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Total NOOB running into a roadblock


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#1 lordvader1971

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:16 PM

Hello everyone! I am new here and to Linux. I am a student in a degree program and have decided to broaden my horizons. I have scoured the internet and have stalked these very forums but have come up empty on my exact situation. I am trying to breathe life into an older laptop of mine to quite simply, learn Linux on my own. My issues are these:

  • The machine has a formatted HDD and I have no install media for the original OS nor do I wish to install the original.
  • The machine has and old bios that doesn't allow booting from USB.
  • The machine only has a floppy drive and no CD/DVD Rom

The laptop is an older Panasonic Toughbook CF28. 1 Gig, 512 G Ram, 20 G HDD. I know it's not the latest and greatest but I can't risk playing around with my newer laptop at this time. I want to install Bodhi on the Toughbook but am having issues finding the exact solution to going about it successfully. 

 

I have the HDD formatted to FAT32 and do have an IDE to USB adapter if I could figure out how to install it through my main system without potentially turning my newer computer into a dual boot machine.

 

I also have a working 3.5 drive but am not finding bootable install media for Bodhi.

 

I would love to get the old Panny up and running but might be barking up the wrong tree. Any input/guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks all in advance.





A big thank you to everyone who contributes to Bodhi Linux


#2 graywizardlinux

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:41 PM

if you have usb get a cheap memorex $32 usb cd/dvd writer/player.  burn the bodhi iso onto cd/dvd.  set bios to boot from usb - you should be fine unless there are other issues that people know about re: old systems.



#3 birdmun

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 06:03 PM

Not being able to boot from USB and having no CD/DVD drive will make things "interesting". You could pull the hard drive from the Panasonic and use a second computer to write the OS to the 20GB hdd. There was a posting here about doing something similar. I don't recall what it really dealt with. It was posted this year I believe.



#4 graywizardlinux

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 06:18 PM

i could never get the usb flash drive to work - ever - that was my fix and it has worked on 3 separate laptops with the external usb cd writer/player for what it is worth.what is wrong with my answer birdmun?  just curious - not being a wise-ass.  just trying to figure out WHY it was wrong?



#5 sef

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 06:53 PM

@lordvader1971

I know you mentioned that the BIOS can't boot to USB, but does it even have the CHOICE to attempt to boot a USB on your laptop?

Because if your BIOS is new enough to have that option, GWL's first post would definitely be the easiest way. If your BIOS doesn't even have the choice, we'll have to go about it a different way. Something like what you & birdmun are saying about hooking up your old HDD to your new PC.

 

FYI --

There are likely to be hardware driver issues with an old laptop, especially the wifi. Without wifi, these driver issues can be a bear to tackle sometimes.

It might be easier to install virtualbox onto your new PC and then install Bodhi onto a virtual machine there. You will have internet access, and can still play around and learn Linux to your hearts content without actually dual booting your new pc. (just my 2 cents)


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#6 graywizardlinux

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 07:10 PM

i could set biod to usb but i could not get it to work via a usb iso.  maybe he cannot even choose usb in the bios - but that seems a bit weird.



#7 DOOMguy

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 07:15 PM

maybe this?


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#8 lordvader1971

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:33 PM

Thank you all for the replies. You are all correct that there's no option to boot from USB. The Panasonic has PhoenixBIOS V3.00L12C and only has three boot options, Floppy, HDD, and CD(Which I don't have as they are specific to these computers). So as birdmun said it could be quite "interesting." I would attach a picture of the BIOS screen but am having issues figuring out where to upload media to share.



#9 lordvader1971

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:58 PM

I am about to go through the steps that DOOMguy posted. I'll update throughout the process.



#10 graywizardlinux

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 12:07 AM

good luck!



#11 lordvader1971

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:14 AM

So I created the PLoP boot disk and that worked flawlessly. I finally managed to create a live CD on a USB drive. The old computer booted up and I have finally found the install Bodhi page. I have made it through the initial settings and have just clicked "Install Now" and am waiting patiently. It's worked pretty good so far albeit being slower than molasses rolling uphill in the winter. I am hoping it's the USB speed causing this and not the actual system. It used to run Win XP Pro fairly well back in the day.

As sef said the drivers should be the really interesting part. Luckily they are still available.  



#12 graywizardlinux

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 03:16 AM

glad it worked...



#13 birdmun

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 09:33 AM

I was going to mention PLoP but forgot that 1) you have a floppy drive and 2) PLoP has a floppy image. Stoopid bird. :P Glad you got it working.



#14 Charles@Bodhi

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 11:42 AM

First off, welcome to the forums. Feel free to ask questions whenever you need during the learning process.

 

The utility that performs the installation on HDD will eat all resources of your computer. Your CD player is connected through a USB 1.x port and that is very slow with data transfer. Those is the main reasons for being terrible slow. Once you have it installed the running system takes between 100 - 200MB of RAM and is much faster than the Live CD.  

Remember current popular webbrowsers are very resource hungry, so as long as Midori can handle the pages you want to visit I would stick with that browser. 

 

Glad Plop helped you out.

 

Enjoy,

Charles



#15 lordvader1971

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 12:01 PM

Ugh, the installation process somehow crashed last night. I did see some errors on the screen but wasn't quick enough to take note of them. I'm going to use sef's advice and install Virtualbox on my Windows 10 PC to try Bodhi. I want to make sure it's not something with my live cd creation. I have now become determined to make this work. 

 

Thank you all again for your help. I knew there was a Linux community but had no idea how welcoming you'd all be, thanks for that as well.



#16 Charles@Bodhi

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:18 PM

Possibly the "crash" was caused by lack of available memory for the installer. That application alone takes 1.9 GB to function smoothly.

 

Most older computers need to use Swap often to compensate for having not much RAM. Swap can be compared with the Windows Pagefile, a place where the system puts data from Ram to Disk to free fast Ram for the most urgent tasks. Swap uses raw data which is relatively fast to access when needed.

 

My advice would be to create a Swap partition before starting the installer. There is a nice Partitioner application available in Linux with a rather simple interface called gparted. That application is not included on a default Bodhi CD but could be easily installed temporarily. 

 

Just ask if you need more details/help about that.

 

Enjoy,

Charles



#17 Jayan Tashi

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 03:55 PM

Throw the laptop and watch your breath instead. Breathing in, look at the greens outside the window and be glad that you do not need that laptop. Breathing out, find a couple of beans, throw them into the nearest soil that you can lay your hands on, spit on them daily, and observe day after day and develop your own insights about why I told you to throw that laptop.

 

Hint: You can't even grow mould on that working 3.5" drive, in the past we could at least grow mould on 5.25" floppies. :P .


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#18 DOOMguy

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 07:09 PM

Glad you have plan B Use virtual box to try out Bodhi. Back then when I had an older laptop I had to put it on a network with the desktop so that I can have it piggyback on the running internet connection. This will be easier now, in my opinion. If you want to learn the hard way, you'll have to excuse me -- i think there's an amazon package at the door...and I doubt that toughbook has 512 G RAM


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