OT: Windows 1, Linux 5

So,
I've built a new PC for the inlaws to use as a business machine, letters, invoices, payroll, VAT etc. Gigabyte board, Intel CPU, 8G RAM, SSD etc.
The 'Dad' has been running Ubuntu as his (default) daily desktop for a few years now (thanks to me) and so they were happy to give Linux a go themselves but because we didn't know what 'Windows only' software they might need, went for a dual boot solution with W10 and Mint 17 (with Mint to be the default OS).
I installed Windows 10 first, it 'just worked' (and has done throughout all the tests).
Then I installed Mint 17.3 (64 bit) and it locked up from the LiveDVD but I thought it might be one of those things. I finally got it installed and whilst updating it crashed in the same way (and has done man times since).
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5772409/MintCrash1.jpg
Long short (posted elsewhere) there seems to be a video compatibility issue. Running Mint in 'Compatibility mode' (software rendering) seem to be ok so conforms that.
Apparently the is a GUI driver tool from Intel that *might* install the right driver, but it isn't compatible with Mint. I try to install Ubuntu MATE but I can't get far enough before it crashes and there doesn't seem to be a compatibility mode..
So, because I've been here before (too many times) I went out and bought an nVidia 210 card and stuck that in.
W10 first uses the card as 'Std VGA' and then installs the nVidia driver automagically.
Mint shows it's using an open-source driver for the card (that seems to work) but there is another and 'recommended' driver available so I click on that to install it.
The first time it crashes before it's finished (and then won't reboot into the GUI) so I have to reinstall Mint. The second time it completes the 'recommended' driver install but again, fails to boot ('Probe error' some gobbledygook).
So, when I get back on it tonight it will be the 5th install of mint and for this one I'll just leave it with the open source driver and give it a good run and see if it holds up.
But really, should a 'Driver manager' app that *recommends* a better driver then crash as you install it? I ask because this is far from the first time I've had that happen across a range of machines, and video cards. ;-(
I think 1:5 is going to be as high as it's going to get, after that they can have Windows only.
Cheers, T i m
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On Wed, 20 Apr 2016 08:51:25 +0100, T i m wrote:

Just to note that Windows 7 (at least) has a habit of trying to install video drivers which are neither use nor ornament, and usually fails.
However the default drivers (and the updates from the manufacturer) do seem to generally work.
Shame about the marketing approach to W10, really.
From W7 onwards mostly it just seemed to work.
Cheers
Dave R
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Hmm, I can't I've seen that (or not 'regularly', but all OS's get it wrong sometimes etc) but 1) The default offering usually works, 2) the likes of nVidia offer utilities that automagically detect and download the right drivers for you (only for Windows I think) and 3) you can usually get into safe mode to fix things. I've rarely (if ever) had to re-install Windows just to get out of a graphics problem. I dare say yer Linux geek could do the same but I'm neither a Windows nor Linux geek.

Yes and work 'well'.

I don't really have any strong feelings about it because I don't really have any choice. If Linux (or OSX) did everything I need then I could (and would) use them instead, but they don't so I can't.

For me 98SE onwards 'just seemed to work' and I'm still running XP here. However, I got an email from Dropbox this morning saying they will be dropping the XP client in August so maybe I'll have to move up to W7 or 10 on my daily machine before then.
Anyroadup, I've just got in so I might see if I can get straight Ubuntu installed, rather than Ubuntu MATE (assuming it has a compatibility mode) and then see if I can get the Intel graphics driver utility to install a driver for the onboard graphics.
That said I really don't like Unity and don't like the mess you get when you add an additional DE (like MATE), with duplicate apps and utilities etc.
Ho hum. ;-(
Cheers, T i m
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T i m wrote:

I'm not being rude. So, Dropbox will be dropping XP then. Next will be AV. We are doomed.
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On Wed, 20 Apr 2016 20:42:59 +0100, "Mr Pounder Esquire"

Why would you be? ;-)

The XP client yes, nothing stopping an XP user still accessing their Dropbox account on the net.

Possibly. But XP is over 14 years old now so not really surprising.

It will be a sad day indeed. ;-(
Cheers, T i m
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On Wednesday, 20 April 2016 10:32:30 UTC+1, David wrote:

o
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I have re-experience of the biggest problem with Windows7 and it is third p arty antiviral ware. AVG had to go VFDQ and so far the free version of Avast is a nuisance that needs to sell me something to cure 2 known problems.
It really isn't too bad apart from insisting on telling me repeatedly and l oudly that they found a threat (usually in the middle of a video presentati on. Maybe I should be more discerning about where I get videos?
That is the problem with freeware, it isn't designed for Microsoft. In fact , I do understand that the more cats you have the larger your Net needs to be and the cost of computer plumbing will go up accordingly but their whole ethos is built into the way that hardware needs upgrading. There is no rea son that a motherboard should need to be replaced for more RAM is there? Not at the design stage?
Is there?
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On 29/04/16 12:53, Weatherlawyer wrote:

+100 on that

Yes.
Typically they can only design for what class of RAM is available at the time. If the density goes up that means a lot more decode to access the new higher density boards.
And if the OS only can access 3.9GB, what's the point in a board that can handle 16GB?
MoBo production costs are pared to the bone.
Wandering slightly off topic,. last night I trashed an old windows 7 HP laptop installation for Linux Mint. It installed without any issues at all, even oddly enough working out of the box on Wifi DESPITE informing me that wifi was disabled until I installed broadcom drivers.
Its now several times faster on net access than it was with Win7 + Spyware + Anti- Spyware + Anti Virus+ Adware + fragged disk etc etc

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On Fri, 29 Apr 2016 04:53:44 -0700 (PDT), Weatherlawyer
<snip> >> From W7 onwards mostly it just seemed to work.

Ok.

?
Strange, never had it try to sell me anything and I've been using it across all my Windows machine (XP-10) for a long time? It's often offered me 'upgrades', to the full version etc but that's about it?

I think you can tell it to stay in the background, like when playing a game (or video)?

Maybe. ;-)

I'm not quite sure what that means? Yes it (can be) freeware and the 'Windows versions' are 'designed for' Windows?

Hmm, I have several fairly old PC's running Windows 10 as fast as they run Linux (for example) so I'm not quite with you on that either?

No, except, 'progress' often means bigger and faster and therefore you often do need more RAM and disk space than you did when say running in the CLI.
My 1098 Morris Minor Van did 70 mph (just) and 50 mpg many many years ago and yet we think 50 mpg is 'good' today. The difference is that we are having to do 50 mpg with a load more weight because of all the 'must have' gadgets and all the safety stuff. Does a 50" TFT TV use less power than a 18" CRT TV? Can you play Blu-Rays on your DVD player?

See above?
Cheers, T i m
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Can you see your hardware here?
https://community.linuxmint.com/hardware
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I don't know how to make it show say the motherboard Nick? ;-(
FWIW it's a Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. H81M-S2H
ASUS DRW-24F1MT [Optical drive]
MKNSSDTR240GB [SSD Hard drive]
8092 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory
The thing is, what I requested off my mate in the PC shop is some 'reasonable components' and that would have meant whatever his supplier had in stock that they generally sold in reasonable quantity (because they were generally 'good' with Windows).
Now, given say the option of two equal spec motherboards at similar prices and it was *guaranteed* that the distro and version of Linux I was thinking of running (at the time) was supported on only one, I would have gone for that. However 1) I'm 99% sure the distributor wouldn't have any idea about Linux compatibility and 2) this would all be 'the tail wagging the dog' to me (all be it the case in some cases). [1]
I want to choose what hardware I want (for all sorts of reasons) and would *like* to think that Windows or Linux would both run on it?
Now, I'm not saying that's what always happens ITRW, but no reason why I should expect it to be the case 1) in 2016 and 2) if Linux is as good as some crack it up to be?
If I buy a modern car that runs on petrol I expect to be able to go to any petrol station and have the pump work with it.
Cheers, T i m
[1] I've got the same problem getting my in-laws a printer that is guaranteed to work (fully) with Linux. The chances are it won't mention Linux support on the box or in the tech spec and if it did I doubt it would state what distros and versions?
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On 20/04/2016 21:00, T i m wrote:

I've tried Mint many times and it worked fine a year or so ago. last few attempts on different machines and it's a dead duck.
I'd suggest scrapping the idea of ever getting Mint to run in it's current generation and try Ubuntu. Although I haven't tried it for a while and it appears to have become a bit of a fat kid these days, it's previously run on both machines that Mint spits the dummy at so if the very latest version is a no-go you could drop back to an LTS distro of a year or 2 ago. Plus it's less likely to crap up in the future (Less being the operative word) ;)
Pete
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<snip> > This machine runs Ubuntu 10.4, which works very satisfactorily

Do you use Unity OOI? We tried installing other Desktop Environments as an alternative to it for my BIL's daily PC but things got into such a mess we gave up and just added the little applications applet.

Ok.

What I generally do now on any PC that isn't going to be Linux only is install Windows, install EasyBCD (free) and then manage the booting from that. Then I can install Linux and just tell the installer to put the boot stuff on the Linux root partition, rather than the MBR and then I have easy and full control of the boot process via Windows.
Then, if I ever have any boot issues from Windows I can repair it using the std (and often built_in / automagic) tools and if I (or whoever I've installed Linux for) wants the space back for Windows I can simply delete all the Linux partitions, re-size Windows to use the space (that you can do in Windows) and remove it from the boot menu.

As mentioned elsewhere, on my latest and problematic Mint (17.3) install it still locks up even after I've added the nVidia card and I repeated the same test on Windows and it still hadn't locked up after twice the time.
The only things I can think of that I can still do (before removing Linux completely) are. 1) Remove the WiFi card in case the Linux drivers are conflicting somewhere and run the test over wired and 2) see if I can get Ubuntu 14.04 installed and then be able to install the Intel Graphics Utility to install the right drivers for the onboard graphics (that should be more than sufficient for a 'business PC).
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2015/09/intel-graphics-installer-for-linux-adds-support-for-ubuntu-15-04
The issue is getting Ubuntu to even run in the first place as I'm not sure it has a 'Compatibility mode' on the LiveDVD boot menu (I couldn't see anything in any of the boot options)?
I did try it on Mint and when I ran it it told be it wasn't a supported platform (even though Mint and Ubuntu share many common underpinnings. So much for all this Linux stuff being 'the same underneath'. ;-(
And that's the rub, nearly every real-world issue you come up with the Linux geeks will (try to) come up with a counter argument that will inevitably contradict themselves (or each other).
'Mint is good for noobs' ... until it doesn't install or work easily then it's 'You really ought to learn Linux' (even though you didn't need to 'learn Windows' to get that running on the exact same hardware)?
'Linux supports more hardware than Windows' ... until you try to install it on something that is either 'too old' or 'too new' and then you are pointed to the Linux hardware compatibility list. If Linux was so compatible with so much, why do you need a list at all?
And the really funny one is the Linux nerds saying 'Linux installed easily on their laptop and everything 'just worked'. What they often actually mean is 'everything that I use just worked' as I don't actually use the webcam, SD card reader or want to scan over the LAN, none of which do work. *I* wouldn't call that 'everything' or consider that a successful install / solution (just as I wouldn't for any other OS). <shrug>
Cheers, T i m
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On Fri, 22 Apr 2016 08:23:38 +0100, T i m wrote:

adds-support-for-ubuntu-15-04

I've had linux installs that worked and a few that didn't. Usually, on the ones that didn't, it was issues with the video. In Mint, at least, you can override the automatic video handling by forcing vga resolutions. Once you're in you can often get the video resolution & refresh recognised correctly so that it works. Having said that, recognition of vga monitors tends to be non-existent so you tend to get stuck with 800x600 or 1024x768 no matter what resolutions are supported.
The graphic card manufacturers don't always play ball. That's why we have this problem. The drivers supplied with linux are "free" and written by reverse engineering windows systems. That means that changes made on newer hardware are rarely used by linux. ATI have a history of dropping support for older cards from their binary blob drivers - and don't tell you which cards are currently supported. Linux drivers for Intel graphics seem to be temperamental sometimes. I've even had problems with the Nvidia binary drivers sometimes.
When messing about, always uninstall binary drivers and revert to the free one if you are going to play with the graphics card. They seem to interact sometimes and prevent you from booting to anything other than a black screen.
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On 22/04/16 20:30, mick wrote:

There are a lot of issues with late Intel chipsets.
Best answer for a desktop is install a cheap Nvidia.
Laptop is an issue
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<snip> >I've had linux installs that worked and a few that didn't.
Me too. My first forays into Linux generally didn't work (early SuSE boxed versions bought from PCW) and if I got a viewable screen I generally didn't also get LAN or sound etc. I think the first where it all worked was Ubuntu 6 or summat.

Agreed.

What I have found in the past that it will run from the LiveDVD but not when fully installed, because the LiveDVD has the ability to treat the hardware differently (or summat)?

Agreed, but getting slightly better as time has gone on.

That is one area (video drivers) that has trashed more Linux systems for me than anything else. As long as I can get to a GUI desktop I can usually get something going but at the terminal and around video, rarely. The same would probably apply to Windows and OSX of course but Windows has a pretty reliable 'Safe mode' that is still a GUI and I've never had that issue on a Mac (probably because Apple make the OS and the hardware ). ;-)

The only way I know how to do that is if the driver is covered in the Driver Manager app.

So I understand and have seen that black screen all too often (especially of late). But really should it be after just clicking on the 'recommended driver'? ;-)
On that ... I may have a handle on the funny graphics and lockups.
With it all as was (WiFi card an Geforce 210) I got a few seconds into a Youtube video and then it did this:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5772409/Mint%20crashed.mp4
Grabbing time inbetween doing lots of other stuff, I pulled the WiFi and nVidia cards but the issue just got worse. You couldn't even fully boot a Ubuntu 14.04.3 LiveDVD (or I was going to install that and have a go at the Intel Linux graphics utility).
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5772409/Ubuntu%20crashed.jpg
I swapped out the SSD for another (with Mint 17 on) and that first crashed before fully booting and then after a reset, after getting to the desktop for a few seconds.
Then I ran Memtest from the Ubuntu LiveDVD and it ran fine for about an hour. W10 ran fine as well.
However, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
So, I pulled on of the 2 x 4G DDR3 modules, rebooted and it crashed straight away. I pulled the second and replaced it with the first (so just 4G now) and, for the time I had to test it, it seemed to run ok. I swapped them back and boom, it crashed straight away!
So, very early days (I'll get back onto it tomorrow) but it may be one of the brand new (Crucial) ram modules?
The fault certainly looks like a video RAM issue and that would make more sense when using the onboard video solution (sharing the system RAM) than a card with it's own graphics RAM.
My mate in the PC shop has a new motherboard (in case) and RAM coming in on Monday and hopefully I will have had to give the PC a better burn-in test before then.
*Then* I can hopefully give my inlaws the dual boot PC I promised them and without having to spend more money on a video card to potentially just placate Linux (as the box ran fine with W10 on the onboard graphics)?
Cheers, T i m
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On Sat, 23 Apr 2016 00:05:05 +0100, T i m wrote:
<snip>

<snip>
I've just had a severe problem with 2 of the "Crucial Value" range modules. Part of my upgrade, after the RAM, was to change the CPU from dual to quad core. I checked all the info about the m/b and the cpu to make sure that they were compatible. I'd kept the original 1GB and 2GB modules and added 2 new 2GB modules in the other bank.
It wouldn't boot with the quad core, but ran perfectly with the dual. Post beeps were "bad RAM". But the RAM worked fine with the original CPU.... I was worried that I'd bought a dead one (s/h off ebay).
After lots of messing about I started from scratch. Old CPU, no RAM. "bad RAM beeps". That's fine. Swap CPU. Same beeps. That's ok too. Add 1GB stick. Tries to boot but fails. Swap it for old 2GB and it boots. Swap for a new 2GB and it fails with "bad RAM".
The new RAM won't work in any position or in any combination with the quad core CPU. I've got it sorted now by swapping RAM between machines (I've settled for 6GB but it works. :) ).
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Yeah, I've been there and feel your pain. ;-(
JOOI, do you have the spec for the motherboard re RAM as I have seen some that will use only particular combinations under specific circumstances, like requiring different RAM speeds and size?
I'm 99.9% sure it was the RAM module that was causing issues for Mint an other Lini (but not W10 or Memtest for some reason) as I had Mint running Youtube videos most the day yesterday with no issues (which it partly why I was 'hanging in there with Mint' as I was aware there could be external influences that could play a part. Lucky I did it seems <g>).
My mate should be getting some replacement RM tomorrow an I'll run it again with the full 8G and hope it's not a motherboard / other / combo issue (I'm fairly confident now though).
Then I just need to get them a 'Linux compatible' printer but I have no real idea what that is (unless it's one I have here that I *know* works with Linux) and what printer to advise. I think they should at least get a mono laser and if their new letterhead has colour, get that printed first (either on someone else's colour laser or a professional printer). They do have a networked HP All-In-One that I think you can print to AND scan from over the LAN with Linux (Ubuntu) so they should be able to make do with that till they decide.
Cheers, T i m
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T i m wrote:

You should find that any laser printer will work under Linux. I use a colour Brother one and every Linux box finds it OK. Windows (XP or 7)however needed it set to a fixed address in order for it to work. It even prints perfectly from my Android phone as Brother have written the drivers for it. About £200 from Amazon.
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[70 lines snipped]

I would eschew Winprinters because of the extra hoops you have to jump through to get them to work.
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On 24/04/16 17:35, Huge wrote:

Are there any left?
Most printers have PS these days.
And the older stuff has usually been catered for years ago
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