Need Help installing Mint on an old Dell Latitude C400

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Derfdog
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Need Help installing Mint on an old Dell Latitude C400

Post by Derfdog » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:48 pm

Hello
I got an old Dell Latitude C400 netbook (about 10 years old). The hard drive is totally wiped.
Mobile Pent III 866 MHz / 512 Ram / Intel 830M graphics
20 gig HD / 1 - USB port (ver 1.1)
I do not have the portable hard drive or docking station, nor do I have the Module Bay Cable (allows me to hook external drives to it).
My boot options do not include USB devices.

Is there a way to install Mint on this netbook?

Out of desperation, I pulled the HD drive out and put it in an old Latitude D505 (since it has a CD drive and installed Mint onto the HD then put the HD back into the C400. It brings up the Mint grub screen that allows me to go into recovery mode >

I know that the C400 and the D505 are like apples to oranges, but at least it lets me log into terminal mode. I was hoping that I could either modify the boot scripts to use Mint defaults or some how mount the USB drive and install Mint from the USB.
I thought that maybe I could install XP on the HD (using the D505) but I figure that XP is even less forgiving than Linux on how it is installed.

Am I wasting my time (and yours) by asking this question?

Derfdog

Jupiter_Spunk
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Re: Need Help installing Mint on an old Dell Latitude C400

Post by Jupiter_Spunk » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:08 am

The hardware is different between the two laptops, so when you put the drive in the D505 and install it installs for the D505 hardware , which may have completely different drivers etc than the C400. which causes tons of issues when trying to boot after transfering the drive back. Unfortunately there are so many necessary drivers that you would never be able to get it straight, or even functional enough to do a proper install.

The better solution would be to install (or run) from a usb flash drive, if your bios allows it. See directions below.

http://yousaf.5gigs.net/blog/2011/02/18 ... ash-drive/

If not, your going to have to get a cdrom drive hooked up to the C400.
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Mint 11 with Boxee AMD64, ATI All in wonder pro 512mb.
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Jupiter_Spunk
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Re: Need Help installing Mint on an old Dell Latitude C400

Post by Jupiter_Spunk » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:17 am

This link might help also. http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/instal ... loppy.html
Someone installed xp by putting the hard drive into an external USB enclosure , baking it bootable (like a dos boot disk) and also copying the WinXP install files to the disk. If you want XP this might be the way to go. External enclosures can be found for under $20.

I don't know if you can do the same thing with linux or not.

actually, you could possibly put a 4gb fat 32 partition on it , and follow the previous instructions to load it up like a usb flash drive. then boot it from IDE in the laptop. Once its up , then run the normal install. It might be worth a try.
Mint 10 Intel Quad core, ATI 4650, 3 tb of storage.
Mint 11 with Boxee AMD64, ATI All in wonder pro 512mb.
Google, the new lifesaver!

wayne128
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Re: Need Help installing Mint on an old Dell Latitude C400

Post by wayne128 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:28 am

It is OK to use another comp to install hard disk and then move to another.
I think your main issue is that of the intel 830M graphic.

read this post at below link, it is related to your old graphic chip.
the writer has lots of experience and details so those info might help you to get it up and running. some reader even have the same Dell as yours

http://www.insidesocal.com/click/2010/0 ... phics.html

eidlyn
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Re: Need Help installing Mint on an old Dell Latitude C400

Post by eidlyn » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:44 pm

Here, this really helped me. Basicly, I did the same thing you're trying to do, this morning.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/14183/be ... to-a-disc/

SimonTS
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Re: Need Help installing Mint on an old Dell Latitude C400

Post by SimonTS » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:38 pm

Even if your PC doesn't support USB booting (which that old Dell won't :shock: ) you can still boot from USB.

What you need to do is create a bootable Floppy instead - I use a tool called PLOP - http://www.plop.at/en/home.html - on my Dad's PC for exactly that purpose.

I guess that you're not in the UK? The only reason I ask is that I have a box-full of hardware for an old Dell Latitude C610, but I suspect it is still compatible - CD-RW, DVD, 2 Batteries, the External-Module cable etc.

Derfdog
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Re: Need Help installing Mint on an old Dell Latitude C400

Post by Derfdog » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:32 am

Hey
Thanks for all the input, haven't had a chance to read in depth all the references yet but will get to them by the end of the day. My problem is - as stated before its an old netbook that uses proprietary hardware. It was salvaged from a company's IT storage locker with all the spare parts missing (like the IDE Module Bay connector which would allow me to connect floppy drive/CD drive), all of lifes simple pleasures.
I can and probably will order it on line, but hey I am a typical end user who wants instant gratification ( but that is another story).
ANY way I went out and bought a powered USB hub so I can at least hook up my external CD/DVD drive.
And since I can boot it up in Mint recovery mode I can see that Linux is recognizing the USB drive.
My down fall is that I am a newbie and have not mastered the skills yet to know what to do, or I should say I know what I want to do, I just have to find out how to do it, but that is the fun part.
So my next step will be
1. figure out if my USB is mounted and what it is called
2. if not mounted then the corret command to mount it
3. find the install script on my Linux Mint CD and run it directly. (hopefully I can do this).

Again thaks for the input
Derfdog

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edwardr
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Re: Need Help installing Mint on an old Dell Latitude C400

Post by edwardr » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:37 am

Try this - connect an external display to the C400 and boot up. If the external display works, then it is a video issue with kernel modesetting that is described in wayne128's link. Even if the external display does not work, trying wayne128's link might help.

The following is from wayne128's link, and I think it is the way to go.
I did a little checking around — and I encourage any of you to do the same, since I'm not running GRUB 2 on an actual install — and it looks like you can add boot parameters in /etc/default/grub, then run update-grub to update /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

It looks like the line in /etc/default/grub with "quiet splash" in it could be appended with i915.modeset=0, and after saving it, you run update-grub, and then you should be good to reboot.

Again, I don't have Ubuntu 10.04 installed on any boxes, so I'm speculating here.

If I'm correct (and I'd love confirmation):

You open a terminal and use sudo to accomplish this (with your favorite text editor; I'd use vi or nano, but I'll use Gedit here because I imagine the average Ubuntu user is plenty comfortable with it):

$ sudo gedit /etc/default/grub &

Then when you're in the file, change this line:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"

to look like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash i915.modeset=0"

Save the file in Gedit and close the window.

Then run this command:

$ sudo update-grub

You should now be able to reboot the machine and have GRUB turn off kernel mode setting automatically. If not, I imagine there's a way to edit your boot line "on the fly" like there is now with the "old" GRUB. (Again, if anybody has installed Ubuntu 10.04 and can confirm this, I'd really appreciate it).
If that does not work, try replacing i915.modeset=0 with xforcevesa (just xforcevesa, no =0)
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