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Equisilus 06-05-2004 04:19 PM

FC2 install on 2nd drive, no dual-boot, will install modify 1st WinXP drive at all?
 
Hello all,

I've been reading the many threads on this and other sites, and have not been able to find a perfectly clear answer to this question (or, at least, I've found contradictory answers), so I thought I might as well ask. I apologize in advance if this seems a rehash of the same old, but, well...read on.

First some background: I have two hard drives installed on my system. The first is an 80 GB drive, NTFS partition running WinXP. I will be keeping it as is, without modification, for the time being. I have a second 160 GB drive, with 100 GB devoted to an NTFS partition, and the remaining 60 GB free for FC2 (and an extra vfat partition for file transfers, perhaps). I would like to go ahead and install FC2 on that 60 GB partition, but I have been holding off because I really do not want to go through any of the issues that I have been reading regarding the problems with the partition table becoming messed up (ie. where the solutions would require these sorts of fixes [Edit] unable to post the URL; it was the Prevention and Recovery of XP Dual Boot Problems info). I understand that this usually crops up from dual-booting, but I have also read that it is the installer itself that causes the problems, not GRUB or other dual-booting utility.

So I've ended up being a bit confused by the information I've read. For instance, in the prevention/recovery solution I've linked to above, it says this:
Quote:

You have installed Fedora Core 2 and find that you cannot boot Windows. Typically the boot process will terminate with the words

Rootnoverify(hd0,0)
Chainloader +1

These are the boot parameters from your Grub configuration. The parameters are likely to be correct, but Windows fails to boot because Fedora Core 2 altered the hard disk geometry as reported by the drives partition table.
If I don't install grub, or configure it, then I can't get that error. Yet everywhere in the solution they talk about the error being caused by the installer, not the dual-boot utility. So which is it? If I go with booting through using a boot floppy, for instance, and avoid using Grub, can the problem occur? If I partition my drive with the new Norton Partition Magic 8.0, and install to the already created partitions, does that avoid the problem entirely (since the FC installer is not doing the partitioning)?

Basically, I need a clear "no, you will not have any problem if you do this", and/or "yes, you may have an issue if you do this".

Thanks all for your time and effort with this. I am looking forward to moving to using Linux, and FC2 in particular right now, but I need to get my feet wet, so-to-speak. :newbie:

Error1312 06-05-2004 04:31 PM

That's one hell of a question Equisilus. I can't give you a very clear answer, but I think that if you wanna play save, you should better install Linux on a separate harddisk. I'm not saying you won't have problems, but I think the chance that any other partitions on other harddisks will be messed up will be much smaller.

Don't take this answer as a guide for your problem. I could be totally wrong, but this is my opinion about your problem. I hope you can do something with it.;

Equisilus 06-05-2004 04:37 PM

Thanks for the reply, Error1312. I will be installing FC2 on the second hard drive regardless. I was wondering, though, if the installer changes anything at all on the first hard drive that will make it unbootable for any reason if I don't use a dual-boot utility? I thought I'd come back and explain that, when I say I didn't want to "dual-boot" (in order to avoid the problem) I didn't mean I wouldn't have two operating systems running. I still want WinXP on my first hard drive with FC2 installed in the free space on the 2nd hard drive.

If it is true that installing FC2 on the second hard drive does absolutely nothing to the first drive then I should have no issues involving booting WinXP when I wish. Of course, that's what I'm trying to figure out. :)

Error1312 06-06-2004 03:34 AM

I hope I was correct with my explanation. Good luckEquisilus;)

evbart 06-06-2004 03:42 AM

try this article. im about to upgrade from RH9 and i was worried about loosing my win2000 dual boot, but from what i can tell its not a huge problem.

http://lwn.net/Articles/86835/

Equisilus 06-06-2004 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by evbart
try this article. im about to upgrade from RH9 and i was worried about loosing my win2000 dual boot, but from what i can tell its not a huge problem.
Thanks evbart, but that is the article I was talking about in my original post above. It mentions the error message being related to grub ("Typically the boot process will terminate with the words Rootnoverify(hd0,0) Chainloader +1 These are the boot parameters from your Grub configuration") but if you don't install grub, the error can't say this, can it? Everywhere else in the article it talks about the installer causing the problem, not the dual-boot program. That's the confusion, and is why I asked the question.

Am I simply misunderstanding the relationship between the installer, grub, and the changing of the hard drive geometry? My thoughts are that, if you are partitioning a second hard drive, there should be no changes made to the first hard drive if you are not installing grub or any other dual-boot utility. In other words, it's the same thing as if I had simply removed the first drive from my system altogether; it can't be touched. Of course, I don't know enough about how it works to understand it, hence my question. ;) :scratch:

Equisilus 06-06-2004 09:35 AM

Lo and behold, I just came across this tidbit: Boot disks won't work anymore due to the size of the 2.6 kernel.

That was in reply to this:

Description of problem:
It is impossible to create the diskette boot during the installation
process.
I selected to do not use the fedora boot loader (soory, I forgot the
name). In this case the message is that I must create a boot diskette
to start up the system. When prompted to select yes or not, I
selected yes to create a boot diskette. However the error message is:
Impossible to create boot diskette.
The lenght of modules of kernel for yopur machine baecame impossible
to create a boot disk that can be stored in One diskette..
I tried the installation process using several types (Personal,
Workstation. Server) but the message is the same.

Posted on Bugzilla (Bug #118492)

Does this mean that my thoughts to avoid the problem I've been talking about in this thread by using a boot floppy won't work because it's impossible to create a boot floppy? Anyone have any further information on this? :confused:

It wouldn't be so bad if the prevention/recovery instructions were written with a new user in mind. There are simply too many assumptions about the knowledge of the reader to make it easy to understand.

Equisilus 06-06-2004 05:50 PM

While waiting to see if anyone has any idea for my questions above, I decided I would go ahead and boot the rescue CD to do the following for prevention of the problem that concerns me:
Quote:

Boot from the Rescue CD (there is no need to start networking or mount
drives)

Issue the command: fdisk -l /dev/hda to print the current partition table
to screen in non-interactive mode.

Write down the drive geometry as reported at the beginning of the output
from fdisk. This is reported as number of Cylinders, Heads, and Sectors
(hence the name CHS).
However, when typing in the "fdisk -l /dev/hdb" (hdb because I want my second hard drive, not my first), I get this error message: "could not find kernal image: fdisk". This was done at the "boot: " prompt that shows after booting from the rescue CD.

Now, the instructions don't say I have to do anything else besides boot up the rescue CD and type in the command, so I'm at a loss what to do about it. I don't know if the error means the program could not find "fdisk" or if fdisk couldn't do what I asked with "hdb". Ah well, I'll keep waiting and reading more info. Too bad I just didn't have another machine handy that I can mess up all I want. ;)

wiraone 06-08-2004 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Equisilus
However, when typing in the "fdisk -l /dev/hdb" (hdb because I want my second hard drive, not my first), I get this error message: "could not find kernal image: fdisk". This was done at the "boot: " prompt that shows after booting from the rescue CD.
You should issue the above fdisk command above after you've reach the shell prompt ... !

Equisilus 06-08-2004 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by wiraone
You should issue the above fdisk command above after you've reach the shell prompt ... !
Thanks wiraone. When, exactly, is the "shell prompt" supposed to appear? Remember, the instructions don't suggest there are any other steps involved. Just boot to the rescue CD and type in the command. Could you be more specific on the steps required?

This is the sort of info that the original explanation should contain for those that aren't familiar with Linux or FC2 in particular. It makes things terribly unfriendly for the new user. Of course, this would all be moot if I could find a sure answer to my question in the original post. ;)

Equisilus 06-09-2004 05:48 PM

Just a followup (to myself, apparantly ;) ), but I have since decided to hold off installing FC2 until RH releases the fix they are supposedly working on, according to news reports. While they say that there is this workaround (which is poorly explained for new users), and that the problem with the partition tables happens rarely (but who wants to take that chance), it isn't worth the trouble for the sake of a new hobby. :(

Have to say, my first steps towards using Linux have definitely turned into a stumble. Fortunately, I did enough research beforehand so I can avoid the worst of it. I'll just look forward to getting Linux on my system some other time. I was so eager to get going, too. :cry: ;)

gbrewste 06-23-2004 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Equisilus
Just a followup (to myself, apparantly ;) ), but I have since decided to hold off installing FC2 until RH releases the fix they are supposedly working on, according to news reports. While they say that there is this workaround (which is poorly explained for new users), and that the problem with the partition tables happens rarely (but who wants to take that chance), it isn't worth the trouble for the sake of a new hobby. :(

Have to say, my first steps towards using Linux have definitely turned into a stumble. Fortunately, I did enough research beforehand so I can avoid the worst of it. I'll just look forward to getting Linux on my system some other time. I was so eager to get going, too. :cry: ;)

If you are anxious to start with Linux, you might want to try another distro that doesn't seem to have the same problems. I recently installed Mandrake 10 and have been dual booting nicely with Windows XP for about 2 weeks now.

Just my 2 cents.

Equisilus 06-24-2004 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by gbrewste
If you are anxious to start with Linux, you might want to try another distro that doesn't seem to have the same problems. I recently installed Mandrake 10 and have been dual booting nicely with Windows XP for about 2 weeks now.

Just my 2 cents.

Thanks for the tip, but I have since installed FC2 through the use of PartitionMagic 8.0 (to create the Linux partitions) and BootMagic to dual-boot between FC2 and WinXP (there's another thread I had on here recently asking a few questions in relation to that install). The install went without a hitch, as I made sure that the install would not need to partition or alter the MBR in any way. Drive geometry intact and everything working well. Of course, I still have to learn enough to get FC2 updated, drivers installed, etc, etc, but I can go at that at a leisurely pace since I have WinXP. :)

gbrewste 06-24-2004 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Equisilus
Thanks for the tip, but I have since installed FC2 through the use of PartitionMagic 8.0 (to create the Linux partitions) and BootMagic to dual-boot between FC2 and WinXP (there's another thread I had on here recently asking a few questions in relation to that install). The install went without a hitch, as I made sure that the install would not need to partition or alter the MBR in any way. Drive geometry intact and everything working well. Of course, I still have to learn enough to get FC2 updated, drivers installed, etc, etc, but I can go at that at a leisurely pace since I have WinXP. :)
Glad to hear you got everyting up and running. The YUM updater works well for updating FC2 and also makes it easier to install RPMs. Just do a little searching around and you will see a whole lot of resources on it.

On another note, now that I have worked more extensively with Fedora, I seem to like it better than Mandrake. I think I will install FC2 on my other computer that currently has Mandrake.

Good luck with everything.

futurist 06-27-2004 03:38 AM

I bought 1 new HDD, 40GB , just for Fedora core2.


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