I'm having problems when installing Linux to a two hard drive PC. I'm installing Linux on one drive - it seems that some versions of Linux insist on changing the partition table on the second drive, which should not be any part of the install. So far I've tried Fedora (FC4) and Ubuntu 5.1 - I havn't tried other distros yet (I'm hoping I can get some pointers before trying things at random as I've already spent quite a bit of time on this).
I’m trying to install Linux to a dual-boot system with two hard drives, installing Linux on the first drive alongside Windows. However installation of Fedora changes the geometry on the second hard drive which doesn’t have any Linux partitions. This then causes errors when I boot to windows and run partition magic.
What I was expecting was for Fedora to not touch the second hard drive partition table at all. Being a newcomer to Linux, I'd like some advice, especially as to whether this is a bug that should be reported. I’ve searched through the bug reports and not found anything for FC4.
Back in 2004 I tried FC2 and it gave the same problem (albeit using a different hard drive). I decided to wait a while before trying again – but it seems the problem is still present.
I thought that this may be related to the CHS bug (see http://lwn.net/Articles/86835/
) but a) this bug is supposed to be closed and b) I've tried specifying the geometry but I still get the same effect.
The problem also seems to be limited to Fedora - I tried a minimal Ubuntu (5.1) install, and that didn't modify the partition table on either drive.
Details are below. Any help would be much appreciated as I’d like to get Linux up and running – at the moment I dont trust what would happen to my data if I were to carry on using Fedora as I dont know if my partition table may suddenly get changed again.
Any ideas on whether this is a bug that should be reported somewhere?
Thanks very much,
I have two drives, one is a small (1.5Gb) HD connected to the motherboards IDE second channel as a slave. This is formatted with a small primary FAT partition and an extended partition containing a small Linux swap partition and the rest is formatted as Ext2. The BIOS is set for LBA for this drive.
The second drive is a 160Gb drive with multiple partitions (a FAT16 pri (DOS), a FAT32 pri (Win98), an NTFS logical, three FAT and several FAT32 logical partitions). This is connected to an ATA PCI card (Highpoint driverocket 133SB). This has no way to set/change LBA access - the manufactures documentation says it supports LBA48.
Both drives have XOSL on the MBR and were formatted with Partition Magic. (I’ve read many posts/articles that caution against mixing partitioning tools and to stick to one).
I installed Fedora (minimal install), selecting manual partitioning & selecting the preformatted Ext2 as the root mount point & told it not to reformat. I put GRUB in the root partition.
After the install and adding Fedora to the XOSL menu, Fedora booted up ok.
The installation of FC4 does not change the partition table of the (small) drive to which FC4 was installed (/dev/hdd). However, it does change the PT of the large (160Gb) hard drive (/dev/hdg).
The changes to the large hard drive started at the first EPBR in the extended partition - that and all subsequent EPBRs had the start head/sector entries changed from [Head 0, Sector 1] to [Head 254, Sector 63].
Booting into Windows (or DOS) and running Partition magic gave error 116 (LBA and CHS values not equal). Partition magic also showed the Ext2 partition (on the first drive) FULLY occupied, with no free space.
I have tried this several times:
• without specifying the disk geometry;
• specifying geometry as reported by fdisk -l for both drives (viz. "linux hdd=787,64,63 hdg=19457,255,63");
• specified the 1.5Gb drive as reported by fdisk -l and specified 160Gb drive as its true physical geometry as determined by the drive manufacturers (Western Digital) s/w (viz. "linux hdd=787,64,63 hdg=310101,16,63")
After each install, the start head/sectors were changed on the large hard drive as described above. Note that I was installing to the small hard drive - so Linux shouldn't have touched the large drive at all.
I'm not going to trust the drive after the partitions values have been changed - I havn't noticed problems with windows - yet, but I don't like the fact that the specific partioning tool is not happy with the changes made. (I can edit the partition table back, I'm just not going to use Linux until I can resolve this).
I've also heard of many people having problems mixing partitioning utilities so I'd like to stick to the one. (I use partition magic as I primarily use windows98 - I'm just sampling linux for the first time).
I think this is related to Fedora since I've tried the Ubuntu install and it didnt change any partition table (other than marking the root as bootable of course). BTW, I couldn't see any way to specify the disk geometry to Ubuntu, so that was a straight minimal install.