Linux newbie looking for advice

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by HAN, Sep 30, 2013.

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  1. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    I'll try to keep this brief...

    I am very comfortable with Windows. I know very little other than what I read here and there about Linux.

    I have a friend that has a 5 year old XP laptop. He recently moved from dialup to broadband. The laptop's WiFi or LAN connection would not work. (Tried repairing them to no avail.) Since XP support ends next spring, it made sense to me to move on to something that will be supported into the future. I thought I'd pitch in to help save the day if I could with Linux. Free and supposedly stable.

    I first tried running Puppy on it to see if everything worked. It did! Broadband worked fine, it played sound, video, YouTube, you name it.

    Next, after looking around, I thought I'd go with Cinnamon Mint (Ubuntu based.) I installed along side XP and everything looked good (or so I thought.) Soon discovered that there was no sound of any kind. It froze up and I had to kill it via the power button. The last straw was I found that Windows would no longer boot. GRUB seems ok but Windows only boots for a few seconds before a fleeting BSOD shows and it goes back to the BIOS and starts loading all over again.

    My questions are...

    What's the best way to salvage this? After reading about similar sound problems with regular Ubuntu, should I be switching to Debian? Can I just over load Debian based Mint over the current installation?

    The owner doesn't seem overly concerned about his Windows installation. Should I try to salvage it? There may be a Windows image floating around somewhere if need be.

    There are probably many other things to ask but this is a good start.

    TIA for any input. :)
     
  2. John Smith Junior

    John Smith Junior Registered Member

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  3. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    try this command and check if any sound is mute or not

    alsamixer

    most of time just one of sound is mute there no problem
     
  4. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Hi HAN,

    First things first. To install Linux along side a Windows system, you need to use one of the dual-boot schemes. Whatever you did, is why you can no longer boot Windows.

    You need to restore your Windows bootloader, and then the Linux bootloader so that both will be able to boot upon choosing one of them from a boot screen, i.e. this is a dual-boot approach.

    -- Tom
     
  5. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Here's where I am...

    I did have a restorable Windows image. I used it and have no network connectivity (wired or wireless) in Windows. Since XP has a countdown clock to oblivion on it, I think I'll forget it. The owner is ok with that.

    As for what flavor of Linux to use, everything but Puppy (Precise) gives me no sound. (This is an older Medion laptop.) I've tried Ubuntu, LinuxLite, Mint (Ubuntu and Debian.)

    From what I see, Puppy doesn't have the easy permanent installer of the others. So I'm thinking it might be a whole lot easier to just boot from a Puppy USB and forget doing anything else.

    That leaves me with printing. He has an older Epson Stylus 740 connected via USB. When I tried Mint, I was able to download and install a Linux driver that worked. My question is, do I do the same basic process to get a printer running under Puppy? Any Puppy users that can give me easy instructions or a link to follow??
     
  6. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    For sound issues, you usually need to open the audio mixer (Alsa mixer) then either enable one of the switches checkbox and/or set the level on the master volume controls.
     
  7. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    just open terminal type


    $alsamixer


    you see this

    now up all sounds....or select sound card if any....etc options tweak and you get your sound back
     

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  8. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    No joy using alsamixer. Tried 3 or 4 distros and no improvement.

    Precise Puppy is the only one that works every boot for sound, mouse connectivity and more. Even Slacko Puppy has issues.

    My only remaining hurdle is the printer. Once I can get the laptop and the printer together, I'll be ready to try to get it up and running. Hopefully it will be as easy as the Mint printer setup was...
     
  9. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    did you try alsamixer with option F5 which show all options maybe some are muted

    and also did you try sound card option if you have any other sound card installed did you try to install driver with ubuntu driver if you have any other than default intel


    last ubuntu 13.10 is released also you can try linux mint 14 hope it work for you
     
  10. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Just to wrap up, I took the laptop back to its owner.

    The final version of Linux is Precise Puppy.

    His older printer installed easily.

    And he is back in business.

    Thanks to everyone who pitched in with advice!
     
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