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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 12-13-2007, 12:57 PM   #1
BreakInTheSun
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Portege 3015CT: Incorrect Hard Disk Size


Hi all,

I'm trying to install Damn Small Linux on an old Toshiba Portege 3015CT (100Mhz / 32MB) running Windows 98. It has a 16GB HDD currently set up as one big partition, with about 1.5GB in use.

I'm trying to create a new partition to install DSL on. The problem is that DOS's fdisk, as well as Ranish Partition Manager and even DSL running off Loadlin all think the drive is only 16MB (not GB), with 8MB full. I went into the BIOS and switched the HDD from Enhanced to Standard IDE, which caused fdisk and RPM (though not DSL) to recognize the full partition, though now they both indicate that the total drive size is only 8MB, and won't let me create a new partition. (Yes, that means they show a partition 2,000 times bigger than the actual drive).

Note that the machine doesn't have a diskette or CD drive, and can't boot from USB, so everything I do has to be from within the hard drive.

So, any thoughts on what the problem might be, and how I can solve it?
Thanks!
 
Old 12-13-2007, 01:39 PM   #2
jailbait
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
Distribution: Debian Wheezy, Debian Jessie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreakInTheSun View Post
Hi all,

I'm trying to install Damn Small Linux on an old Toshiba Portege 3015CT (100Mhz / 32MB) running Windows 98. It has a 16GB HDD currently set up as one big partition, with about 1.5GB in use.

I'm trying to create a new partition to install DSL on. The problem is that DOS's fdisk, as well as Ranish Partition Manager and even DSL running off Loadlin all think the drive is only 16MB (not GB), with 8MB full. I went into the BIOS and switched the HDD from Enhanced to Standard IDE, which caused fdisk and RPM (though not DSL) to recognize the full partition, though now they both indicate that the total drive size is only 8MB, and won't let me create a new partition. (Yes, that means they show a partition 2,000 times bigger than the actual drive).

Note that the machine doesn't have a diskette or CD drive, and can't boot from USB, so everything I do has to be from within the hard drive.

So, any thoughts on what the problem might be, and how I can solve it?
Thanks!
You have a BIOS which has a size limitation on how large a hard drive it can handle. The size limitation is 8G. What you need is a disk partitioner which does not use the BIOS to access the hard drive.

Leave the BIOS set to Standard IDE and boot into the DSL installer. No Linux installer is dependent on the BIOS for hard drive partitioning so you can partition your hard drive using the DSL installer. When you do so create a small /boot partition (512M) at the beginning of the drive so that grub or lilo can boot the hard drive in spite of the BIOS limitation.

You got loadlin and DSL on the hard drive somehow. Use the same method to get the DSL installer if it is not already on the hard drive.

--------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 12-13-2007, 02:06 PM   #3
BreakInTheSun
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Registered: Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jailbait View Post
You have a BIOS which has a size limitation on how large a hard drive it can handle. The size limitation is 8G. What you need is a disk partitioner which does not use the BIOS to access the hard drive.
...
You got loadlin and DSL on the hard drive somehow. Use the same method to get the DSL installer if it is not already on the hard drive.
Thanks!
As far as I can tell, the DSL installer assumes that there's an unformatted partition waiting for it, but I'll play around with it and see what I can do.
Are there any particularly recommended DOS partition utilities which don't go through the BIOS I could try as well?
 
Old 12-13-2007, 02:16 PM   #4
jailbait
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"Are there any particularly recommended DOS partition utilities which don't go through the BIOS I could try as well?"

As I remember DOS all hard drive I/O goes through the BIOS. So I doubt that there is a DOS partition utility which does not use the BIOS.

-----------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 12-17-2007, 01:01 PM   #5
debeus
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Registered: Oct 2006
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jailbait View Post
Leave the BIOS set to Standard IDE and boot into the DSL installer. No Linux installer is dependent on the BIOS for hard drive partitioning so you can partition your hard drive using the DSL installer. When you do so create a small /boot partition (512M) at the beginning of the drive so that grub or lilo can boot the hard drive in spite of the BIOS limitation.
512M seems pretty big for a /boot partition on such a small drive. I use 100MB and it's never even come close to filling up.
 
Old 12-26-2007, 06:19 PM   #6
BreakInTheSun
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Registered: Dec 2007
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fdisk / cfdisk from within Linux

So I tried creating a new partition using fdisk or cfdisk from within DSL, and they recognize the right hard drive size but inform me that there are no available sectors for creating a new partition. The DSL installer expects an available partition, and doesn't have an option (that I can find, at least) for creating one. Any suggestions? Thanks!
 
  


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