Installing Buster on a junk machine

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Installing Buster on a junk machine

Postby mdavidjohnson » 2019-07-26 22:00

I have an old Windows 2003 Server junk machine from 2005 which is thoroughly messed-up. I would like to replace the OS with Debian 10 Buster.

However, the dvdrom is not working (it only opens with the paperclip and then the dvd inside is not even spinning).

Furthermore, it is apparently not bootable from usb (I made four tries: putting Live, and then NetInstall versions on the usb stick; first with Rufus, and then with UNetBootin).

I would be willing to try win32-loader, but the Win2003 won't boot - the Directory Services are corrupted and I've forgotten the DSRM password.

At this point, I think I'd like to pull the IDE (or the SATA) drive out of the junk machine, plug the drive into my Debian 9 Stretch production machine via a usb port with an IDE/SATA to usb adapter (the point of this entire exercise being to test out 10 on the junk machine before upgrading my production machine), install 10 to that drive, and then plug the drive back into the junk machine.

The problem is that I can't find any info on how to install / on that drive during partitioning without endangering / on the production machine's /dev/sda.

Would anyone have any suggestions?

FYI: the junk machine is an Intel Celeron 2.66 GHz 608MB RAM with Phoenix AwardBIOS v6.00PG running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition SP1 and Maxtor SATA HDD 300GB and Western Digital IDE HDD 40GB.
mdavidjohnson
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2019-07-26 21:51

Re: Installing Buster on a junk machine

Postby ruwolf » 2019-07-26 22:37

The most simple and most safe procedure is removing your current /dev/sda disk from production machine.
The second is being careful during partitioning. :-)
User avatar
ruwolf
 
Posts: 365
Joined: 2008-02-18 05:04
Location: Slovakia, Banovce nad Bebravou, Matice slovenskej 1260/4-7

Re: Installing Buster on a junk machine

Postby sunrat » 2019-07-27 01:37

What ruwolf said ^^

There's also a way to initiate boot of an image from a floppy disk although you'll have to look that up yourself.
With 608MB RAM you'll probably not have much fun with Buster unless you skip using a DE and just use a WM like Openbox. Or install a lighter distro like antiX.
“ computer users can be divided into 2 categories:
Those who have lost data
...and those who have not lost data YET ”
Remember to BACKUP!
User avatar
sunrat
 
Posts: 2758
Joined: 2006-08-29 09:12
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Installing Buster on a junk machine

Postby nadebula1984 » 2019-07-27 02:55

First of all, try to find out how to boot from USB (be it a USB key, USB HDD or USB CD-ROM). You may have to try to update your motherboard's firmware (BIOS), though.

If this is not practical, a workaround is to remove one of the HDDs (preferably the SATA one) from the chassis and install it into a USB HDD enclosure (box). Connect said USB HDD to your current working computer and perform a normal installation. Be sure not to use (mount) any partitions on your working computer's internal hard disk(s), and be sure to write MBR to the correct HDD (the USB one). To avoid potential data loss, you can temporarily remove your working computer's internal hard disk(s), either physically remove them or disable them in the firmware. When installation finishes, re-install the HDD to your old desktop machine.

BTW, It's uncertain whether your CPU (according to your statement, a Celeron 2.66 GHz) supports 64-bit instruction set. Celeron 331 supports 64-bit, but Celeron 330 doesn't. So the i386 architecture is recommended. The RAM should be 128 MiB + 512 MiB (640 MiB total, 32 MiB of which is used by integrated graphics), barely enough for a mid-light weight desktop environment such as Xfce or MATE.
nadebula1984
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 2018-06-03 11:46

Re: Installing Buster on a junk machine

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-07-27 11:08

mdavidjohnson wrote:Furthermore, it is apparently not bootable from usb (I made four tries: putting Live, and then NetInstall versions on the usb stick; first with Rufus, and then with UNetBootin).

Are you sure the USB stick isn't bad? Did you check the validity of the image? Unetbootin doesn't work with Debian images and Rufus requires a special ("DD") option. Use the method recommended in the official Installation Guide instead.
User avatar
Head_on_a_Stick
 
Posts: 10346
Joined: 2014-06-01 17:46
Location: /dev/chair

Re: Installing Buster on a junk machine

Postby mdavidjohnson » 2019-07-28 03:32

Thank you all.

I tried two separate usb sticks, both of which I know to be good from other recent use.

If changing the BIOS and pulling out the Production Machine's HDD are the best options, I think I'll just replace the junk machine's DVD ROM.

And thanks for the heads-up on the RAM - I guess I'll just re-purpose this one as a command-prompt-only file server, and pull out a bigger one to test Gnome on.
mdavidjohnson
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 2019-07-26 21:51


Return to Installation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests

fashionable