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Can't install Ubuntu 8.10 on older Sony Laptop

Posted on 2008-11-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I have WinXP on a Sony PCG-R505ECP laptop with a 1.13 Ghz CPU, 512 Mb RAM, 20 Gb HDD with 2 partitions - C: has WinXP and D: is just some files that can be blown away for the Ubuntu partition.
When I boot off the CD and try to install, it comes to the BusyBox error.  I tried adding "all_generic_ide" to the install options and same result.
I don't have any undefined partition space on my HDD. I was planning to repartition during the Ubuntu install. I'm not sure if this is related to the install problems.
Any ideas? I'm an Ubuntu/Linux newbie.
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Question by:home_skillet
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 22883663
Burn another CD. This often happens when the CD is corrupt. Also try using another CD Drive.
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Author Comment

by:home_skillet
ID: 22885474
This is my 2nd CD.  I confirmed the first was no good since I got some errors when inserting it while in Windows.
To be safe, I re-downloaded the ISO from another source and burned it again; it auto-starts fine in Windows.
I guess I can try a 3rd time...
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Author Comment

by:home_skillet
ID: 22891641
Created another CD at slower speed.  After bootup and install seemed to start (same as before), the screen goes completely blank instead of showing the error I mentioned before.  Only option is to restart the laptop.

I tried again using F6 and added "all_generic_ide" again.  It starts to load again with Ubuntu logo and scrolling bar thingy for about 3 minutes with a bunch of HDD activity but no CDROM activity (same as before).  THen, back to busybox screen, where I basically have to exit.

Any other ideas?
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Author Comment

by:home_skillet
ID: 22891662
While in the cmd prompt, I tried entering "return".  It says:

cp: cannot create '/root/var/log/': no such file or diirectory
mount: xxxxxxxxxxx: no such file or diirectory
mount: xxxxxxxxxxx: no such file or diirectory
mount: xxxxxxxxxxx: no such file or diirectory
target filesystem doesnt have /sbin/init
no init found. try passing init=bootarg.


Then, i tried "init=bootarg"  followed by "return" and get

/init: line 231 cannot open /root/dev/console: no such file
[271.042087] kernel panic - no syncing: attempted to kill init!

THen, i have to reboot.
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Expert Comment

by:DJDecay
ID: 22892425
You need to install in Text Mode without the Text frame buffer, by default the Desktop 8.10 CD does not have it. Try a Server CD instead just for kicks.

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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 22893606
Test your RAM (memtest8+) and the HD using the HD manufacturer's diagnostic utility. You'll find those tools on the UBCD. Did you try another CD drive (a cheap USB drive)?

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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Author Comment

by:home_skillet
ID: 22896227
DJDecay,
I'll try the options. Maybe the laptop's just too old (> 7 yrs)?

Rindi,
It runs fine with WinXP so I don't suspect mem or HD issues (it's just slow).
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Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 375 total points
ID: 22896317
If it is that old, I'd try an older version of Ubuntu. For older hardware I've usually been able to use Ver 7.10 or 6.06.
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:DJDecay
DJDecay earned 375 total points
ID: 22897021
I have two R505 shelved. Yours may also suffer from lowmem issues @ 128. Try textmode install first. I think the textmode-framebuffer is mucking up other devices.

Sony was not exactly welcoming in taking standard components and remapping their PCI identifiers and writing custom drivers. So Linux on a VAIO is its own thing. (google it)



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Author Comment

by:home_skillet
ID: 22901500
v 7.10 and 8.04 start but both go into a blank screen. Downloading the alternate version of 8.04 and 8.10, then giving up.
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Author Comment

by:home_skillet
ID: 22901735
The 8.04 alternate CD seems to be working!  Re-partitioning done. Install in progress after numerous questions.
(BTW, all the other CDs loaded up fine on another laptop.)
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Author Closing Comment

by:home_skillet
ID: 31513416
168 updates after completing the 8.04 alternative install and I'm up and running.  Thanks!

Anyway to disable pw after turning off after being in suspend mode?
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