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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Which Puppy for an older computer?
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6502coder

Joined: 23 Mar 2009
Posts: 70
Location: Western United States

PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2013, 02:03    Post subject: Wary on a old laptop  

For what it's worth, I have Wary 5.1.4.1 running dual-boot with Win98 on an old Sony laptop, 333 Mhz Pentium II, 192 Meg ram. I have a 256M swap partition, a 1G partition for the Puppy files, and a 600M partition for my data files. I use this machine mainly for writing and for playing around with various programming languages (Javascript, Python, BaCon), and it's great.

I admit it's not really usable for surfing the Web but I don't use it for that anymore, although I used to have a cheap Airlink wireless card working.

I use a frugal install. I tried a full install once but it really wasn't noticeably faster.
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2083
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2013, 03:01    Post subject:  

circularL7 wrote:
Would you, any of you, give me a link to a good set of directions for creating a shell and a set for creating a partition, both for Win 98?

Not sure what you mean by "a shell". Also, when you mention W98, do you mean you want to boot into W98, or you just want to prepare the thumbdrive by using W98?

I don't think I can remember much about W98 anymore.
Roughly speaking, what I would do is:
Boot a computer with a Puppy "live CD" (I would use Puppy431)
Use the Puppy431 Gparted to partition a fresh thumbdrive into two partitions - one ext2 and one FAT32
Install Puppy in "frugal" form to the thumbdrive ext2 partition
Set up the grub4dos bootloader
Add extra puppy "frugals" to the thumbdrive.

These steps are usually easier than they sound. We can be more specific once we know for sure exactly what you are needing.

(if your intended target PCs are quite new then Puppy431 will still be great for setting up the thumbdrive, but perhaps a little too old for booting those newer PCs. I'd still load 431 to the drive, but also add another newer pup aswell, so that it had a more recent "kernel" to suit newer machines)
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circularL7

Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Tue 05 Mar 2013, 22:12    Post subject:  

Thanks for all the info! Every time I check this thread, I learn more.

First, the update: I have booted Puppy 2.14 by live CD. The problem was that my garage sale CD reader was listed in BIOS as a secondary. After nosing around a bit, I figured out how to change the old reader, which is no longer in the PC, to secondary. (I haven't played around enough to figure out how to remove it.) I then changed the new reader to primary and changed the jumper that selects its location in that hierarchy.

Greengeek, I discovered that my previous question was silly. I don't know what a shell is; I read something about it somewhere but was just as lost after reading it as before. But, I do have directions to partition with W98, but I don't know how I want to boot it, and I think that the PC is so old that it will not boot from a thumb, but that remains to be seen.

I already have 2.14 working, so I'd like to cut my teeth on that (and I don't have a CD-R/W with me right now). But, I'm going to try the rest of your advice. I'll update you when I'm back this way.

6502, thank you. That's the kind of thing that I'd like to be able to do. Today, I picked up an unopened Java Power Pack to play with. I have no clue what that is, but for $2, why not? I'll probably learn something from the directions.


BTW, I really liked Puppy. I only nosed around a bit, but I didn't feel like an outsider like I do with Microsoft products. I liked the dialogues and the multicolored text. It's inviting.
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2083
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed 06 Mar 2013, 00:13    Post subject:  

OK, I guess you will be best with the operating systems loaded to a hard drive. I would still recommend using Gparted (from the 2.14 live CD) to create a FAT32 partition for W98 and/or data, and a separate Ext2 or EXT3 partition for any versions of puppy you want to install. Also, if you have enough HDD I would add a third partition of 512Mb as "Linux Swap".
If you don't have enough disk space for a separate SwapPartition then it is apparently possible to use a swapfile (I haven't tried that...).

(On another note...even if the bios is too old to boot directly from USB there are still some ways to store the puppy O.S on a usb drive and trick the system into booting from there by "bootstrapping" from a floppy or CD. There is one method called "plop" booting, but there are other ways aswell...)
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circularL7

Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Wed 13 Mar 2013, 22:22    Post subject:  

Update (and request for more help). It turns out that I'm using 420turbo.

greengeek wrote:

Roughly speaking, what I would do is:
Boot a computer with a Puppy "live CD" (I would use Puppy431)
Use the Puppy431 Gparted to partition a fresh thumbdrive into two partitions - one ext2 and one FAT32
Install Puppy in "frugal" form to the thumbdrive ext2 partition
Set up the grub4dos bootloader
Add extra puppy "frugals" to the thumbdrive.


Booted with a live CD. Partitioned a freshly formatted thumb drive as directed. I don't know if I installed Puppy on the thumb drive; I downloaded it to the drive. Is that the same thing?

I don't know how to set up the grub4dos bootloader, but I do have it on the hard drive and thumb drive.


greengeek wrote:
OK, I guess you will be best with the operating systems loaded to a hard drive. I would still recommend using Gparted (from the 2.14 live CD) to create a FAT32 partition for W98 and/or data, and a separate Ext2 or EXT3 partition for any versions of puppy you want to install. Also, if you have enough HDD I would add a third partition of 512Mb as "Linux Swap".


I will do these things too. I would like to learn and do both methods.

My hard drive seems to be write protected, so I have to find out how to get that out of the way.

Quote:
(On another note...even if the bios is too old to boot directly from USB there are still some ways to store the puppy O.S on a usb drive and trick the system into booting from there by "bootstrapping" from a floppy or CD. There is one method called "plop" booting, but there are other ways aswell...)


Is there a method that you recommend? If so, would you link to an article or post or explain it?
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2083
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 14 Mar 2013, 04:15    Post subject:  

First question - is there any data, or any operating system on either your hard drive, or your usb stick, that you want to preserve? (in other words - can we start from scratch and treat the HDD and usb sticks as totally empty...???)
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circularL7

Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Thu 14 Mar 2013, 09:47    Post subject:  

greengeek wrote:
First question - is there any data, or any operating system on either your hard drive, or your usb stick, that you want to preserve? (in other words - can we start from scratch and treat the HDD and usb sticks as totally empty...???)


Yes, but I've already put the important contents of the PC on a stick, and I'll transfer my data to another stick.
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2083
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 14 Mar 2013, 11:22    Post subject:  

I should clarify at this stage that I do not know how to set up the HDD or the USB stick for dual boot with W98 on your system. All I can assist with is getting a Puppy to install and run on it's own. If you want to have a dual boot with W98 we should wait for someone else to offer some advice...

Also, next question - do you know if your hardware supports the "boot from usb" option? Do you see that option in the bios?

(Actually - could you clarify which system you are setting this puppy up for? Are you still thinking about making a thumbdrive that works on newer systems, or are you wanting to see which puppy can be installed on the original PC you first mentioned?)
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circularL7

Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Thu 14 Mar 2013, 12:55    Post subject:  

greengeek wrote:
I should clarify at this stage that I do not know how to set up the HDD or the USB stick for dual boot with W98 on your system. All I can assist with is getting a Puppy to install and run on it's own. If you want to have a dual boot with W98 we should wait for someone else to offer some advice...


I just picked up another old dog, and I've been quite pleased with Puppy, so I'd like a strictly Puppy PC.

Quote:
Also, next question - do you know if your hardware supports the "boot from usb" option? Do you see that option in the bios?


There is no reference to USB in bios. IIRC, a friend of mine added the USB card and a couple other items when he looked it over for me about ten years ago.

Quote:
(Actually - could you clarify which system you are setting this puppy up for? Are you still thinking about making a thumbdrive that works on newer systems, or are you wanting to see which puppy can be installed on the original PC you first mentioned?)


My immediate priority is learning to get this machine to be its best, regardless of how mediocre that might be. But if I can learn better stuff, getting other machines to work, then I'd be very happy with that.


You wouldn't happen to know what I must do to unlock the hard drive to partition it? My research suggests that the solution is in the registry.
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2083
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 14 Mar 2013, 14:18    Post subject:  

circularL7 wrote:
You wouldn't happen to know what I must do to unlock the hard drive to partition it? My research suggests that the solution is in the registry.
If you are running a Puppy in memory from a LiveCD then there will be no registry at all. The registry only exists as part of the Windows installation.

If you boot with the liveCD then run Gparted and look at that drive, what does it show? Does it let you partition the drive? If not, try clicking on the "Device" tab and select "create partition table" and see if that works.

If that does not work, then it may be that the hard drive is a special one that is designed to be formatted with a special utility and password (but that's not common at all - usually only embedded hard drives on industrial equipment)

Alternatively - I have had some drives which could only be partitioned by certain versions of Gparted (I don't know why) so it may be necessary to trial different Puppy CDs.
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circularL7

Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Mon 18 Mar 2013, 22:59    Post subject:  

greengeek wrote:
If you are running a Puppy in memory from a LiveCD then there will be no registry at all. The registry only exists as part of the Windows installation.

If you boot with the liveCD then run Gparted and look at that drive, what does it show? Does it let you partition the drive? If not, try clicking on the "Device" tab and select "create partition table" and see if that works.

If that does not work, then it may be that the hard drive is a special one that is designed to be formatted with a special utility and password (but that's not common at all - usually only embedded hard drives on industrial equipment)

Alternatively - I have had some drives which could only be partitioned by certain versions of Gparted (I don't know why) so it may be necessary to trial different Puppy CDs.


Thanks for the registry info. The problem was that files were in use because I had loaded the files onto the HDD, so the PC was using those files rather than the CD.

I've added a 40G HDD, so I had plenty of space to put FAT32, ext 2, ext 3, and Linux swap partitions. However, I loaded GRUB onto the the PC to the bmr (I think that's it), and that was a mess. I need to get that off of there.

Booting from floppy worked well a few times, but it stopped in the midst of booting once, I cycled the power, and that stopped working too.

Right now, I can boot it into Win98 with the 6G HDD, which is attached to the slave plug. I can boot it with live CD. However, it'll not boot from floppy or the 40G HDD.
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Sky Aisling


Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 879
Location: Port Townsend, WA. USA

PostPosted: Tue 19 Mar 2013, 00:09    Post subject: Which Puppy for an older computer?
Subject description: Catdude's Tutorial
 

circularL7
You're doing super at learning by experimenting with various methods.
However, if you now want to make one of your machines a "Puppy Machine" then you need to do this.

Clear the decks.
Take a deep breath and forget most everything you've ever learned from M$.

We can help you step through setting a Puppy on your hard drive.
The fun part about putting Puppies on a machine, no matter how they are placed (Live USB stick, Live CD, frugal or full install on HDD)
is that you can always re-do them if you want to with little or no harm done.

Follow greengeek's lead.
About cleaning your HDD off using Gparted from a live CD...
In Puppy 4.3.1 Gparted is listed under the *system* portion of the *menu*.
Tell us when you look at the file system(s) using Gparted do you see a little gold lock anywhere next to the file or partition id?
If so, right click it and see if you are allowed to *unlock* the file.
Let us know what you see.

Then go to here:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=29653

Read through Catdude's explanation with screenshots of how to use GParted to clear and setup your HDD.
Note: Catdude's tutorial is for a *full* install but his instructions on using GParted are what you need.

Last edited by Sky Aisling on Tue 19 Mar 2013, 00:29; edited 2 times in total
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circularL7

Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Tue 19 Mar 2013, 00:18    Post subject: Re: Which Puppy for an older computer?
Subject description: Catdude's Tutorial
 

Sky Aisling wrote:
Clean your HDD off using Gparted from a live CD.
In Puppy 4.3.1 Gparted is listed under the *system* portion of the *menu*.
Tell us when you look at the file system(s) using Gparted do you see a little gold lock anywhere next to the file or partition id?
If so, right click it and see if you are allowed to *unlock* the file.
Let us know what you see.

Then go to here:
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=29653

Read through Catdude's explanation with screenshots of how to use GParted to clear and setup your HDD.
Note: Catdude's tutorial is for a *full* install but his instructions on using GParted are what you need.


I've reformatted the HDD with fat32, ext2, ext3, and linux swap. Currently, because I've cleared the Puppy files from the ext2 partition, only the linux swap is locked. I have Win on the other HDD, the 6G.

Thanks for the link. I can already see that those flags were an issue. I recall that my fat partition was flagged as the boot partition even though I had Puppy loaded on the ext2 partition. Everything else that I did was consistent with those directions.

Why are my hard drives titled sda rather than hda?

For my partitions, would it be better for me to have a small ext2 primary partition to accommodate a full install and an extended ext2 partition for my data?
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2083
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 19 Mar 2013, 05:09    Post subject: Re: Which Puppy for an older computer?
Subject description: Catdude's Tutorial
 

circularL7 wrote:
Why are my hard drives titled sda rather than hda?

Older puppies referred to hard disks as Hdx, and external storage as Sdx, but newer puppies don't use that differentiation - they just call them all sdx

Quote:
For my partitions, would it be better for me to have a small ext2 primary partition to accommodate a full install

Yes, I think that is a good idea

Quote:
and an extended ext2 partition for my data?

I don't use extended partitions. I believe they are only necessary when you need a total of greater than 4 partitions (for some historic reason...). I believe your data partition (which should always be a separate partition...) should also be a "primary" partition.

I generally set my disks up as:

Partition 1 = Boot partition (called "Boot") type = primary ext2 (except special circumstances where I want to boot windows from that partition - then I would use Fat32)
Partition 2 = Data partition (called "ExtData") type = primary ext2 (which is where I keep all my data files)
Partition 3 = Data transfer partition (called FatData) type = primary FAT32 (This is the only partition that windows will see...so it allows me to use this partition for any data that I MUST share between Linux and windows. I hardly ever use windows now so 99% of my data gets stored on the ext2 data partition)
Partition 4 = Linux swap

There are very few cases where I would need to use a different partition scheme to this. However - on some systems I don't have much disk space so have to allocate things differently.

In my experience I usually need about 5 gig for the boot partiton (so I can put 3 or 4 puppies in there), 512MB for the swap partiton and then whatever is left I give 75% to the ext2 data partition and 25% to the FAT32 partiton.

And now I'm going to consult a keyboard specialist and find out why the heck I can't spell "partion" properly half the time.
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circularL7

Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Mon 25 Mar 2013, 17:42    Post subject:  

Thanks for all the info, GG. Here's the latest:

I dd'd the 40G drive because I had a problem with GRUB, but I left the 6G drive on FAT with Win98. I put a few ext2 partitions and a swap on the 40, which is basically what you suggested except I left out the FAT since it's on the 6. It's dual boot.

I also picked up an old Thinkpad; it's Puppy boot. I'm currently running 2.5 PupRescue on both machines, but it's not pretty on the '98. I also tried Pup 1.0.3., but that's very bare bones.

GRUB loaded to HD keeps giving me "tried to kill init" errors. GRUB4DOS, as Dewbie suggested, loaded to HD works like a charm.

Any advice on the error?

And the CD readers (one on each machine) did not work for a music CD, which worked in my old personal CD player. Any advice? The drives wouldn't mount.

Another question: why shouldn't I format the thumbdrive that I want to use as a booter to ext2 with no FAT?
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