOS update will do the trick. When I get it downloaded, how do I update the BIOS with the file? The DVD you sent Sp331yi won't boot because the DVD recorder does not turn on/get power until after Kubuntu has loaded.

I will be trying Puppy later today. Mayhaps there is a miracle there.

Wiley One, I see the paper on the card speaks of a modem...is that what that is? I'll open the Dell after i try puppy. Should I take the paper off to try installing it?
 

sp331yi

Active Member
Credits
1,900
That was jus an old modem from an even older Dell. If not useful and yours works, toss it or whatever. Don't fix something that doesnt need it! You have enough problems!
 

sp331yi

Active Member
Credits
1,900
@Vicktoria -- see Posts #60 &61

@Vrai -- thanks but seems just a matter of using the correct words in a search, at times!
 

Vicktoria

Active Member
Credits
480
Hello All, Looks like I'm stuck till I get power to the usbs. I'm going to try setting the boot check, or preboot check to 'Maximum' instead of 'Minimum', which may turn on usbs sooner. The tools to reset the BIOS on the Fujitsu should be here soon, and maybe I can revitalize that machine for a clean Linux install on a newer machine. Thanks again. I'll keep trying this weekend.
 

Vicktoria

Active Member
Credits
480
Hi All, Just wanted to update folks. I took the Dell apart and can't figure out how to get around the issue of the USB ports not getting power until the OS has loaded. Don't see anywhere to install modem card either. Maybe I'll try to get the display driver fixed at some point down the road. I just don't see how to fix that one. Will try the BIOS update later, yet I don't know how to get that into the machine with only the CD working. Would I put the BIOS update file on a CD and try installing it that way. It may bring up the terminal like screen with an 'A:>' prompt. Then I'd need explicit directions to succeed. The good thing is I fixed the Fujitsu I'd crashed and it has Mint 19.3 along with Windows 7, so I've accomplished my original intent. Thanks to All The Mighty Gurus!
 


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