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 I'm fixing up an old Dell Inspiron 1501 and want to run Ubuntu on it.  

The hard drive broke and is being replaced with a new one. How should I go about installing Ubuntu? Should I burn it to a CD from another computer and boot the dell with the CD? Also, what should I do about installing driver software on the dell? I've already downloaded all the drivers on another computer and I'm confused as to how to install these drivers on Ubuntu.

Thank you for your time.

EDIT: I have another problem. I burned Ubuntu on a CD, installed the new hard drive, went to BIOS and changed the boot order with the CD drive in spot 1, inserted CD and restarted. A black screen with a message from Broadcom reads, Broadcom UNDI PXE-2.1 v2.1.0 PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable. PXE-M0F: Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM..

This screen stays until the computer is restarted and startup would not proceed beyond this point. We disabled Broadcom PXE in BIOS boot priority screen. Now the computer will stay on an empty black screen during the startup process.

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3 Answers 3

How should I go about installing Ubuntu?

  • Download the -buntu version you like or need.
  • Burn it into a CD, DVD or make a bootable USB with UnetBootiN
  • Either way start up the Live Session by inserting the media or device of your choice, and selecting Install Ubuntu

What should I do about installing driver software on the dell?

  • Depends on what your hardware is if you a an nVidia or AMD GPU, if you have a Broadcom wireless card, if you have a Printer, etc.
  • Usually Jockey will provide you with drivers for the GPUs and the wireless drivers if you need them the rest usually are plug and play.

I've already downloaded all the drivers on another computer and I'm confused as to how to install these drivers on Ubuntu.

  • Windows drivers don't work in Linux even with magic, so they're useless.
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Thanks for explaining. I have another problem you may be willing to help me with. I burned Ubuntu on a CD, installed the new hard drive, went to BIOS and changed the boot order with the CD drive in spot 1, inserted CD and restarted. A black screen with a message from Broadcom reads, "Broadcom UNDI PXE-2.1 v2.1.0 PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable. PXE-M0F: Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM.." This screen stays until the computer is restarted and startup will not proceed beyond this. Can you help me figure this out? –  Dustin M Boudreaux Jan 14 '12 at 1:01
    
PXE is trying to boot off the network. Your disk drive is probably fried. Your laptop may need professional attention. –  Uri Herrera Jan 14 '12 at 1:23

Burn the image to a CD. (You could also use a USB memory stick). Boot your Dell from this CD. The installation is pretty straight forward. Ubuntu will install a Wi-Fi driver automatically, connect to the Internet and will probably find all drivers needed by itself.

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Broadcom UNDI PXE-2.1 v2.1.0 PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable. PXE-M0F: Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM..

I would agree that you drive is an issue, Do not turn anything on or off till the OS finds the drive and install the proper drivers. Change BIOS to allow DVD/CD drive to start first.

Make sure all available connection are being properly made from the hard drive and mother board, if you have the old OS from the machine, connect to the internet, re-install old OS to bring the hard drive to life, answer yes to any question asked about the hard drive, run all updates pertaining to the hard drive from CD included with the hard drive after the OS is installed, use the computer for a short ten minutes or so. Head into management setting and check partition(s) and all formatting has been set on hard drive, than make a clean install of Ubuntu via CD or USB. If this hasn't work spend a few and get a new drive.

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