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427 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 44


Topic # 114456 20-Feb-2013 12:50 Send private message

Hi,

I made another topic in orcon about monitoring my network bandwidth across many different devices.
Tried smoothwall express 3.0 but it didnt seem to like installing from my USB DVD drive, and messed up one of my old IDE hard drives (which may have been dodgy anyway).

I fielded answers to what my other options might be, and thought pfSense sounded good. Went and downloaded the liveCD i386 install version from australian mirror. Checked the hash and download was fine. Burnt to DVD & verified it OK.

Went to install on the Mrs old IBM R40e P4 era machine. Had problems mounting ?? using the USB DVD drive, using default options. Googled around and noted that you should use the USB option.

Booted using the USB Option. Things seemed to be okay. Its asking e questions like to plug in WAN side connection, tests OK, plug in LAN side connection....not detected. I figure my (ancient circa pentium2 days) pcmcia ethernet card might not be compatible (because it's not detected) so I power off the machine (holding down the power button), to install a newer DickSmith branded model (dunno what chipset)....

and thats the last of her laptop Frown

Ive unplugged the pcmcia addin card, the usb DVD, battery & power supply. Waited 15 minutes.
Reconnect the power supply. No Go.

The power light comes on, no picture, no bios, no post, no fans, no display backlight.

This missus hasn't used this laptop in about a year (she uses the iPad mostly now). But its quite a special machine because it has a chinese language windows xp license & install. I will have to hide the machine away and hope she doesn't notice if i cant get it going.

Im a linux newb, but have used an ubuntu install for my main machine back in 2007, and used various other live cds (like gparted, clonezilla, etc) so am a little familiar with its basics.

Any idea how to revive her laptop??

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1342 posts

Uber Geek
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Trusted

  Reply # 766387 20-Feb-2013 13:09 Send private message

It sounds like it might have just died because it hadn't been used for a year.
You've tried everything obvious by the sounds of it. I'd just try leaving the battery out for 24 hours and see if that helps, but otherwise it sounds like a hardware fault.

555 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 69

Subscriber

  Reply # 766396 20-Feb-2013 13:34 Send private message

I agree that it is extremely unlikely to be pfSense (which I've installed on several PC desktops and laptops of similar age).

Sniff it. Any smell of burning smoke?

Check out the hardware maintenance manual. Page 62 is particularly relevant for system board errors:
http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/13n6183.pdf




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427 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 44


  Reply # 766456 20-Feb-2013 14:35 Send private message

okay I got it to boot again. *PHEW* Had to remove all the RAM sodimms. Replace them and its booting.

Now the pfSense install hangs at the usb section. Strange, because it didnt before, i got as far as actually setting up the interfaces.

1191 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 766483 20-Feb-2013 15:11 Send private message

Smells of a RAM module issue

gzt

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 766484 20-Feb-2013 15:12 Send private message

You may like to run a memtest before going further: http://www.memtest.org

Remove all power between boot attempts. USB boot can be finicky on some machines and a full power down is the only way you can be 100% sure any mode is fully reset IME. If you are still stuck and your machine supports it you can consider forcing usb 1.1 in bios.

Is the power battery charging or just dead? If it is dead or dying take it out.

If you are getting any cmos warnings from the bios, replace the bios battery before getting into all this.



427 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 44


  Reply # 766521 20-Feb-2013 15:47 Send private message

thanks for the tips. Am going to run an memtest asap.



427 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 44


  Reply # 766570 20-Feb-2013 16:55 Send private message

Taken the battery out and just using mains power from ac adapter.

Memest is two passes through and no errors, so not sure why this isn't working /

gzt

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 766571 20-Feb-2013 17:02 Send private message

Pfsense has some basic steps on install troubleshooting if it is still the same issue:

http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Boot_Troubleshooting



427 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 44


  Reply # 766642 20-Feb-2013 19:12 Send private message

Thanks,
Ive already been reading that troubleshooting guide, and tried its 'Booting from USB' suggestions. It didn't help in this instance. The one time I got past this (before it crashed and wouldn't boot anymore) I didnt have to use the 'set kern.cam.boot_delay=10000' setting.

13 passes of memtest, still no errors.

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