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  #1  
Old 17th September 2007, 06:55 PM
Thetargos Online
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Another Vista horror story (and Fedora Crash story)

Yesterday my girlfriend went off and bought a new laptop. An Acer Aspire 5050-4697, we planned to install Fedora or any other Linux on the system from the beginning, but she wanted to (just in case) create the restoration images so if she sold the computer she could leave it at a default state.

And the horror story begins... First off, Vista "booted" into a configuration screen to gather information such as user account name, language, location, timezone (pretty much like our very own first boot in Fedora) and the dreaded licenses... I was surprised to see that the machine had two licenses instead of only one, one for the hardware itself, and one for the OS, you could accept one or both, but couldn't reject any... Not much point into having two licenses to agree with, if it isn't obvious what you must do. Anyway, she accepted both, as she had to get into Vista to be able to start the recovery image creation within Windows (it would have been nice if such process could be done in the configuration state and you wouldn't have to actually "boot" Vista). The machine took about 30 minutes to "install Vista" onto the Data drive (the hard disk is partitioned in three partitions, the first one a hidden (presumably FAT32) partition, and two other partitions (C: and D for system and user data), after which the "familiar" login screen is presented. When she tried to log in, Vista took quite a LONG time to start the freaking desktop, in total it took about 7-8 minutes to have the desktop in a usable state! (and this is a more than capable machine! Albeit, the HDD may not be all that fast)

Our real problems started when creating the restore image, it was a process that took roughly 2 hours to complete. Once it was done, there was the real problem: Fedora wouldn't install, we were getting kernel panics as soon as the kernel was initializing (no matter which options I placed in the kernel command line) and the x86_64 version (again no matter what options were passed) complained that ACPI was not able to detect a CPU! We struggled for some time last night until we gave up, I tried to dig into the BIOS to see if an option there could be the cause of it, but I couldn't find any source of problems there. I've read about some special options you have to pass to the kernel so that the OS identifies itself tot he BIOS in some computers here on the Forums (most prominently HP, but I'm not sure if this is a current trend for all modern laptops shipped with Vista), we are going to try our luck with F8T2 Live and *sudders* Ubuntu.

Rant disclaimer: The following paragraph is only that, don't take it too personally is just a perception of the state of matters.

More than asking for help, I just wanted to share with you this experience, as it seems to be harder and harder to get non-M$ friendly hardware, particularly in Latin America. Europe and the US and Asia all have the option that some retailers will even ship OEM machines with Linux preloaded (Dell, HP, Lenovo, even freaking Acer!), but not LatAm, we're pretty much screwed paying the MS Tax and at premium so big OEMs could justify to venture into other markets (sorry for the rant)
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  #2  
Old 17th September 2007, 09:25 PM
Finalzone Offline
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Looks like the installation of Windows Vista is designed to prevent users to replace it with alternative. A perfect exemple of lock. No wonder there are customers who brought hardware with Microsoft Vista pre-installed replacing with Windows XP.
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  #3  
Old 17th September 2007, 09:40 PM
M4rc0 Offline
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Haha man i'm very sorry to hear that

I can feel your pain.

I had a similar problem, but with my Desktop PC here.

I have 2 hard disks, one for linux and one for windows (C and D just like yours)
I realized i have to increase C for more because it bothers quite a lot (10gb is not enough?), and my C partition was full. For example, if i would download something and save in D, it wouldn't download saying 'disk full', i guess it still puts something there in some temp folder in C (system partition) even if i choose to save in D (files partition)
So yes, i had to resize it.

On my other hard disk i installed FC7 x86_64, had some problems with my boot at first, but everything went smooth later thanks to this forum.
So i opened gparted and decided to shrink D a bit and increase C (2gb), gparted official website and documentation says it works fine and there's no data loss. I did it, and guess what, vista won't boot anymore.
I'm trying many different things and still am, and i just can't load vista. Altho, i can access my hard disk through linux, so seeing all my files here makes me feel more confortable.

Why this happened? because VISTA specifically sees the partitions in a different way.
(including my boot problems when i first installed FC7)

=/

I wish you good luck man

OFF: Finalzone, do you use webcam on your FC7 x86_64 ?
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  #4  
Old 17th September 2007, 09:55 PM
Finalzone Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M4rc0
OFF: Finalzone, do you use webcam on your FC7 x86_64 ?
Yes, a Logitech Quick Cam Messenger.
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  #5  
Old 17th September 2007, 10:03 PM
Thetargos Online
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Maybe I forgot to state that the kernel panics were happening as soon as the kernel initialized from the installation DVD!! And the problem with the 64-bit version was also with the DVD, we were unable to freaking install, which made me very angry. FC6 install DVD would "boot" and hang (probably FC6 could install in text mode, will test tomorrow).
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  #6  
Old 17th September 2007, 10:07 PM
M4rc0 Offline
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what you mean by 'hang' ?
does it actually installs or don't even start?

also check the media dvd, the first question before instalation
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  #7  
Old 17th September 2007, 10:57 PM
Thetargos Online
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M4rc0
what you mean by 'hang' ?
does it actually installs or don't even start?

also check the media dvd, the first question before instalation
Thanks for taking the time to replaying and making any suggestions. The images I'm trying to install with are tested images which have been previously used to install other systems. The problem is always the same. In the case of FC6, the hang occurs when loading Anaconda, but I'd understand as the computer has a newer ATI (R500 based) card which doesn't have support by the radeon driver, and Anaconda won't use vesa or vga for it, anyway. So most likely I'll be able to install FC6 in text mode (or so I hope), and then maybe once with a basic FC6 installation upgrade the distro to F7 with yum (I know, not a very good or wise idea, but at this point, if I want to keep Fedora, that seems the only way to go, will try with other distros too, though).
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  #8  
Old 18th September 2007, 12:03 AM
ryptyde Online
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I have installed FC6 and F7 to a Sony and an Acer laptop that came preloaded with Vista. The first thing after starting Vista was to create "recovery/install" discs and verify that they boot. I know it was/is a pain to go through the hassle of starting Vista but it is a necessary process.

Once you get to a working Vista desktop you can just use the "disk management" tool from within Vista. The Acer has a "hidden" recovery partition and a C: Windows drive and a D: data drive. Use the disk management tool to shrink the data drive to allow for the install of Fedora or delete the partition altogether and you will be left with "unallocated" freespace to install Fedora to.

The Sony had a "recovery" partition and the rest of the drive was one continuous NTFS. I shrunk the NTFS partition and left 20GB as "unallocated" freespace and installed FC6 to it and when F7 became available installed that over FC6.

My advice would be to have left Vista on the computer and install Fedora and don't use Vista unless you want too. I had a pretty painless install on both laptops and used Vista to my advantage as it made installing Fedora a breeze for me.
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  #9  
Old 18th September 2007, 12:34 AM
Thetargos Online
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The plan is to nuke Vista off the system, as well as the hidden partition, which is why we created the rescue images Reclaim the hidden partition and use the whole system as a Linux-only laptop. If only F7 installation DVD wouldn't kernel panic as soon as it unpacked the kernel we'd be somewhere (BTW I'd rather use F7 i386 on this Turion 64 laptop, simply due to tickless kernel and the massive battery life improvements that has).

At any rate, we'll see if other distros have trouble booting the system. I've got a good collection of distros to try out, so that shouldn't be a problem.
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  #10  
Old 18th September 2007, 02:16 AM
StephenH Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thetargos
Maybe I forgot to state that the kernel panics were happening as soon as the kernel initialized from the installation DVD!! And the problem with the 64-bit version was also with the DVD, we were unable to freaking install, which made me very angry. FC6 install DVD would "boot" and hang (probably FC6 could install in text mode, will test tomorrow).
Did you try the "noapic" parameter at boot time? With an AMD dual-core 64 bit processor, that is what I had to add to get it to boot. I also had to add "noirqdebug" to get the sound to work correctly, but that is a different story.

If noapic works, then you can add it in to your /boot/grub/grub.conf file on the kernel line with the other (rhgb quiet) parameters.

Stephen
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  #11  
Old 18th September 2007, 02:48 AM
Thetargos Online
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No need to add it to the grub.conf file, as soon as I'm able to boot, I can put the extra boot parameters straight in Anaconda

And yes, I have tried noapic, nolapic and noirqpoll noirqdebug and what not... This is driving me nuts! I've even tried [ESC] + F1 from the grub splash of the install DVD and then linux acpi=off and the other options to no avail.
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  #12  
Old 18th September 2007, 08:25 AM
Thetargos Online
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I'm not sure why this time it worked, but we were able to get past the kernel panic with F 7 i386 by using not only the acpi=off kernel argument, but also by using a VGA frame buffer for the installation and the laptop's native resolution for the X installer, weird... The line looked something like:
Code:
linux vga=791 resolution=1280x800 acpi=off
Intriguing.
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  #13  
Old 18th September 2007, 05:06 PM
disjointed Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finalzone
Looks like the installation of Windows Vista is designed to prevent users to replace it with alternative. A perfect exemple of lock. No wonder there are customers who brought hardware with Microsoft Vista pre-installed replacing with Windows XP.
I brought Acer Aspire 5102 with Vista "preinstalled" (just like the starter of this thread wrote) but I hadn't any problems with installing Fedora on it.
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  #14  
Old 18th September 2007, 06:02 PM
Thetargos Online
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disjointed
I brought Acer Aspire 5102 with Vista "preinstalled" (just like the starter of this thread wrote) but I hadn't any problems with installing Fedora on it.
Lucky you

Apparently it has something to do with the BIOS or some such, at any rate, we did it! We installed F7 onto it!
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  #15  
Old 18th September 2007, 06:19 PM
disjointed Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thetargos
Lucky you

Apparently it has something to do with the BIOS or some such, at any rate, we did it! We installed F7 onto it!
Great
And what hardware exactly you have on your laptop? Interesting what was the origin of the problem.
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