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Old 07-24-2003, 09:28 AM   #1
psyno
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Registered: Jul 2003
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Red face Can't get RH9 past partitioning


Hi thanks for helping. This is my first go at Linux...

RH9 keeps giving me errors around partitioning... I originally let is set up all the partitions on hdb (which was blank) but it said
"Error enabling swap device hdb3: Invalid argument
This most likely means this swap partition has not been initialized."
It then killed the install. I know it's highly recommend for newbies like me just to let the distro set up the partitions automatically, but I figured this was probably a good time to use something like Partition Magic to set them up beforehand. I copied RH9's partitioner's would-be partitions exactly, but when I went back into the installer, it gave me different errors. On trying automatically while preserving data, it told me there was no space for primary partitions and also gave me an unhandled exception which it said was most likely a bug. By doing it manually, when I tried to add the /boot or / values to the preconfigured partitions, it killed the installer.

What is going on? How do I make RH9 not hate me? Is it possible to use PM8 (from Win98) to preconfigure partitions; and if so, how do I add the /boot and / values?

Wow, it's 6:30 am here...I've literally been up all night trying to make this work.

Thanks in advance everyone.
 
Old 07-24-2003, 10:56 AM   #2
oubipaws
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Frederick, MD
Distribution: Dux Linux 1 / Gentoo 1.4
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don't preconfigure it.. repartition with with the red hat partitioner
 
Old 07-24-2003, 02:26 PM   #3
psyno
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Yep.

"Error enabling swap device hdb3: Invalid argument
This most likely means this swap partition has not been initialized."

Every time.
 
Old 07-24-2003, 02:30 PM   #4
oubipaws
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have you had problems like this before?
 
Old 07-24-2003, 02:39 PM   #5
psyno
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Yes.

But only with Linux, unfortunately. I've done everything I can to clear that drive, including a zero fill, so I'm pretty out of ideas. I was hoping that by setting up the partitions before I could just avoid that part of the install.

I tried Mandrake first, because it seemed more like what I wanted to newbie me, but it gave me another weird error with the partitioning...the usual one was
*edit: top line of error was from memory; is now correctly duplicated*
"an error occured
format of failed"
That's not a typo....I didn't understand it. Anyway for Mandrake I chalked it up to a bad install medium, because sometimes I could format it, but it would then give me errors configuring packages (yes I tried a minimal install) and then it would freeze...

Thanks for responding.

Last edited by psyno; 07-25-2003 at 01:58 AM.
 
Old 07-24-2003, 03:14 PM   #6
oubipaws
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have you tried using cfdisk? I think its a linux only formatter though.

Maybe you should try a text based installer linux... that way you partition it yourself.

Maybe try gentoo, debian, or libranet?
 
Old 07-24-2003, 05:38 PM   #7
sbrower
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Tampa
Distribution: Red Hat 9
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I had the same problem but mine happened when formatting the /usr partition. A few things that might help...

1st option:
Try rebooting choosing rescue option to instal/repair and allow Red Hat to choose partitions. You can then edit the chosen ones if you feel that you need to and your sheme is better for you but if you're totally new to Linux you might want to trust the auto format options to start, you can always back up any important info (note for paranoia on my part...by saying abck up I mean putting it on removable media like a cd) and install again if you need to.
or
2nd option:
Use fdisk/mbr (if using DOS fdisk) or linuxs fdisk to delete all partitions and clear the master boot record and try again. Depending on how much RAM you have you may want to do a text install. ..heck, you might want to try it anyway.

Post back to this group after you have tried these options and let us know if it worked for you. There is a third option I was going to use but it involved downloading another 700 meg ISO and I was lucky enough not to have to try it but I'll locate the name of the file for you if I need to.

Hope this helps,
-S
 
Old 07-25-2003, 01:03 AM   #8
psyno
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Registered: Jul 2003
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Again, thanks for the replies.

Fortunately there is no "important info" on either HD

The Rescue attempt saw it fail at the same place...

I was very hopeful with the text-based install, but that was dashed as well. It actually got past where it used to kill it after I specified the mount point, but it killed it a few steps later. *edit: I saved the report/dump/whatever it was to a floppy, and can post if it might be helpful.*

fdisk /mbr on my version of DOS (the one that comes with Win98SE) writes a few hundred bytes with 0s....up to about where the partition tables start, so it shouldn't actually affect the partition tables. I ran it anyway, and I ran fdisk /cmbr 2 (which effectively runs the same thing but on hdb) and these didn't help. fdisk /mbr did help me clear a bootloader earlier, but that wasn't really a problem

I keep coming back to this one unhandled exception in RH9... I would suspect it was the medium, but not only did I verify the md5sum after download, but RH's media checker passes my cd1 and cd2... Could it still just be bad media? Maybe I should head out to a store and pick up a retail copy of RH or mdk? Might that help?

As an unfortunate, nearly unrelated aside, I must have accidentally allowed RH9's installer to overwrite hda's partition table in the last few minutes, because DOS no longer boots...and Win98SE setup reports only unpartitioned space on c:


oubipaws, I would try "gentoo, debian, or libranet" if I weren't a total newbie, didn't only have 2 blank disks left after all that burning, and didn't suspect they'd fail at the same place. I'll keep those distros in mind if I happen to give up for now though. thanks.

Are "cfdisk" and "linuxs fdisk" the same thing? If so, can I make a bootable floppy containing them? It sounds like it may help out...even if nothing with PartitionMagic has been terribly succesful...

Last edited by psyno; 07-25-2003 at 01:20 AM.
 
Old 07-25-2003, 09:20 AM   #9
psyno
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Registered: Jul 2003
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Talking Resolved!

Well I'm just kicking myself now, but in a happy way!

My thanks, oubipaws and sbrower, for your time and interest.

It turned out only to be a bad RAM stick. I'd ruled this out earlier because Windows 98SE was having no trouble installing or running, but my suspicions grew and eventually I found a program, DocMemory 2.0, on CNET and used it to test my RAM. I still can't believe that was all it was. Well, now I'm down 128 MB but up one perfect installation of Mandrake 9.1.

Thanks again; and I'm sure you'll be seeing more of me in the newbie forum now (with real questions!).

 
  


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