*waves hello to Katzedecimal*
Enter complete noob. I've been a Mac user for a long time, and my current hardware is showing signs of its age, most notably that it's simply too physically limited to run any new programs. I decided to see about building a new PC from scratch. Had a little help compiling a parts list, and this is what I ended up with. Finances dictated a sound card would have to wait.
-- Asus M3N78 Pro ATX AMD motherboard
-- AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor
-- Corsair Dominator 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
-- Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W power supply
-- Seagate 500GB Barracuda 7200.11 SATA II w/ NCQ, 32MB Cache
-- eVGA e-GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out
-- Lite-On 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04
-- Samsung SyncMaster 2053BW 20in Widescreen LCD w/ DVI, 2ms, DC 8000:1
-- and a Thermaltake Armor Extreme Edition, Quad FX ready black case to hold it all.
Should be more than enough to run the likes of Mint, right? :p There's absolutely nothing on the hard drive at all -- no Windows, no nothing, because it's a Mint system I want. Took a while to figure out how everything plugged in, but at last I got it up and running -- well, nothing exploded or emitted strange smells when I flipped it on, anyway. Wasn't sure how jumper settings on anything worked, so I left those alone. Okay! Here goes nothing!
First attempt at installing Elyssa Main was on a DVD-R burned at max speed (I was out of regular CD-ROM discs). Checksums matched. Enter "Buffer I/O error on device fd0, logical block 0" errors, followed by eventual sitting at an initramfs prompt that doesn't go away no matter how long I let it idle. Wot? Do research, disable the nonexistent floppy as a boot device, try again. Same thing. Flail in confusion.
Second attempt at Elyssa Main was on a CD-ROM burned at max speed. Checksums matched. Same errors. Wot? Do research, try suggestions posted on various Linux and Ubuntu forums with regards to disabling the floppy seek. Reboot by typing "reboot" at the prompt. No dice. Flail some more.
Third attempt at Elyssa Main was on a CD-ROM burned at the slowest possible speed (4x) -- aha, maybe now we're getting somewhere! Nope. Locate a BIOS setting where a floppy device is shown, move it to Disabled, save and exit. No more buffer errors; instead, I just get kicked straight to the initramfs prompt. Headdesk. Additional errors that look sort of like this: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=18038 and a few "ata1.00: failed to IDENTIFY (I/O error, err_mask=0x4)", with the ata number cycling up to 4 or so as it continues. Eventually, they stop scrolling; a press of the enter key shows me the initramfs prompt again. Sigh.
Fourth attempt at Elyssa was the x64 version slow-burned to CD -- why not, maybe that'll work. Nope. Flipping device boot sequence (HD then CD, CD then HD) yields no different results.
Fifth attempt was Daryna Main slow-burned to CD -- a forum post somewhere in the webz suggested a different version of the distro might work. Nuffin'. Frustrated shout of, "WhatEVER!"
Sixth attempt was Elyssa x64 again -- or would've been. This time, boot sequence crawled at IDE drive detection, then sat at a blank screen. Huh? Hit the reset switch. Boot sequence hangs at IDE detection. The hell? Power off machine, power on. BIOS screams a continuous beep, which I interpret as, "I give up! I give up! Enough already!" As it's been two days of trying to install, I agree, shut it back down and go to bed.
Booting up today gives me nothing but one long beep followed by two short ones. Huh? Do research, find a BIOS code that seems to be the one it's squawking. Reseat video card, check all connections (even though nothing was touched at all before), try again. Same thing. Reseat RAM. Nope.
I think I'm about ready to cry. Help, please?