Successful install on Dell optiplex GX270

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Nixie
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:30 am

Successful install on Dell optiplex GX270

Post by Nixie »

Had to battle somewhat to get to the desktop. It is a desktop PC Pentium IV 2.8 GHz, 1.5 Gb DDR, HDD 40 Gb with integrated Intel 865G graphics. Installed the current stable release from a CD-RW. I found previous messages stating the problems with Intel graphics but none suggesting a working solution, so I decided to explain my experiences.

The setup process runs perfectly until first reboot when the ReactOS logo shows up and it is loading the first time. A BSOD follows that nice picture. I attached a null-modem serial cable to a working PC and reboot in debug mode which revealed someting on the lines of VESA Set Mode 14h failure (sorry don't remember the exact wording but gave me enough info to start looking at the video driver).
A past message in this forum suggested to delete vbemp.sys which I tried and resulted in a black screen instead of the previous BSOD (the same as selecting VGA mode in F8 startup menu). BTW to delete the file had to use a MS-DOS floppy, the startup option Safe mode with command line appears to try to load the video driver causing again a BSOD.

Reinstalled from the beginning but this time selected VESA 640x480x4 (instead of the default 800x600x16) and that finally produced a working desktop. Nice!!

Now I was using a serial mouse on COM1 and it didn't work, tried an USB mouse and still no joy, finally a PS2 mouse worked. During that no mouse time I found you cannot do almost anything from the keyboard ?! Ctrl-Esc to open the Start menu does not work. Alt-Tab or Tab to attempt to open some icon or button, nothing. Alt-F4 to shut down, nothing. Tried all keys and nothing. Only Ctrl-Alt-Delete brings a window and then Tab works as expected, and Print Screen produces a BSOD.

The funny thing is the first time asked for drivers for a Multimedia device and an Ethernet controller. I don't know if I can provide the manufacturer drivers and expect them to install and work, but found I cannot have it ask for these drivers again. The device manager does not list these items and the add hardware wizard for the ethernet controller says the device is working properly.

Thank you for the great project. I navigated through the apps it comes with and it is nice to see that there is a lot of work done.
Dave3434
Posts: 323
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:14 am

Re: Successful install on Dell optiplex GX270

Post by Dave3434 »

you got pretty far on getting reactos to work nice :)
SomeGuy
Posts: 586
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:48 am
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: Successful install on Dell optiplex GX270

Post by SomeGuy »

If there is a Windows XP "inf" driver for your network card, there is a good possibility it will work. Sound cards are more hit-and-miss, usually more miss. They both have to be installed at fist boot when it asks for the drivers.
Nixie
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:30 am

Re: Successful install on Dell optiplex GX270

Post by Nixie »

Ok, thanks for the tip.
I have downloaded the latest Trunk build and installed it.
- In the first boot it stalled with a BSOD. Upon reboot in debug mode and with null-modem cable attached it started fine, thus the cause of that BSOD remains unknown. Further attempts in normal mode were successful and very few ended in BSOD.

- At this point half way registering components it says something about a missing slack or slack-wine (sorry don't remember exact words) and allows to Cancel or Install. First time tried Install and all windows went away and was left with an empty desktop, no buttons, no taskbar, nothing (but the mouse pointer worked). Had to reboot the hard way.

- Upon reboot I got the same message and this time selected Cancel. It continued to register components until the progess bar reached 100%, then got stuck (but the mouse pointer still worked). Had to reboot the hard way again.

- Next try the registering components finished successfully. Finally got the desktop. Across these reboots the misterious BSOD happened again one time, looks like an intermittent problem.

- Skipped the Multimedia device driver but placed the Ethernet controller (Intel PRO/1000 MT) in a floppy to install and selected the option to look in remobable media and it found and installed the driver. Apparently it is installed in the device manager but does not work.

- Ok, I found the problem. Because the Intel driver does not fit in a single floppy I used two floppies. Usually when MS Windows does not find a file it requires it asks for the next (or another) installation disk. I thought ReactOS would behave the same way but apparently it does not and ignores the missing files, so it is not fully installed (it did not ask for the second disk but I belived it had all the required files in the first).

- Reinstalled the OS from the beginning to properly install the network driver (could not find another way). During install it keeps getting stuck after register components progress bar reaches 100% and something gets corrupt since the PC reboots inmediately after the boot menu. After 4 installs I got it past the register components.

- To install the network driver first copied all its files to a folder in the hard disk. The file explorer and My PC do not perform the copy fine. I open A:, select all files and click Copy, then open a folder in the hard disk and select Paste. The floppy drive light shines briefly but nothing is copied. I had to copy the files from the command line. Also from the command line when the floppy is changed it reports the wrong floppy is on the drive and requires another try to work.

- With all the files together in a folder the network driver installed successfully. Now the network works, Nice!!

- The iexplore.exe navigator does not seem to work, so opened the application manager and now the program lists load fine so I selected to install Mozilla Firefox 15. It installed and executed fine opening the default start page with two tabs. But I cannot get it past that, it gets stuck with no way to terminate the application without a complete freeze or BSOD.
Last edited by Nixie on Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
DOSGuy
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Re: Successful install on Dell optiplex GX270

Post by DOSGuy »

Firefox doesn't work all that well in ReactOS. Try Opera 9.64.
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article. Get free DOS, Windows and OS/2 games at RGB Classic Games.
Nixie
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:30 am

Re: Successful install on Dell optiplex GX270

Post by Nixie »

Tried Opera 9.64 but there is a problem with the install. It downloads and extracts, then asks for a language and presents a progress bar "Preparing the installer". After this is done I briefly see a reddish picture with some text in it but it goes away almost immediately and I am left with an unresponsive ReactOS Application manager. There is a button in the task bar "Opera 9.64 - InstallShield" as if the installer was hidden behind the application manager but there is not way to bring it foreground. I can only kill them from the task manager, if I kill the application manager the Opera button remains but no window, only the desktop visible. If I kill the Opera installer the application manager comes back to life.

Also tried Opera 12.02 but the installer gets stuck right at the beginning.

The "Offbyone" explorer installs and runs fine but seems to have some corruption problems even with basic HTML pages, pictures look corrupt and the page does not load fully. Its installer has a major graphic glitch where no text and no buttons are visible but the buttons are there and can be clicked blindly.

Mozilla Firefox 2.0, 3.0 and 3.6: download stops at almost 100% and sits there forever.
Mozilla Seamonkey: download finishes immediately and nothing installs.

So far I could not get any usable navigator to work.
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