I'm a GNU/Linux newbie and I'm having some problems intalling a distro on my machine.
I'll try ti briefly explain what happens:
1) I downloaded and burned many different distros and checked the md5:
- Fedora 9
- Ubuntu 8.4.1
- Zenwalk 5.2
- Puppy Linux 4.1
- Deli Linux 0.8.0
- Slax 6.0.7
2) Where available, I tested the LiveCD on a AsusTek Laptop with Pentium 4 2.66GHz 480MB RAM, which works fine
3) The goal would be to install on at least one of following older machines (further hardware infos available if needed):
a) Pentium II 300 Mhz 128MB RAM 10GB HDD Award BIOS 1997
b) Celeron 1100 Mhz 128MB RAM 8,4GB HDD Award BIOS 2001
4) I'm experiencing all the possible problems:
- Fedora, Ubuntu: Install freezes at different stages, sometimes sooner sometimes later, sometimes after "checking hlt instruction..." (doesnt display OK yet), sometimes whith a "kernel panic" and a stack trace
- Zenwalk, Deli: almost always during install a "kernel panic" and a stack trace
- Puppy and Slax: Could manage to use the LiveCD and get to the DE, with Puppy even to use some Apps, but after a short while everything freezes, or I get a "panic"
5) I tryed following solutions
- Formatting and partitioning the HDD in different ways with different fs (xfs, ext2, ext3, even FAT) and trying to install WIN95 (which works) or set up a dedicated HDD
- Using text mode, which works (just with LiveCDs 'cause installs never get to end), but often I dont even get through kernel loading
- Passing all possible boot parameters: nohlt, noapic, apci=off among them
- Suggested by some forums, I opened both machines and switched RAM between them and between slots, even tryed to use them together to 256MB (WIN95 works - and the Celeron used to work even with WIN XP and 128MB before). Also tryed to use different CD drives, or one HDD in the other machine, or used both machines with just CD, or just CD and HDD
- Noticed one lucky time where I got through with Puppy, that the free mem indicator displayed "836MB free", so thought to try with boot option mem=128M, but this stops the loading even sooner
- Tryed BIOS with different options (example HDD with "LDA" or "Normal")
- Tryed to boot from USB, but this seems not to be possible on both machines
Being a Linux newbie, I like the idea of a free OS, but I have no idea anymore on how this could happen with 2 different machines and so many different distros, and how to solve the problem.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!