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need operating system for Asus EEE Pc Series netbook

Posted on 2014-02-06
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Last Modified: 2014-02-13
A customer brought an Asus EEE PC Series netbook (the only information in the BIOS is "701 ACPI BIOS Rev. 0401)

The previous operating system was "Grub" and, i if understand correctly, it is Linux based.  Can someone help me to locate this OS and help me install, as I am unfamiliar with this type of OS.  I tried to install Windows Xp but the capacity of the hard drive is only 3.8 gb which is just not enough for windows xp.
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Question by:beemmer
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by:Brian Pringle
Brian Pringle earned 100 total points
ID: 39839575
Grub is not an OS...  it is the Boot Loader for Linux distributions.  

Download and install Ubuntu.  You will need to get an external DVD drive to do the install or create a Live installer flash drive.

http://www.ubuntu.com/
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by:Brian Pringle
Brian Pringle earned 100 total points
ID: 39839577
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by:Brian Pringle
Brian Pringle earned 100 total points
ID: 39839582
Link to download the latest 32-bit distribution.

http://www.ubuntu.com/start-download?distro=desktop&bits=32&release=latest

I have that netbook and this is the version that I have installed.
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by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 50 total points
ID: 39839621
If that laptop is one of the first models, with the Atom CPU and 7" screen, I think you should consider a lightweight distribution, like Puppy: http://www.puppylinux.com/

HTH,
Dan
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by:rindi
rindi earned 175 total points
ID: 39839637
You can try ordering recovery media from Asus. If it isn't available, install another distro. But I wouldn't go for Ubuntu, it is probably too slow for that netbook (and I don't think the graphical card is good enough for Ubuntu's Unity desktop). Something that will probably run fine is Puppy or one of it's spinoffs.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=puppy

At also uses very little space on the "disk" (actually it's a solid state disk with the chips soldered to the mainboard) of your netbook, so you still have some free space to save data on.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 50 total points
ID: 39839786
FWIW you should be able to ID the exact model from the serial# on the barcode label.
Enter it at Asus support http://www.service.asus.com/#!downloads/c1wax

Almost certainly it was supplied with a purpose-built cut-down vewrsion of Linux called Aurora, later superseded by  Eeebuntu

Because it's open source it's free to download (Version 3 here) but as already described there are better lightweight versions of Linux out there now.
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by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 75 total points
ID: 39839810
grub = GRand Unified Bootloader, by the way.
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Author Comment

by:beemmer
ID: 39840848
WOW!! I learned a lot today!  I downloaded and copied the puppy onto a dvd disk and that worked great.  I attempted to install puppy onto the hard disk and I think it installed ok except that now it will not boot up.  Should I also install Grub, and if so how do I do this? Do I need to install GRub before I install puppy?

Also the other day I went to asus website but could not find this netbook's model and when I put in the serial number, it couldn't locate that either.  I got hold of tech support (chat line) and they could not help me out.  They said there is not a recovery disk for that netbook and they didn't even know how to help me with the error 17 that grub was giving.  So, you have done much more then Asus tech have done already.
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by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 75 total points
ID: 39841009
Do you know which version of grub you have available to install?

e.g. grub2, or legacy grub?

Error 17 means the partition table got confused for some reason...
You might have been able to fix that with fdisk /dev/sda
but you'd still need to know what version of grub you had, to reinstall it after using x f w (and it's probably too late to worry about fixing that error now).
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by:rindi
rindi earned 175 total points
ID: 39841259
Which installation method did you use with puppy (there are several)?
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by:frankhelk
frankhelk earned 50 total points
ID: 39841335
Just a comment on a detail of your question. Besides the fact that WinXP is not serviced anymore and therefore couldn't be recommended for any fresh install due to security and other concerns, 3.8 GB should be sufficient for a bare system - dependig on what you want to do with it.

Something like just surfing or other things w/o much need for disk space (just displaying life data of some measurement devic, etc.) would be completely OK. If you plan to stuff it up with Office, a database server or tons of videos that would be a obvious No-No.

On the other side some Linux flavour would give you a modern fancy system .... but with limited disk space, too.
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Author Comment

by:beemmer
ID: 39841810
I first went to Gparted and formated the hard drive to ex2, so now the partition is /dev/sda1 and file system is ex2

I then selected "setup" then "puppy universal installer" then selected "internal (ide or Sata) hard drive" and selected the only internal hard (of course) "sda ATA Siliconmotion SM 3.726 GB" hard drive.

It does tell me, now, that there is not an mbr master boot on the hard drive, which is why it is not booting.  I need to know the proper sequence to get mbr on the hard drive and get puppy installed so everything will work
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rindi earned 175 total points
ID: 39842674
Start Gparted again, then select device and create a new allocation table. Then create a new EXT4 partition for the OS (that is better than EXT2). Once that is done, install the OS to SDA1 (provided that is what the partition on your disk shows up as). When asked about Frugal or Full Installation, select "Full". After the installation has finished, under "System" select "Legacy GRUB Config 2013", then under "Quick Mode", click on "Full", and then "Quick Install". After that you should be able to boot into your new Puppy installation. You'll then probably have to do some further setting up, like getting the WLAN working etc, but Puppy has several setup tools that shouldn't make that too hard.
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Author Closing Comment

by:beemmer
ID: 39855000
Just wanted to thank you for your help with this issue.  Once I followed your instructions I found that it wasn't hard at all.  I played around with it on a couple of other computers and the more I played with it the more I liked it.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39855520
Although puppy is a nice little distro that runs fine on weak and older hardware, be aware that it has one great big drawback. It only uses the root account and therefore the user can do everything with it. So in that sense it is very insecure. Possibly one of the puppy spinoffs (like MacPup etc), uses user accounts, so it may be worth trying those out.
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