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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been attempting to install Linux for the last few days now and have had no luck. As a 2nd year Computer Science student at university, I don't normally have problems like this but I've never had anything to do with Linux before and its all completely new to me! At first I was trying to install openSuse 10.2 but despite downloading 2 DVD ISO images from different sources, I couldn't get either to work. They would always tell me something about an installation file not being correct, and would say that the MD5Sum did not match or something. But I don't really want to wait to download another 3.6Gb file for the same thing to happen again!

If it helps, here are my specs:
Pentium 4 3.06 GHz processor
1 GB DDR RAM
160 GB Hard drive (with an 8Gb logical partition using the 'ext3' file system for linux - windows XP SP2 is installed on the other main partition)
80 GB Hard drive containing music/videos etc....
Let me know if you need any more specs.

Because I couldn't get openSuse to work, now I'm attempting to install Ubuntu 6.10 as it seems to be the favourite choice for many users of this forum. I downloaded "ubuntu-6.10-desktop-i386.iso" as I thought it would be the correct version given my specs, but I can't get this to work either! It simply doesn't even boot! I have selected to boot from my DVD drive before the hard drive, and I had no problems booting the openSuse DVD so it shouldn't be a problem with my settings. With the Ubuntu CD in the drive nothing boots up at all, not even Windows. All that happens is that I see the following line, and then it stays there:

ISOLINUX 3.11 Debian-2006-03-16 Copyright (C) 1994-2005 H. Peter Anvin

I do not have a floppy disk drive on my PC by the way, so that is not an option. What else can I try to install either one of these distributions? I don't really mind which one.

Thanks, and sorry for the long post!
 

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Hmm, strange. What burning software are you using? I've had what you're describing with the Ubuntu CD happen to me...and I was using inferior media and a outdated CD-rom drive. That was the problem for me.
You could try using a different burning software, such as ImgBurn (free) I've had good results with that, less errors than with Nero. Also you could try burning at a slower speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply! I burned the image using Nero 6, but I doubt that this is the error. Now that you've mentioned it, I think the problem is probably my actual DVD drive (not the drive that I burn CDs or DVDs with) that is the 'primary' IDE CD ROM drive. This drive has been a bit dodgy lately when playing DVDs on it, so I'll try changing this for a different drive and see if the problem disappears. Thanks again, doubt I would have thought of this otherwise.....at least not for a while anyway.
 

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I'm guessing you're right. Definitely try another one, see if it helps.
Glad to be of assistance:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well this has been a particularly bad 24 hours. I managed to switch over my DVD drives so that my good one is now the primary one that gets booted to. The Live CD 'desktop' version of Ubuntu did the same thing as before, it simply wouldnt load the setup after displaying the message. So I downloaded the 'alternative' Ubuntu CD image, and this was actually able to enter setup. This was only the start of my problem.....

The setup failed during the "Install the base system" stage so I was not able to continue with the installation. The error messages I received during this stage are as follows:

Password file 'passwd_4.0.16-2ubuntu4_i386.deb' was corrupt. Couldn't download package password.

then

Warning: Failure while configuring base packages. This will be attempted 5 times.

then

Unable to install initramfs-tools.....then says something about checking /var/log/syslog or virtual console 4 for details

and finally

Installation step failed: Install the base system

I now had no choice but to abort setup, and my PC was now in a complete mess. The windows bootup, that I assumed would be completely unaffected as its in a different partition, no longer worked and I so I couldn't boot to any operating system at all! Luckily I had made backups of everything important, so I formatted my hard drive and reinstalled Windows XP from scratch.

Giving up on the CDs I've tried so far, I went out and bought a "Computer Shopper" magazine that offered a copy of Ubuntu 6.06 on its free CD. I was required to burn the image of this onto a CD (I used ImgBurn this time), and when I boot to this and select to "Start or Install", I get a message saying that there is an invalid kernel image!!

The magazine, and elsewhere I've read about Ubuntu and Suse, state that an absolute computer beginner should have no problems running Live CD mode or installing Linux.....so why am I having difficulties no matter what I try?? If someone could please shed any light onto what I may be doing wrong, or suggest an easier/different method of installing Linux I would be very grateful to hear it.
 

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Hmm, have you re-downloaded the Ubuntu .iso images? Maybe you had a corrupt download.
Re-download a Desktop copy, burn it with a good burner, using ImgBurn with Data Verification enabled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, its worth one more try. But the ISO image that came supplied with the magazine surely shouldn't have anything wrong with it though. I thought the problem may be that I'm using fairly rubbish blank CDs, but I used a DVD instead (as I dont have any different CDs) since I last posted and I get the same error:

Invalid or corrupt kernel image.

I will try downloading the desktop image for Ubuntu 6.10 again then, but I'm not holding my breath that I will work. Can you think of any reason why my computer could be causing these errors? Thanks.
 

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Hi, maybe the following will be of help. I found it via Google.
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Reasons for invalid kernel image errors.
1. You accidentially typed something incorrectly at the boot commandline. In that case the kernel loader would be trying to load an invalid image, in other words one that doesn't exist.

2. The kernel loader encountered an error loading the correct image. In ths case,

a. the CD could be burned poorly or there could be dirt or something on the bottom surface of the CD. This is unlikely because the kernel is read from the begginning (inside area) of the CD. That part of the CD burns with the best quality so a bad burn would be unusual at that point. Likewise that's the area least likely to get dirty or scratched. It's possible but not likely.

b. the CD reader could be out of alignment with the writer so badly that read errors would happen even on the inside of the CD. This would not happen if the CD was burned on the same drive that it is now being read from. And it is not likely if you have recently successfully written CDs on the same writer and read them on the same reader. In this case ou would have to make a jusdgment call about your hardware.

c. the RAM on your system could be slightly flaky in such a way that everything else still works, but the kernel loader encounters an error when reading part of the kernel into RAM. In this case, you could test your RAM if you have a way to do that, or you could just swap RAM sticks if you have more than one.

d. you could have a dma conflict on your motherboard that is causing read errors from the CD drive. In most cases this can be avoided by using a boot command with the 'ide=nodma' option,
for example: default ide=nodma

In general, a good first thing to try is to verify the checksum of the iso image, although that's not likely to be a problem usually it's an easy thing to check and burn another CD at a low speed to make sure it's burned as well as possible and try again.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
you could grab a copy of memtest86 or win memory tester and check your memory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thankyou for your ongoing help kbalona, I really appreciate it!

Surprise surprise, the new desktop version of Ubuntu 6.10 I downloaded didnt work either, even though I burned it off at 8x speed. I also tried the memtest86 utility that you suggested. I now think I need new memory! I left memtest running for a good few hours and then exited while it was on pass 6 as I'm not sure if it would have just kept doing passes indefinitely. Throughout these 6 passes over 1200 errors were logged, and all of them had the same problem from what I noticed!

I don't exactly remember what the column was labelled, but there was a difference of "00200000" between the 'good' and 'bad' patterns that were shown, and they all seemed to be in a similar location in memory (between roughly 001c0000 and 001f0000 or thereabouts). Do you think think this could be the cause of my problems? If so, is there a cheap temporary fix that I can try without having to replace both my memory sticks? If not, I think I will replace my PC as I was planning on doing this anyway fairly soon.
 

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How many memory sticks do you have installed, and how much MB per stick? What you can do is remove all but one, run memtest86, see if that stick has errors. Proceed to check each individual stick the same way. (At least if you're comfortable opening your case and removing/installing the RAM). If any of them don't have errors you can keep it in. Then try installing Linux and see what happens. Although you'd want to make sure that you have sufficient RAM to do so, at least 256MB.
You're right, memtest will just cycle through the tests until you exit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry it took so long to reply, but I've had various problems for the past couple of days!

I have finally managed to install OpenSuSe 6.10 though by removing 2 of my memory sticks (I have 4 x 256Mb sticks by the way), then burning the CD again and proceeding to install it. SuSe is now working perectly.....I think. The only problem is I'm not very good at using it, and have absolutely no idea how to install Poplog so I can use it to get on with some work that I need to do. I don't suppose you know if there is an easy method to install Poplog? You seem to know most other things!

Anyway, thanks a lot for your help. At least the problems I have stated in this thread are now resolved.
 
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