Problems installing Ubuntu server on an old computer

South Walney Information Management info at
Thu Sep 28 11:51:49 UTC 2006

A client has an old PC, which was running Windows 98 which had become
tired and she lacks the original Windows 98 didks as she bought the
machine second hand.  Somewhere along the line she managed to format the
hard disk so that Win 98 will no longer boot.

I have suggested that this machine is a prime candidate for XUbuntu.
Unfortunately, when I tried to install XUbuntu from the CD, I discovered
that the BIOS wasn't able to recognise the CD in order to boot from it.

I made a Linux rescue floppy and was then able to read the XUbuntu CD
but not boot from it.  What I could do was make a floppy from sbm.bin,
which would then allow me to boot from the CD-ROM.

It was then quickly evident that memory was low because the nascent
XUbunto could not access swap space on the hard disk.  It tried gamely,
running through keyboard selection and hardware detection, but
eventually turned up its little feet with the message

<0>Kernel panic - not syncing: Fatal exception in interrupt

What I think I need to do is to get a rescue floppy or CD which will
enable me to format and repartition the hard disk.  Although I may be wrong.

Does anybody have any suggestions?


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