Welcome to the Linux Foundation Forum!

Linux install

I tried several months ago to install Ubuntu on my HP Compaq when my Windows OS suffered a virus meltdown. I went so far as to buy a refurberished HD from a reputable dealer. I tried to install Windows XP Pro first, but the install stalled at the agreement to the licencing terms. Fed up with Windows I decided to try Linux Ubuntu. I had the same problem, it stalled. I gave up the whole affair. Today I decided to try again. The Ubuntu distribution stalls at step #5. It says it is checking the partions (there is only one) and scanning the discs. Its been hours. A 250 GB hard drive shouldn"t take that long I don"t think. This a clean install. I can"t figurre out what the problem might be. The distribution is a live CD. I bought the Linux Ubuntu Bible and it came with the CD. Any help would be appreciated


  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,180
    It sounds like a hardware issue is preventing any installation from completing, have you attempted to use a live cd to run a cpu or memory test on the computer?
  • It's very important to check on a Linux distribution's web site to see if your hardware is supported! Here is Ubuntu's compatibility list. HP is on the list, but only the server edition.

    Each of the better distros has something like Ubuntu's "certified hardware" list or a "check if --- Linux will run on your hardware" page. And you can find a list of the top Linux distributions at http://distrowatch.com and click on one that you find interesting. Their home pages are listed so you can visit them and look for their hardware compatibility pages.

    That doesn't have to mean "give up on Ubuntu" though... during the installation process when the partitioner first appears, Ubuntu offers a choice of options. Most beginners let Ubuntu have the whole hard drive (which I guess you did), but if that didn't work, you can (and should, if possible) manually create three partitions:

    The first should be twice the size of your machines RAM and should be designated as "Linux swap."
    The second should be about 20 GB in size and designated as " / " (ext4), and
    The third - the rest of the drive if you want to use Ubuntu as your only OS - can be designated as " /home."

    Besure to check the li'l box that says "format this partition" when you're setting them up, and give the partition editor time to "refresh" the list after each one. It may have defaulted to the "do not use this partition" option - and since you designated only one, it halted right there.

    Try that - and let us know if it worked! If not, it's a little more trouble but well worth the time to search through those hardware compatibility lists among "newbie friendly" distros.

    Hoping this helps,
  • gomer
    gomer Posts: 158
    Matt is right. It sounds like a hardware issue. In fact, I would venture to guess that the problem is in fact that hard drive of yours. If your drives are SMART capable, then you should enable that in the BIOS of your machine, and then boot into Linux from the LiveCD. From the CLI, use the smartctl command to test the drive:
    smartctl -i /dev/sdb
    smartctl -s on -d ata /dev/sdb
    smartctl -d ata -H /dev/sdb
    smartctl -d ata -t long /dev/sdb
    smartctl --attributes --log=selftest /dev/sda

    If your disk / bios does not support SMART, then a great resource if you have access to another machine to burn another disk is the "Ultimate Boot CD" which has resources and tools for / from just about every company who's ever made a hard disk.

  • I faced a similar problem with a toshiba, and the solution was to change something related to the HDD on the BIOS menu..

    The problem was with the SATA choice, I had to choose the "compatibility" instead of "AHCI"


    I am not familiar with the HP menu, but if you are suffering from the same problem, I don't think tech expressions would differ a lot...

    Good luck..


Upcoming Training