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SUSE 9.1 Install Problems on P3 Server

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April 17, 2006 4:14:51 PM

I've just fixed my P3 server thanks to some help from this forum.

I've grown pretty sick of Windows (even 2K won't cut it anymore) so I thought I'd try a SUSE 9.1 disc I've had knocking about for a while.

However, after installing with YEST (??) it won't boot up. It gives me the boot options of 'Linux', 'Floppy' and 'Failsafe'

None work.

It goes through a massive list of mounting this, routing that, and then the screen just goes black; stays switched on, just goes blank.

Any help would be great, I'm new to Linux.
a b 5 Linux
April 17, 2006 5:15:56 PM

Quote:
I've just fixed my P3 server thanks to some help from this forum.

I've grown pretty sick of Windows (even 2K won't cut it anymore) so I thought I'd try a SUSE 9.1 disc I've had knocking about for a while.

However, after installing with YEST (??) it won't boot up. It gives me the boot options of 'Linux', 'Floppy' and 'Failsafe'

None work.

It goes through a massive list of mounting this, routing that, and then the screen just goes black; stays switched on, just goes blank.

Any help would be great, I'm new to Linux.



Sounds like it's trying to start in graphical mode and can't.

Please post your full specs.

You will probably have a much better experience if you use FC5 i386 or SuSE 10.x i386

You can download them here:

http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/5/i386/iso/

http://mirrors.kernel.org/opensuse/distribution/SL-10.1...


Make sure you verify the DVD or CD ISOs by using md5sum, sha1sum etc

You can use these instructions to check md5sums under windows:

http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/using_md5sums.html

The same process can be used for sha1sum as well except you would use sha1sum or sha1sum.exe


You can install cygwin from http://cygwin.com/ by running http://cygwin.com/setup.exe

selecting http://mirrors.kernel.org as the install source and selecting md5sum and sha1sum from the list of packages.

http://www.physionet.org/physiotools/cygwin/

Let me know if you have any questions.

Good Luck! :-D
April 17, 2006 5:31:23 PM

Wow, thanks for so much help.

Okay, I'll try some of those options out.

My full spec is:

- Dual P3 550mhz (Katmai, 512kb L2)
- 4gb & 21gb logical drives (3x9.1gb RAID-0 array)
- 512mb PC100 ECC SDRAM
- It's a Compaq ProLiant 1600

Once I get it running I would appreciate some help in getting it set up as a file server.
Related resources
a b 5 Linux
April 17, 2006 5:40:18 PM

That should work.

You might want to try FC5, SuSE is still in beta.

The easiest way to install is to get the install DVD, assuming you have a DVD drive. Otherwise you will need the 5 install CDs + the rescue CD.
April 17, 2006 5:44:01 PM

Unfortuantely the server doesn't have a DVD drive, so CDs I guess it will be.

I'm getting great down speed on SUSE as I write this (220+kbps :) ) but if it's a Beta, I might just go for FC5 (need stability).
a b 5 Linux
April 17, 2006 5:51:40 PM

Both are very good.

FC5 is more mature. SuSE 10.x final / stable should be released in a few weeks.

If FC5 has the same problem that SuSE 9.x is having now you can simply hit e to edit the GRUB boot line and remove "rhgb" from the kernel line and hit b to boot.

Your GRUB kernel line will look like this:

kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.16-1.2069_FC4 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb

you simply have to change it to this:

kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.16-1.2069_FC4 ro root=LABEL=/

It's too bad you don't have a DVD, the single install DVD is SO convenient!
April 17, 2006 5:58:06 PM

Tell me about it. Still, that server was probably my best bargain on eBay - £25!!! (That's about $35/40)
a b 5 Linux
April 17, 2006 6:08:07 PM

Quote:
Tell me about it. Still, that server was probably my best bargain on eBay - £25!!! (That's about $35/40)


25GBP = $44.2825 USD

That's not bad at all :-D

You can pickup a DVD recorder for about $36 USD ( 20.3241 GBP ) delivered from newegg... I'm not sure if you can find that deal in the UK but you can probably get close to it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

DVD readers sell for about $20 or 11.2911 GBP

DVD reader + CDRecorder combo drives for about $26 or 14.6785 GBP
April 17, 2006 6:31:38 PM

Thanks for looking, but I've got a DVD reader lying around and a DVD recorder in my PowerBook and main PC. The problem is that the Compaq, being a Compaq and a server is a bit weird when it comes to installing stuff, it needs mounting rails etc...

I'm not going to make a big fuss opening the case etc... for the sake of a couple of CD-Rs!!
a b 5 Linux
April 17, 2006 6:34:54 PM

Quote:
Thanks for looking, but I've got a DVD reader lying around and a DVD recorder in my PowerBook and main PC. The problem is that the Compaq, being a Compaq and a server is a bit weird when it comes to installing stuff, it needs mounting rails etc...

I'm not going to make a big fuss opening the case etc... for the sake of a couple of CD-Rs!!



Aye, they can be a pain. I sometimes plug a DVD in just to install and uplug it later without ever mounting it in the case.

Compaq uses hex security screws :-| good thing I have several sets of security bits.
April 17, 2006 9:55:08 PM

Compaq torx screws are irritating - same as Xbox.

Ritey, I've got all the disks now, I'll try an install tomorrow.

What's the recovery disk for? It's only 75mb???
a b 5 Linux
April 18, 2006 4:25:33 AM

Quote:
Compaq torx screws are irritating - same as Xbox.

Ritey, I've got all the disks now, I'll try an install tomorrow.

What's the recovery disk for? It's only 75mb???



The rescue disk is for fixing things if they break. It's good to have it just in case. You may never need it but it's good to have it. :-D

Under Linux, BSD and Unix you don't reinstall if there's a problem, there is no reason to because 99.9% of the time you can fix it, most of the time easily.

Under windoze you're better off reinstalling.
April 18, 2006 1:12:13 PM

Right, I've got some more problems.

First of all I started the install (checked all the discs with the in-built checker in setup) and the screen just went black.

So I started again in text-only mode, and it got as far as installing things, but hung at this screen:

DEPENDENCY CHECK:
Checking dependencies for packages selected for install

27%

And it just freezes.

Any ideas?
a b 5 Linux
April 18, 2006 1:16:18 PM

Quote:
Right, I've got some more problems.

First of all I started the install (checked all the discs with the in-built checker in setup) and the screen just went black.

So I started again in text-only mode, and it got as far as installing things, but hung at this screen:

DEPENDENCY CHECK:
Checking dependencies for packages selected for install

27%

And it just freezes.

Any ideas?



That is VERY strange. Your RAM might be bad or your drives might be flaky or a strange combination of things.

Please run memtest86 for 8-12 hours

If you do not get any errors please post here or PM me and I will give you some HDD tests to try.

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/memtest86-ISO-b...



Or if you need to burn it under windows follow these instructions:

Download

http://memtest86.com/memtest86-3.2.iso.zip

+

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/download/ISORecorder...

Unzip memtest86 and record the ISO to a CDR with ISORecorder ( you must have XP SP2 ).

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/HowTo.htm
April 18, 2006 1:23:43 PM

Okay, burnt memtest to CD with Alcohol, it's running on the server now. Do I just leave it for the time or do I have to keep looking at it to restart it or anything? Thanks for all the help here by the way, it's really handy - I'm willing to devote a couple of days to breaking free from the shackles of Windows on at least one of my computers!
a b 5 Linux
April 18, 2006 1:28:50 PM

Quote:
Okay, burnt memtest to CD with Alcohol, it's running on the server now. Do I just leave it for the time or do I have to keep looking at it to restart it or anything? Thanks for all the help here by the way, it's really handy - I'm willing to devote a couple of days to breaking free from the shackles of Windows on at least one of my computers!



Sounds great :-D

Memtest will run indefinitely until you hit ESC to stop it.

You might want to keep glancing at it every 30min or so to see if any errors have popped up.

I would also urge you to use sha1sum or md5sum to check the CD checksums on a known working computer in order to verify the CDs really are intact.

If you have a spare known working HDD I would urge you to install linux on it on one of your other PCs and see if it works there.
April 18, 2006 1:33:51 PM

I'll take that into consideration. What's the smallest hard drive you can install Fedora to?
a b 5 Linux
April 18, 2006 1:34:52 PM

Sorry to reply twice.

Please take a spare drive and install Linux on it in one of your main computers and see how it goes.

You could also try Knoppix or another Live CD or DVD on your main PC and then try the same CD or DVD on the P3 and see if it works.
a b 5 Linux
April 18, 2006 1:44:00 PM

Quote:
I'll take that into consideration. What's the smallest hard drive you can install Fedora to?


2GB or so.

I've installed FC4 i386 on a 1GB drive but it was hard.
April 18, 2006 1:50:02 PM

Okay, I'm downloading the Knoppix CD at the moment. It won't affect my Windows hard drive if I use it on my XP system (250gb, one partition)?
a b 5 Linux
April 18, 2006 1:52:55 PM

Quote:
Okay, I'm downloading the Knoppix CD at the moment. It won't affect my Windows hard drive if I use it on my XP system (250gb, one partition)?



Negative, Knoppix does not mess with the HDD.

If you want to make sure nothing can possibly go wrong then simply unplug your XP HDD, boot Knoppix then when done, shutdown, power off and plug it back in.

Here's some Knoppix screen shots.

http://spare2.com/knoppix.html
a b 5 Linux
April 18, 2006 2:01:26 PM

April 18, 2006 7:33:27 PM

So it doesn't even require a disk (is it RAMDRIVE?)

By the way, I was thinking, my Server is AT not ATX, would that make a difference? Also, it only has a Cirrus Logic 5446 2mb graphics card - although the Linux installer recognises it so I guess it's compatible.
April 18, 2006 9:13:46 PM

Okay, memtest86 has been running for about 8 hours. It's not come up with any errors.

However, now another of my hard disks is showing failure lights. What the hell is going one!!!

Hopefully a restart will cure.
a b 5 Linux
April 19, 2006 3:53:45 AM

Quote:
So it doesn't even require a disk (is it RAMDRIVE?)

By the way, I was thinking, my Server is AT not ATX, would that make a difference? Also, it only has a Cirrus Logic 5446 2mb graphics card - although the Linux installer recognises it so I guess it's compatible.



Yes Knoppix and other Live CDs use a RAMDRIVE.

They do not mess with your HDD unless you tell them to. They do scan it during boot, but that is harmless.

AT is fine, Linux doesn't care. The Cirrus Logic 5446 also works fine you just can't do high resolutions at high color depths.
a b 5 Linux
April 19, 2006 3:55:55 AM

Quote:
Okay, memtest86 has been running for about 8 hours. It's not come up with any errors.

However, now another of my hard disks is showing failure lights. What the hell is going one!!!

Hopefully a restart will cure.



It sounds like one of more of your HDDs are not working correctly. That would explain why Linux starts to do something and then freezes.

Please try installing on a single known working HDD if possible.

Is Knoppix able to boot your P3? If so, I can give you some HDD tests to run.
May 4, 2006 11:05:06 PM

Righty, it's the end of another busy day and I've had time to work on the server again.

I re-ran memtest just to make sure, and the RAM is still good.

Anyway, Knoppix hangs before it even boots. I'm going to try again tomorrow evening with a new array set up with 2 drives rather than the 3 I was using before. I know it installs to RAM drive, but if it's not working now I can at least try a different hardware setup.

If I can get it working with the new array, are there any extra tests that I can do from the Knoppix platform, or am I just using it to check that Linux can run on this PC?
a b 5 Linux
May 4, 2006 11:22:32 PM

Quote:
Righty, it's the end of another busy day and I've had time to work on the server again.

I re-ran memtest just to make sure, and the RAM is still good.

Anyway, Knoppix hangs before it even boots. I'm going to try again tomorrow evening with a new array set up with 2 drives rather than the 3 I was using before. I know it installs to RAM drive, but if it's not working now I can at least try a different hardware setup.

If I can get it working with the new array, are there any extra tests that I can do from the Knoppix platform, or am I just using it to check that Linux can run on this PC?



Hmm, strange... Since Knoppix hangs before it even boots up, there must be something else going on.

Please see if you can update the system BIOS.

Try uplugging / disconnecting / disabling all unnecessary components (FDC, RS232, LPT, onboard audio, LAN, etc ). Try different VGA cards if you have some laying around.

Also try booting the kernel ( Knoppix ) by typing the following into the boot: prompt

knoppix acpi=off pci=noacpi noapic 3

or

knoppix -b

or

boot: knoppix acpi=off pnpbios=off noapic noapm


Here is a very helpful page which explains the different boot parameters:

http://www.knoppix.net/wiki/Cheat_Codes



Good Luck :-D
a b 5 Linux
May 4, 2006 11:29:07 PM

Sorry to double post


It's probably better if you try these in order:

boot: knoppix vga=0

boot: knoppix acpi=off pnpbios=off noapic noapm

boot: knoppix vga=0 debug -b 3

boot: failsafe debug -b 3


for the 3rd and 4th boot lines you will have to type in exit at each command prompt to proceed
May 7, 2006 8:56:16 PM

The drives are falling like flies at the moment. I'm going to have to have an overhaul of the server. Luckily in a couple of months I'll be able to get some free SCSI drives, so it shouldn't be too long.

I'll re-try Linux then, I think. Thanks for the help, I'll be sure to PM you when the next attempt is mounted.
a b 5 Linux
May 7, 2006 9:47:48 PM

Sorry to hear about your drives :-(

Keep us posted.

Good Luck :-D
!