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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 08-18-2008, 09:13 AM   #1
rockarolla
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Registered: Dec 2006
Distribution: Fedora 9
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fedora and vista dual boot on DELL inspirion


I wish to install vista on my lap top (for gaming purposes) but I cannot make a decision whether to make two primary and two extended partitions - one for each operating system, or to make to primary and one extended - which will be for vista data files. Maybe there is a better option?

Any suggestion and experience will be greatly appreciated. For information I am using Fedora FC6 but plan to unpgrade to FC9.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 03:43 AM   #2
GlennsPref
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Registered: Apr 2004
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Hi, What is the size of the harddrive?

If you have the space, you want at least 2 for vista (or winxp)

for linux you will need a root (/), swap and home partitions.

so, that gives you 5 partitions,

Home partition will be larger than root and swap is usually about the size of your ram, on a reverse scale.

for example, 1024Mb of ram, I would set the swap at 1024Mb.

but if I had 512Mb of ram, I would set the swap larger, maybe 2048Mb.

At the moment I have 2Gb of ram and 3.5Gb of swap, But the swap is very rarely used on my machine.

You can have more if you want to.

Cheers, Glenn
 
Old 08-19-2008, 11:19 PM   #3
rockarolla
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Hi Glenn,

I've got a new DELL 1525 with 4 GB of RAM and 320 GB HDD. Now looking at the factory DELL has 4 primary partitions, which sound something like this:

1: EISA 30 MB (yes MB)
2: OS (c:/) the bulk of the HDD
3: RECOVERY (20 GB)
4: 2.5 GB - probably about the DELL media centre or something of that sort. A useful information about dell factry partitions I found on goodell dot net

I guess I might only remove the recovery partition as it is about 70% free - I plan to burn an image and leave it to brew somewhere, and to shrink the OS partition, create a primary for Fedora and install it. I think, I will use the dafault linux partitions and partition sizes. I find it difficult to decide how much space for what (besides the swap disk size which, thankfully to your post, I have an idea about).

If something goes wrong after the Fedora installation, I will no more have the problem with the recovery disk, as it is only created by DELL and seems there is little open information about how to resume or recover the recovery disk .

Thanks for the useful information!

Dani.
 
Old 08-20-2008, 05:27 PM   #4
GlennsPref
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You're quite right, like acer, dell did not plan on you having a choice of OS.

First, I would get nlite and slipstream winxp with the drivers and key for your install before I attempt re-partitioning the HD.

http://www.nliteos.com/index.html

If you go with the default install you may not get a /home partition, but a home directory on root that will be formatted if you decide to install some other distribution of linux.

The recovery disk from dell is probably not a M$ install with the normal setup program, which means you won't be able to use it at all, once you have removed the winxp install or any of the other partitions.

Anyhow, see how you go, it will be entertaining, educational and fullfilling.

Regards, Glenn

ps, you'll need to backup /windows/system32/wpa.dbl and wpa.bak to re-insert them after the install, but only works if the hardware is the same (no changes).GW

Last edited by GlennsPref; 08-20-2008 at 05:41 PM. Reason: http://www.nliteos.com/index.html
 
Old 08-20-2008, 08:23 PM   #5
syg00
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No need to delete anything if it's like my m1330. The media partition was a logical, and for all the Linux installs I do, logicals is fine. Note Fedora and Ubuntu (normal install) will insist on a primary partition.
Vista has pretty good disk management tools - use it to shrink the main partition - in my case wouldn't shrink below 50%. I used the gparted liveCD to shrink the main Vista partition down to 50 Gig, expand the extended partition, and move the media partition down to the start of the extended. All the rest of the space was available for logicals.
Great piece of software.

Edit: d'oh - just noticed Fedora in the title.
You may need to find a primary partition somehow - although I think I installed Fedora 9 into a logical. I'll get back to you about that.
The Vista software disk is a full copy, so you should be able to delete everything and re-install as you prefer if you feel inclined.

Last edited by syg00; 08-20-2008 at 08:36 PM.
 
Old 08-21-2008, 12:09 AM   #6
rockarolla
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Registered: Dec 2006
Distribution: Fedora 9
Posts: 28

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Well here is what I've found about the MediaDirect: Once you remove it and you shut down, suspend or close your machine, and then you press the media direct button - which is a nice sweet house, the mediadirect attempts to repartition your hard disk as to its taste and create the original partitioning on your dell - see my second post above. Some ppl have shared a lot of experience in installing Ubuntu on Vista...at this moment I'll look for a better solution than zeroing my hard disk and reinstalling everything as I like it - but the hard disk has to be completely wiped off - and remove all hidden media direct sectors which can revive it and nuke your pc again. After zeroing what remains from Media Direct is still lurking in the bios but it won't harm you - it will only flash a Media Dircet screen on pressing and continue with grub...

Well lets see what would the day bring today.

syg00 the pc cam with four primary partitions. I got to hack one in order to create even an extended partition for fedora - if it would be pleased and install itself.
 
Old 08-21-2008, 04:42 AM   #7
syg00
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I've got Fedora on /dev/sda11, so I guess it worked o.k. Must have done a manual/expert install for the partitioner - can't remember.
 
Old 08-23-2008, 11:18 AM   #8
rockarolla
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Registered: Dec 2006
Distribution: Fedora 9
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Well, I've unpuzzled the quest, at least I hope so, ...

Searching on some ubuntu forums the matter of killing the media direct installation and automatical reinstallation is to delete the hidden Host Protected Area (HPA) partition which contains the program which repartitions and hard disk if media direct is removed.

Now I need to find a way to delete only this HPA or at least to dissable it so that it wouldn't mess my hard disk when I remove the MediaDirect partition. At this moment GParted doesn't see HPA partitions, there are some programs I found (http://www.hdat2.com/, and http://www.sleuthkit.org/informer/sl...nformer-20.txt) - the former can be run under dos but it doesn't provide means to remove HPA, the latter runs under linux and I have to try to add it to knoppix or eventually run it under GParted ...

I would greatly appreciate if someone has an experience on how to remove HPA partitions.
 
Old 08-23-2008, 01:30 PM   #9
syg00
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I've seen reports of people (on m1330) deleting the MD partition and reassigning the "home" key to the /boot partition so power key boots Vista, and the MD "home" key boots Linux. Must try it one day.
Seems it doesn't suffer the problem you're worried about.
 
  


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