Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The Linux installation process

Okay, I first attempted a network install of Debian. It took a while to find the image of a Boot CD that contained the right driver for my network card, but eventually I did.

I attempted to install Linux on my former laptop 2.5 inch hard disk, but halfway through the creation of new partitions, it kept telling me that it was unable to write to the disk, and then the disk vanished from the computer. Curious.

I then attempted to install Windows XP on the same disk, just to test if the problem was with the disk. Again, the process stopped halfway through, after which I the computer was unable to see the hard disk.

My thought at that point was that the 2.5 inch hard disk was faulty, but just as one last test of it, I installed it in my laptop and attempted to install XP on it while it was on the laptop. This worked fine, so presumably there is nothing wrong with the hard disk, and something wrong with the connection. I tried swapping my devices around between the two IDE ports on my motherboard, but no cigar. The 2.5 inch disk still wouldn't work. I can only conclude that the IDE cable I bought the other day is faulty. (I should have got one of those adaptors instead of a cable, even if the first shop didn't have one). A brief attempt to find the receipt for the cable so that I can either get another one or get my £5 back failed.

Okay, time to attempt to install linux on the main hard drive instead of the little one. For some unexplainable reason, I at this point decided to stop trying to install Debian and attempt to install SUSE instead. After an assortment of messing around with FTP sites and addresses, and eventually figuring out that ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/9.1 and ftp://ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/i386/current do not in fact point to the same place, even though the documentation suggests that they do, the Linux installation is now going well, and I suspect I will have a running Linux box within a couple of hours. (Touch wood).

On the other hand, the piece of advice given on the Debian download site, which was "Use CD-RW and not CD-R" has turned out to be excellent advice, because I burned half a dozen different CD images before ending up with what I wanted, and using up six CD-Rs would indeed have been wasteful.

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