Problems Installing Red Hat Linux 8.0 on Dell Precision 350

Michael Adams
Sat Feb 1 09:58:00 2003

Hi Folks.

I recently purchased a Dell Precision Workstation 350 with the plan to
configure it as a dual-OS (i.e., Red Hat Linux 8.0 and Windows 2000
Professional SP 3) machine.  I was assured by my sales representative
that the machine would run Red Hat Linux 8.0 out of the box, so I
ordered the Windows 2000 Professional model, and got Red Hat 8.0
directly from Red Hat.  Now, when I try to install Red Hat Linux, the
system hangs very early during the installation process.  I am able to
successfully get to the very first prompt after booting.  At this
point, I have tried the default GUI-based install (by just pressing
enter), and also the "linux noprobe" and "linux text" options.  No
matter which approach I use, the system dies in the same way:  It locks
up as soon as it hits the screen that gives the opportunity to test the
CD media before proceeding further into the installation process.  The
media test screen is drawn, but the system will not accept any keyboard
input.  I have already successfully booted my linux CDs and tested
the media multiple times on another machine, and everything works
fine.  So the problem is definitely attributable to the Dell computer,
not the media.

Do you have any idea what is wrong?  I was told that Dell's Linux
distribution is *exactly* the same as Red Hat Linux 8.0 as shipped by
Red Hat.  Perhaps, I was misinformed, since Red Hat 8.0 will not
install properly on my machine (and it dies very early in the
installation process).  Does Dell's Linux CD media have some bug fixes
necessary for the Precision 350 platform?  Or should the original Red
Hat 8.0 media (from Red Hat) work correctly?

Thank you for your time.


Michael Adams, Assistant Professor
Dept. of Elec. and Comp. Engineering, University of Victoria
P.O. Box 3055 STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P6, CANADA
Tel: +1 250 721 6025, Fax: +1 250 721 6052
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