PLEASE help me load Linux onto a Dell laptop

Hello guys; if you remember, my old Peppermint 3 laptop went to grub error and my colleague was overhauling it ( new HD, RAM etc). Well, I got it back today, and he’d got it working ok he said, and put Debian on it as he said it wouldn’t accept Peppermint ( 6 I think) nor the latest Ubuntu. He said it was due its processor (AMD).

Well I’ve just switched it on and it said:

LILO 24.1 and a ton of dots appeared across the screen with all sorts of code, and then at the end:

bin/sh: can’t access tty;job control turned off (init tramfs).

I have NO clue whatsoever what all that means. It didn’t go to the Debian log on.

What’s wrong with it?

He’s in my voluntary place tomorrow so I’ll take it in again, but just was wondering what you guys think about this old machine.

If my Chromebook had the drivers for a scanner and a disc drive it’d be perfect. For scanning I have to use my Mint netbook and CDS well, the old CD player. DVDS sit gathering dust in their box.

I would like to format my portable hard drives so I can use them on my Chromebook ( got tons of music on there) - I could load the files onto my netbook so I can format the HD, and then re load the files back on but I don’t know if there’s enough space on it as it’s SSD is small- can anyone advise me with that too please? (Well actually I have 2 portable HDS, one is my general one with music, and the other one is my collection of a Tv series episodes I love).

he said it wouldn't accept Peppermint ( 6 I think) nor the latest Ubuntu. He said it was due its processor (AMD).
We presently offer two different images: one for 32 bit systems (i386), and one for 64 bit systems (amd64).

It would be nice to know what the CPU actually is.

Have you got the netbook make and model (usually found on a sticker underneath).

It may be that the CPU can’t handle PAE (Debian do a non-PAE version)

It’s that old HD laptop that used to have Peppermint 3 on it. It was once a Microsoft XP one. Anyway, it’s still with my colleague- not been in to the place for a fortnight, will see if he got it working when I go in next week Mark. He said it was booting up when he finished loading the stuff on it.

I got it back now Mark, so I will look to see what the CPU is later- if you could give me a heads up on how to get it booted that’d be awesome thanks. The colleague has done all he can with it. Maybe it has just had its day- if so I will get the new HD and RAM taken out- they can be used for the Mint netbook!

I can’t see anything on the back which tells me what CPU the laptop has but I found a web page for it Mark which might tell you:

If I understand it correctly is the CPU Sempron?

You could try to get the cpu info:

sudo dmidecode -t processor

then look for PAE under the Flags or just test it for PAE:

sudo dmidecode -t processor | grep PAE

If that returns PAE (Physical address extension) then you know that it is good to go with PAE kernels.

The thing doesn’t boot up SeZo so I can’t access the terminal.

Have you tried booting a LiveUSB ?

No, not sure how to do that. My colleague put the RAM in and a new HD and he said it booted and was working but I can’t get it to do anything except that weird black screen with all jumbly stuff I cannot understand. I’d need someone here with me to show me what to do.

I’m probably best taking it to a computer shop with my Mum’s Dell laptop and asking him to see if he can see what’s wrong with the Dell and the HD laptop- and also take the netbook as he could take the HD and RAM out of the old HD laptop and put it into the netbook and that would then be a fab netbook. I found a computer shop that knows how to load Linux distros. I’d need to save up a bit first tho ( being “jobless” makes these things harder to pay for).

I haven’t the skills to do all this myself.

What I want really is to get the Dell my Mum gave me working and get the netbook updated with the RAM and replace that tiny SSD with the HD that’s in the old HP laptop and give the netbook to my Mum, so she has a spare computer ( she’d also have a Linux compuer then ha ha).

I LOVE my Chromebook, but my scanner doesn’t work on it, so I need a laptop that it will work on. It of course works on the netbook, but the screen is too small for my eyes. And an external CD drive doesn’t work on a Chromebook either and I want to play my CDS.

Well step 1 is creating a LiveUSB stick with your distro of choice on it…

Have you got access to a working PC (not chromebook) ?

If so, which OS is it running ? … Windows or Linux ?

Yes Mark I’ve got the netbook with Mint on it.

Which version of Mint was it again ?

if unsure, open a terminal and post the output from:

cat /etc/lsb-release


uname -a

Thanks Mark, will do that tomorrow afternoon.

karij@karij-Inspiron-1011 ~ $ cat /etc/lsb-release
karij@karij-Inspiron-1011 ~ $ uname -a
Linux karij-Inspiron-1011 3.2.0-23-generic #36-Ubuntu SMP Tue Apr 10 20:41:14 UTC 2012 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
karij@karij-Inspiron-1011 ~ $

I do not understand why this chap installed this operating system. I am running mint 17.3 mate 64bit on a similar laptop with no problems.

You should be able to download a newer version of mint say mint 17 I suggest version 17 with support until 2019 (lightest LTS version)

Once you have downloaded the new operating system there should be a program in Applications to create a live USB. This can be used to boot the troublesome laptop and if required install mint.

The link you gave doesn’t really tie down which CPU you have or whether it supports PAE

I think the best bet is to create a Peppermint 6 or 7 LiveUSB/LiveDVD and see if it’ll boot from it

Do you have another PC (not chromebook) on which we can create a LiveUSB stick … and is this PC Linux or Windows ?

Sorry Mark, I’m just recovering from flu, yes got netbook (Mint).

The netbook is ok, just runs a bit slow now. It needs more RAM and a new HD as its SSD is very small.

I don’t know what PAE is. Its a Dell inspirion laptop. if you tell me how to find out what its CPU is I will look online.