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Hey, ya'll

Got a bit of a problem that has me baffled...I'm not sure if it should go here, but since I found the problem while trying to install Ubuntu, this seems a good place to start.

To make a long story short....I was recently given an emachine, 2.50 GHz Celeron processor, 40 Gb HD, 256 MB memory...the person I got it from had gotten it badly infected, necessitating wiping the HD to fix it. This I was unable to do, since the orginal owner had lost the OS disks. I recommended that she needed to replace the OS and since she was not willing to pay the money to do this, I was given the computer.

Not having the money to purchase XP Home edition, which this computer has, I thought this would be a fine time to try Ubuntu. Got a friend with broadband to download the ISO for me, and I know it works because I ran the test drive on another computer...the auto run works fine, loads fine, no problem.

Now here is my problem...the emachine will not boot from the disk....it'll run a windows program from the autorun, no problem, but it will not boot from the disk to be able to load Ubuntu. I changed the BIOS to try to boot from CDRom 1st, floppy second and HD last. But no matter what I do, it will not boot from either...cannot reformat the HD, even, because it won't load a floppy, period...can't even access the old Windows 98 disk tools from an old rescue disk.

Is this something built into the BIOS itself for an emachine, that keeps it from even loading anything but windows? Can't figure it out. If nothing else I'll try to reinstall on this with Win98, but I don't really want to do this, and I keep hitting the same problem that it won't let me reformat, since I can't access anything but the HD and this computer badly needs to be reformatted.

The only thing I can think to do is physically remove the HD and put it into another computer to try to reformat and install Ubuntu, but since the motherboards are different, I am not sure if this will work, either, once the HD is back in the emachine.

Any tips or tricks ya'll can suggest will be much appreciated, because I am stumped.

Thanking you in advance
 

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What iso do you have? Ubuntu 7.10 now comes bundled with Compiz-Fusion and the system requirements have gone up - LiveCD 384Mb of Ram, Alternate CD "installs on systems with less than about 320MB of RAM"(Wikipedia). If it can't load from a floppy why put CD 1st, Floppy 2nd and Hard Drive 3rd? Why not CD First, Hard Drive 2nd? Make sure that the Boot Order is saved to the BIOS.
 

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This is just a shot in the dark, but dig through your BIOS and try to find a "Reset to Factory Default", after that, change your boot sequence again so that the CD-ROM is first, and whatever else you want after that (doesn't matter much, unless you have an external usb storage device attached, and you have USB in the menu). Sometimes BIOS's that try to boot off of USB devices snag during POST for a little while. The quickest solution to that kind of annoyance is to just unplug the device that's causing the hang up, but that's probably not your problem...just mentioning it.

During POST, does it show you anything that says it's correctly detecting the attached devices. There may even be an explicit listing of attached IDE/SATA devices found in your BIOS somewhere....

Also, during POST, do the lights blink on anything (HD activity light, CD-ROM light, Floppy drive light)? If so, does switching the order from CD-ROM first to Floppy first, CD-ROM second cause a visible change in the light blinking order during POST? (Sorry, I just finished watch HOUSE, so I'm rambling off a bunch of remote possibilities like he does. Weird).
 
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