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I have an older PC that has been flawlessly running Windows XP for several years. Since Microsoft discontinued support for XP, I want to install the latest version of Fedora. While trying to install "Fedora-Live-Xfce-i686-20-1.iso", the system freezes half way through the install process, becomes completely unresponsive, and eventually shuts down.

System Specs

  • cpu: AMD Athlon XP 2000+ 1.67 GHz
  • memory: 1.5 GB
  • video card: Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 64 MB
  • hard drive: Western Digital 40 GB
  • cd-rom: cd-rw

Questions

  1. Is there a way to determine exactly what is causing the install process to freeze and crash?

  2. Does a diagnostic tool exist to test the compatibility of software/hardware/drivers? Tool recommendations appreciated.

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    As it is a live CD, have you tried it to see if it works live (Without install)? Jul 27, 2014 at 21:11

2 Answers 2

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I assume you booted into the install process with a Live OS (Fedora does that as standard).

My first approach would be to boot into a more forensic type of OS, such as GParted and do all kinds of checks. For instance check RAM, check hard drives, etc.

If your PC can boot from USB stick, I'd suggest using that, to rule out the CD/DVD-ROM drive is faulty.

For testing RAM, use Memtest86 and/or Memtest86+ (one is based on the other), if your LiveOS doesn't come with it in the bootloader anyway.

Just in case the problem is not exactly reproducible: If that's not a laptop, it might be a problem with the power supply.

If the PC freezes just like that, it might be a problem with the graphics card drivers as well. This usually doesn't apply to older hardware, but just in case, try booting into text mode and see if error messages come up. Fedora doesn't have the closed-source NVidia drivers. You have to add another repo to make them available. You could try installing Fedora in text mode, then installing the drivers, and then work your way from there.

You might want to try simply a different distro, as Fedora is considered "Bleeding Edge" and might come with some problems pre-installed... I advice booting into something like Ubuntu or Mint, or some other distro and just check if the installation process is working there (the distros I mentioned use a LiveOS to start the installation process from). If it does install fine, then it might be Fedoras problem of not playing nice with your set of hardware.

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Not too familiar with fedora, but try attaching an external hard disk/flash drive and mounting it with write access, and running setup (whatever fedora's setup program is called) like this:

(fedora-setup-program-name) 2>&1 | tee /media/exthd/setuplog.txt

This is where you mount your external disk/flash drive at /media/exthd. the 2>&1 should redirect stderr to stdout, which can be teed into a log file.

After your install crashes, turn off your pc and remove the external disk. plug it into another computer and read the log file.

I once had a dell laptop that did this when I installed linux mint. I had to download the latest source and compile a custom kernel for graphics mode to work. If you are having trouble, try making a new install dvd with a newer kernel.

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