Linux will not run on laptop

I have an old Toshiba Satelite 2805-s301 that i wanted to fix up for someone in need of some assistance. Winxp runs fairly sluggish even when stripped to the bare essentials. I wanted to install Ubuntu netbook on it but had no luck booting the os. Ive tried other distros also with no luck (mandriva, VL and fedora). All of these would boot the live version on my other systems. Is there something specific with the Satelite that makes it impossible to run Linux?

A solution would allow me to help someone in need of a free laptop.
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  1. Hi There, You might find that you need to use some boot options:

    I would suggest that you try Safe Graphics Mode (think VGA Compat on Windows) and also the 'noapic' option, both of these are covered in the linked guide.
  2. Laptops are notoriously difficult because they tend to include decidedly nonstandard hardware which manufacturers haven't released drivers for. But if the live CD boots then a hard disk install should work too.
  3. try win 7
  4. There's no way win7 is going to run on a laptop this old. It's a PIII 650 with a 10GB drive and hasn't got enough ram to run xp let alone anything newer.

    Linux on laptops isn't as bad as people might think but sometimes requires some work on the user's part to get everything running. The same is true for windows.

    Semper Fi
  5. How are you trying to install Linux on this laptop? I did a search on the laptop and found install guides for RedHat v7 so I am doubtful that Linux would not run on it. If it has a CD rom drive try using if that live CD doesn't start then you can be worried it wont work. Also running the netbook remix might cause trouble as it may have a atom optimized kernel which would not run on a PIII so if you want ubuntu try Xubuntu as it should be able to run on the more limited hardware.
  6. Hi, I would recommend Kubuntu, xubuntu, debian, vector, or one of the hundreds spin-offs of ubuntu. Check out I was using Debian on a pentium II system, 126mb ram, 4GB HDD, now trying out Vector Linux. I did manage to get Ubuntu to work on this laptop, until they stop supporting that version and it was a very sluggish install. But you should be able to install it with less of a hassle than I had. Good luck.
  7. ^You got that backwards. ubuntu is a spin of debian ;)

    gnome and kde are very heavy, use lxde or other lightweight desktop on those systems!
  8. you're right, debian is the mother to Ubuntu, but my point is to try a spin off of ubuntu that is less resource hungry and designed for older hardware. a distro with the xfce desktop environment is another that you can try, simpleLinux runs it. I've tried on a VBox system, had some issues with the video card not configuring correctly. Just a word of caution most lightweight distros don't spin a lot of time perfecting their installation wizards, so a lot of tweaking may have to be done after the installation. I spent over 8hrs tweaking my pentium II system, even then it wasn't what I expected but it did more than it should. I had downloading and streaming videos with hardly no buffering interruptions; and I was surfing the net at break net speed, it could keep up with newer systems (64-bit dual core). When you find a system that is compatible and working with your system, learn to keep it up because find another system to replace that one is a real B*&^%. I've installed over 45 OS onto the pentium, you can say its my benchmark unit. I figured that if it run on that it can run on anything. Oh, I own three toshiba systems and run nothing but linux on one of them (actual install to the system or Vbox).
  9. ^I prefer 'grandfather to ubuntu :p
    You could always try something like debian and build your system from scratch too, install only packages you want/need!
  10. Try Puppy Linux. You have to download it and burn it to a cd as an .iso file. Set your bios to boot from cd, and try it without having to install it hard drive. Just runs in ram, and you can install it after seeing how well it works on your computer.
    Get all the ram you can get your hands on! Linux uses ram and just needs the hard drive for starting-once it loads to memory you never even hear the hard drive run!
  11. I had a similar problem a few years ago installing Ubuntu 5.10 on a couple of old laptops, I booted for a 'Server' installation with "NOPCI" & "acpi=oldboot" and then when that was done, used APT to install xFCE.
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