[SOLVED] NEC Spirit 550

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

[SOLVED] NEC Spirit 550

Postby phenest » 2019-08-06 17:26

Does anyone else have one of these? Basically it's a Pentium 4 based machine with an SiS chipset with integrated SiS graphics. But I'm damned if I can run Linux on it!

Specification:
M/B: PTM661GX-AA with SiS 661GX chipset (south bridge)
CPU: Pentium 4 (651) 3.4GHz HT
RAM: 2GB PC3200
GPU: SiS M741

Designed for Windows XP and runs very well. I've had Windows 10 running on this, not brilliantly, but not bad neither. Linux, on the other hand, is not so easy.
I've had Debian Squeeze installed and running happily. I can boot an Ubuntu Hardy Heron live CD without a problem, but I cannot get a modern Linux based distro to work. Not even Puppy.
The problem is, it won't start the kernel. Every modern(ish) distro does the same. When the kernel is started, the computer stops dead. Completely. The computer has to be reset.

Or have I found a computer that has an unsupported spec, or obsolete hardware?
Last edited by phenest on 2019-08-17 20:57, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby ruwolf » 2019-08-06 18:07

Maybe i686 version? :-)
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby stevepusser » 2019-08-06 19:00

antiX might have a driver for the graphics card; have you tried that yet? You don't have to stick with its super lightweight GUI if you want something heavier, either.
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Foliate 1.5.3, Minitube 3.1, wine-staging 4.14, Virtual Box 5.2.32 & 6.0.10, Pale Moon 28.6.1, Waterfox 56.2.13
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby phenest » 2019-08-06 19:39

stevepusser wrote:antiX might have a driver for the graphics card

I wish the kernel would get far enough to worry about that, but the kernel doesn't initialise.

ruwolf wrote:Maybe i686 version? :-)

Is there one? I mean, I've tried the i386 and the kernel doesn't start.
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby ruwolf » 2019-08-06 19:54

@stevepusser: I use JWM on ThinkPad X200. 8)

@phenest: AntiX has i686 version
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby phenest » 2019-08-06 20:13

Antix doesn't appear to have a 686 iso. Only 386 and x64.
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby arochester » 2019-08-06 20:15

The computer seems a bit of an odd fish.

If you search for
NEC Spirit 550
it doesn't come up with much.

There was a one for sale on eBay https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEC-Spirit-5 ... 7675.l2557 The screenshots show a Packard-Bell screen. It has Nvidia instead of SIS.

I'm sure I used to run a computer with SIS but I am blowed if I can remember what I used.

I wonder what would happen if you could use
Code: Select all
noapic
?
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby anticapitalista » 2019-08-06 21:29

phenest wrote:Antix doesn't appear to have a 686 iso. Only 386 and x64.


Try the 17.4.1 32/386 bit version -

https://sourceforge.net/projects/antix- ... ntiX-17.4/
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby stevepusser » 2019-08-07 01:31

Yes, antiX follows the Debian convention of using i386 for 32-bit and amd64 for 64-bit Intel x86 type packages. That doesn't mean they are really compatible all the way back to an i386 system!
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby phenest » 2019-08-07 13:45

Starting to get somewhere. Antix boots up, loads the kernel and actually starts. But it stops at:
Code: Select all
Waiting for /dev to be fully populated


I'm wondering if that SiS chipset is no longer supported in the kernel.
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby ruwolf » 2019-08-07 14:18

For antiX, try antiX-forum, they have probably more practice with older computers...
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby kedaha » 2019-08-07 18:46

Hi
Maybe you could boot with:
nomodeset
Just a thought
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-08-07 19:26

^ +1

Even if the SiS card lacks a driver you should be able to get to the desktop with vesa(4).
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby phenest » 2019-08-07 19:28

I can't even get to a console.
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Re: NEC Spirit 550

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-08-07 19:30

Press "e" with the GRUB menu entry highlighted then add nomodeset to the end of the line that starts with "linux" and use <ctrl>+x (at the same time) to boot the modified entry.
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