finally… sort of… 8/

moe and i went camping last week. two days before we were supposed to leave, i tried to log into my (new) blog, only to discover that it had been shut down. apparently the blog software increases the server load enough that my host service thought i had been hacked, so they shut down the whole domain until i called and straightened them out. they removed the block on the main site almost immediately, but they kept the block on my blog until they could figure out what was going on. i said that would be fine, because i was going on vacation for a week, which would give them plenty of time to straighten things out.

also, i figured that, as long as there was a possibility that my personal computer(s) had been coopted as well, i would use the opportunity to upgrade my operating system from a 5-year-old distribution to a more current one, so i made a backup, and went camping for a week, intending to do the upgrade when i returned.

when i returned, the first thing i did was upgrade my OS. i figured (for a variety of reasons) to upgrade to dapper drake (kubuntu 6.06), which i got up and running fairly quickly, although there were some things that i thought strange. i should have known that if something appears wrong, it probably is, but i blissfully ignored it, thinking that it was just something that was named differently between the mandrake OS i was used to and the debian OS to which i had upgraded.

specifically, the “problem” (i don’t know what else to call it at this point) was (is) that, for some reason, the installation of dapper that i got running with no problem, didn’t have some packages that it was supposed to have, including gimp, firefox, ark, and a bunch of other, more arcane stuff. no problem, i figured, i’ll just install the packages separately: no dice… both firefox and gimp “BREAK” when i request their installation, but there is no obvious indication of what “BREAK”s, or how to fix it… ark is installed, but it doesn’t work, so i remove the package and try to reinstall it, but it ignores my requests to install. all during this time, i am blissfully supposing that my installation will work out in the end, and doing things like reinstalling my mail, schedule, address book and so forth.

finally it comes to a head and i decide that reinstallation is the best option, so i reinatall again and get exactly the same thing!!!! 8/

so i tried the old, 5-year-old installation disks, thinking that it was running before, so it should run now. i went through a somewhat more difficult install that ended the way i thought it should, and rebooted…

it started to boot the way i thought it should, but then, when it came time to start initialising the graphics, THE COMPUTER FROZE!!!!!!!!!! >8/

i went through the first part of the install of dapper on my windows laptop (without actually installing it), and determined that it does, indeed, have firefox preinstalled, as well as a bunch of other stuff that wasn’t showing up on my other box. i also went through the other disks on my laptop, which appeared to work okay. so i figured maybe it’s because of the fact that i have a “no-name” generic plug-n-pray monitor. so i just happen to have a sony 17″ monitor lying around (thanks to my mother in law, who said it was a “flat screen” even though it isn’t), so i pull my no-name monitor out and install the sony monitor and try again…

Disk error 10. AX = 4280, drive 9F.
Boot failed: press a key to retry

this is from my dapper “live” CD… 8/

i’ve spent all day, two days in a row geeking around with various computers and computer parts, and the only thing i have accomplished is to replace my monitor with this big, ugly silver monstrosity, which, while it does work better, it’s only on my windows and mac machines. i’ve now got a box that used to have a mostly functional installation of mandrake 9.2 on it that is now blank. i stayed up until 2:30 am yesterday, it’s 10:20 pm now, i’m so tired i can’t see straight, but i can’t go to bed without trying something… anything to get my linux box up and running again.

on top of that, i downloaded an .iso of feisty fawn (kubuntu 7.04) to see if that would work, but… on my windows box, the .iso is bigger than the blank CD will accept by a few k, which means that i can’t burn it, on my Os9 mac it fits and it’s all there, but it won’t boot, and when i tried it using the live CD of dapper (before it died), it said that it was going on okay, but when it was finished, the first time it froze before it completed the burning process, and the second time it said it was successful, but when i looked at the disk, it was blank… }8/

however, i also processed three rolls of film from our vacation, and they finally got whatever was wrong with my blog sorted out, so if nothing else, i can bitch about malfunctioning computers…

8 thoughts on “finally… sort of… 8/”

  1. it might be the CD, but i’ve just replaced that recently, as well… in fact i may still have the old drive (which i replaced because it wasn’t mounting because i had too many devices plugged into the ribbon cable, so it may actually be good and i just never realised it) around here somewhere.

    and the problem with software not being installed is not that i’m not using adept to install it, it’s that it won’t install using adept, ark, or anything else: when i request installation with adept, it says that firefox “BREAK”s something, but it doesn’t give me any idea what it “BREAK”s or how to fix it… and when i try to untar the tarball and install it manually, there’s no ark, and when i request installation of ark, it ignores me… 8/

    The Battle Of The Computer goes on…

  2. Well, I was thinking that it might be the CD drive that’s failing intermittenly, but it could be a hard drive problem, too. Regarding the installation of certain software, the DVD has a significantly larger amount of packages available for install, and as far as I know, only the “essential” packages to get a system up and running are installed through the installer. Then you need to use Synaptic/Adept to install those other packages, like Firefox and Gimp, and to get the system up and running and actually useful.

    I’ll give you a call and we’ll see if we can’t find some time and place to meet and get you a good copy of the image. Assuming that I still have my copy, which I should. I really should.

  3. i have three computers: a linux box, which is dead at the moment, a windows laptop, which is taking up the slack until there’s a linux box again, and an Os9 mac, which i use for artwork and isn’t connected to internet.

    i’ve tried the disk in the windows box, but i don’t want to start on the install, because i don’t want to accidentally install linux on my laptop for a variety of reasons. when i put the disk in to the windows box, it mounts like it’s supposed to, and the autorun appears to work, but that’s as far as i’ve gotten.

    on the linux box, it alternately installs but without firefox, scribus, the gimp, ark and other essential software, or the install freezes. the hard drive on the linux box might be failing intermittently, but i want to save replacing the drive for the last resort, because it was working fine before i went on vacation, i just replaced the hard disk not too long ago, it’s an extra cost that i can afford, but i don’t wanna (i’m recalcitrant when it comes to buying new hardware for a box that was built out of bits and pieces anyway), and i want to eliminate all other possibilities beforehand.

    the idea of you providing me with a disk of feisty, either the original or a copy, is a good one. you can call me at 253-661-3153 and we can work out a time to meet.

    thanks a lot… you have no idea how much of a hassle it’s been trying to run Hybrid Elephant with an (figurative) arm cut off… 8/

  4. You’ve got me there regarding the Windows laptop, and with why your install freezes. The data on the CD should work every time without error or oddity. Have you tested the CD in other environments to see if it will read and boot, like the Windoze box? If it works there, maybe the drive you’re using is failing intermittently. And something like that in the middle of an install could cause some problems and lockups.

    I should have a working copy of the Feisty i386 disc burnt to a CD, so perhaps at some point we could meet with the offending machine and see whether or not my CD works in it. Or that I could manufacture one and mail it to you, or something like that.

  5. my hardware won’t support overburn – i got the CD writers from Re-PC, and they’re old.

    and the thing is, firefox and the gimp were running on a daily basis with my old distro, so why wouldn’t they be there with a newer distro? i’m guessing that it could be an issue with the newer software to detect hardware in the canonical disk, but that shouldn’t mean that the install freezes… which is exactly what’s been happening… and, for that matter, i was under the impression that, apart from physical damage to the disk, the data that is burned on a CD was the same every time… there shouldn’t be a CD that works, then doesn’t, then works again… weird!

    good suggestion, but the drive on the linux tower is too big to fit into my windows laptop…

  6. Yeah, which is why I’m scratching my head at the instability of the install disc. If it won’t fit by a few K, perhaps some form of overburn could be enabled to squeeze those last bits onto the disc. I know that it’s not enabled by default, so that could be it. The .iso image, when processed by the burning program, should create you a disc of appropriate size.

    I’ve got an AMD64 processor, but the AMD64 install disc for Kubuntu Dapper had problems with freezing up on me in the boot sequence, so that’s possible, but the i386 disc worked just fine. And I think the Feisty i386 CD/DVD that I had also worked just fine for installing. I don’t know why it’s giving you fits, honestly. Might be one of those really weird config problems.

    If all else fails, maybe remove the drive from the offending box, use it as a spare in the Windows box, and then if the Canonical disc goes back into “works” mode, install to the drive that way.

  7. the kubuntu disk that i got from canonical alternately works and then doesn’t work (currently it’s in one of its “doesn’t work” cycles), and it’s i386. all of the other disks i have to play around with are either copies of that disk, or downloaded in one form or another. i don’t know how you’re supposed to burn an iso that is so big it won’t fit on the disk, and i’ve checked with many people who say that it’s not possible… but i am running an AMD processor (i really believe that intel is “evil inside”), so maybe that’s it…

    i would install the text-based install, except that i can’t even get that far… the disk has died, or something like that. i’ve got more disks on order from cheapbytes, but they won’t be here for a week or so…

    but when it works, kubuntu is one of the most stable distros i’ve seen anywhere… 8)

  8. There have been regular problems with the disc images for Ubuntu, for reasons that I cannot fully comprehend. About the only one that seems to work with regularity is the i386 image, either on CD or DVD. Hopefully, that one will work for you, and if not, the Gutsy Gibbon release is scheduled for release in about a month’s time. It’s surprising that you’re having that many problems installing and running. I ran into an AMD-specific bug with a particular kernel version, and there were the problems with the install discs freezing up…

    …if all else fails, try the textual install rather than the graphical one. Those ones usually work for me.

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