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-   -   Converting an HTPC from Win XP to Linux (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/tech-talk/542824-converting-htpc-win-xp-linux.html)

j123vt_99 11-02-08 10:09 AM

Converting an HTPC from Win XP to Linux
 
So I have an old emachines computer that I use as an HTPC. It's a pretty lowend machine running XP. The problem is it constantly crashes.. during startup, when i pause a movie, just randomly... I've tried formatting and reloading windows xp plenty of times, but the same problem occurs...

Now, I'm thinking about switching to Linux or some other OS. Heard good things about Ubuntu. I have 3 concerns/goals


1) I need the comp to do 2 things.. play movies and have some sort remote computing like VNC
2) is using/installing ubuntu easy? I want it to be a fully graphic OS.
3)Drivers.. Are drivers for ubuntu going to be a problem? Some of the hardware I have is a little old (old ATI cards, no name sound card, etc)

SmackDaddy 11-02-08 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by j123vt_99 (Post 9044761)
So I have an old emachines computer that I use as an HTPC. It's a pretty lowend machine running XP. The problem is it constantly crashes.. during startup, when i pause a movie, just randomly... I've tried formatting and reloading windows xp plenty of times, but the same problem occurs...

Now, I'm thinking about switching to Linux or some other OS. Heard good things about Ubuntu. I have 3 concerns/goals


1) I need the comp to do 2 things.. play movies and have some sort remote computing like VNC
2) is using/installing ubuntu easy? I want it to be a fully graphic OS.
3)Drivers.. Are drivers for ubuntu going to be a problem? Some of the hardware I have is a little old (old ATI cards, no name sound card, etc)


Maybe the problem is the older components in your PC rather than the OS. What exactly are you doing with this system? What are the specs of your ATI card? What exatly, is your non name audio card? Oh, and lastly, how is it hooked up to your TV and at what resolution?

j123vt_99 11-02-08 11:39 AM


Originally Posted by SmackDaddy (Post 9044880)
Maybe the problem is the older components in your PC rather than the OS. What exactly are you doing with this system? What are the specs of your ATI card? What exatly, is your non name audio card? Oh, and lastly, how is it hooked up to your TV and at what resolution?

Purely using it for to watch avi's. that's it

The graphics card is a Radeon 9200 LE. the sound card is an Envy 24. and i have just an a/v cable out to my tv

lxl 11-02-08 11:42 AM

Before you install ubuntu to your harddisk, boot ubuntu liveCD and check if it recognizes your sound card, video card, etc.

btw, nomachine's NX is much much better than VNC

j123vt_99 11-02-08 11:47 AM

thanks guys.. is ubuntu the way to go or should i look at a different flavor of linux?

SmackDaddy 11-02-08 05:21 PM

Just out of curiosity, do you have all the proper codecs for playing back all your avi's?

There's an all in one codec pack you can download (along with Media Player Classic) that might solve your lock ups, at least as far as video playback is concerned.

Jay G. 11-02-08 07:10 PM


Originally Posted by j123vt_99 (Post 9044761)
So I have an old emachines computer that I use as an HTPC. It's a pretty lowend machine running XP. The problem is it constantly crashes.. during startup, when i pause a movie, just randomly... I've tried formatting and reloading windows xp plenty of times, but the same problem occurs...

If a clean install of Windows XP (I'm assuming at least SP2) is crashing, it's possible you have a hardware issue. You should run some hardware diagnostics to makes sure you don't have a bad hard drive, memory, etc..

You may want to download and burn a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD for diagnostics:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/


Originally Posted by j123vt_99 (Post 9044761)
1) I need the comp to do 2 things.. play movies and have some sort remote computing like VNC
2) is using/installing ubuntu easy? I want it to be a fully graphic OS.

Ubuntu is a linux distro with a graphical interface aimed at the casual user, so is pretty user-friendly for newbies. It also has a built in VNC server called Vino. There are countless other distributions you could try, but Ubuntu is pretty popular, so it'll be easier to find support for it than some other flavors. One possible alternative is Linux Mint, which is based off Ubuntu and is thus largely compatible with it, but is a bit more user-friendly and has some proprietary codecs/software included.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VNC
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Mint


Originally Posted by j123vt_99 (Post 9044761)
3)Drivers.. Are drivers for ubuntu going to be a problem? Some of the hardware I have is a little old (old ATI cards, no name sound card, etc)


Originally Posted by j123vt_99 (Post 9044890)
The graphics card is a Radeon 9200 LE. the sound card is an Envy 24. and i have just an a/v cable out to my tv

Installing hardware in Linux is just like doing it in Windows: it's easy as long as you have the right drivers. If you don't, it can be a headache.

There's a script for Ubuntu and Linux Mint that can install the right ATI driver for you:
http://albertomilone.com/nvidia_scripts1.html

As for the audio card, that may be trickier if it's not autodetected.

Locomocha 11-02-08 10:28 PM

Just to reinforce what others have said, burn a copy of the latest Ubuntu install DVD and boot your machine with it. It will run the OS off the CD at first, giving you the chance to see if all your hardware is supported before you actually install it. If your soundcard is supported, go ahead and give 'er. If not, you might want to try to find a way to make it work before going any further. Audio is one of the weaker points of Linux. If it doesn't work out of the box it can be a pain to make it work.

UAIOE 11-03-08 03:01 AM

You might also try a Live CD of PCLinuxOS.

j123vt_99 11-03-08 07:16 AM

installed ubuntu. looks like i was having a problem with my old HD, so I used another one. Got most of it working. Still a problem with the sound card and now my video card only displays in low graphics mode


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