Before you read any further - please note that I have NO QUESTION - i am simply posting this so that it might benefit someone out there - that's all:
I'm completely new to Linux. I have gained some knowledge from these fora so i want to repay by documenting my experiences with Linux over the past few days.
Pertinent Hardware info:
-- Sony-VAIO-PC - model VGC-RB-44G (you can get all the specs of this pc on Sony's website) - I bought this pc brand new in Dec-2005.
-- Hard Drive - Maxtor SATA - 300GB
Pertinent Software info:
-- PC came preinstalled with Windows-XP-Professional-Media-Center.
RED-HAD-LINUX-8 = NO-GO:
In the recent past, i decided to install Linux. So, the first version i tried was Red-Hat-Linux-8. Booted from REL8 CD and it did NOT see any hard-disk. Then i quickly found out that recognizing the SATA disk was going to be an *ordeal* - i had to find the right version, drivers, etc.
SYSTEM_RESCUE_CD = NO-GO:
Then I downloaded "SystemRescueCD" ISO image (retrieved from www.sysresccd.org
) - and extracted the image to a cd - and booted with that... and the install procedure got to the point where it asked me to type "qtparted" - and when i typed that, there was an error. Either the ISO image was created with NO QTPARTED on it, or there were additional instructions which were missing. Being a novice at Linux, i had no idea what else to try - so that was that.
DON'T CONVERT YOUR BASIC-DISKS TO DYNAMIC-DISKS IN WINDOWS-XP!!!:
Then i had been reading all along that i need to resize the Windows partition to make room for Linux before installing - so i thought maybe that was the problem with previous installs.. and i read somewhere that i could modify the partition by going to control-panel,admin tools,disk-managment, and converting existing basic-disk to "dynamic disk". Well, i did that, and still COULD NOT resize the partition. Of course, once you do that, you also CANNOT go back and change that disk to a "Basic Disk" again.
So, i bought Partition-Magic and installed it on my xp. As soon as PM started and i tried to resize my Windows partition - guess what? - i COULD NOT DO IT BECAUSE IT NEEDS THE DISK TO BE A "BASIC DISK" - so you know what that meant? - i had to re-install Windows !!! So, i sucked up my pride and set aside a few hours, backed up my data, and reinstalled Windows from scratch - allowing it to reformat my drive and make it a "BASIC DISK", create partitions, etc. ( all done automatically, you don't have to do anything for this), - all this from the bootable Windows-XP discs.
After Windows was installed, I reinstalled Partition-Magic - and voila!! - since my hard-disk partition was recognized as a "Basic Disk" - I could EASILY resize the partition. So, i gave 120-GB to Windows and set aside 120-GB of "free space" for a future Linux install.
FINDING THE RIGHT VERSION:
All of the above happened about a week ago.. Ever since then, i've been surfing the on-line-fora to determine which Linux version will recognize SATA drives, etc.. and honestly, there are soooo sooo sooo many opposing opinions on-line, it seemed just ridiculous that i could NOT get a conclusive answer from anyone regarding SATA hard-disk recognition or successful-dual-boot methods - many opinions, but no conclusive answers.. actually, i think there was one person who answered it well.. and i will come back one day and give credit when i find that person's post again.
Well - if you're in that same place where i was - here is MY conclusive answer:
FEDORA-CORE-6 RECOGNIZED MY SATA DRIVE IMMEDIATELY AND DUAL-BOOTING WITH PRE-INSTALLED WINDOWS-XP WORKS JUST FINE WHEN GRUB IS INSTALLED ON THE MBR (MASTER-BOOT-RECORD)!!!
INSTALLING FC6 ON SATA DRIVE AND SETTING UP DUAL-BOOT WITH XP:
So, I went to a local bookstore, bought a brand new FC6 Book which had 3 FC6 DVD's in it - if anyone's interested, email me and i can tell you exactly which book i bought - i happen not to remember the publisher / name at the moment.
I made myself a cup of tea yesterday evening, sat down at my pc (which already had 120 GB of free space, remember?) - and popped in the FC6 Full-Version DVD and just decided to give it a try!
I was reading the installation instructions at the same time from the book also, of course.
The install was very simple and easy. I followed / chose ALL defaults, including installing GRUB at the MBR.
When i rebooted after the install, i got a blue FC6 GRUB BootLoader screen which allows me to choose FC6 or "other" --when i choose "other" it boots to windows-xp without any problems. Then i rebooted and chose FC6, and that boots without any errors also.. I am very happy now!
Of course, now i have to go back and install drivers for my DLink wireless-usb-key which connects me to my wireless router at home for internet access.. and other drivers here and there... but, the monitor, kb, mouse, and of course my SATA hard-disk - all work perfectly !!
Thank you all for posting to this site - it helped me gather lots of useful info. and take the plunge into the Linux (Unix) world - and i am looking forward to becoming a proficient Linux user.