Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

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kevinrf
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Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by kevinrf » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:41 am

Hi, new to the forum. I have fiddled with loading MINT for weeks now. Completely messed up the hard drive trying to set up a dual boot partition. Computer would not read the drive. Eventually on Western Digital's site I was able to use another computer running Windows to delete the seen but inaccessible linux partitions and reformat the entire drive to one single 160GB NTFS partition (IDE HDD). Reinstalled the HDD into the laptop that I want to use a linux box, solely.

This laptop is an old Toshiba that is before the USB boot era, so a CD/DVD boot disk is my only option. I burned an iso off of U of Okla site. Installed the DVD into the drive and booted up with CD/DVD Rom being primary in boot order. The drive churned and churned but only a minus sign on black screen (top left corner) appeared. No live DVD. I burned the iso using Nero 7 and selecting the ISO tab on the new volume selection. Nero said the burn was successful. So what do you think is the problem other than I am apparently in over my head?

Again, this HD has no OS. I reformatted it into one NTFS partition by slaving it onto a WinTel machine using a StarTech device and using the Win 7 disk management utility.

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karlchen
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by karlchen » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:17 am

Hello, kevinrf.

No matter whether the internal harddisk has got a filesystem on it or not and whether this filesystem is Windows NTFS or Linux ext4, the bootable live DVD should startup.
I wonder whether you have verified that the downloaded ISO image file matches the published MD5 checksum, before burning the image to the DVD?
In case you have not it is imaginable that your ISO image is corrupted and cannot work properly.
Have you tried booting another computer from the burnt DVD successfully?
In case another machine boots fine from the DVD, then the root cause should be with your old Toshiba machine. The DVD drive itself might be defective or simply dirty.

It is also imaginable that you experience 2 problems at the same time. The churning sound might suggest that the Toshiba DVD reader is nearing the end of its lifetime (or needs cleaning badly). The black screen may be a hint that you need to interrupt the early booting steps and boot in compatibility mode e.g.
Cf. xenokpeek's writeup about such boot problems here: Solve boot problems with AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards

HTH,
Karl
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edwardr
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by edwardr » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:22 am

Here are a couple of things to consider.

As old as that machine sounds, it probably requires a 32 bit OS, not a 64 bit. You didn't say which distro and version you downloaded. Verify that the OS you downloaded is 32 bit.

The laptop probably also does not support physical address extension (PAE). See the following advice from the release notes for Linux Mint 17.2

"To boot Linux Mint 17.2 on CPU which do not officially support PAE (Pentium M processors for instance), please use the "Start Linux Mint with PAE forced" option from the boot menu."

let us know if either of these helped.
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Neil Edmond
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by Neil Edmond » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:01 pm

Yet another possibility with older optical drives is the laser gets weak and while they usually have no trouble reading factory pressed disks, they often have trouble with burned disks, especially so with RW disks.

So if none of the above makes the difference, you may want to try burning another disk at the lowest speed possible and see if that makes the difference.

BlackVeils
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by BlackVeils » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:00 pm

thats all really good advice, especially about the computer not likely having PAE support, and to burn dvd's at slowest speed.

kevinrf
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by kevinrf » Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:33 pm

The "churning" was not literal. Optical drive is okay. The IDE drive is brand new, ok, 8 months old. Not a used drive that is 8 months old to me, but a virgin drive taken out of OEM packaging 8 months ago (these things are hard to find that are above 60GB). Thank you for reminding me about the PAE. It can in fact be forced or made to use another option that accepts Linux. I had this happen on an Intel Atom netbook setup and I was able to load Linux.

However, to force PAE you have to be able to boot and get into the cmd.exe or the grub equivalent to set the Linux equivalent of C:\Windows\system32>BCDEdit /set PAE forceenable

That, right now is my issue. I can and have loaded Windows 7 on this computer and same HDD, so the BIOS and mother board etc should not be an issue. I have 1.5 GB RAM. As to the distro downloaded. MINT Cinnamon 17.2 32 bit.

Perhaps it is the DVD not being successfully burned. The iso shows as a .zip file. Let me fiddle with that piece a while. I'll get back to you.

On the other hand...would it perhaps be easier to just load any Windows version, then slap in a USB stick with Unetbootin and MINT and go from there? I hate doing that because I then have to get rid of Windows once I load MINT. I only want a linux box for this machine, or at least prefer that.

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edwardr
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by edwardr » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:04 pm

When you try to boot from the Linux dvd, do you get to the grub screen where you can choose your boot options, and after that the blank screen appears, or does the blank screen appear before you ever see grub?
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kevinrf
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by kevinrf » Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:40 pm

OK. Gave up on live DVD and found and installed an old copy of Win XP, The HHD read it and I have working HDD, albeit Windows OS. Then I loaded Unetbootin onto a USB stick along with an .iso for 32 bit Cinnamon MINT 17.2. Plugged the USB stick into the laptop. Opened Windows Explorer and selected the USB drive. Launched Unetbootin and selected the Linux Mint .iso file. It "loaded" the file via the prompts and then I then clicked the reboot button. Windows XP launced :x
Now for the disclaimer...The HDD is formatted NTFS (larger than 32GB). The USB is formatted FAT32. The HDD is a single volume. Any ideas for this one? I'm running out of options. The laptop is not bad. As stated in an earlier post, it can, and has, launched Win 7.

Neil Edmond
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by Neil Edmond » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:54 pm

You will need to change the boot order in the BIOS so that USB is ahead of the HDD.

kevinrf
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by kevinrf » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:44 pm

Laptop is old enough to not have USB in boot order. So if that is the case is a Live CD the ONLY option?

Neil Edmond
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by Neil Edmond » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:04 pm

Might try booting a PLOP CD, that should give you the boot from USB option.

kevinrf
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by kevinrf » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:31 pm

OK, I'll confess my ignorance. What is a PLOP CD (got the CD part)?

kevinrf
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by kevinrf » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:34 pm

Never mind, found it on a web search. Let me try that first.

kevinrf
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Re: Installing on reformatted, no OS drive

Post by kevinrf » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:34 am

PLOP worked!!! :D :D :D It did take some fiddling and a couple of Youtube videos, but I am currently in the install process. Windows XP is no more and I will soon have a pure linux box. Woo Hoo!

Thank all of you for all the help. I guess, if nothing else, teaches me more about computers and eventually Linux. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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