[Techtalk] Completely stumped on linux install on Sony Picturebook

Michelle Murrain michelle at murrain.net
Tue Apr 3 00:12:02 UTC 2007

Hi all,

I am trying to install linux on some Sony Vaio PCG-C1Vx computers,  
known as the picturebook. There are lots of people who seemed to have  
success at it - but not lately - almost all of the pages that would  
have any detail are lost in the mists of internet time.

So here's the problem, and my experiences. I have three of them.  
These little beasties have only a hard drive. They have external  
floppies via one single USB port. I don't have any CD drives for them.

They boot from floppy, but NOT from USB thumb drives, goshdarnit.   
I've got both generic PCMCIA ethernet cards, and some fancy-ish  
newish wifi cards that I haven't even tried. They all had Windows  
2000, until I bricked 2 of them trying to do Linux installs.

This has been my experience so far:
#1: Tried using Debian's "goodbye-microsoft.com"'s debian.exe to  
install. Went fine until it tried to install GRUB. Failed miserably.  
Brick #1. I tried to resurrect it by getting a GRUB floppy, but it  
seems that the partition isn't readable by GRUB, and it can't install  
on it.

#2: Tried a ubuntu netboot via this system: http:// 
Worked great, until the install stopped (I forgot to plug the thing  
in, and it ran out of battery power.) Brick #2.

Now, of course, I could go ahead and try doing the same as #2 on  
laptop #3, except I really don't want 3 bricks. That would make  
things much harder, I suspect, since the only other systems I have  
are Macs. And it seems to me I should be able to do this!

I tried using GRUB on both of these machines  - but it doesn't like  
the partition. I tried a Debian install from floppy on one, and got a  
Kernel panic - it couldn't find a floppy module! So it gave up.

I'm stuck. Any suggestions???


Michelle Murrain
michelle at murrain.net

Blogs:	http://www.metacentricities.com

"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of  
the shore for a very long time." -- André Gide

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