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[vox-tech] problems installing Debian on a Dell laptop
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[vox-tech] problems installing Debian on a Dell laptop


I've been using Red Hat for a while now and would like to try Debian.  I
recently downloaded the Debian "Woody" ISO disk images and burned them,
but I had many problems today while trying to install Debian on my Dell
Inspiron 2100 laptop.  It seems that the laptop is having trouble reading
the disks.  I'll provide some specific error messages below.  After trying
to boot from CDs 1 through 5 several times, I tried booting from the CDs
on a different Dell desktop with no problems.

I thought that I may have damaged the CDs by labeling them with a "sharpie"
pen, but I concluded that there is nothing wrong with the CDs since my
desktop machine can read them and boot into the installer with no
problems.  I also thought something might be wrong with my laptop's
CD-ROM drive, but I just reinstalled Red Hat 8 with no problems.

I had varying levels of success booting from CDs 1-5.  For CD 1, sometimes
the laptop won't boot off the CD at all and justs skips the CD and boots
from the hard drive.  For the other CDs, most of the time I get errors
such as the ones below.

There is one thing that I should mention because I find it very strange.
The first time I attempted to install Debian, I booted from CD 1 with no
problems and even got so far as to recognize my existing partition and
swap space.  I then continued to install the kernel, but I got a little
confused at the point where I should choose my hardware (such as NICs, USB
stuff, etc) and I restarted the computer.  That is when all of my problems
began.  After that point, I was able to boot into the installer a few
times from CDs 2-5, but when the installer prompted me to insert CD 1, it
failed to mount.  Now, it seems that I can't even boot into the installer
from any of the CD.

Here are the specs I was able to gather on my laptop:

Intel mobile P3 700Mhz
Intel Mobile 440BX PCI chipset
Texas Instruments TI1410 CardBus controller
ATI Mobility 4MB AGP Video
Crystal CS4281 Audio
3c905 3Com Ethernet
Lucent WinModem  :-(
256 Mb Ram
20 Gb Hard Drive
External IDE 24x CD-Rom
External Floppy
Linksys WPC11 Ver.3 Wireless NIC

I would appreciate any advice on how to get Debian installed.  Thanks in

Here are some errors I received:

loading install.....
loading idepci.bin........isolinux:
Disk error 0D, Drive 9F
Boot failed: press any key to retry

loading root.bin
loading linux.bin..... ready
uncompressing linux.....
invalid compressed format (err=1)
-- system halted


loading root.bin
loading linux.bin..... ready
uncompressing linux.....
invalid compressed format (err=2)
-- system halted


couldn't find ramdisk image:
couldn't find kernal image:


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