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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
How I installed Puppy on a Sony Vaio PCG-N505VE
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Joined: 16 Mar 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun 16 Mar 2008, 17:17    Post subject:  How I installed Puppy on a Sony Vaio PCG-N505VE
Subject description: Puppy Linux made this a usable machine again.

I have a PCG-N505VE Vaio (one of those thin jobs). It came with Windows 98SE, (Celeron 300, 6GB harddrive with 3GB free and I'd upgraded it to 128MB of RAM).

These days, that's a laughable amount of machine...but back in the day it was quite sexy.

At any rate, I wasn't about to try to use it with Win98, I just don't like pain...but it was too nice a machine to simply throw away.

So, here's what I did with Puppy Linux.

The 505 series doesn't have a built-in optical drive. I came with a Sony USB-floppy drive which you could boot from, and it could take a PCMCIA CD-ROM drive. Sadly, Sony wanted and arm and a leg for their PCMCIA CD-ROM drive, and you couldn't boot off third party CD-ROM drives. Feh. Of course, I had bought the third-party drive, thinking to myself "how often do I need to boot from CD-ROM anyway?"

So, how to install Puppy?

With the genius of the wakepup2.img and Grub4Dos, it was actually easy.

I booted to Windows 98SE, where the PCMCIA DVD-ROM drive (an EXP DVD-780) was recognized.

The DVD-ROM allowed me to load the drivers for my two USB keys (a Kingston Traveller II 2GB, and a SanDisk Micro Cruzer 1GB).

I used the DVD-ROM to also transfer the driver for the Veho USB wireless 802.11g card (a ZD1211 chip), so this machine can see the 'net from within Windows 98SE.

I downloaded grub 4 dos, and installed it in c:\boot.

I set up grub4dos with this menu.lst:

color black/cyan yellow/cyan
timeout 5
default /default

title back to dos
savedefault --wait=2

title Boot off USB
kernel /boot/memdisk.bin
initrd /boot/wkpup202.img

title commandline
savedefault --wait=2

title floppy (fd0)
chainloader (fd0)+1
rootnoverify (fd0)
savedefault --wait=2

title reboot
savedefault --wait=2

title halt
savedefault --wait=2

And put the files memdisk.bin and wkpup202.img in the grub4dos directory.

Finally, using a CD-ROM burned with Puppy3.01, I copied the necessary files over to the USB drive so that I could boot onto the USB drive.

At first, I tried the Kingston Traveller II 2GB with absolutely no joy. I even hunted around and finally found the HP formatting tool which is supposed to work wonders. Nevermind. I tried the Sandisk, and it worked the very first time!

I then rebooted off the USB using grub4dos, and was in a new environment: puppy linux 3.01! This was the ray-of-light moment, really.

At this point, I could use gparted to resize my DOS partition, freeing up close to 2GB of space. Way more than enough for a puppy linux install. I made my 256MB swap partition, and then my 1.3GB of space for Puppy Linux.

I used the menu->setup->Puppy universal installer, and did a full install of puppy and grub to the hard drive and its MBR.

After adjusting the new /boot/grub/menu.lst file to have these entries:


color light-gray/blue black/light-gray
title DOS (on /dev/sda1)
  rootnoverify (hd0,0)
  chainloader +1
title Linux (on /dev/hda3)
  root (hd0,2)
  kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda3 ro vga=normal

I was able to boot into puppy linux off the hard drive, where it stepped through and set everything up (including the wifi card, yahoo!). The USB card was not needed now, and my little Vaio worked like a charm (sound too, shock, disbelief).

To all you PuppyLinux veterans, you'll have fallen asleep by now because this is likely all familiar ground. For those of us newbies, this was most impressive.

Well done to all and everyone who's been involved in this effort! Thanks to you my daugher will have the coolest (and oldest) laptop on the block.

-Ken Very Happy
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Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun 30 Nov 2008, 20:15    Post subject:  

I'm in the midst of doing a Puppy 4.11 install to my Sony PCG-Z505-JEK. I'm approaching it by taking the drive out of the Sony, installing it in one of my desktop machines, and loading Puppy onto it there.

Once I get it tested I'll move the drive back into the Sony and hope for the best.

So far I've managed to struggle through getting the HD configured and booting properly in the desktop machine. Once I figure out how to get networking running I'll move the drive back to the Sony.

I'll post my results.
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Joined: 22 Oct 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat 24 Oct 2009, 08:49    Post subject:  

foober I'm trying to do the same with a 505SN (only 64Mb). Unfortunately I can't boot from a CD but I have copied the puppy files across to the Win98 file system and understand that it's possible to use Grub to boot to these.

Could I trouble you for a suggestion grub menu.lst ? I'm struggling to get my head around it.

- Sorted now. I used WinGrub in the end , & installed to the config.sys file.
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