[SATLUG] Trying to install Fedora 10 on a Dell Dimension 3000

Alan Lesmerises alesmerises at satx.rr.com
Mon Aug 10 19:25:18 CDT 2009

John Pappas wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 14:24, Peter Cross <pjcrux at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hello All,
>> Trying to install F10 on a Dell Dimension 3000. However the install process
>> takes about 5 minutes per page in anaconda. When I boot into windows task
>> manager shows 100% CPU utilization. Any thoughts? Is the processor going
>> bad? Memory? The board? Can't figure this out.
> This is not very clear.  How are you loading F10 and using the Windows task
> manager?  Will assume that you have a dual boot system, and you are checking
> CPU right after booting Windows.  Windows takes a bit of time to finish
> loading, so on a slower PC the CPU could be pegged for a while doing
> background things.
> However, you want to diagnose potential hardware problems, so I will aim
> there:
> Quick check: BIOS seems to be OK and the system POSTs.  DOes the BIOS
> reflect proper CPU, CPU speed, Memory installed, etc?
> I would then check the Power Management settings in the BIOS, as sometimes
> the CPU scales back and 100% is actually 100% of 30% of the CPU's primary Hz
> capability (even on Desktops).
> To check memory, I use the MemTest86+ program that is included in many live
> CDs, maybe even the install media for Fedora.  I use SysrescueCD for my
> hardware diagnostics, but GRC's SpinRite does hard drives better.  Both take
> a long time, so be ready to leave the machine alone for 8-24 hours depending
> on level of checks selected.
> For most linux install processes (Assume FC is the same), there are other
> tty's that you can get to with Ctl-Alt-Fx (where x is 1-8, and 7 is usually
> the GUI), just like with running linux systems.  Most of the time, basic
> stuff like `ps` is available, sometimes even `top`.  You could use that CLI
> to do some monitoring to see what is processing.  Most install routines are
> not CPU conservative, as the theory is that it is running on a fresh, single
> system and will only be done once, so do it right, not fast;  thus install
> on a slower system is (you guessed it) slower.  Especially during the YUM
> routines.
> Do you have the target drive on the same bus as the install media (CD or
> DVD)?
> If the HDD is beginning to fail, things tend to be slow as well (Try looking
> at the other tty's, as IIRC a couple of them have log outputs), see if there
> are any IDE retries or things of that nature.  It also may need swap (IIRC
> the install routine enables swap after the partitioning phase) to "speed
> up".
> Once you have collected more detailed info that you can pass on, we can dig
> in further.
> HTH,
> jp

Other things to check would be in the Task Manager -- what program is 
eating up the CPU?

I've seen systems (mine included) where "svchost.exe" was at 100% CPU 
utilization for an extended period after boot-up for no apparent 
reason.  It seemed that it could be because over time the registry has 
gotten filled up with garbage, bad settings, who knows; the system has 
been infected with some kind of spyware or virus(es); or the HD may just 
need some serious housekeeping (defrag, etc.).

If the program responsible for pegging the CPU is something else, we 
might need to do some other research on that.

Al Lesmerises

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