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Old 12-24-2004, 12:16 PM   #1
TheRealNewbie
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Installing Linux on new hard drive with XP readable partition


Hello Everyone,

judging by all other messages of this group, you might want to adjust your 'answer level' to its lowest setting or "absolute frigging newbie" ...
I am computer-literate and have programmed in different languages (on Windows platforms), but am as green as it gets with respect to Linux and mostly with respect to hardware, too.

I have recently purchased a Compaq with XP, AMD chip and a 160Gb drive. I would like to install a new harddrive (I already bought a Maxtor 120Gb) on the system completely designated to Linux (Fedora), with the exception of a (say) 40Mb partition on the new drive, that can be accessed by both OS.

I am completely confused about the succesion of 'things to do' (installing harddrive, partitioning the new drive, installing Linux on the new drive) and after reading several of these articles am almost convinced that any installation of Linux should be left to a professional. So writing you gurus is my last resort of keeping my ego intact and still doing it myself.
The thing is that I am still totally confident I am able to set it up as a new XP harddrive ... but as soon as Linux is thrown into the mix ... I am simply lost.

Is there anyone who has the patience to give some step by step advice or good internet references, that I can walk through ?

Thanks so much and a most merry Christmas !
Uwe
 
Old 12-24-2004, 01:48 PM   #2
rbochan
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If you install the new drive as a slave to your first drive, you shouldn't have too much trouble. Consult the (online?) docs for the machine and the new drive on how to set that up... jumper settings and such. One that's set up, Fedora should have no problem isntalling to the new drive, which will most likely be recognized as 'hdb' or 'ide0-2' by Linux.

The main thing you should be aware of is to not format your shared partition to the NTFS filesystem, which is XP's default, I believe. Fedora/Redhat won't read NTFS out of the box, so you'd be better off formatting that partition as fat32 instead. WinXP should be able to handle that job. Neither Fedora nor XP will have a problem reading and writing to it then.

After that, boot with the Fedora CD, and see for yourself
 
Old 12-24-2004, 02:17 PM   #3
claudius753
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It's not that hard, I've found most distrobutions are pretty easy to install, I don't think you'll have too much trouble. I'm about to install Fedora tonight on a second hard drive on one of my systems...

Once you have the second hard drive installed and working properly, boot off of the fedora cd, you may have to change your BIOS to check the CD as the first boot device.

As for partitions, it sounds like the way you want will require at least 3... They will probably be on 'hdb' if the second drive is a slave to the windows drive. When fedora asks you about partitions, do it manually:

You will need to make a swap partition for linux (it has the same use as the windows swap file) Typically you would want it to be double the RAM. So if you have 512MB of RAM, create a partition that is 1GB in size, and tell it to be a swap partition.

You will need that partition that both windows and linux can read and write to. So make a partition that is whatever size you want, 40GB you say? Tell it to be formatted as 'vfat' both windows and linux can read from vfat (AKA FAT32). Tell linux where you want it to be mounted. Maybe something like '/media' or '/share' When you are in Linux, this is where you will access this partition, so choose something easy to remember. Windows will probably see it as drive E:\.

You will finally need a '/' partition for linux, probably formatted as 'ext3'. This is where everythinig goes. You can set this to be whatever you will have left over, and tell it to be mounted as '/'

You may also want some other partitions, though they are not completely necessary. For instance you can create another partition mounted at '/home'. Think "My Documents" in Windows. You will have a '/home' either way, but if you create a separate partition for it, you can re-install linux at a later date and keep all of your files intact if you have it on a separate partition.

the rest of the install is pretty straight foward...

Good luck and let us know how you did if you run into trouble or whatever...gotta go, time for work (yes, on xmas eve, but at least i get paid triple time!)

Nathan
 
Old 12-24-2004, 02:17 PM   #4
TheRealNewbie
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Thanks for that ... that already gets me a lot further !

So, what I get so far is ... I install the drive and configure the BIOS...
Will I format the two partitions at this point ?
What software/utility do I use to format the Linux partition and what Windows utility do I use to format the shared partition?
After formatting the two partitions I will boot the Fedora CD, correct ?

Thanks so much and Cheers,
Uwe
 
Old 12-24-2004, 02:19 PM   #5
claudius753
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The Fedora install program will allow you to create partitions and format them to the correct type. Just make sure you use 'hdb' not 'hda', you don't want to erase your windows drive. Not yet anyway
 
Old 12-24-2004, 02:28 PM   #6
TheRealNewbie
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You Rock, Claudius !

That makes it tons clearer ! (Well, at least I have enough knowledge and confidence now to go ahead with it and simply 'see what happens').
I will let you know 'what actually happened' once I did it this weekend.

Merry Christmas to everyone,
Uwe
 
Old 12-26-2004, 02:19 PM   #7
TheRealNewbie
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Hello Claudius again,

I have installed the harddrive as a slave (in cable select mode) and I think that worked fine.
I also installed Fedora Core 3 and it seems that everything went okay there, too.

Now, I did run into one problem:
When I restarted the computer after the installation, the GRUB menu allowed me only to boot into Linux (which appears to be working except for the network connection ... I'll worry about that later), or into the system recovery partition of the master drive. Once I was into the restore partition I was able to choose the system restore option (from a previous restore point) and suddenly found myself in my old XP setup on the C-drive (without actually doing the system restore ... meaning, I never actually restored anything, I was just suddenly back on my C-drive).

After testing some general functions (which appear to work fine), I restarted again and now I ONLY boot into my c-drive (XP) and am not at all given the option of booting into Linux anymore (somehow GRUB disappeared).

Any ideas ?!

Cheers, Uwe
 
Old 12-26-2004, 02:37 PM   #8
claudius753
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So, basically your set up is like this...

Master is windows C dive (hda)
Slave is FC3 (hdb)
You installed grub to the MBR of hda, I am guessing.

I am not sure about the system restore partition for win, but it could be that going into it caused it to overwrite grub, windows doesn't like to share the mbr. so you would now have to reinstall grub. Easiest way to do this without knowing what else you have is to boot from the Fedora install cd1 and choose to upgrade. Don't pick anything to upgrade (unless you want to add more stuff to fedora) and keep going and you will get the option for installing the bootloader. You may need to change the options to get it to boot the correct partition for windows, it sounds like you have more than one with that system restore thing. If you just leave it alone with the options that it picks, as you probably did last time(?), you should be able to get into Fedora again.

From there we can change your grub.conf file to get it to load win xp the right way...


Nathan
 
Old 12-26-2004, 11:01 PM   #9
TheRealNewbie
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Okay Nathan,

I really appreciate your help !!!
I have tried, but it seems a bit of a problem ...

As you suggested, I tried to re-install GRUB, which initially seemed okay (the Fedora Disc 1 in the tray, the program detected right away, that there was no loader present anymore and suggested, I re-install it) and I went through the setup, but once I hit the 'go' button, I got a message saying that it cannot re-create the grub config file, because the kernel setup had not been changed. After hitting 'OK' to this dubious message, I got a 'congratulation' message ... saying I was successul (without detailing, what I was successful about). Anyway ... the problem persisted and I was unable to boot into Linux.

Then I went into the internet and browsed a few other forums. Apparently tons of other users have encountered the same problem with windows 9x upwards ... it does not like a foreign boot system on its own MBR. Apparently it is so unhappy with it, that I read a lot about lost master hard drives after installing Linux in very similar configurations (which scared the sh%$* out of me).

My thought then was, to reinstall Linux alltogether and have it install GRUB on the slave drive (which has my Linux system on it, anyway). The idea was, that this way, I would leave the XP MRB alone (preventing a crash), and could simply change the boot drive priority in the BIOS to the slave drive. Installation seemed to be succesful, but all that shows up, when the slave drive gets booting priority, is a black screen, the word 'GRUB' at the top left and a blinking cursor ... after several minutes of nothing ... I rebooted into the master drive.

Oh well ... the only thing I found on the net as a solution was some partitioning software that would partition the boot sector of the master drive ... that sounded too scary to me and I am not ready to take this rather drastic sounding step ... so, I am at the end of my first real Linux encounter and consider a siginificant delay ... perhaps I will buy a used computer sometime in the future and simply install Fedora on the main drive there ... sounds simpler ... but costs a few bucks yet again ! Oh well.

Thanks so much and all the best !
Uwe
 
Old 12-26-2004, 11:22 PM   #10
claudius753
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So you are able to boot into Windows XP?

I don't like using the boot loader in the MBR of the windows drive either. That's why I do the same thing you tried to do, change the BIOS to boot off of the slave first, and if anything is messed up, windows will be left alone...

I had a few problems with getting grub to boot windows, but these were resolved (even if I hadn't i could change the BIOS) in a thread I had yesterday/today.

If you still want to give fedora a try, set up your bios the way you wanted to, boot slave before master. Then try reinstalling fedora, have it reformat, the drive (hdb) and everything. Don't do the uprgrade, go through as you were installing it the first time. When you get to the part about the bootloader, it will again want to install into hda. There is no direct way to change it to go into hdb. You will have to "Change Boot Order" or something similar, moving hdb to the top of the list. Then it should say it is installing GRUB to MBR of hdb.

Otherwise, you could try another distrobution, Fedora is the only one I have encountered that didn't give me an option to specify where I wanted the bootloader to go (/dev/hdb) and I had to do that weird thing to get it to go there.

Fedora is weird in that way, but well worth it so far, it seems pretty nice and stable on my system.

By the way, if you DO get grub in the MBR of your windows drive and can't get into windows anymore, there is a solution. If you put in the Windows install cd and boot the computer, you will have an option to go into the "Recovery Console" Once you are in that, you can do
Code:
fixmbr
to put the windows bootloader back into the mbr.
 
Old 12-27-2004, 01:53 AM   #11
TheRealNewbie
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Thanks again, Nathan !

I did what you suggested (set hdb to the primary boot and install the boot loader on the MBR of hdb, while switching the hdb/hda configuratio in the setup program), this required a complete reinstall of Fedora.

I can boot now into Linux and XP, if I switch the primary boot drive accordingly in the BIOS. The 'other' boot option in the boot loader freezes the computer. Initially I was quite happy, but I already have problems running any application outside of the file viewer ... after clicking them, they just give me the hour glass for a few seconds and then disappear.

I am not quite sure where to go from here ... I think I will just call it a day and sleep a bit ...

Big Cheers and good night,

Uwe
 
Old 12-27-2004, 04:43 PM   #12
TheRealNewbie
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Smile

Yippieeeeeeeeeeeeeh ! She is running. After a reboot, the system is running and all applications (so far) are running without problem. I only have to figure out how to configure the ethernet card.

Here is a recap of all the things I should have done in the first place, to install a new harddrive on an XP machine that is supposed to be dedicated to Linux.

1) Download the Fedora images via a mirror (http://fedora.redhat.com/download/)
2) Download md5sum for Windows and check the downloaded files.
3) Burn 4 CDs
4) Create restore point in Windows XP system (just in case).
5) Install new harddrive (in my case, I had to remove the original harddrive connection and replace it with the connectore that came with the new drive. The new one had two harddrive connectors. In all such cases, the blue connector on one end connects to the motherboard (where the original drive was connected), the gray connector in the middle of the cable connects to the secondary/slave drive (im my case that is the new harddrive), and the black connector at the other end connects to the primary/master drive (in my case the old harddrive). Jumper settings on both drives are on 'cable select' or 'CS').
6) Rebooting the computer, XP recognized the drive (which is still unformated).
7) Put first Fedora CD into CD ROM drive and reboot. I had to press F1 to go into the BIOS and change boot priority (in the 'boot' tab) such that the CD ROM was before the harddrive and chose in the harddrive boot succesion the hdb drive as the first one, then press F10 to save and exit and boot.
8) Fedora install program comes up. When it asks you where to install Fedora, UNCHECK the hda drive (very important), where XP resides.
9) Since I wanted a separate partition for both XP and Linux files, I had to at one point select 'automatic formatting/partitioning" but check an option giving me the possibility to add partitions on the next screen myself. I added that partition as a vfat partition.
10) When it tells you that it will install the boot loader on hda ... you will initially have to say yes to that, but check an option to change the boot loader location. On the next screen, you can actually change the boot loader configuration to hdb. I placed the boot loader on the MBR of the hdb. In my mind the many stories about deleted XP loaders on the hda MBR is a warning to not install or format ANYTHING on the hda drive.
11) After that I just went with default programs, time zones etc and the program had installed okay.
12) After installation, the system reboots into the hdb MBR and Fedora should come up.

I hope this helps someone else, too.

Thanks so much to Nathan for helping me through this !

Cheers, Uwe
 
  


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