Having trouble installing a SSD in an older Dell m4300....help?

surfdoc37

New Member
Credits
256
OK, first post, please be kind.

I have an old Pentium M Dell. Rather than toss it, I replaced XP with Mint 18.3 MATE 32 bit (19.3, didn't work, for whatever reason). I was able to reclaim a bunch of HD space that was partitioned off for some reason, and it works, pretty great. Not a dual boot, just erased XP and installed Mint on a single partition (as far as I know).

I thought, only thing that would be better, would be if I could put in an SSD, but PATA drives are too scarce and expensive for that machine.

So for 20 bucks I picked up a used Dell Precision m4300. Has some weird BIOS stuff where I'm continually having to clear the security password but otherwise cleaned up OK (dead CMOS battery?) Has a HD running Windows 10, coreDuo, and some kind of old NVIDIA card which I have not had the chance to trip over the drivers for yet.

What I wish to do, is replace that HD with a brand new out of the box SSD, copy nothing, install Mint and have it work just as great, only faster.

Spent $25 on a Crucial BX500 120gb SSD. Put it in the SATA slot expecting to install from USB boot, but drive was not seen. So I used a USB to SATA adapter to partition and initialize using Acronis on a Windows computer. But installing it in the SATA HD slot and booting Mint from USB, I still cannot get it to recognize. Which means I cannot install Mint (or I thought I might try out Fedora) on it.

Micron (Crucial) customer service chat says, "We do NOT support Linux".

So it is going back.

My question then, what SSD vendors best support Linux? I do NOT need much storage, decidedly shopping the <$30 120gb zone. Just want it to install and work with a minimum of fuss as the only drive in this laptop. No multiple partitions, nothing fancy.

Would love some specific rec's on makers and models. Kingston, PNY, ADATA seem to be among the options for small capacity internal SSD's that I'm seeing. Any of them easy and reliable? I have seen love for Crucial too, not out of the question to just get a dud drive, happened with a Samsung on my Mac years ago.

Also, any guaranteed way to get the darn thing to recognize and install?

Many thanks!

(Sent from my ancient Dell running Mint 18.3 and Opera)
 


arochester

Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
1,364
BIOS and UEFI: make sure it's set to AHCI
2. A Solid State Disk, or rather Drive (SSD), is usually only recognized properly by the BIOS or UEFI, when in the BIOS/UEFI the feature AHCI has been activated for SATA (instead of IDE).
Source - https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/ssd.html

Just because someone says they do not support Linux does not mean their product does not work with Linux; they just don't give advice about it.
 

surfdoc37

New Member
Credits
256
Source - https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/ssd.html

Just because someone says they do not support Linux does not mean their product does not work with Linux; they just don't give advice about it.
Thanks for that.

For better or worse already sent the Crucial back for a Kingston. But hopefully applying these teachings to that will help.

Hard to work with a drive that isn’t seen, I’ll continue to fiddle around.
 

khedger

Member
Credits
565
OK, first post, please be kind.

I have an old Pentium M Dell. Rather than toss it, I replaced XP with Mint 18.3 MATE 32 bit (19.3, didn't work, for whatever reason). I was able to reclaim a bunch of HD space that was partitioned off for some reason, and it works, pretty great. Not a dual boot, just erased XP and installed Mint on a single partition (as far as I know).

I thought, only thing that would be better, would be if I could put in an SSD, but PATA drives are too scarce and expensive for that machine.

So for 20 bucks I picked up a used Dell Precision m4300. Has some weird BIOS stuff where I'm continually having to clear the security password but otherwise cleaned up OK (dead CMOS battery?) Has a HD running Windows 10, coreDuo, and some kind of old NVIDIA card which I have not had the chance to trip over the drivers for yet.

What I wish to do, is replace that HD with a brand new out of the box SSD, copy nothing, install Mint and have it work just as great, only faster.

Spent $25 on a Crucial BX500 120gb SSD. Put it in the SATA slot expecting to install from USB boot, but drive was not seen. So I used a USB to SATA adapter to partition and initialize using Acronis on a Windows computer. But installing it in the SATA HD slot and booting Mint from USB, I still cannot get it to recognize. Which means I cannot install Mint (or I thought I might try out Fedora) on it.

Micron (Crucial) customer service chat says, "We do NOT support Linux".

So it is going back.

My question then, what SSD vendors best support Linux? I do NOT need much storage, decidedly shopping the <$30 120gb zone. Just want it to install and work with a minimum of fuss as the only drive in this laptop. No multiple partitions, nothing fancy.

Would love some specific rec's on makers and models. Kingston, PNY, ADATA seem to be among the options for small capacity internal SSD's that I'm seeing. Any of them easy and reliable? I have seen love for Crucial too, not out of the question to just get a dud drive, happened with a Samsung on my Mac years ago.

Also, any guaranteed way to get the darn thing to recognize and install?

Many thanks!

(Sent from my ancient Dell running Mint 18.3 and Opera)
I'm using Crucial SSDs in two Thinkpad laptops as we 'speak'. I don't think it's the SSD. Could be wrong, but my gut instinct is that there's something else going on here. BIOS settings, bad cable(s), something......

keith
 

surfdoc37

New Member
Credits
256
Excuse me if you already have, OP, but have you reviewed these or similar resources on PAE vs non-PAE -- Linux for Pentium M
How can I install on a non-PAE CPU
Personally, I have avoided Pentium Ms from the outset.
Bad writing by me to perhaps confuse two different laptops. The Pentium M got retired because it was IDE and SSDs were scarce or $$$. There was no avoiding it, it was our XP laptop which we thought my mom might use. She did, to collect dust under her sofa. It became a charity case and something to experiment upon. It was PAE though, so the Linux installed fine.

So for a bit less than the cost of a 64GB IDE SSD, I bought a old Dell Core 2 Duo m4300 workstation AND a 120GB SATA SSD AND some decent bourbon.

The Crucial SSD for whatever cause (bad unit, incompatible, operator error) did not work. But up and running great with a Kingston drive now. And I did perform that ACHI BIOS tweak. Mint 19.3 Cinnamon. Great that is, except that trying to install NVIDIA drivers reliably breaks it so had to quit doing that and use nouveau OS ones.
 

sp331yi

Well-Known Member
Credits
4,091
Thanks for the update, OP.
Quadro FX360M needs driver 340.108, which I have installed on my Core2Duo Latitude D630 with no problem.
If you want, I can submit a tutorial to Linux.org on How2 Install nVidia drivers.

With Mint, one needs to create a root account before installing such drivers. I take it you have not done so. I will help, if you wish.

nVidia lover and user since 1999,
sp331yi
 


Members online


Latest posts

Top