What am I doing wrong with Linux?

I've been trying to get Fedora 11 on a relatively old computer that, until recently, was running Windows XP home edition. It worked fine on that, but wouldn't detect any Linux Live CD's I put in there ( burned off the internet--could iso be the culprit?) to try to test Linux. It was set to boot from the CD-Rom drive and everything, but it simply didn't detect the live CD's. I thought that was just some weird thing about my computer, and that it would work if I simply did a major OS change. So I bought a new HDD and configured it for single. The computer detects the hard drive, it works great, but then the computer doesn't detect the first Fedora 11 install disc ( again from the internet) in the CD-Rom drive. And now, perhaps I just don't have the jumper right, but now the computer won't detect the old hard drive I replaced, when it's connected singly. Any help is welcome. My theory is that it is one of the following things: The iso format of the CD's is messing with the computer ( so it wouldn't read Live CD's earlier), the CD-RW's and R's are old, corrupted, etc., or that my computer is somehow totally incompatible with Linux. I skimmed the hardware before trying to install Fedora, and didn't see anything obviously Windows-only. It is designed for Windows '98, 2000, etc. It is a Dell Dimension XPS T650r with intel Pentium 3. Thanks!

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orksecurity8 years ago
Just to get the dumb question out of the way: You did unpack the ISO file onto that CD, rather than just copying the ISO file onto the CD as a single file, right? (Don't ask how I know about this particular error. And I knew better.) Detecting the old hard drive: May indeed be the master/slave jumper, depending on what else is on that cable.
mad magoo (author)  orksecurity8 years ago
By moving the jumpers, I got it to recognize the old HDD. I also found out how to open an ISO file, and downloaded software called MagicDisc to do so. I opened the iso, removed some stuff ( just fonts, a picture, and a BitTorrent client, I think), and burned the opened files ( and a few folders) to the CD, booted it up, and nothing happened. Then I tried the same thing, except I only burned the BOOT folder to the CD, and still nothing happened. I asked a question on how to burn a CD image, but it hasn't gotten any views ( and it says that it has a poor rating, and also that no one has rated it), and I'bles seems to have had troubles publishing some of my questions in the past. So if anyone here could tell me how to burn a CD image, I would be grateful. I have an HP computer loaded with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. Thanks!
PKM mad magoo8 years ago
I use Nero which came with my CD burner, or there are plenty of ISO burners available on the interwebs but I can't personally recommend any particular one.

The only thing you have to do is make sure you are choosing "burn image to CD" or something like that, not "write files to CD". Once you have burned the CD, take it out and put it back in the Windows machine. If all you see is an ISO file, put the disc on the table, put your coffee on the disc (as it's now what we call a coaster) and try again. If you see directories etc. on the CD, it's more likely to have worked.

However, there is more to it than just burning the files that were in the ISO to the CD- the reason it is supplied as an ISO is that the CD needs a boot sector to be written, and the easiest way to do that is to burn a CD image to it. This is all complexity that you don't actually need to worry about- if the ISO recorder you get works, and your computer is capable of booting from the CD drive, it should just work. I'd follow ZEROGX's link to isorecorder, install and use it.

(If you are still confused about the difference between burning an ISO image and burning the files it contains to the CD, check out the wikipedia article on disc images.)
mad magoo (author)  orksecurity8 years ago
orksecurity: Regarding unpacking the ISO file, I have no idea what you're talking about, but I've never done it, so that could be the problem. I just did the CD writing wizard for the CD, where in My Documents it says " Files ready to be written to CD" then displays the Fedora Disc 1 file for i386 ( Again, explanations are welcome) architecture. I click "Write these files to CD" , the Cd writing wizard opens, i name the CD "Fedora 11 Disc 1", and it burns the CD over about 20 minutes.
It does sound like you wrote the ISO file to the CD as a file, rather than as a CD image. Unfortunately, the two are very different operations. I don't know what CD burning tool you're using, but look in its help for instructions on how to burn an ISO image to the disk. For example, in Sonic (which happened to come with my machine) you would select Backup, then Burn Image, then select the ISO file, select the drive, insert the disk and press the Burn button.
RelaxedSoup8 years ago
If your computer can boot via USB, then you could create a Live USB jump drive, provided you have a large enough jump drive. However, you might run into some issues with your low amount of system RAM in the long run, correct me if I'm wrong but you only have 128 Mb installed.

Also, have you tried any other distros of Linux? Maybe download Ubuntu and give it a shot, or if you don't want to download a 700 meg ISO, then you could test it with DSL. It might be a problem with Fedora (motherboard not supported, etc.)
Will it boot the Windows install DVD ?
mad magoo (author)  steveastrouk8 years ago
It booted an old Windows XP home Edition CD to upgrade from Windows '98. in theory, I could do so again with the New HDD, but I would have to call for a product code. There wouldn't be much point in that, though, since now I would simply have a bigger HDD with Windows rather than Fedora.
No, all I want to know if if the disk even starts to boot: if it does, its not the PC. Can you use the Fedora disk to boot a laptop or anything else ?
fwjs288 years ago
Check your cd burns and downloads,did u burn it with that computer?
gmxx8 years ago
Check your drive jumpers. That will probably the issue with the drives.

You need to use a program for burning iso files.
is a good program, and free