Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to try

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Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to try

Postby viking777 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm

Normally you wouldn't expect a topic with that title from me, being a long time Mint user and enthusiast, but I think there are times when Mint is difficult, and if you doubt me then read on!

I have an old laptop that I use for 'experimental' purposes. When I say old, that is all relative really, some people would consider it fairly well equipped, dual core processor, 2Gb ddr ram, ati graphics card, intel wifi, vintage 2006. But I tell you it can be a real pig to use at times and it particularly dislikes Linux Mint. The last version of Mint that I was able to install on it was Mint 8. I have tried 9, 10, 11,12 and LMDE and it laughs at all of them. I decided it was time I tried again, this is the story of what happened.

EDIT. At this point I should say that I originally wrote this topic for the chat section, but it was suggested that it contains ideas that may be useful for others with similar problems so it got 'upgraded' if you will, to a sort of how to, but because it was written as a 'chat' piece, I first deal with all the things that 'failed' to install Mint for me. If you want to skip reading those, the procedure that succeeded is highlighted in green towards the bottom, so you can just read that if you want to. However, just because something didn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for you, so if the green section doesn't work try some of the other ideas instead.

Firstly I installed Ubuntu 11.10 because I wanted to check out a multi boot scenario. I popped in a disk, booted up and about 15 minutes later I was in Ubuntu. This proves three things. Ubuntu is VERY easy to install, it boots up remarkably quickly compared to my glacial LMDE64 (6 months old), and I could easily live with Unity if I had to!

The next step was the Mint 12 live dvd from a magazine cover disc. Popped this in the tray, rebooted, it printed one line of text and stopped for good, this is typical of what happened with every other version of Mint I have tried to install. End of attempt 1.

Last time I tried installing Mint I didn't have an external cd/dvd drive, but now I do, so I plugged this in, put in the disk, rebooted, went into the bios to make sure the device was detected (it was) and moved it to the top of the boot order. Continued to boot, it whirred and chugged for a few seconds then booted straight into Ubuntu. End of attempt 2.

I now reasoned that maybe there was something wrong with my dvd drive/drives, so I embarked on another plan. I used the 'dd' command to copy the cover disk dvd to an iso file.

Code: Select all
dd if=/dev/sr0 of=mint12.iso


Worked for me but this assumes that /dev/sr0 is your cdrom drive (it probably is unless you have more than one), and you want to save the iso file to your home folder (which is where you terminal will open anyway).

I then direct booted the iso file with Unetbootin ( instructions here - viewtopic.php?f=42&t=94347&p=540600#p540600 ). It worked! I pressed the install button and the install began. It stopped after just a few seconds because it complained that my cdrom drive could not be unmounted (probably something to do with the way Unetbootin frugal install works). Anyway, that was the end of attempt 3.

My next trick was to try a Mint 12 disk that I had made myself a few weeks ago. Surprisingly this one booted (which means there is nothing wrong with my dvd drive). So I hit the install button, and nothing happened. I went into the menu and hit install, nothing happened. I went into the desktop folder and hit the install button, nothing happened. I opened a terminal and ran /usr/bin/ubiquity, all I got was 'input/output error'. End of attempt 4.

I then tried my own dvd in the external drive. It completely ignored it and booted straight into Ubuntu. End of attempt 5.

Next came my LMDE cd. This took me back to attempt 1 - printed one line then hung. End of attempt 6.

Next came a fresh download of the iso which I burnt onto a cd-rw. I tried this from the internal and external drives and it was completely ignored on both occasions, booting straight into Ubuntu. End of attempts 7 and 8.

I then used Unetbootin to copy the new iso file onto a usbkey. Booted with that plugged in, went into the bios to check that it is listed - it isn't. Carry on with the boot, predictably, straight into Ubuntu. End of attempt 9.

My next strategy was to boot with a Plop boot cd in my cd drive ( http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/index.html ) and the usbkey in a usb slot. It booted Plop as expected, I used this to transfer the boot to usb and what do you know, it started! Not only that but it installed as well. So success with attempt number 10.

All of this took me about 4 hours of trying, a fair bit of knowledge and a fair bit of equipment. How many Linux newbies are going to have all those resources available?

So next time you read a newbie report that says 'I can't install Linux Mint', think about this post, because sometimes I can't install it either!

I should say that continuing my experiment with that laptop, I went on to install, Fedora, Pclinux, Debian, and even Bodhi Linux onto it (not all at the same time), at no time did any of these installs give me slightest difficulty, so it is nothing to do with my equipment or my discs. So I guess the question should be what did Mint do to their iso's after Mint 8 that makes them so impossible to use on this machine?
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Re: Why is Linux Mint so difficult?

Postby GeneC on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:19 pm

Image

:lol:
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Re: Why is Linux Mint so difficult?

Postby tdockery97 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:25 pm

Very informative post. I think you should change the title to something like "If you are having trouble installing Mint" and sticky it. It would give a multitude of options for people to try if they are having problems. Some of those attempts that didn't work for you may work for others. At least it may save someone else a few hours of head-scratching.
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Re: Why is Linux Mint so difficult?

Postby DrHu on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:30 pm

viking777 wrote:So next time you read a newbie report that says 'I can't install Linux Mint', think about this post, because sometimes I can't install it either!

..think about this post, because sometimes I can't install it either!
Probably won't be changing my approach..

The difference is you experimented, and you explained what you tried and the errors that were produced..

When I see someone say "It donna work " or something similar without any explanation of their hardware/software and how they installed and any errors or complete explanations
--then I don't see any good reason to engage in really really trying to help; as they are not helping themselves
    I approach it as if they were a windows OS user and imagine what I would expect them to do to fix a problem..
    --if they wont try anything or only keep saying no good, or I've read all that before and it didn't work
    I usually give up after a few pointers..
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Re: Why is Linux Mint so difficult?

Postby Lumikki on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:36 pm

I'm newbie and I installed Mint 12 (gnome), Mint 12 KDE, LMDE (11), Ubuntu 11.10 in my two computers just fine.
So, this is more about how person computers hardware is compatible with Linux software.

What I have seen so far here in Mints forum, there seem to be a lot of hardware issues. Like something doesn't work with sertain hardwares correctly or at all. As far I understand with my limited knowledge. Hardware related issues are about Linux kernel stuff. Maybe Linux mint has too limited hardware support in they CD/DVD Kernel?

I do understand you messsage, if newbie can't even get Mint installed, then how they gonna use it.
So, are you suggesting better hardware support for Mint?

Also when people have issues, they should allways say what they computer model is. That's why my computers hardware is in my sign (as it's self made computer).
Also if something worked before and doesn't work now. Then tell what you did do, just before it stoped working. Like did you update, install, remove something.
Last edited by Lumikki on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why is Linux Mint so difficult?

Postby hellfire695 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:45 pm

I agree to point. I've had a hellish time installing lmde before, but ery interesting post
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Re: Why is Linux Mint so difficult?

Postby 900i on Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:32 pm

If I want to install a new OS (Windows, Linux or Unix) on my Dell Latitude I have to remove one of my 4gb ram sticks and then refit afterwards. I have problems with the install otherwise, took me ages to work out what was wrong.
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Re: Why is Linux Mint so difficult?

Postby lexon on Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:58 pm

I have put Mint 9 in an old Toshiba Satellite, circa 2001. Little slow at times but works fine as a extra machine.

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Re: Why is Linux Mint so difficult?

Postby viking777 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:26 am

tdockery97 wrote:Very informative post. I think you should change the title to something like "If you are having trouble installing Mint" and sticky it. It would give a multitude of options for people to try if they are having problems. Some of those attempts that didn't work for you may work for others. At least it may save someone else a few hours of head-scratching.


I never meant it to be a how to, it was just a discussion topic born out of frustration really, but reading what you said, I suppose you are right, it might help someone out to know what options you can try if you experience similar problems, so I will do what you suggest. There isn't much point in leaving it in the 'Chat' section, so I better move it to 'Installation and Boot' at the same time.
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Re: Why is Linux Mint so difficult?

Postby viking777 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:16 am

@GeneC
Is it copyrighted that image? I could snag that as my avatar if not.
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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby rhodry on Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:10 pm

So, this is more about how person computers hardware is compatible with Linux software.


Well, not quite all Linux software! :) More like ...some hardware & some software....!!

I have a similar vintage (test) laptop that has run every version of Mint except v12 (well, from 6 or 7 at least). Absolutely refuses to boot any version of the 12 Live material consistently - ie falls over/locks at different stages. When I try setting "removable device" above cd/dvd in bios and boot from Mint usb stick, it simply ignores the stick and proceeds to hard drive boot. Other distros handle this fine.

Tried this solution with Plop + DVD - works a treat. Just wanted to confirm it works, on a similarly troublesome machine.

I'm not interested in running Ubuntu based system, so I did not pursue as many solutions as you. Currently using LMDE-Xfce as installer for Sid upgraded systems. Will have a good look at LMDE + Cinnamon when it is released though.

Well done on your persistence.

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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby ChickenPie4Tea on Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:23 am

I'm not quite sure of the proceedure of using Plop!!! a more complete run through would be good for beginers. Luckily for me MInt(10) installed easily for me. Say you have put in you cd and it wont boot/install you then take the disk out and put in a plop cd then what?
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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby viking777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:12 am

ChickenPie4Tea wrote:I'm not quite sure of the proceedure of using Plop!!! a more complete run through would be good for beginers. Luckily for me MInt(10) installed easily for me. Say you have put in you cd and it wont boot/install you then take the disk out and put in a plop cd then what?


There is a link to the Plop website in my post, so I am not going into any great detail because you can read it yourself.

The basics are that you boot from the cd with the usb key plugged in at the same time, you select the 'boot manager' option (not the install option) this loads another screen (with the most horrible graphics I have ever seen, but if you are lucky you should just about be able to read it) One of the options in that screen is 'boot from usb' or just 'usb' I cant remember, you hit that and it boots from the usb key, end of story.
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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby MacWalt on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:17 am

I have downloaded Limux Mint 12 numerous times and the last step in the installation it ask if I want to continue using Mint or restart. When I restart I don't have an option to run Mint like I did when I had Ubuntu. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks
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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby Lumikki on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:22 am

You did nothing wrong, just wait after selecting restart, until Mint is done (black screen). If you where using Mint live CD/DVD it will split it out after while and ask you hit enter. Then the hole system reboot's. So restarts actually means shutdown the live CD/DVD what takes while.
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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby fiery on Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:47 pm

I think Mint 12 is especially difficult 2 get working but strangely I have a number of Acer Travelmate 290's on which this is the first version i have made work!

Agreed that version 8 and even 9 were classics (apart from that sound crashing out thing). They felt really solid and i've ran them for years! 12 seems like it's struggling to hold itself together which I'm sympathetic to but...
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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby pubmania on Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:03 pm

ChickenPie4Tea wrote:I'm not quite sure of the proceedure of using Plop!!! a more complete run through would be good for beginers. Luckily for me MInt(10) installed easily for me. Say you have put in you cd and it wont boot/install you then take the disk out and put in a plop cd then what?


follow the tutorial here for using plop boot manager from grub:

http://makegadgetswork.blogspot.com/201 ... s-not.html
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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby Summersky on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:29 pm

Thank you for posting this. I was getting ready to try replacing the cd drive as no matter what I do, it clunks around for a few seconds and boots to ubuntu. Im using one of those old compaq laptops that should be dead anyway, but this one still comes on more often than not, so it's fun to install different OSs and get to know them. But now it seems stuck in oneric and I cant get the Julia cd to work. Think it might be something about ubuntu rather than mint? I didnt have this problem before the latest ubuntu was installed.

EDIT:
Well in my case, it really was a broken cd/dvd drive and the usb install went perfectly.
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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby mpmascorro on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:20 pm

I too tried to install Mint 12 on an old Acer One Netbook, but partway through the install, I inadvertantly unplugged the external dvd drive. Now when I try to boot it up, it goes through the Windows splash screen and then locks on a black screen with a blinking cursor. Nothing I have tried has worked. HELP!!!!
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Re: Trouble installing Mint? Me too. Here are some things to

Postby Summersky on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:28 pm

mpmascorro wrote:I too tried to install Mint 12 on an old Acer One Netbook


Have you tried starting over again? I mean, starting a new install?
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