Problems installing Ubuntu server on an old computer

Eberhard Roloff tuxebi at
Thu Sep 28 12:20:14 UTC 2006

Hi Rosie,

South Walney Information Management wrote:

> 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.

Great! Next time, you face a problem like this, smartbootmanager might be your quick solution to boot from CD
> 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.
You could try to do this with a knoppix CD, maybe booting into icewm instead
of a memory hog like KDE. Simply press F2 and F3 at boot to see the many
boot options.

If you did not do the install with the Xubuntu alternate boot CD, this might
be even better and easier to do.

How much memory does the machine have? Given that win98 works with 32MB and
excels at 64MB, my personal recommendation for a happily running Xubuntu
machine would be to have 96-128MB at minimum.

> Does anybody have any suggestions?

I hope this helps

kind regards

> Rosie

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