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want to install linux but windows is going in circles


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#1 wildeyes

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 05:55 PM

i did have an issue with my dvd rom drive, but its been reading everything else i have put into it so i dont know. tried a mandriva 2010 install disk that i have used before, that didnt work, just went around in circles, tried ubuntu 10.10 (live cd), got error messages and no disk messages, yet it was reading the disk, same with kubuntu 11.10 (live cd)

ready to find a big hammer.

currently running win xp pro w/ sp3. having slow computer issues among other things and am ready to go back to linux.

Edited by wildeyes, 12 November 2011 - 05:56 PM.


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#2 stiltskin

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 07:17 PM

Will the machine boot from a thumb drive? If so, download an .iso and unetbootin, then make a bootable thumb drive out of it.

You may be having either power or RAM problems. Those both will exhibit booting problems, plus a lot of random errors. Maybe there was nothing wrong with your drive after all and it's one of those instead.

#3 wildeyes

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:09 PM

Will the machine boot from a thumb drive? If so, download an .iso and unetbootin, then make a bootable thumb drive out of it.

You may be having either power or RAM problems. Those both will exhibit booting problems, plus a lot of random errors. Maybe there was nothing wrong with your drive after all and it's one of those instead.



i cant say i've ever tried to boot from a thumb drive. how much space will i need? i backed up all my pics onto my "big" sd card LOL and i dont have anything else. i can go on another computer to burn the pics and free up that space. the sd card is 16gb.

i *do* have dirty power at this house, and i know i need an ups, but no funds for it right now. in fact i have another computer sitting collecting dust because it needs a new power supply. i have 2 sticks of ram in this machine (512 each), one is pretty new the other is OLD. how would i go about figuring if thats the issue?? windows boots ok, it just wont let any of the linux cd's boot. windows KNOWS its done LOL.

Edited by wildeyes, 12 November 2011 - 08:10 PM.


#4 stiltskin

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:46 PM

Download and run memtest86+ to test your memory. I'd get the CD version and burn it because the Windows version has to set aside a part of memory to run tests. If you try burning it and it won't boot, you may have to run it inside Windows. That's a last resort, but it's better than nothing.

An alternative would be to remove one stick of RAM and try booting a CD. If it works, swap the sticks and try again. If it still works, put them both back in and try again. It could be that a stick just needs to be reseated.

A power problem in your house/apartment wouldn't cause what you're seeing. However, bad power in your house/apartment could cause the power supply in the computer to go out and get flaky. That would cause what you're seeing if it's power-related.

To boot from a thumb drive you'd only need one the same size or larger than the size of the CD to boot from (a 1G or larger for CD size, usually a 4G would work for most DVD distros, though there was one I tried a year or two ago that required a dual layer DVD, so a 16G thumb drive would have been needed - but that was an oddball). A camera card would work, but a lot of machines won't boot from that even if they boot from a thumb drive. You'd have to try it or look in your BIOS to see if you can set it to boot from there. My netbook will boot from both. But netbooks are made to do that since they don't come with digital drives to boot from.

Don't rely on Windows as a sign of anything. I had a dual boot a long time ago. Windows would run OK for awhile and then lock up. Linux would get a kernel panic during boot. I found a bad stick of RAM and both OSes worked after I changed it.

#5 wildeyes

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 10:06 PM

Download and run memtest86+ to test your memory. I'd get the CD version and burn it because the Windows version has to set aside a part of memory to run tests. If you try burning it and it won't boot, you may have to run it inside Windows. That's a last resort, but it's better than nothing.

An alternative would be to remove one stick of RAM and try booting a CD. If it works, swap the sticks and try again. If it still works, put them both back in and try again. It could be that a stick just needs to be reseated.

A power problem in your house/apartment wouldn't cause what you're seeing. However, bad power in your house/apartment could cause the power supply in the computer to go out and get flaky. That would cause what you're seeing if it's power-related.

To boot from a thumb drive you'd only need one the same size or larger than the size of the CD to boot from (a 1G or larger for CD size, usually a 4G would work for most DVD distros, though there was one I tried a year or two ago that required a dual layer DVD, so a 16G thumb drive would have been needed - but that was an oddball). A camera card would work, but a lot of machines won't boot from that even if they boot from a thumb drive. You'd have to try it or look in your BIOS to see if you can set it to boot from there. My netbook will boot from both. But netbooks are made to do that since they don't come with digital drives to boot from.

Don't rely on Windows as a sign of anything. I had a dual boot a long time ago. Windows would run OK for awhile and then lock up. Linux would get a kernel panic during boot. I found a bad stick of RAM and both OSes worked after I changed it.



ok, i put ubuntu and kubuntu in another system, just for bleeps and giggles, and the same freaking thing. and this system is in good working order, no issues whatsoever.

i'm fn lost. AHHHHHHH the only thing i can think of to do is make new disks (on the "good" computer)and try again.

#6 stiltskin

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 10:39 PM

OK, so we wasted time on a potential RAM/power issue. But what you described is often what happens when those things act up.

Another possibility is a bad burn. You said you had trouble with our drive. Maybe you still do. I know I had issues early on using +R discs on a drive that was rated for them. It turned out that drive would work fine with -R, which it wasn't rated to handle. I think the manufacturer screwed things up.

With another drive I was forced to slow the writes down to X2 most of the time. A few would work a X8, but too many failed at that speed. Everything worked fine at X2, though.

#7 wildeyes

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 10:52 PM

OK, so we wasted time on a potential RAM/power issue. But what you described is often what happens when those things act up.

Another possibility is a bad burn. You said you had trouble with our drive. Maybe you still do. I know I had issues early on using +R discs on a drive that was rated for them. It turned out that drive would work fine with -R, which it wasn't rated to handle. I think the manufacturer screwed things up.

With another drive I was forced to slow the writes down to X2 most of the time. A few would work a X8, but too many failed at that speed. Everything worked fine at X2, though.


well, i am going to download and re-burn on my moms computer (the "good" one lol) and see what that gets me. right now i am also burning hirens boot cd. friend said it was good and well, what the heck LOL i saved everything i needed to off that system, if i screw it up no biggie. a dvd rom isnt a ton of money, and its a ten yr old computer.

i will try slowing the burn down a bit, i think i remember reading that helps sometimes.


ETA: hirens boot disk, burned on my moms computer, did not work. computer wont read it. i give up. talked to the hubby and found out the motherboard is at LEAST 10 yrs old (i only suspected LOL) so we are getting a new computer next week. found one on newegg that suits our needs for cheap enough. and i'll just throw linux on that when it gets here LOL should work then. :)

Edited by wildeyes, 12 November 2011 - 11:56 PM.


#8 thefr34k

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 02:08 PM

It sounds like you have a new computer coming in and you might not care to get the old one working anymore. But just in case I thought I would take a stab.
Have you made sure the BIOS is set to attempt to boot off the CD? Sometimes you can manually override boot order with the F12, Del, or Esc Key (it differs for each BIOS) When your computer is booting up at the black screen keep your eyes at the bottom and see if you see anything telling you to Press a certain key for the boot menu.




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