Easy Linux question

By learninmypc ยท 19 replies
Feb 10, 2017
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  1. I don't remember the posters name, but in the posts they have a link to Linux in it, can somebody help me find it? Tired of going thru all the posts in here :)
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,025   +665

  3. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 7,673   +413

    Thanks. A friend bought a linux pc & I wanted to know about it too :)
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,173   +989

    Another is Knoppix.net which supports a bootable CD w/o the need to install - - good trial and learning tool
    learninmypc likes this.
  5. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 7,673   +413

  6. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 7,673   +413

    Before I get my hopes up, I have a laptop that crashed. Turning it on it said No OS. Was told in here I'd need a new/rebuilt harddrive & OS. Can I still run/use linux/Ubunto on it??
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,029   +2,558

    Depending on whether or not the laptop has a CD/DVD drive or USB only, it might require you to reset the boot order in its BIOS to reflect which media is usable. In other words, you'll have to adapt your download to fit the media the laptop will accept. You can download Ubuntu to a USB drive. You should be able to find instructions on Ubuntu's site about how to prepare a boot-able USB drive.

    OTOH, you might also be able to install via DVD on an external DVD drive, assuming the laptop is set to boot from USB first, (and you have an external drive).

    If you're planning to use the laptop's "restore disc(s)", you'd need to install Windows from those first, then install Linux, creating a partition for that OS during the first part of the install. The Linux boot loader "GRUB", will guide you through that process.
  8. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 7,673   +413

    It has both USB & CD/DVD drive(s). Laptop has no restore discs. I will see if I can change the BIOS before I go further, thank you.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,029   +2,558

    If the laptop has a working DVD drive, (and assuming you have a working DVD drive on your desktop), the easiest way to get Ubuntu onto the laptop, is download it, and burn it to a DVD.

    Then WITHOUT going into BIOS, simply turn on the laptop, open the DVD drive, insert the DVD, close the drive and turn the machine off. Then, turn it back on. Most older machines are set to boot from CD/DVD first anyway. If it doesn't boot from the Linux DVD, only then do you have to go into BIOS.

    In a worst case scenario, whereas your laptop's DVD drive is defective, then prepare a bootable USB drive, and rerset vthe boot order to USB first.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,029   +2,558

    Ubuntu does, and has always, supported a "live run" feature as well. The distro is quite mature and novice user friendly. In fact, even with my limited abilities, I've used it to recover files, and have 2 current installs alive and well!
  11. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 7,673   +413

    Well, I plugged the laptop in, pushed the power on button & the lights lit up for a second & nothing. Pulled the battery out,did it again, nothing. Going to leave it plugged in over night in hopes it helps. If not, oh well. :)
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,029   +2,558

    There is a chance it's not "POST-ing", correctly. (Power On Self Test).

    Failing to POST can be caused by any device in the machine. Quite often it's caused by a bad stick of memory. In your case the HDD, and possibly the BIOS battery could also be suspects. Even an improperly seated stick of good RAM, could cause a POST fail.

    (Although, a machine not sensing an HDD, will oftentimes just "boot" into BIOS and stay there).

    You'd need to explain "I pulled the battery out". I'm guessing you have the machine on AC power when you did that. (Just making sure, of course you did).

    Charge the battery overnight. If you have a voltmeter, do read the battery's voltage when it comes off the charger.

    The startup sequence is: Power on, POST, BIOS polls the machine's hardware, BOOT, then Desktop.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  13. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 7,673   +413

    Yes, it was on battery power when I pulled the ac out & it has been recharging for around 12 hours. No voltmeter available.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,029   +2,558

    Well, good luck with your project. :)

    FWIW, a digital "multi-meter", on occasion, can be very handy thing to have in your tool box. If you're fortunate enough to live anywhere near a "Harbor Freight and Salvage", retail store, I've seen them have their basic meter on sale for as low as $3.99!. Not sure what Walmart, Sears, or Amazon might charge for a basic meter.

    Some things you can do with one, just off the top of my head: check battery voltages, with the battery installed and loaded. Check your car battery's voltage, and the voltage at which it is being charged by the alternator. You can also check the different voltage segments of a computer PSU, with it installed and running. The resistance scales can be used to find open cables, such as those for musical instruments or home Hi-Fi gear.

    Here's a link to the Harbor Freight unit, it's "all the way up to 6 bucks" ATM: http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-multimeter-98025.html


  15. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    You can almost always get a 20% discount coupon for Harbor Freight. I get advertising circulars all the time in the mail that contain this coupon. You can also subscribe to their email catalog and/or flyers to get this coupon. While some of the stuff at Harbor Freight is junk, some isn't too bad. It would be a good idea to take a look at Youtube video reviews for any tools you might be interested in before you buy.
  16. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 7,673   +413

    Ok, laptop with or without battery is dead so since I mainly asked about those OS's to help a friend, I'll thank you all for your input , thank you. :)
  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,173   +989

    I'm OCD on security and this is one vector that IMO should always be disabled, so I do. Having physical access to the machine presents MANY infection vectors.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,029   +2,558

    I've seen the price on the meter in question as low as you walk in, you hand them a coupon, and they give you a meter for nothing.. Since I have one of the meters in question, I stipulate that it works fine, is certainly worth the 4 or 6 bucks one would pay for it, can I get as much respect as some yahoo on YouTube, or not?

    But don't buy their "convertible snap ring pliers". I can attest to the fact they will break before you get on snap ring removed.

    EDIT: Although "HF Reviews" is granted not a widely recognized or accredited source, a few of the people there reviewed the meter in question. But, take this FWIW, and with a grain of salt as well, I suppose: http://hfreviews.com/item.php?id=2837

    Well you would need some "vector" to install an operating system. If we lock out both the DVD drive and the USB ports, how do we get an OS onto the machine?

    I kind of think you need to have an OS installed before you can get an infection. So, unless you have an alternative route to install the OS, then your OCD is exactly that, OCD.

    I sincerely doubt our TS has the necessary skills to install one from LAN, or has another machine which polls with the exact same hardware,. In which case, a laptop without an OS amounts to an infection free brick..
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  19. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,173   +989

    and that's the time to access via BIOS password :grin:
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,029   +2,558

    Well, this is an orphan computer of unknown origin. If the BIOS is protected by an administrative password, it likely won't be scratched into the display, or written inside the case. I guess you'd have to send it back to China to be infected.

    Not to mention we're being told, "it won't even light", so to speak.

    One of our members used to be able to bypass those nasty old Dell BIOS passwords. IIRC, the staff told him to stop doing it.

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