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 Operating System Installation 
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 3:44 pm
Posts: 4
Post Operating System Installation
Hi,

I have a Fit-PC Slim (I think) that I bought a while ago but never got round to using. It took me a while to work out how to get it to boot from a USB memory stick as the "boot order" section in the BIOS seems to be ignored (it just boots from drive C: - whatever you have configured that to be in the BIOS - regardless of the boot order you specify). I have tried reinstalling an operating system on its hard drive but with mixed results to say the least. For example:

  • If I install the Plop boot manager to the hard drive's MBR, the USB keyboard and mouse connected then stop working once I start booting an operating system, etc. (using the boot USB option)
  • I have tried booting from a memory stick installed with WinSetUpFromUSB but that just drops out to the BIOS debugger - which is also exactly what happens when I installed grub4dos to the hard drive's MBR using Puppy Linux 6.0 so I'm guessing GRUB is simply not compatible with this machine.
  • I tried to install XP from a partition on the hard drive, but the Rufus Boot DOS USB memory stick I created doesn't include smartdrv.exe, and the XP set-up process immediately complained that it couldn't find a hard drive with enough free space for temporary files when I proceeded without it.
  • Using an MSDOS boot USB memory stick (also created with Rufus Boot), the XP set-up process did start despite the absence of smartdrv.exe but then just seemed to hang after the initial "Copying files" stage.

I've never had a machine cause me so many headaches. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to install operating systems to this machine, preferably from USB?


EDIT: I have now been able to install Windows XP (MUCH more slowly) by connecting an IDE DVD-ROM drive (in another PC) via USB using an IDE/SATA-USB adapter (and a long USB extension lead). I still don't understand why it's so difficult to install from a USB memory stick...


Mon May 07, 2018 4:11 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:21 pm
Posts: 69
Post Re: Operating System Installation
fit-pc slim is a mature product.
We'll do our best to provide some form of instructions for your action.
Hope to get back to you soon on this.


Mon May 14, 2018 6:56 am
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 3:44 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: Operating System Installation
tamir wrote:
fit-pc slim is a mature product.
We'll do our best to provide some form of instructions for your action.
Hope to get back to you soon on this.


Hi tamir,

It's OK, I've managed to figure out quite a lot for myself and have really started this thread for anybody else that might run into similar problems.

My biggest bugbear is that the BIOS does not respect the boot order specified - it always tries to boot from drive C: (whatever you have configured that to be) first regardless of the boot order you have set up. Now that I've figured out how to boot from a USB flash drive I have been able to make some progress using Unetbootin: in addition to Win XP Pro, I've managed to install Puppy Linux 6.0 non-PAE (fairly usable), antiX 13.1 (usable) and Fedora 20 (unusable). Lubuntu 18.04 installed but won't boot - I probably need to install an older, non-PAE version such as 10.x - and I've even managed to install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 on the XP installation. The version of GRUB (0.97) included with antiX 13.1 is compatible with the Fit-PC Slim so I'm using that as the boot loader to select which of these OSes to boot.

For anyone interested, I downloaded the XP wi-fi driver (WiFi_V1220_XP.zip) from this webpage: https://pt.driverscollection.com/_44013 ... r%C3%A1tis

My other bugbear is that your company does not make the drivers (especially for XP) for your older products available on your website. They're not exactly going to take up much disk space. It's ridiculous that owners of your products have to go hunting around the internet for possible drivers in the hope that they don't end up downloading something malicious in the process. Very irresponsible. I also stumbled upon this forum pretty much by accident - there are no links (or no obvious ones, anyway) to this area from your main website. That is pretty poor too.

EDIT Actually, there is one more major bugbear: that WinSetUpFromUSB is not compatible with the machine. As I mentioned before, I think this incompatibility is down to grub4dos. The Fit-PC Slim is probably the only machine in the world that isn't compatible with grub4dos...


Mon May 14, 2018 10:35 am
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Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:21 pm
Posts: 69
Post Re: Operating System Installation
Unfortunately beyond the fact that this product is over 10 y/o, there's a limitation of SW compatibility that we can test in regard to the world of Unix which is very vast.
Although, all of the latest product and some of our mature products have full support and are also offered with Linux mint, which is Ubuntu based.
Of course other distributions would work, but as said before, the only one which goes under qualification is the Linux mint.


Mon May 14, 2018 11:14 am
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 3:44 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: Operating System Installation
tamir wrote:
Unfortunately beyond the fact that this product is over 10 y/o, there's a limitation of SW compatibility that we can test in regard to the world of Unix which is very vast.
Although, all of the latest product and some of our mature products have full support and are also offered with Linux mint, which is Ubuntu based.
Of course other distributions would work, but as said before, the only one which goes under qualification is the Linux mint.


grub4dos v0.4.1 was relased at the end of 2005, so I imagine it was pretty contemporary with the Fit-PC Slim. I have not had a chance to test that version yet, and I'm not sure which version WinSetUpFromUSB uses that appears to be incompatible.

For clarification, I'm not expecting you to provide me with support for grub4dos not working on my PC-Fit Slim - I'm just rather shocked that it doesn't.


Mon May 14, 2018 1:24 pm
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 3:44 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: Operating System Installation
Further update, I have now installed Lubuntu 10.0.4 (which uses GRUB 1.98 as its booloader) and this also appears to be quite usable.


Mon May 14, 2018 1:43 pm
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