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I've been wanting to dump MS for years, I finally did.Wiped my drive and won't go back. Problem is the best I've been able to get is mandrake 10. It detects and loads everything, runs fast and great ---- it just locks up hard semi regularly(I know it's beta). Everthing else I tried either won't install, won't network, no mouse etc. I've got ... XP 3200, 512 mb ram, cd-rw, 160 gb seagate drive(IDE), nforce2 motherboard, radeon 9700 pro AIW, mx700 mouse. I just want simple and working, 1 editor, browser, media player etc.. Not an overwhelming mess to sort thru. A minimal gui and apt-get to get just what I want sounded nice I think deb hates my setup. Ive tried many versions of deb, slack, bsd etc., no luck. Can someone help me get linux working or should I sell my PC and buy a Mac?
If you are new to linux, I would advise not diving too deep into more difficult waters like apt-get, etc. As well, you may want to stick to a more stable release like Mandrake 9.2.

Other then that, i believe that with the nforce2 chipset, i'm guessing your network card is on-board. If this is the case, then you need to install the official nforce drivers fromNVidia's website and follow the instructions on there. As well, you may want to check out ATi's website to get the latest drivers for your Radeon.

Was your system working fine in Windows before-hand? I've heard of general problems with getting ATi's Radeon running on an nForce syste, ( i don't think this is linux specific).
I was under the impression that if you could get Debian going, apt-get was relatively easy. However none of the variations I tried support the onboard ethernet. I have a 3c905c I could throw in if I have to. Aside from Mandrake 10 I've had Slackware install all the way thru including listing my nVidia ethernet, only to have no mouse. I've also tried College Linux, Xandros, Libranet, Lycoris and several live type distros with similar results. I tried 10.0 instead of 9.2 figuring hardware support of earlier kernels the problem. I'll try 9.2 and let you know. BTW even without special radeon drivers I don't seem to be having video problems, but then I'm not sure what is causing the occasional locks in Mandrake 10.
The 2.6.x kernel has builtin support for NForce boards. So that is the best bet for hardware detection. But the 2.6.x kernel hasn't been out very long yet ... (the 2.4 kernel wasn't really stable until 2.4.9)

Debian is pretty good ... and I like it too. It isn't the easiest to install, and even with the new Sarge installer, it probably won't detect the Nforce Network card.

The only major distro with a 2.6 kernel right now is Mandrake 10

---edit ... my network connection died ... I am back up now------

As Corey said, you might try a more stable release (like mandrake 9.2), but if you do, you will have to install the NForce motherboard drivers.
I tried 9.2, no network and I'm not sure how to install the nVidia drivers (no network and no burner on friends PC I'm using right now). Currently have Mepis Linux install in progress and looks promising. If it works I may stick with it till final version of Mandrake 10 is out or any non beta release with a 2.6.x kernel since my problem seem to stem from the nforce2 board. I'll let you know how Mepis works out.
I am using Mepis as I write, so far so great. It even recognized the existing ms network with no input, something even Mandrake 10 didn't do. I've got six PC's networked in the house. I intend to migrate them all as I learn more about Linux. This site and forum are a great help. Thanks alot.
the nvidia motherboard is going to continue to cause to problems no matter how far along the 2.6 kernel gets. There are very few distros that include the NVIDIA drivers in thier iso images. This is not only to save space but to help in the custimization of your system. Instead of having drivers for all sorts of things you don't have they expect you to install the chipset drivers yourself.

Since you have a system working now maybe you should run with it. But I if you ever want to get another distro working you are going to have to install the drivers. Something that really isn't that hard, and we can help you with very easily on here. That question gets asked almost weekly.

The main difference between linux and windows is that linux lets you custimize your system instead of trying to guess what you want. Windows is totally plug and play and half the time thats the problem, it installes old drivers that aren't really ment for your system. Linux lets you pick exactly what you want your system to have (at least most distros do, their are distros that try to act like windows in that they set everything up for you). Being able to customize yours system is the source of all linux's power, and unfortunetly, the reason why linux is so flakie untill you get it set up right.
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