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[personal profile] cellomusette
I'm converting Mom's old Gateway desktop PC...well, my uncle's PC, circa 2005...to Linux.
I tried downloading Avast to get rid of the bugs first, but there were too many errors; it's been without anti-viral protection for years. So I went to the Ubuntu website and downloaded the OS. Now I'm burning the OS. I've saved all the files I care about, so next I'll be wiping the drives clean and installing Ubuntu as the operating system.

I think Mum will be pleased with the results. I've been reading up on Ubuntu and it looks snazzy.

EDIT: It appears to have failed. I conclude that the computer I tried it on is a consummate piece of shit. or I just simply have no clue what I'm doing and fucked something major up that I don't know about. I'm tired now. maybe I'll look at it later. at least I have a Ubuntu disc now that appears to function properly.

Date: 2011-05-05 05:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bikergeek.livejournal.com
Bummer that it didn't work. How did it fail?

There's always the option of nuking it to bare metal and reinstalling windows, if you have the original install media, or if there's a recovery partition of any kind on there that you can boot into. You also might try booting into Ubuntu off the LiveCD, installing ClamAV with 'sudo apt-get install clamav', and using the install of clamav on Linux to scan the machine's HD for viruses that way.

Good luck....

Date: 2011-05-05 12:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] watercolorblue.livejournal.com
I think the problem is lack of hard drive space. This isn't a VERY old computer, but it's a Gateway. I'm not even sure how much HD space the thing has. I'd like to scrub it to bare metal and install -some- variation of Linux, truth be told; what I've seen of Ubuntu impresses me a whole lot more than Windows, and I think my Mom would be more comfortable using it.

Date: 2011-05-06 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bikergeek.livejournal.com
Heh. That's long been the acid test of "Linux on the desktop", a goal of Linux advocates for over a decade and a half now: "Would you hand one off to your mom?"

You can tell how much disk space it has by booting into the Ubuntu LiveCD, shelling out to a terminal, and doing
df -v
Or start up "gparted" (the tool you'd use to partition and reformat the hard disk) and look at that.
Or open up a terminal window and do
sudo hdparm -I /dev/hda
If that tells you
/dev/hda: No such file or directory
try it as
sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda

Date: 2011-05-05 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pywaket.livejournal.com
I'm curious how it failed. Can you describe where in the process it dies? Depending on how far it gets, there's a way to watch the output of the logs during the install. That might provide some clue.

I've never had a machine fail to install Ubuntu, and I've installed it on everything from brand new quad core high powered AMD desktops to ancient Pentium III laptops from 10 years ago, and plenty that falls in between. Perhaps you could try installing 10.04.2LTS (Long Term Support) instead of the current version, which is 11.04. On the downloads page at www.ubuntu.com, you can select that version. There might be something about the old hardware that isn't currently supported by the latest version yet, as support for hardware comes as people install the new versions and report bugs. Fortunately, upgrading later is easy and almost completely automatic, and the community is very good about fixing bugs.

Another thought: can you just run it from the cd/thumb drive and see if that works? You probably noticed early in the process that there's the option to either run from the drive or install. I'd try doing the former to see what happens. If it seems to work fine, you can actually start the install from the running desktop environment, continuing to use the system while the install runs. Which is pretty cool if you ask me...

Keep asking questions. We'll get you up and running!
Edited Date: 2011-05-05 07:52 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-05-05 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] watercolorblue.livejournal.com
I have a clue on that. Just before I go to install, it says "this will use your entire disk: 82.something GB". (I'm paraphrasing, I don't remember the exact words.) To me, that seems like a red flag. Am I wrong? ;) It's a Pentium 4 machine, a Gateway, I think it was made in 2005 or 2006. I'm not sure how much hard drive space it really has. Maybe Ubuntu didn't scrub everything off when I told it to de-install Windows. arrrrgh

I tried running it with the CD in the tray, and 2 minutes in, the graphics fell apart and the piece of crap froze.

My gut feeling is that there's crap underneath the Ubuntu OS that needs scrubbing. I'm just not sure how to do that.
As I told Bikergeek above, I'm already very fond of Ubuntu just from a brief tour. And I think it's perfect for Mom's home computer, which she never uses; computers intimidate her, and she's afraid of all the virus spyware error messages. My hope is that she'll spend the summer playing with the desktop and getting friendly with the internet. :)

If I can't make it work I'll put the bloody thing in my car and one of the 20+ technogeeks in Boston I know should be able to nuke it and install Linux, or at least walk me through the process by phone or chat. IT WILL HAVE UBUNTUUUU!! YARRRE!!!

Date: 2011-05-06 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pywaket.livejournal.com
Hmm. You should be ok for disk space. The whole basic installation should only take 3GB of disk at most. The message about using your whole disk is just telling you that it's going to format the disk and blow away anything that's already there, as opposed to installing alongside Windows using only the free space on the drive.

I'm more suspicious of the graphics issue, that seems to be more likely the problem. I definitely suggest you try downloading 10.04LTS and see if that works.

Or you can just wait until you get out here ;-)

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