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Old 11-17-2005, 03:17 AM   #1
Slyder42
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Angry feeling like a n00b again


I am currently running WinXP Home on an HP computer. Currently I have an 80GB Samsung HD, 120 GB Maxtor HD with 2 partitions on the Samsung HD.

I Want to Dual-boot with Fedora Core 4 without deleting my Windows partition.

I want to resize the Windows partition and use the remaining 20 GB for FC4.

Can't install because of the lack of space so I was going to use SUSE 9.1 to manually repartition my C: Drive for a /swap and / "root" directory

I believe I should have a 1GB swap partition and the rest is the root directory?

After installing the bare-bones of SUSE, I would then install FC4 over what was there so I could then have no apparent problem.

What should I go about doing first?

I've been doing my reading and tried a few things, but wasn't sure of myself and my decisions. If I chose wrong, I would not be posting my question now since it is my only computer available.
Please help
 
Old 11-17-2005, 04:01 AM   #2
bigrigdriver
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Ok. you have chosen to do a lot of work. First things first. Resizing the windows partition. Windows parks a bit of stuff at the end of its partition. I don't know if that is deliberate on the part of MS; I suspect it is. 'Cause ms and windows don't play well with the other kids on the block. So, to resize the partition, you must first move that 'stuff'. In the Linux world there is a set of utilities called ntfsprogs. Within that set, there is ntfsresize. It resizes the used space within the partition. It DOES NOT resize the partition. You just remove some of the unused space between whats used and that 'stuff' at the end of the partition.

I hope you understand that you must defrag before doing anything else to get files, as much as possible, into a contigous space.

Once you have used ntfsresize to resize the used space, then you can use a Linux utility, such as cfdisk, to resize the partition.

NOTE: you MUST make sure that the resized space is smaller that the resized partition! Otherwise, you risk loosing some of that 'stuff'.

Use cdisk to resize the windows partition to a size slightly larger than the resized size you selected with ntfsresize. Then create a Linux partition and a swap partition in the free space.

Question: why do you need a 1 Gig swap partition. Unless you are doing graphics intensive, or sound editing intensive work, you probably won't use that much swap space. If the amount of ram you have is adequate to your needs, you will seldom see swap used. Swap is used when ram is not sufficient for the work being done.

In so far as installing FC over SuSE is concerned, you wil probably end up with dangling files: not associated with anything; just using up disk space. Tracking them down and deleting them could be a chore. On the other hand, since they will use the same user's home directory, you could end up with mush which you will have to sort out: what belongs to SuSE (and should be deleted) and what belongs to FC.

Oh! Before I forget. That 'stuff at the end of the windows partition. The next time you boot into windows and do a defrag, that 'stuff' will be moved back to the end of the resized windows partition. Windows won't know anything has changed.
 
Old 11-17-2005, 10:13 AM   #3
Slyder42
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Question what?

Quote:
Originally posted by bigrigdriver
So, to resize the partition, you must first move that 'stuff'. In the Linux world there is a set of utilities called ntfsprogs. Within that set, there is ntfsresize. It resizes the used space within the partition. It DOES NOT resize the partition. You just remove some of the unused space between whats used and that 'stuff' at the end of the partition.
---
Once you have used ntfsresize to resize the used space, then you can use a Linux utility, such as cfdisk, to resize the partition.

Use cdisk to resize the windows partition to a size slightly larger than the resized size you selected with ntfsresize. Then create a Linux partition and a swap partition in the free space.

Question: why do you need a 1 Gig swap partition. Unless you are doing graphics intensive, or sound editing intensive work, you probably won't use that much swap space. If the amount of ram you have is adequate to your needs, you will seldom see swap used. Swap is used when ram is not sufficient for the work being done.
I do use lots of GIMP stuff and even though I do have 1GB of RAM, I still find the "wiggle room" of a 1GB swap partition is a safe bet for me.

But on to the big stuff....
Note: I do NOT have a floppy drive on my computer... so anything requiring floppies is not an option.
With this install of FC4, this is the first time installing it on my computer.

How do I get access to ntfsresize and cfdisk when trying to install FC4? In the boot prompt, I typed in linux rescue and then after it probed my hardware, I clicked skip (because there is nothing to rescue) so I could get to a command prompt. I then tried typing cfdisk, but the command was not found, but fdisk was and loaded up with the correct commands. Can you help with a walkthrough possibly?

Additionally, with the barebones install of SUSE 9.1 Personal, I would just use that to do the resizing, and after the barebones was installed, I would then format over that stuff with the install of FC4 so there would be no "dangling files" which would then lead to a clean install.


Thanks for your prompt response!
 
Old 11-18-2005, 02:20 AM   #4
Emmanuel_uk
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Slyder42,
in addition, out of your 2 HD, one must be data only and the other one is XP system?
On which one wrer you planning to install FC4?

mandrake move live bootable cd comes with drakdisk I believe
which can resize ntfs I believe
You can use a live distro to do the resizing / partitioning
 
Old 11-18-2005, 03:13 AM   #5
bigrigdriver
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I recently upgraded my Linux box to add a larger hard drive. To do the partitioning I used Knoppix. It's important to note that resizing partitions should not be done within a running system. It's best done from a live cd, such as Knoppix, Kanotix, or some other such, so that unmounted partitions can be resized and new partitions can be created .

Boot into the live cd OS, then use the utilities found there to resize UNMOUNTED partitions. Knoppix has the ntfsprogs set of utilities and cfdisk.

However, a well-behaved distro should offer you the opportunity to delete/resize existing partitions when you boot with the install cd. Whether or not said install cd will use the correct utilities to effect the resizing (without data loss) and creation of new partitions is the essential question.

As far as the dangling files are concerned, they will only be removed if they are over-written during a new installation. If they are not over-written, then they are still there.

Do the resizing and partition creation from a live cd, then install the new distro into waiting partitions.

Last edited by bigrigdriver; 11-18-2005 at 03:26 AM.
 
Old 11-18-2005, 11:11 AM   #6
bulliver
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Quote:
I do have 1GB of RAM, I still find the "wiggle room" of a 1GB swap partition is a safe bet for me.
I gotta agree with bigrigdriver here, 1GB swap with 1GB RAM is just excessive. It's your system, and you can do what you want, but if you dedicate any more than 512MB you're just throwing the disk space away. Personally, I wouldn't use more than 256...

100-200% of your RAM total for swap is just a relic from when systems had 16-32MB of physical RAM.
 
Old 11-18-2005, 04:50 PM   #7
Slyder42
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Exclamation oops

Quote:
in addition, out of your 2 HD, one must be data only and the other one is XP system?
Okay, So I use DRIVE C: Which is hda2 (hda1 is the backup image for my HP software which has WinXP home on it. That's the way I redo windows, but I have access to an additional copy of XP to fix stuff)
hda1 = 5.5GB, hda2 was 65.xGB until I scaled it down to 4x.xGB) and i took your guy's suggestion and only used about 500mb of swap partition space and 18GB for the linux partition

Drive D: (hdb1) is FAT (so it is easy to read in any OS) and that is all data, music, etc.

So on to what I have done... I used Partition Magic 8 to resize my partitions, restarted the PC, it did its magic and restarted itself. From there I booted up FC4 and had NO problem installing FC4 from there.... until... i restarted the PC again.

I made a horrible mistake. GRUB wrote over my MBR and now Windows can not boot.

Since I am away from my computer for the weekend, I will take on this task on Sunday night and monday morning...

I will take WINXP and load the thing to rescue my Windows by running the command
Code:
c:\fdisk /mbr
That I believe should rebuild the MBR and then after doing so, how can I get linux to boot too...
Is there such a thing called "non-destructive rebuild" like on Windows XP so I can just get everything to work right or do I have to reformat that partition and start all over?

Additionally, I want to try to get KDE to run instead of GNOME... cause gnome is boring... do I just uncheck the GNOME box(es), check the KDE boxes and then KDE will boot?
 
Old 11-18-2005, 04:59 PM   #8
Emmanuel_uk
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do not quote me on this but
if you use the rescue mode of FC4, or install grub on D,
change the bios to boot from D,
you can make grub to boot either linux or Xp with the chainloader syntax (google lq)

you may need to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst (this may vary with distro)

Make a backup of D data first, but the MBR on D should not matter provided
you do not touch the partition of D

PS: do not think yiu will need to reinstall FC4
Yes you need to fix xp mbr first

Last edited by Emmanuel_uk; 11-18-2005 at 05:00 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2005, 05:21 PM   #9
Slyder42
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Drive D: (hdb1) is FAT (so it is easy to read in any OS) and that is all data, music, etc.
Drive C: is for the OSs ONLY, D: is where I save all of my work, pictures, etc. so....
Quote:
if you use the rescue mode of FC4, or install grub on D,
change the bios to boot from D,
you can make grub to boot either linux or Xp with the chainloader syntax (google lq)
is irrelevant.

Everything OS related stays on C: or hda2

What do you mean by chainloader syntax?

If I want to make it easieron myself, COULD it be beneficial to me to redo the install? I just don't have all the time in the world to try to figure out how to recode GRUB by hand. I gotta finish up this semester by typing up some papers that reside on my WinXP desktop.

It IS my fault that I decided to tinker with my computer when I should've been studying or reading or something. It's all my fault that it doesn't work anymore.
 
Old 11-18-2005, 07:24 PM   #10
bulliver
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Quote:
If I want to make it easieron myself, COULD it be beneficial to me to redo the install?
Well, if you think reinstalling is easier than taking 2 minutes to edit a file....

Fedora boots right? So boot it up and edit grub.conf and add these lines:
Code:
title Win XP
root (hd0,1)
chainloader +1
Now you have a grub menu that gives you a choice of what to boot.

Quote:
It's all my fault that it doesn't work anymore.
It still works fine, windows is still there untouched, you just forgot to set up grub to boot it. Please do not reinstall anything, as it is _so_ unnecessary.
 
Old 11-19-2005, 10:13 AM   #11
Emmanuel_uk
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I changed my mind
Forgot about fixing your MBR for now
and follow what bulliver said

>>Fedora boots right? So boot it up and edit grub.conf and add these lines:
title Win XP
root (hd0,1)
chainloader +1


That's what I meant by chainloader. Just hoped you would search in LQ for it.

I do not have XP, so I do not have the experiemce if this above works when
grub is on the same HD as XP. I know it works with 2 HDs..
If it works (I guess it will), just confirm, so I can fix it in my head



Quote:
Everything OS related stays on C: or hda2
I know the feeling. I do the same. But I felt playing with the MBR on D was not
too risky. Sorry for suggesting that
 
  


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