miercuri, iulie 30, 2008

Mandriva Linux 2008.1 on Dell Optiplex 320

I needed to set up a small web server today at school and since the actual server had been sent for repairs, I got stuck with a Dell Optiplex 320 desktop station. Since I am a Linux user, I went on to install my favourite distribution - Mandriva Linux - in order to get things running, only to have an unpleasant surprise: it wouldn't install. After a bit of research on our friend Google, I managed to bypass the issues and have a running server.

For my solution I was guided by:
There were a few others as well, but these two were the biggest help.

First of all the problems as identified by my sources and to some extent confirmed by me:
1. The SATA controller in the Dell Optiplex 320 is another Dell invention that makes you want to rip their heads off. It just doesn't get recognized.
2. For some strange reason the GRUB bootloader doesn't work after you finish install.

Solution for Mandriva 2008.1

1. At boot, when you select option install ask for other options (press the F3 key before the installation process starts) and just write as follows (add to the line of options already present): pci=nomsi acpi=off
- even if the fore mentioned solutions say pci=nomsi should be enough, it didn't work for me.
- after this, the installation process should run normally

2. Before the installation is finished, you are presented with a post-install summary and configuration window. You can use that window to configure most of the useful stuff like network settings, regional settings and so on, but what's really important is to configure the bootloader - just change it from GRUB to LILO (I know, Lilo uses text mode - get used to it) and it should work.

P.S. Even though most of the articles on this topic also mention a problem with the ATI video driver, it was not the case for me, so I suppose Mandriva 2008.1 has that solved. If it still doesn't work for you (Linux starts but when it loads X the screen goes blank) - please check the articles mentioned above, they might help you.

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