I am haveing trouble installing Mint OS onto a computer that previosly ran on Windows XP. i cannot get a version of mint that is not blocked. I keep getting pxe-e61: media test failure check cable error. all the cabels are good. how do I get the xp hard drive to accept a non-XP OS?

Looks like it may be a faulty HD. The installer is seeing something it doesn't like. Do you have another to test with?

The error you are getting implies that you are trying to boot from the network instead of running from a CD. PXE is the pre execution environment. Look up PXE Boot.

With some system BIOSes you have to enter the BIOS to tell it to bood from CD/DVD/USB, otherwise it will only boot from HD or network. My Intel motherboard operates like that. I would agree with rch1231 that it is trying to use PXE to boot from the network instead of removable media. Mint and most other current Linux distributions will happily install on an older system with IDE instead of Sata drives as long as it has enough RAM, and if it runs XP, it will likely run any Linux as well... :-)

Drai Once you get your boot issue resolved, search on Weary Puppy. This is Linux distro that will run well on older PCs. It is not necessary to run the OS off a hard drive unless you want to. It will boot and run from CD or thumdrive. The creator provides good installation instructions and there is lots of on line support.