Can't run live cd or even text installer??

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Can't run live cd or even text installer??

by optimizeme » Tue Jan 26, 2010 19:23

I have a problem with this particular computer of mine. Because of the installed hardware, I've never been able to get a Linux distro to run right without jumping through some fairly annoying hoops. I thought Sabayon might have a magic bullet, but it doesn't look like it works right out of the box. Maybe someone here can help?

First, the computer:
HP a1030n
P4 3.1 GHz, single-core, 32-bit CPU
16x HP Lightscribe DVD/CD burner
Ethernet card, modem, various USB ports and card readers, etc..
Realtek ALC 880 chipset integrated audio (doesn't work...)
Creative Audigy Soundblaster 5.1 surround blah blah...
Intel i915 Integrated video
NVidia GeForce FX5500 256MB card

I can't get the latest versions of Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, Slackware, Debian testing, to boot or install on this computer. With Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora, I get as far as the xsplash screen, and then the video goes black and it just sits there.

I'm pretty sure it has to do with the NVidia card - it's been giving me problems on this computer since 2006 when I got it. I thought hardware detection and NVidia drivers came a ways in Linux since then, but it doesn't look like it.

I know, from experience, that if I unplug my monitor from the NVidia output and back into the on-board VGA port, boot and install any distro from the live cd, reboot, install the nvidia drivers, blacklist the on-board video in modprobe.d, shut down, put the VGA plug back on the NVidia card, and reboot, it will work about half the time (sometimes just nothing...)

With Sabayon, when trying to load the live session with the text-output enabled, it gets just past mdev where all my local drives are being mounted, then it tries to open a million TTYs, spits out a million error messages, and locks up. The text mode installer goes just as far and hangs with no clear error messages.

I'm hoping someone here has experience dealing with this hardware or video card and maybe knows a easy way to work around the issue.

If need be, I can re-attempt running the live session and I'll write down (with a pencil... bah!) the error messages as best I can.

Thanks for any help.
Baby Hen
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 19:04

Re: Can't run live cd or even text installer??

by Bingo » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:10

I think your problem is your graphic card. Any distro can't install or start correctly a liveCD or DVD on your system. Can you put another video card just for the test. My suggestion is change the card and test !
Simple Hen
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:19

Re: Can't run live cd or even text installer??

by optimizeme » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:52

Yeah, I think it's definitely the card. Unfortunately, the only other option I have at the moment is the on-board i915 integrated graphics.

It's a total PITA to use, and once it's up and running, installing the NVidia drivers is really a hit or miss thing.

I'm not sure why this card gives me so many problems.. I see plenty of people over the last couple years who get by with it quite easily.
Baby Hen
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 19:04

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