It took almost 4 days but I have finally managed to solve my home computer problem and in doing so, I have gone 100% Linux at home. It felt like I just came out from an operation – performing major surgery on a dying patient.
When my home computer crashed last week and I was “punished” with a non-working CD-ROM, disabled internet connection and missing sound device. I know that it is going to take a while working on the computer to bring it back to life.
After giving up on installing Linux (Ubuntu 6.06), I tried to recover by reinstalling Windows XP but since my CD-ROM did not work, I contemplated of buying a new CD-ROM to get the job done.
Last weekend, I suppose to buy the new CD-ROM but due to heavy rain and some work at home, I decided to postpone my visit to the computer shop and instead, tried to tweak the existing hardware. I unscrewed the CD-ROM and rechecked the wires at the back. All looked well.
Then out of suspicion, I change some of the connectors from the CD-ROM to the motherboard and tested. The CD-ROM kicked back into action and was able to detect the CD. I realised now it was due to a faulty connector that has been bugging me for the last week. With a new sense of hope, I tried to reinstall Ubuntu Linux but it showed Kernel Panic message and exited.
So, I gave up and resorted to doing a clean reinstallation of Windows XP. After all, I have done such setup many times now and it has almost come routine. The setup got up fine but halfway into the installation, it displayed an error message. Few setup files were found corrupted and as such setup was not completed.
It seems like things were getting from bad to worse. It was time for more research on the net and double-check with some of my techie friends or to get a new setup CD.
It seems like many people were also having some problem with Ubuntu 6.06 (although not similar to mine). So I tried to look for other Linux distribution and found one that could work with my old specification home computer – PCLinuxOS (they claim it works on a Pentium 2 without any problems).
Just when I was burning the setup files into a CD, I realised that Ubuntu has released a newer version – Ubuntu 6.10. Hoping that the version 6.10 had solved 6.06 bugs, I burned (at the lowest speed) both distributions to be checked at home (now that I managed to solve the CD-ROM problem).
I ran PCLinuxOS first and loading of the LiveCD went well. The Linux loads up (although was extremely slow) and allowed me to use the applications. The problem started when I tried to install Linux into my hard disc. The setup starts and then freezes halfway.
At first, I thought the setup files were screwed, so I tried Ubuntu 6.10 but the same problem occurred. I could get the LiveCD to run and use the applications but I was unable to install it into my hard disc. Feeling a bit tired, I took a short break before looking into this problem.
After a can of beer, I sat down again to ponder why the installation failed.
Then I recall reading somewhere in the Ubuntu forum that some video cards (especially those old ones) may interfere with the installation. I had an old ATI Radeon 7000 video card installed in my PC and I suspected that this could be the culprit.
So, I changed the BIOS setting on the video and changed the connection from the monitor to my onboard VGA port. I crossed my fingers and restarted the Ubuntu installation and it worked. I formatted the whole hard disc (did not have anything important in it and have backed up others), partitioned it and made a clean installation of Ubuntu 6.10 Linux.
The whole setup only took me about 30 minutes and I got the Linux running from the hard disc without any problem. The CD-ROM was working and so did the sound card. The modem can be detected but I need to get the command to get the Linux to connect to the internet.
Hope to do that by the end of this week. I finished at about 11.45 pm last night, feeling great that I have managed to solve one part of the problem with the computer.
I need to learn up more on Linux commands but as at now, my computer has gone 100% Ubuntu Linux.