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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Getting Puppy onto an OLD Dell laptop.
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BJF

Joined: 24 Mar 2008
Posts: 177
Location: Lower Hutt, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 04:30    Post subject:  Getting Puppy onto an OLD Dell laptop.  

I have scored a 1997 Dell Latitude P1 166Mhz laptop with 32Mb of RAM that has W98 aboard and except for a totally dead battery works perfectly.
I'd like to exorcise the OS and 'Go Puppy', but the optical drive doesn't boot. The choice is only between the floppy or HDD. I found this:

http://www.debian.org/releases/etch/i386/ch04s03.html.en

Working with a Linux EeePC and a USB floppy drive identified by the netbook as /sdc I have used the command in the link to if/of to that drive but nothing is written. The BootManager is expected to make the CD drive boot so that it will install to the HDD.
Could any member please assist with a derivative that might suit, like perhaps TurboPup, and a way to get it onto the machine via the non-booting optical drive? What syntax would SuperBootManager need to be written in my case or is there another way? WakePup?

Thanks.
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 551
Location: Karana Downs, Queensland

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 07:51    Post subject:  

rsrcn51's "grubflop" is the bomb for those sorts of installs, I find. Does exactly what I thought WakePup should be able to do, but doesn't. See here http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=16950 and here for a smattering of my "experience" http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=353282#353282 and http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=48214. TurboPup and even Pulp would be good choices for that machine - I think you have really done your homework. Good Luck!
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8557
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 08:41    Post subject:  

It's not going to matter what bootloader or what Puppy you use. With only 32MB of memory, you won't be able to do anything useful with this machine.

[Edit] However, I was able to set up grubflop with a USB floppy drive using
Code:
dd if=grubflop.img of=/dev/sdb

It's been my experience with USB floppy drives that they work better if you insert the diskette BEFORE you plug them into the USB port. You should get an icon for the drive on the desktop.
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 2531
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 12:57    Post subject:  

There is precisely one Puppy on this forum that will work for you.

goingnuts' pUPnGO.

You will spend probably the better part of two months adding libs and programs if you want it to be a proper desktop OS. By the time you're done, you will have easily doubled if not tripled the size of the ISO, and you'll still be stuck with obsolete software except for the core OS itself.

I would recommend starting with an older pUPnGO, like v412 041210 -- something before goingnuts backported pUPnGO to GTK1 instead of -2. That way you at least won't have to mess with compiling and upgrading GTK. (If you really would find it entertaining to spend an hour or so compiling on and then arguing with such a system, go ahead and use the latest version. But know that you have a very strange idea of 'fun'.)

I would also recommend putting up with SIAG Office (I hear it's been discontinued now, and given the interface and appearance I'm not sure I blame them) and some sort of low-end version of mtpaint for graphics. You will want a CD of Puppy 412 on hand (not the retro kernel version!) to grab libs off of as well.

I tried to do this, on a Super Socket 7 desktop board with a K6-II CPU and spare drives. I stuck in a PCI graphics card because the onboard graphics were dying. Once I realized how much goingnuts had stripped out purely in favor of size I gave up. That hardware now has a different owner: a fellow on another forum wanted to make a retro gaming rig with it, and that's what he got. At least he was nice enough to cover my shipping!

If you do decide to do this, good luck to you. You'll need it.

By the way, you might try TINY Linux (comes on like 10 floppies) or similar. I've got a couple antique floppy-based Linux distros (TINY is one, Floppy Linux is the other, and then there's one called Build Your Linux Disk, BYLD, for people who know Linux well enough to program on it) -- if you want 'em shoot me a PM as the original sites have probably vanished by now. You could TRY to run DSL on this thing but I wouldn't recommend it. It probably won't work -- particularly since you've got a bad optical drive to deal with (I doubt it'd boot from external CD even with a bootmanager floppy -- but you could try).

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BJF

Joined: 24 Mar 2008
Posts: 177
Location: Lower Hutt, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 13:58    Post subject:  

Thank you for all your input, chaps. Plenty of ideas there to give a try. I'll have a flounder about and see if anything can be done. Pure, pure masochism, but got to give it a go. I'm not expecting miracles but it p**'s me off that M$ is on the thing and working.
Starhawk: Perhaps I gave the wrong impression. The CD drive appears to work but is not bootable. BIOS only lists the flop and HDD and that's all. Stuff could be installed that way if something like a boot manager could direct it. SuperBootManager for instance. Never give up!
Considered Damn Small Linux. Thanks for the feedback on that. And I have had an older Dell desktop (with 128Mb) quite happily running Puppy 2.17 and being the back-up home computer for about 2 years. Detect a trend here?
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ETP


Joined: 19 Oct 2010
Posts: 486
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 14:10    Post subject: Getting Puppy onto an OLD Dell laptop.  

This may be your best bet ! Smile

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rokytnji


Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1134
Location: Pecos/ Texas

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 14:44    Post subject:  

Quote:
The CD drive appears to work but is not bootable


I had a Compaq 1540 DM years ago with about the same specs but I had more ram than you do.

http://yatsite.blogspot.com/2008/09/compaq-armada-1540dm-running-windows-95.html

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/blog/rokytnji-396422/damn-small-linux-4-0-install-on-compaq-1540dm-1393/

I sold that laptop so I no longer have it.
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2086
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 15:16    Post subject:  

Can it physically take more than 32MB ram? I have a variety of (older) sticks and would be happy to send you one free if we can work out which is the right kind. (Hate to see a working machine be consigned to the dustbin). Even if the max ram was 64MB it would open up some options...

Do you know the exact model number for the laptop?

One other question - are you committed to booting via floppy or is it a possibility to temporarily transfer the HDD to your other machine and load puppy to it that way?
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Les Kerf

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 16:05    Post subject:  

BJF wrote:
... The CD drive appears to work but is not bootable. BIOS only lists the flop and HDD and that's all...


The PloP Bootmanager should be able to enable you to boot from the CD drive.
Les
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BJF

Joined: 24 Mar 2008
Posts: 177
Location: Lower Hutt, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 17:23    Post subject:  

Greengeek: It's a Latitude XPi CD, Model No: PPS, and I have no plans to bin the thing! The RAM has a smudged sticky label that says 'SEC KMM332V410BS-L6U' (I think). And there is a spare slot for a second card.

And to the rest of you: Lots of things to try. I'll report back!

Thanks one and all.
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TheYoungOne


Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 18:11    Post subject:  

Apparently it can hold max 80mb ram: two 32mb ram slots + 16 mb on the system board. I guess you have a 16mb ram slot thing + the system one.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ptcd/Specs.htm
You can buy some ram from here
http://www.archmemory.com/memory.cfm/Dell-RAM-Latitude-Latitude-XPi-CD-15285
TurboPup should be fine if you add some ram i should think.
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Burn_IT

Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 892
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 18:21    Post subject:  

It will take 80Mb.
!6Mb soldered on board and 2x72pin EDO 32mb

I sold 4 of those the other week. (the memory) They're like gold at 32Mb per stick.

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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 2531
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 18:26    Post subject:  

[Burn_IT was typing as I was, so there is some duplicate info here.]

Specs here:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ptcd/Specs.htm

His laptop is an M166ST.

Max RAM is 80mb Shocked that ain't much!

You need to get a pair of 32mb EDO SIMMs off eBay. In the US those are under $10 --quite surprisingly, as EDO tends to be insanely expensive-- but I can't speak to any location outside of the continental US.

It MUST be EDO -- regular RAM will not work here. Either the system will refuse to boot and sit there beeping at you, or it won't recognize the RAM and boot anyways. I can tell you that it has 16mb on the mainboard, so you have a 16mb stick in one slot that can be thrown away once you get the two 32mb sticks.

Something like this will work well for you --
http://www.ebay.com/itm/64MB-2-x-32MB-72-Pin-EDO-SODIMM-Memory-Laptop-Memory-Upgrade-/330797658980?pt=US_Enterprise_Router_Memory&hash=item4d0513b364

My recommendation for pUPnGO and long hours adding libs and pets stands. Or one of the floppy-disk distros that I mentioned -- you will need a USB floppy drive for writing floppies unless your other system is old enough to have one built in. USB floppy drives run about $20 in US money and territory.

Again, if you want to poke at one of the floppy distros let me know, here or in a PM. TINY Linux needs at least ten disks, more if you want a gui with programs. FDLinux (the other one) requires some special techniques because it fits on a single /oversize/ floppy (you have to format it to go a little past the usual margins) -- it's 1.68mb. I've never used either one. BYLD requires two disks to start with, and a few more for your eventual distro -- it's more a development kit than anything else!

Come to think of it, I also have one called XWOAF -- XWindows On A Floppy. That would be courtesy of goingnuts as well (he found it somewhere online, and it's on his little website as well as my hard drive). It takes up only one floppy and TBH I've never gotten it to boot -- my older hardware all tends to have weird graphics setups that don't like to work with Xvesa.

_________________
Loving X-Slacko 1.1! Get the PetGet patch on pg8; it's important.
Next system will be an HP MOCA-AR + Core2Duo in an innovative case... if I ever get off my butt and build it Razz
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Dewbie

Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 1763

PostPosted: Wed 26 Sep 2012, 01:56    Post subject:  

Two more possibilities (not Puppy-related):
http://ftp.nluug.nl/ftp/pub/os/Linux/distr/baslinux/index.html
http://www.freedos.org/
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BJF

Joined: 24 Mar 2008
Posts: 177
Location: Lower Hutt, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep 2012, 01:04    Post subject:  

I've hit a wall. The IBM format floppies I bought don't suit the Win98 OS on the Dell. Common problem, according to Gurgle. What I need is a 98-formatted, or unformatted, floppy or two. Or a 98 start-up disk? Unless a grown-up knows of a way to convert an OS to FAT16 and zip it and permit me to smuggle it onto C:\ to unpack like FreeDOS does. Or does anyone know how to blank a formatted 3.5" floppy. I tried GParted and it makes them into coasters with a -512Kb capacity and no partitioning possible!

Thanks.
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