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Re: Dell Dimension 3100: keyboard freezes / SATA hdd not found

Your questions are more appropriate for debian-user or debian-boot;
redirecting to the latter.

On Tue, Dec 06, 2005 at 11:06:54PM +0100, rene@tschirley.com wrote:

> I'm seeking advice for installing recent Debian 3.1r0a 'Sarge' on Dell
> Dimension 3100. Seems as if I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

> I tried to boot the standard 2.4 kernel. But since a Dell Dimension 3100
> comes with a SATA harddisk and a BIOS which offers no option to switch
> it to a legacy mode, the installer complains about no found harddisk.

> After some googling, I gave the 2.6 kernel a chance. Unfortunately, this
> way is no better than the first, because when the kernel boots, it is
> obviously unable to find the USB keyboard: the keyboard freezes
> immediately. No chance to switch to another virtual console, not even
> to change the NumLock state. After some more googling, I even tried the
> options 'nopic noapic nolapic acpi=off pci=noacpi' with the same result.

Hmm, the latter is not a problem I've heard of before.

> As I can see, my chances are the following:

> 1. Use a recent Ubuntu Installation (which seems to support SATA) and
> migrate to Debian after successful installation. Having no experience
> in migrating Linux distributions, I'm not sure if this is a good
> solution.

Well, if you're going to use non-sarge media to install Debian, you could
also consider using the etch beta.

> 2. Take the harddisk to a IBM eServer 326 which comes with an SATA
> interface which is supported at least by the Sarge Netinst image,
> install Debian to the disk, move it back to the Dimension and keep the 
> fingers crossed.

It may be that this would only work if you install a newer kernel in the
process. (i.e., newer than what's in sarge.)

> 3. Partition the harddiskin advance, try the installer non-interactively
> and keep the  fingers crossed too.

Hmm, I guess you mean booting it this way to get around lack of keyboard
support?  Interesting idea... trying it would at least tell you if it's
really the keyboard locking up, by whether or not it gets past the first

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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