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pashabear 01-12-2006 06:39 AM

Drive Partitioning on Asus M5N for Suse 10.0
 
Hi, I have an Asus M5200N notebook, am comtemplating putting Suse 10 on it (as a dual boot, unfortunately can't get rid of Windoze yet). Currently my (80 Gb) hard drive is partitioned as 37 GB (NTFS), 36 (NTFS) and 1 (FAT), the second being my main files partition. My question is, how should I rearrange / reformat my partitions to best accomidate Suse? I'd like to continue to use my second partition for files, I have noticed in the past that files saved in Linux aren't always visible in Windows (I was using a FAT32 partition).
Thanks in advance for help
pashabear

archtoad6 02-25-2007 09:16 AM

Given the passage of time, your Q is probably moot. Especially considering that this seems to be your only post -- you may not even see this answer. Nevertheless, here goes:

Before I start on dual-boot, I want to point out that dual-boot is no longer the HLUG Workshop way of introducing GNU/Linux onto a "Winders" box. Since VMserver became a no-cost ("free as in beer":)) product last summer, it is now our preferred way to do Lin on Win. Of course if the hardware, especially the RAM, will not support it, we revert to dual-boot.

The first consideration in repartitioning for dual-boot is whether there are any OEM Tools or Recover partitions to deal with. Typically they are hidden primaries at the very beginning &/or end of the drive. If we find any, we scrupulously leave them alone.

A typical scheme would be:
hda1 -- OEM "Tools" [hidden]
hda2 -- NTFS - C:
hda3 -- (extended)
|- hda5 -- FAT32 - D:, Common Data
|- hda6 -- ext3 - Linux "/"
\- hda7 -- linux swap - swap
hda4 -- OEM Recovery [hidden]

Possibly, you don't mention OEM partitions, in your case:
hda1 -- OEM "Tools" [hidden]
hda2 -- NTFS - C:
hda3 -- (extended)
|- hda5 -- NTFS - D: (Win files)
|- hda6 -- FAT32 - E:, Common Data
|- hda7 -- ext3 - Linux "/"
\- hda8 -- linux swap - swap
hda4 -- OEM Recovery [hidden]

You also don't mention if your "36 (NTFS) . . . my main files partition" is labelled "D:" or even whether it is primary or logical, so the above is just a guess.

The next step is to decide on the post-partitioning sizes for each. This is very much a matter of judgement & also dependent on the overall size of the drive, as well as how full the partition is already. Here are some guidelines:
  • Win "C:": Assuming XP, 10 - 30 GB.
    Since you have separate "files" partition, 10 GB is probably appropriate.

  • NTFS - "Files": If already there, do not shrink or shrink only moderately -- depends mostly on how full it is & how much of its contents will be moved to FAT32.

  • FAT32 - Common Data: This is the one that is most subject to drive size, circumstance, use, & judgement. I like to use 7.9 or 15.9 GiB & never more than 32. The reason is the doubling of cluster size at each power of 2 in the partition size. On the average, every FAT file wastes 1/2 a cluster in "slack", which means there may be more usable file space in a 15 GiB partition than in one of 17 GiB. (Edit: Sizes were reversed in original -- fixed.)
    (Note -- GiB = binary or "true" 2^30 gigabytes.)
    {Suggestions for links welcome.}

  • Linux "/" ("root"): 4GB minimum, 10 is nice, 20 is verging on excessive.

  • (Linux) swap: There are a variety of rules of thumb about this, usually expressed as multiplier of the amount of RAM on the system. Common suggestions are x1/2, x1, & x2. I haven't checked recently, but SimplyMEPIS used to recommend a flat 1GB for power users. I like that idea.

Once you have decided, & written down, your partition sizes, you should prepare the drive. This means:
  • Delete unnecessary files. (optional)
  • Run chkdsk -f or its equivalent.
  • Defrag.
Do this on all partitions that will be resized.

At last, you are ready to do the actual repartitioning. I never use a tool that is installed on a drive it will be working on. To me, that is like a brain surgeon operating on himself. I always use a tool from a bootable CD. Because I own a review copy of Acronis Disk Director, I tend to use it; & have come to prefer it out of familiarity. I also have used QtParted, which is included on many GNU/Linux install CD's. I have read good reports on the GParted live CD, but have not yet used it.


Quote:

I'd like to continue to use my second partition for files,
As you can see above, there should be no problem w/ that.

Quote:

I have noticed in the past that files saved in Linux aren't always visible in Windows (I was using a FAT32 partition).
I have never heard of this complaint before, especially from folks we have set up w/ dual-boot.


This is my longest & most comprehensive post on dual-boot, I welcome any suggestions for improvement, especially relevant links either in- or outside LQ.

hcgrant 02-26-2007 07:55 AM

[QUOTE=archtoad6]

Before I start on dual-boot, I want to point out that dual-boot is no longer the HLUG Workshop way of introducing GNU/Linux onto a "Winders" box. Since VMserver became a no-cost ("free as in beer":)) product last summer, it is now our preferred way to do Lin on Win. Of course if the hardware, especially the RAM, will not support it, we revert to dual-boot.

Hi Archtoad6,
Could you point me to help on using VMserver? I'v just posted a simular query but regarding Vista

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d.php?t=532522

and I didnt think of using VMserver. The laptop has 2GB ram and 160Gb HD.
Regards Hugh

archtoad6 03-01-2007 06:41 AM

Let me answer this tomorrow -- the (weekly) workshop is tonight & since I am no where near the best of us at VMserver, I will ask.

The most rudimentary basics are easy: d/l the .exe & click. The one small gotcha is that you need a free (up to 100 allowed) registration/activation code. That is a separate d/l & needs to be done before you start the install. There is also an issue of which of the other files you really need & for what. Also, some pointers on the not-so-obvious fine points of the implications of some of the choices during the install.

Later: forgot to submit, oops.
We are working on a draft on the club TWiki -- more later.

hcgrant 03-13-2007 02:06 PM

Using VMware Server
 
Thanks Archtoad6
I've downloaded the RPM for VMware Server and tried it out first running an old copy of WIN98 from its HD location (Most impressed that it does this) using OpenSuse10.2 as the host. Then I've created a new instance of WIN98 from the install disks. As far as I can tell without running any benchmarks they both run at about the same speed. Running fullscreen seems as fast as booting the HD instance and running that. I'll have to to create a Linux guest and try that. I'm looking for a way to share files between host and guest, at the moment I'm going to use a Samba client in the host to access shared files in the guest (emulated HD) though I would like to be able to configure a WIN guest with both emulated and actual HD's.
Thanks again :)


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