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Trouble installing Linux on circa-1999 Compaq Presario

Chris O'Connell wrote:
> I'm curious, have you run any type of diagnostic utility on the hard 
> disk drive?


These problems began while attempting to install Mandriva 2009 and later 
releases.  Their 2008 Spring release was the last release that could 
successfully be installed on this hardware without any errors occurring 
during the installation.

I do not know what may have changed between 2008 Spring and 2009.  When 
2008 Spring was installed successfully, I attempted an online upgrade to 
2010.  The upgrade went through fine, but there was an issue with the 
video afterwards when the login screen never appeared after boot.

2009 and later versions of Mandriva also produce the same input/output 
errors while trying to install them on their own.  Why these errors do 
not occur with their 2008 Spring and earlier releases, I do not know.

I then tried Ubuntu/Xubuntu with the same (I/O error) results.  Maybe a 
2008-2009 change to a Linux install utility, perhaps???

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