[lug] CD-R drives? (Was CD-R drives)

Tim Fredrick fredrick at acd.ucar.edu
Thu Oct 21 07:52:34 MDT 1999

As a facility that primarily uses Linux on Compaq PC's I thought I'd
beter pipe in :-)  Their BIOS is indeed on a special partition, but
the partition is small, and the Redhat installations that we do seem
to allow you to leave it alone.  You also have the option to access the
same BIOS functions from a floppy or CD-ROM boot in case something bad
happens to the hard disk partition.

For a couple of years now, we've had relatively few problems with setting
up Redhat Linux on Compaq Deskpro, Compaq Prosignia, Compaq Presario
notebook, and Compaq Workstation machines.  Our only real difficulty is
when we try to mix IDE and SCSI hard disks -- unlike what you can do
with some firmware BIOS's, I haven't yet discovered a way to force a
Compaq PC to let you have the choice whether to consider the IDE or the
SCSI disk as the primary boot device.  In general, though, we like the
hardware choices on our Compaq systems, and feel that the overall quality
of the machines is high and have had few failures of Compaq PC's so far.

I put Redhat 6.1 on my Compaq Presario 1925 and almost everything installed
"out of the box" including the Neomagic video.  I only needed to disable the
USB to free up an IRQ for the PCMCIA ethernet.  My only complaint with
Linux on the Presario 1925 is 16-bit
rather than 24-bit color :-) but that's a problem with many notebook PC's.
Oh, and the software BIOS did not exist on the Presario 1925 -- not sure
about other Presario notebook PC's, though.

As far as Dell and Gateway, my experience has been that those machines use
a firmware BIOS (we buy a lot of Dells and put Linux on them, but have little
experience with Gateway as of recent years).

--Tim Fredrick (fredrick at acd.ucar.edu)
  NCAR/ACD Computer Systems Administration

> On Wed, 20 Oct 1999, Michael J. Pedersen wrote:
> >Avoid Compaq if you ever want to install Linux.  I think the same is true of
> >Dell and Gateway.  They put their BIOS on a special partition of the hard
> >drive, making it all software, which sucks royally.

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