Linux Live CD Issue



  • So.. I've ran Ubuntu inside of Virtual PC without any problems (other than no mouse due to the damn PS/2 emulation). I mounted the ISO to do that. However, whenever I try to boot from a Live CD (be it Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Fedora, or other), it doesn't work. The splash screen comes up, and depending on the distro, it either sits there, or I get this message at various intervals:


    ata300: failed to set xfermode (err_mask=0x40)

    I tried searching for that, but all the results are for existing installations. They suggest things like editing configurations. I'm using a Live CD, so that's out.

    My computer has 2 Sony DVD-RWs for ROM drives. I set the boot order in BIOS to be the primary DVD-RW first, floppy second, HD last.

    Any ideas?

    While I'm here, I'll also ask: Do any of you have any suggestions for a distro that runs on a 500MHz (or less) computer with 128MB RAM? I'm going to start rehabbing computers for "less fortunate" people.


  •  @AbbydonKrafts said:

    Do any of you have any suggestions for a distro that runs on a 500MHz (or less) computer with 128MB RAM?

    I tried Beatrix once. Was nice. It's light. Ubuntu would run smoothly on such a system, though.



  • I've had similar problems with the SATA chipset on my computer. If you post your computer specs, I might be able to help you a bit more.

    500MHz with 128: I'd give Xubuntu a try. Just avoid KDE and Gnome.



  • Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I figured Ubuntu should run even though it recommends 256 (I believe). I had taken a peek at Xubuntu, but didn't see anything off-hand. I'll load up the Torrent when I get home so I can try it out.

    @ammoQ said:

    I've had similar problems with the SATA chipset on my computer. If you post your computer specs, I might be able to help you a bit more.

    I don't have the specs handy, but I do know that the HD is SATA, and the DVD drives run through an onboard RAID controller (but not in a RAID configuration). I think it's also some type of SATA-to-IDE thing because the drives have an IDE interface. I'd have to watch the boot screen to see what it says again. Here are all the parts I used:






    It has an ABit AB9 Dual Channel ATX Motherboard with a Pentium D 2.66GHz processor and 2x512MB OCZ DDR2 RAM.



  •  @AbbydonKrafts said:



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/abbydonkrafts/sets/72157594290065722/

    The  "Real WTF" has to be the MADDOG DOMINATOR internal floppy drive with SureWrite technology. Good lord, I haven't seen a floppy drive in anything but a plastic bag in ages. It's not just that they're next to useless at this point in time, the packaging is beyond silly.

     

    Anyway, since you have two CD drives, have you tried booting off the other one? You could also try checking the BIOS config and changing the transfer mode of the drives there (PIO-4 instead of DMA shudder).  Of course if they're hooked into an external controller then that's not very useful.

    The other side of the issue would be the kernel, the IDE/ATA(PI) driver in particular. The driver accepts various kernel command line arguments that are (mostly?) documented here:

    http://www.mjmwired.net/kernel/Documentation/ide.txt

    You may be able to convince it to not try to set the problematic mode for the interface or disk. 



  • @Nandurius said:

    The  "Real WTF" has to be the MADDOG DOMINATOR internal floppy drive with SureWrite technology. Good lord, I haven't seen a floppy drive in anything but a plastic bag in ages. It's not just that they're next to useless at this point in time, the packaging is beyond silly.

    It is a bit much, isn't it? It's not like they need the marketing. The only people that would buy it are people like me who know what they are doing with it. (I love a lot of old software)

    @Nandurius said:

    Anyway, since you have two CD drives, have you tried booting off the other one? You could also try checking the BIOS config and changing the transfer mode of the drives there (PIO-4 instead of DMA shudder).  Of course if they're hooked into an external controller then that's not very useful.

    I haven't tried booting from the other, but I guess I could give it a shot. I'll also look at the transfer settings. They are both hooked to the same IDE ribbon. I believe they are both set to auto-detect, and the one I was attempting to boot from is connected at the Master position. The hard drive is connected to its own SATA cable.



    FYI: It'll be approx. 5 hours before I go home. Right now I'm gathering info for trying out when I do get home.



  • On my computer (Intel S-775 Mainboard, using the G965 chipset), I have to enable AHCI in the BIOS to be able to access the DVD drive from Linux (at least with my current Distro, Mandriva 2007, and other live distros from early 2007).

    Unfortunately, if I do that, Windows XP is not working.For that reason AHCI is normally not enabled and, well, I have no access to the DVD drive. Surprisingly, I couldn't care less. Nobody in my family seems to miss the DVD drive in Linux...



  • @ammoQ said:

    I have to enable AHCI in the BIOS to be able to access the DVD drive from Linux (at least with my current Distro, Mandriva 2007, and other live distros from early 2007).

    Unfortunately, if I do that, Windows XP is not working.For that reason AHCI is normally not enabled and, well, I have no access to the DVD drive.

    So, I might have to enable AHCI, boot the Live CD, install if I want to, then disable it again so the drive will work in XP.



    All of the distros I'm trying are the newest public releases (no betas), such as Ubuntu 7.10 and Fedora 9.



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    All of the distros I'm trying are the newest public releases (no betas), such as Ubuntu 7.10 and Fedora 9.
    Try older releases, or ones with a 2.4 kernel (knoppix IIRC and DSL).



  • I didn't get a chance to try out the suggestions for booting from the Live CD. But, I did experiment with the Virtual PC again. Ubuntu 7.10 will not run in VPC 2007 even after editing the conf file to drop it to 16-bit video. I didn't even get to that point until waiting an hour for the install to finish.



    However... it runs like a dream in VMWare Player. It booted up quick and installed within 15 minutes. Also, VMWare correctly emulated both the input devices and the video, so I didn't have to tweak Ubuntu. After logging in, it found 204 updates. It downloaded all of them at full throttle. As good as VMWare worked, I'm seriously considering getting VMWare Workstation.



    I'll probably investigate the live CD issue this weekend.



  •  @AbbydonKrafts said:

    I didn't get a chance to try out the suggestions for booting from the Live CD. But, I did experiment with the Virtual PC again. Ubuntu 7.10 will not run in VPC 2007 even after editing the conf file to drop it to 16-bit video. I didn't even get to that point until waiting an hour for the install to finish.



    However... it runs like a dream in VMWare Player. It booted up quick and installed within 15 minutes. Also, VMWare correctly emulated both the input devices and the video, so I didn't have to tweak Ubuntu. After logging in, it found 204 updates. It downloaded all of them at full throttle. As good as VMWare worked, I'm seriously considering getting VMWare Workstation.



    I'll probably investigate the live CD issue this weekend.

     

    Why would you use VMWare player or Workstation when VMWare Server is free?  How do you even run a VM in player?  I though player only allowed you to run prebuilt VM's, not create new ones?     



  • @russ0519 said:

    Why would you use VMWare player or Workstation when VMWare Server is free?

    I haven't messed with Server. Does it function ok in a desktop environment without lagging the host OS?

    @russ0519 said:

    How do you even run a VM in player?  I though player only allowed you to run prebuilt VM's, not create new ones?

    Simple. Create one online. The configuration file is plain-text, so it can be tweaked later.



  • I also didn't mention that you can get tons of prebuilt VMs from the VMWare site (see examples below). I wanted to go through the whole install process, though. That's why I started from scratch.



    Virtual Appliance Marketplace



    Ubuntu 7.10: http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/1068

    Ubuntu 8.04: http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/1205

    Windows Server 2003 R2 EE: http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/649



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    @russ0519 said:
    Why would you use VMWare player or Workstation when VMWare Server is free?

    I haven't messed with Server. Does it function ok in a desktop environment without lagging the host OS?

    @russ0519 said:

    How do you even run a VM in player?  I though player only allowed you to run prebuilt VM's, not create new ones?

    Simple. Create one online. The configuration file is plain-text, so it can be tweaked later.

     

    I've been running VMWare server on server and workstations and it performs well.  How would VMware Player be any lighter?   



  •  A few years ago I was screwing around with a pentium 1 laptop, I think somewhere around 300 Mhz.  I tried a few different distros; had the best luck with "Damn Small Linux."  As has been mentioned above, whatever distro you decide on, you'll most likely need to get an older version.  Usually they have the system requirements available.



  • @russ0519 said:

    I've been running VMWare server on server and workstations and it performs well.  How would VMware Player be any lighter?  
    I've had machines where server was really painful to use, but player worked very well.  I'm assuming that there's some extra overhead that server has that can affect certain machines more than others, but it can be very noticeable.


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