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Re: [vox-tech] Weird linux installation problem
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Re: [vox-tech] Weird linux installation problem

On Mon, May 28, 2001 at 10:45:18PM -0700, Jeff Lambert wrote:
> I've been strugling with this problem for a few weeks now.  What I'm
> trying to do is get linux on an old Acer Pentium 100.  It has 43megs
> of ram and an 8gig hd.  Here is where the problem comes in... No
> matter what distribtuion I try to install when I put the boot disk in
> and it starts to load the install program it gets up to the point
> where it says "Uncompressing Linux..." and then stops.
>  I've left it over night to see if it is just slow but thats not the case.

Some suggestions:

You mention "43 Mb of RAM", and this is not an even or "normal" value for
memory. It often signifies that you have a *special* motherboard with an
on-board video controller that uses allocated memory from your motherboard
RAM. These settings are often changed in your BIOS Settings screen where
you are allowed to say how much RAM your Video Adapter has - at the cost
of Physical RAM available to your OS.

Problems with these can become aparrent when the memory is allocated in a
segment not at the beginning or end, but in the middle. Newer Linux
kernels (since 2.2 and later) have done much better at understanding what
memory is available, but problems still may exist for auto-probing of

As a test for the above as a possible issue, or other complications that
might lead to similar results, try adding some boot-time options to your
loading linux kernel:

At a lilo promt, or in a modified BAT file that uses LOADLIN.EXE add the
following as a boot time arguement:

Most systems that I have seen that use partitioned RAM for video memory
that also do not use the very end of RAM, seem to start their use at
around the 16Mb point.

If you see success with the lower memory value, try re-booting anc
changing to:
and see if it fails. If you have sucess at 16M but failure at 17M, that is
a good indicator that there is something weird with memory:

failed memory beyond the 16Mb point  due to bad:
  over-clocked motherboard
  memory too slow for board speeds
  memory specified in BIOS as aster than memory installed, or
poorly reported/interprited available memory at boot time

If 17M workks, then go ahead annd try:
and see if that works

You can also try smaller intervals of mem down to ~12M" as arguements, but
experience suggests 16M is the most common barrier.

I might have other ideas for you if the above does not help you at all,
but will have to think a little more.


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