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Fedora 7 Upgrade for Dell Dimension 2400



This machine previously had FC6 (upgraded FC1 -> FC2 -> FC3 -> FC4 -> FC5 -> FC6). However, the machine can't boot from USB.

Solution suggested elsewhere :

  • Download ISO (F-7-i386-DVD.iso) via bittorrent
  • Copy ISO into /root/Fedora7/
  • mount the ISO via loopback :
    • cp the isolinux/vmlinuz and isolinux/initrd.img file from the iso to the /boot partition
    • update the grub.conf so that vmlinuz is seen on a reboot
    • reboot and select the new entry.

Problem 1 : ISO location

Fedora Upgrade doesn't want to work if the ISO is on the drive to be upgraded

  • Solution : Use the vmlinuz to use the install image on the USB DVD drive (works on back USB sockets, not front sockets)

Problem 2 : Drive renaming

Renaming of /dev/hdaX to /dev/sdaX means that swap partition is unrecognizable.

  • Solution : Need to re-initialize swap partition, and add a LABEL (a new feature since FC4 or so)
swapoff /dev/hda3
mkswap -L SWAP /dev/hda3
swapon /dev/hda3
joe /etc/fstab
# Change /dev/hda3 line to refer to label=/SWAP

Problem 3 : /etc/fstab requires all disks to have labels

/etc/fstab requires all disks to have labels. List the existing labels with :

# /sbin/blkid  # Also look at tune2fs and mlabel

Problem 4 : libexif not signed on the DVD

Solution : Pending... None found. Someone needs to be shot.

Step 5 : Throwing in towel on DVD - let's do it via web


On a system which has been upgraded from releases prior to FC6 you may need to remove up2date and rhnlib :

yum remove rhnlib up2date
yum install yum-utils; package-cleanup --orphans

Do the web upgrade

rpm -U fedora-release-7-3.noarch.rpm fedora-release-notes-7.0.0-1.noarch.rpm
yum update

In theory that’s the only thing you need to do, in practice it may not be that easy.

Appending combined_mode=libata to the kernel line in GRUB solved the problem of ATA timeouts.

Useful stuff about bootparams

man bootparam

linux text (Text mode installation. Useful for low memory systems. Installed system will boot in text mode (run level 3) by default)
askmethod (Enables a network installation)
maxcpus=1 (Some Dell dual core systems require this workaround. See common bugs page for more details.)
vga=769 # 256 color 640x480
=771 # 800x600
=773 # 1024x768
=775 # 1280x1024
=796 # 1600x1200
= etc.