Linux on an HP Pavilion Desktop

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New Member

Linux on an HP Pavilion Desktop

Greetings all,
I would like to say first that I am noob to the big wide world of Linux, and although it can be difficult, I am having a great time, figuring out the "puzzles"
involved in Linux installs/configurations/etc.
I first started with a Live DVD of SUSE 9.3 pro, but I could not get it to install - it just kept rebooting.

One of my friends suggested Slackware, and after a
little research and a free download, I finally installed Slackware 10.2 with the Linux 2.4.31 kernel. The only way I can get it to load at boot: after install
is to use the nohotplug option at boot.
I have yet to get my USB to work, along with my speedtouch DSL modem (USB connected), and
I have tried rebuilding the kernel at this page, but Slackware doesn’t not see my USB (maybe because my hotplug hangs)
there is nothing in my /proc/bus/usb/devices.... so this seems pointless.

I thought that installing another distro may help alleviate the problem, but I can get nothing else to install. I tried SUSE, Mandrake 9.1, Mandriva 2006, and it seems Knoppix
won't even load. It keeps rebooting after loading the install kernel (or just hanging), even if I use noauto, nohotplug options (depending on the flavor of distro).
I also noticed that if I tried to build and compile a new kernel of 2.6 in Slackware as I have tried several times referencing
,as soon as the new kernel loads, I get the same reboot or hang.

My computer is a HP Pavillion a712n with:
845GV mobo w/ onboard NIC, Sound, video
1GB or ram
PCI NVIDIA card (although Slackware works with both PCI and onboard card)
Pentium 4 proc
LCD screen
I have been googling all over the internet and looking in forums for about 2 weeks now, found many possible solutions, but none that worked.
I think its time for me to break down and ask for help.
I understand that this is not the ideal computer for Linux, but I would like to figure this out if possible (with some of your help of course.) plus I am pretty sure it is possible, because
a similar HP model with similar specs is offered with Mandrake 9.1. (The HP d220 Micotower.)
Any Ideas that any of you have would be more than appreciated?

I just realized that this is kind of a long posting so, I apologize, but I wanted to relay the problem correctly.

Honored Contributor

Re: Linux on an HP Pavilion Desktop

Hi, Try to go with FC Core4. I have installed on a Pavilion system to your configuration. It was easy to install and use.

"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for"
Sergejs Svitnevs
Honored Contributor

Re: Linux on an HP Pavilion Desktop

Ubuntu Linux is a very easy distro to use. It supports a wide range of different devices and will resolve your issues.

Andrew Cowan
Honored Contributor

Re: Linux on an HP Pavilion Desktop


The 'Live' CD's and DVD's are a limited install as they are designed for demonstration purposes.

You could either download the latest Fedora Core 4 or Suse Open Linux 10 from:

If you have problems during the install select the help screen when the CD/DVD boots and try adding the noprobe options. After the install has completed you should see all the USB devices.

I had a Speedtouch USB modem and they are basically a pile of crap. The best thing to do is to spend £30-40 and buy a wireless ADSL router that attaches to your Ethernet port. It will be a lot faster and save you so much trouble when you do upgrades etc.
I wrestled with my Speedtouch for about a year and it caused so many problems with both Windows and Linux, I eventually gave up. Believe me it will be the best money you ever spend, and all I do is to keep the Speedtouch in case BT turn up and want to test the line.
New Member

Re: Linux on an HP Pavilion Desktop

I tried the Fedora 4, but it does the same thing that all other distros (except Slackware) do.
I get the boot: prompt, If I hit Enter, it loads the vmlinux, then blackscreen then back to BIOS memory test reboot. I have tried every option in the F2, F3, F4 menus, with the same result, I have also tried changing the Bios settings.

I was thinking that maybe I need to flash a new bios.

I do have another DSL modem with an Ethernet int, however, before I continue to set that up and I would like to figure out what is causing this reboot after (or during) kernel load.

Thanks for all the help, so far, but I am still stuck, I am learning as I go.
Andrew Cowan
Honored Contributor

Re: Linux on an HP Pavilion Desktop

The rebooting is unlikely to be caused by the modem unless there is a voltage problem on your motherboard. You could try to prove this by doing an install with all your peripherals unplugged?

I think it more likely that you need to add a boot switch such as "-noprobe" to get it to install.
New Member

Re: Linux on an HP Pavilion Desktop

Well the nohotplug boot option worked on Slackware,
Ok, I have found a solution, by reading some other forums, by using acpi=off noapic at boot, I can boot to the install. I decided to try mandriva 2006. I can get through the whole install process, detects everything.

When I go to reboot, the same thing happens, it just starts booting into loop. I have tried lilo and grub, both boot the kernel if I edit or use the boot options acpi=off noapic.

It starts to boot and the last thing I see after it mounts all the disks is mounting swap partition [ok] and guessed it, back reboot loop.

1. Can anyone tell me what the acpi=off really does. I know it has something to do with laptop power management but why would it hang my system.
2. What is noapic? also nolapic? Something with the network card?????????
3. What do you think would be hanging my system right when I was ready to use my first sucessful linux load?

Thanks for all the suggestions this far, to be honest I am having a good time trying to figure this out.
Andrew Cowan
Honored Contributor

Re: Linux on an HP Pavilion Desktop

Take a look at this: It explains the meanings of most boot options.