Nomad_Blue

Laptop won't boot Linux

20 posts in this topic

I have an old Dell Latitude LM laptop I got for free from my grandfather a few days ago. It works all right, and runs Windows 95. Now, I've burned the Knoppix Live to a CD. I know it works, I've used it on other computers. For some reason it will not boot up on my laptop at all. Why? And, can this problem be fixed by simply installing Smart Boot Manager? I'm also having the same problem with Ubuntu installation. It won't boot up.

-Please and thank you-

EDIT: I'm pretty sure someone is going to ask for some specs, but I'm not sure what to put so.. ask and ye shall recieve to the best of my ability.

Edited by Nomad_Blue
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I take it you have accessed your BIOS to set it to boot from CD rom. Some older laptops to not have this option in the BIOS. I had an old IBM 760 and had to use Smart Boot Manager to get it to boot from the CD ROM.

Tell me exactly the behavior of the laptop when you attempt to boot it from the Knoppix CD.

P.S. Do not hold out too much hope on this. Even if you can get linux to work on this (I got Debian Woody to work on the 760), there may not be any kernel modules for your old hardware. For my 760, there are no modules for the PCMCIA bridge, so it pretty much hopeless geting the thing networked, so into the dumpster it went. :cry:

Edited by telesniper
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Yes, I have access the BIOS. The only two options it gives me is Hard Disk Only and Diskette First; neither of which works.

The behavior? Well, normal. The cd is in, but it just goes ahead and starts up Windows. Nothing about Knoppix at all. So.. yeah.

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dunno what to tell ya

im sure theres a ini mod you could do but i dunno it

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if you look close enough the laptop can onyl boot from hard drive or floppy

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I may be wrong but there are floppies disk images that force it to boot from the disk drive.

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you can always take the hard drive out, and put it in a laptop that will boot from cd, and install linux that way. i have done this with damn small linux, and it works fine.

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I may be wrong but there are floppies disk images that force it to boot from the disk drive.

Yeah look around for something called "smart boot manager" and write it to a floppy with rawrite, then put the cd in, boot from the floppy, and if you got the right version of Smart Boot Manager it will have an option to boot from cdrom. its wonderful.

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Ok, well, here we go.. now I've got another problem with this.

I managed to start installing Debian with just floppies, but I'm stuck choosing a mirror of the Debian archive. I've tried every single one they offer in the US option and every time it comes back with "The specified Debian archive mirror is either not available, or does not have a valid Release file o it. Please try a different mirror."

:blowfuse:

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Have you tried using Smart Boot Manager? Honestly, this is the easiest route to go. I have messed with boot floppies before when I had the 760 and I remember them being a pain in the ass. Also I remember SMB not working the first time or so (sometimes it can be glitchy), so try installing it three or four times before giving up.

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I've taken a look at SBM and honestly, I have no idea how to get that thing working. I don't know what to install, what to be putting on the floppy, and any guide I've looked at so far has just been gibberish to me. :( Any help would be hot.

EDIT: Shiiitt... :blowfuse: I just noticed something. About the SBM.. to make it work, you have to have both the floppy in AND the cd you want to boot off of, am I correct? That's what I just read. If this is so.. I can't do it. On my laptop, the cd drive and the floppy drive can be taken out and the other put it, but you can't have both in at the same time. Am I screwed? I can't quit, I need to find a way to make this work. lol

Edited by Nomad_Blue
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Maybe you could load the CD booting program into the memory with the diskette, and then quickly replace the floppy drive with cd drive with the CD in it?

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Maybe you could load the CD booting program into the memory with the diskette, and then quickly replace the floppy drive with cd drive with the CD in it?

That might work. I'll give it a shot. Now I just need to figure out how to get SBM on a floppy.. I understand you have to burn the image, but.. I don't know. I'm lost. Where's the iso? :cry:

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I just noticed something. About the SBM.. to make it work, you have to have both the floppy in AND the cd you want to boot off of, am I correct?

Not quite. You can install SBM to MBR and it will give you the option to boot from CD-ROM. I've done this myself on an old laptop that didn't support CD booting, and also had no floppy drive. If I remember correctly I had to install it from Windows, but because you have a floppy drive you should be fine even if there's no OS installed. You'll find everything you need to know in the documentation: http://btmgr.webframe.org/ :voteyes:

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I'm sorry, but... none of that documentation makes any sense to me. :wacko: Like, I get it, but I still don't know how to do it.

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Since you'd probably want to wipe the crap, er windows offa the laptop, just install grub on it and make grub boot the cd rom.

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Since you'd probably want to wipe the crap, er windows offa the laptop, just install grub on it and make grub boot the cd rom.

I don't think it's quite as easy as it sounds. Even if you manage to install Grub to the MBR without booting from a CD first, it'll still need stage 1.5 and 2 to boot anything. Files for stage 1.5 and 2 must be located somewhere on the hard drive. Putting them there in a way that lets Grub access them is a whole project in itself.

I'm sorry, but... none of that documentation makes any sense to me.  :wacko: Like, I get it, but I still don't know how to do it.

You'll need this file: http://btmgr.webframe.org/3.6/sbminst.exe

Under dos you cd to the directory now containing sbminst.exe. Then you install to the MBR with the command

sbminst -d 128  -b sbm-bak.dat

(sbm-bak.dat is a backup file that'll be made)

Now, hopefully, you should see the SBM menu when you reboot, and you can choose to boot from CD-ROM ( Reference: http://btmgr.webframe.org/index.php3?body=...er-guide-3.html )

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does smart boot manager get you around being locked out of the bios, my laptop is locked and i want to run linux on it.

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it's just old architecture leave it alone :D

this is what i hate about linux, after fixing one problem you almost instantly run into another one....it's a wild goose chase....but it's nice when you're done, and everything works.

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does smart boot manager get you around being locked out of the bios, my laptop is locked and i want to run linux on it.

You can choose boot media with SBM without entering the BIOS setup, if that's what you mean. But there are multiple ways to bypass the CMOS password:

http://labmice.techtarget.com/articles/BIOS_hack.htm

http://www.dewassoc.com/support/bios/bios_password.htm

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