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I have had this exact (!) laptop, it should be beefy and sturdy enough to do what you want, without the agonizing delays.

True Story: I was able to Hackintosh it! I wouldn't recommend that at all, by the way. WEEKS of pain.

Anyhow, as the "blame game" shifts (from dracut, to ubiquity), can we really assume it's a single OS-level issue?

I would recommend (in order):

  1. Flashing the BIOS - you're on F.10 which is from '09 - in '11 they released F.16, which also updates the Video Bios

  2. Resetting all CMOS/BIOS/UEFI settings to factory defaults

  3. Nuke the hard drive from orbit: wipe it completely (boot to your OS of choice and choose the tool to do so - you need to wipe everything from the drive, partitions, mbr, boot sector, uefi partitions, everything)

  4. Testing your system (HP offers various hardware diagnostics) to ensure it's NOT another hardware issue

  5. Reseat your RAM, and hard drive. The RAM is easy, the hard drive cover (right side?) requires one screw and the cover comes off, then another screw to loosen the drive. Remove it, dab the SATA connector with an ISO (91% or better) alcohol-swabbed Q-tip to clean up, let it dry, reinsert firmly, reseal). You can also do the same to the RAM golden fingers, both sides. Surprised myself many times by saying, "It's not corroded! It's not dirty!" - but it still managed to get things going again.
  6. Cleaning the fan out (as bootups stress the system, causing the fan to kick in, and if dusty, causing slowness again as there may be thermal throttling) -- and if I remember correctly, this sucker gets hot!

    General cleaning video.

  7. Finally - and I don't mean to infer that better parts make better experiences, but experience tells me your Seagate Momentus 5400 is a bit dated - a 128GB SSD would give you 30-60 percent improvement out of the gate.

    Golden tip: have patience, document your progress, and realize that anytime you rush, you're going to make mistakes that compound other mistakes.

Another golden tip: nothing should be downloaded from ANY site except HP, that you plan on running OUTSIDE of the OS. If you're gonna wipe the hard drive, do it with a known good tool, and check the MD5/hash sums for the download again, from a trust source site (verify the HTTPS cert if you are going that far too). That means any 'bootable tools', BIOS/FIRMWARE updates, from any location. Any since there are advanced persistent rootkits that creep into UEFI pretty easily, as well, OS level protection is key as well. Trusted source = key.

Think of it as an end goal: getting this laptop running rock-solid stable for another 3-5 years? Golden. Spending 10-20 hours doing so? Painful. I guess they compensate.

And when you've got it solid, lock that sucker down, and clonezilla the drive immediately for return to known good working state.

Best of luck! And sorry I don't have better answers to your real problem.

This laptop should run (even with 2GB) with NO problems a modern Linux distro. I have had this exact (!) laptop, it should be beefy and sturdy enough to do what you want, without the agonizing delays.delays.

True Story: I was able to Hackintosh it! I wouldn't recommend that at all, by the way. WEEKS of pain.

Anyhow, as the "blame game" shifts (from dracut, to ubiquity), can we really assume it's a single OS-level issue?

I would recommend (in order):

  1. Flashing the BIOS - you're on F.10 which is from '09 - in '11 they released F.16, which also updates the Video Bios

  2. Resetting all CMOS/BIOS/UEFI settings to factory defaults

  3. Nuke the hard drive from orbit: WIPE the drive: wipe it completely (boot to your OS of choice and choose the tool to do so - you need to wipe everything from the drive, partitions, mbr, boot sector, uefi partitions, everything)

  4. Testing your system (HP offers various hardware diagnostics) to ensure it's NOT another hardware issue

  5. Reseat your RAM, and hard drive. The RAM is easy, the hard drive cover (right side?) requires one screw and the cover comes off, then another screw to loosen the drive. Remove it, dab the SATA connector with an ISO (91% or better) alcohol-swabbed Q-tip to clean up, let it dry, reinsert firmly, reseal). You can also do the same to the RAM golden fingers, both sides. Surprised myself many times by saying, "It's not corroded! It's not dirty!" - but it still managed to get things going again.
  6. Cleaning the fan out (as bootups stress the system, causing the fan to kick in, and if dusty, causing slowness again as there may be thermal throttling) -- and if I remember correctly, this sucker gets hot!

    General cleaning video.

  7. Finally - and I don't mean to infer that better parts make better experiences, but experience tells me your Seagate Momentus 5400 is a bit dated - a 128GB SSD would give you 30-60 percent improvement out of the gate.

  8. Triple-check your distro sources, and ensure the USB stick/install media is known to work (or new). So many man-hours of my life have been spent scratching my head after a 'good' install to find that the install was corrupted, because the source was corrupted, or the install method had a hiccup.

  9. Why not try a lighter-weight install first? Perhaps a Fedora 28 install with minimal desktop (LXDE), and Firefox? If you are truly just providing a Web Browsing platform, this will do JUST fine.

    Golden tip: have patience, document your progress, and realize that anytime you rush, you're going to make mistakes that compound other mistakes.

Another golden tip: nothing should be downloaded from ANY site except HP, that you plan on running OUTSIDE of the OS. If you're gonna wipe the hard drive, do it with a known good tool, and check the MD5/hash sums for the download again, from a trust source site (verify the HTTPS cert if you are going that far too). That means any 'bootable tools', BIOS/FIRMWARE updates, from any location. Any since there are advanced persistent rootkits that creep into UEFI pretty easily, as well, OS level protection is key as well. Trusted source = key.

Think of it as an end goal: getting this laptop running rock-solid stable for another 3-5 years? Golden. Spending 10-20 hours doing so? Painful. I guess they compensate.

And when you've got it solid, lock that sucker down, and clonezilla the drive immediately for return to known good working state.

Best of luck! And sorry I don't have better answers to your real problem.

This laptop should run (even with 2GB) with NO problems a modern Linux distro. I have had this exact (!) laptop, it should be beefy and sturdy enough to do what you want, without the agonizing delays.

True Story: I was able to Hackintosh it! I wouldn't recommend that at all, by the way. WEEKS of pain.

Anyhow, as the "blame game" shifts (from dracut, to ubiquity), can we really assume it's a single OS-level issue?

I would recommend (in order):

  1. Flashing the BIOS - you're on F.10 which is from '09 - in '11 they released F.16, which also updates the Video Bios

  2. Resetting all CMOS/BIOS/UEFI settings to factory defaults

  3. WIPE the drive: wipe it completely (boot to your OS of choice and choose the tool to do so - you need to wipe everything from the drive, partitions, mbr, boot sector, uefi partitions, everything)

  4. Testing your system (HP offers various hardware diagnostics) to ensure it's NOT another hardware issue

  5. Reseat your RAM, and hard drive. The RAM is easy, the hard drive cover (right side?) requires one screw and the cover comes off, then another screw to loosen the drive. Remove it, dab the SATA connector with an ISO (91% or better) alcohol-swabbed Q-tip to clean up, let it dry, reinsert firmly, reseal). You can also do the same to the RAM golden fingers, both sides. Surprised myself many times by saying, "It's not corroded! It's not dirty!" - but it still managed to get things going again.
  6. Cleaning the fan out (as bootups stress the system, causing the fan to kick in, and if dusty, causing slowness again as there may be thermal throttling) -- and if I remember correctly, this sucker gets hot!

    General cleaning video.

  7. Finally - and I don't mean to infer that better parts make better experiences, but experience tells me your Seagate Momentus 5400 is a bit dated - a 128GB SSD would give you 30-60 percent improvement out of the gate.

  8. Triple-check your distro sources, and ensure the USB stick/install media is known to work (or new). So many man-hours of my life have been spent scratching my head after a 'good' install to find that the install was corrupted, because the source was corrupted, or the install method had a hiccup.

  9. Why not try a lighter-weight install first? Perhaps a Fedora 28 install with minimal desktop (LXDE), and Firefox? If you are truly just providing a Web Browsing platform, this will do JUST fine.

    Golden tip: have patience, document your progress, and realize that anytime you rush, you're going to make mistakes that compound other mistakes.

Another golden tip: nothing should be downloaded from ANY site except HP, that you plan on running OUTSIDE of the OS. If you're gonna wipe the hard drive, do it with a known good tool, and check the MD5/hash sums for the download again, from a trust source site (verify the HTTPS cert if you are going that far too). That means any 'bootable tools', BIOS/FIRMWARE updates, from any location. Any since there are advanced persistent rootkits that creep into UEFI pretty easily, as well, OS level protection is key as well. Trusted source = key.

Think of it as an end goal: getting this laptop running rock-solid stable for another 3-5 years? Golden. Spending 10-20 hours doing so? Painful. I guess they compensate.

And when you've got it solid, lock that sucker down, and clonezilla the drive immediately for return to known good working state.

Best of luck! And sorry I don't have better answers to your real problem.

UPDATE: I see your installing from /dev/sr0 (likely is CD ROM) - you might want to try USB, as that CD reader could be filled with dust bunnies.