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Old 12-27-2003, 04:19 AM   #1
davidfarnell
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Question Mandrake 9.2 install question: partition


Hi all--nooby here. I'm trying to do my very first Linux install; my only other Linux experience is reading a couple of books and playing around with Marcel Gagne's version of Knoppix from his Moving to Linux book.

I have an XP system (Japanese language--and I can't read much Japanese, BTW, which is a big reason I want to use Mandrake, for its multilingual capabilities), on a notebook PC, with NTFS partitioning. I want to make it dual-boot (XP and Mandrake); I'm not quite ready to make the leap to "pure" Linux. Because I had read that the DrakX partitioning program sometimes has trouble with NTFS, I used Partition Magic to split the 30G hard disk into two roughly equal-sized partitions--no problem there, it went fine. But when I was installing Mandrake 9.2, I was given 3 choices:

Use the free space
Erase the entire disk
Custom disk partitioning

I really couldn't be sure which one to choose, and the documentation was a bit vague. I played around with "Custom" a little, but still couldn't figure it out and the Help files weren't completely helpful. Am I supposed to delete my new (empty) partition and let Linux make a new one? That's what I thought might be the correct course but...I don't want to accidentally erase my hard disk! (Reinstalling Windows in a language I can't read would not be fun.)

So I opted for caution, aborted the install, and came here. Can you help me?

Thanks,
Dave
 
Old 12-27-2003, 04:29 AM   #2
carlywarly
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Yep, go for Custom - a graphical representation of your drive comes up. The first partition should be XP. Ignore it, click on the other partition, and Auto-Allocate. That should create 3 new partitions in the approx 15 gig left. 1 for the root (ie the OS), one for swap, and one for /home (users files). Then click Done, and you should be safe to continue.
 
Old 12-27-2003, 05:46 AM   #3
Skyline
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......... and install LILO to the MBR - repost if any probs etc.
 
Old 12-27-2003, 10:37 PM   #4
davidfarnell
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Fukuoka, Japan (North American expat)
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
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Thanks very much to both of you for your quick replies!

Unfortunately, carlywarly, when I tried to follow your instructions, I got a message that there wasn't enough free disk space to Autoallocate (and that with more than 13G of free space on the partition). Might it be because it's an NTFS partition? I checked with the other partition just in case DrakX had reversed them, but I got the same message. So I bailed out again and came back here.

My Partition Magic software seems to be able to reformat the partition to either a "Linux Ext2" or "Linux Ext3" partition--would that help, and if so, which one is better? Or is there just another alternative with DrakX I should pursue?

Oh, and one last thing--I keep reading that one should never, ever just shut off the computer...but that seems to be the only way to abort the install at the point where I get stuck. Is there some version of <Ctrl-Alt-Del> to get me out of the install next time without just powering off the computer?

Many thanks for all your help.
 
Old 12-28-2003, 01:01 AM   #5
brew1brew
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First thing you want to do is to defrag your hard drive, ntfs puts the swap file in the middle of your hard drive. This limits the amount of space you can take, so you need to turn off disk swap/cache, (I don't remember where this is I havn't use windows for a couple of years) then defrag one more time. You don't need to use partition magic, Mandrake partition tool works great and is free.

Then boot mandrake install disk again, go to customise then click on the partition that is ntfs and resize it. take as much space as you feel you can afford. 2 gig would give you enough space to install a basic system but you wouldn't have a lot left over. If your harddrive is big enough I would say give yourself at least 5 gig or more. Also If I remember right "use free disk space" option will take available space from windows and I think it asks you how much space to take.

After you free up space to alocate your linux system then if you toggle expert mode, I think it has a mode to "auto alocate". If you can't find it, set it up like this

I will assume 5 gig
/ - 2.5 gig
swap 256 meg (assumeing 128 meg ram - or 2 times ram size - max 512 meg)
/home 2.25 gig

you could even do

/ - 4.75 gig
swap - 256 meg

eather way will work. If you have more space available use it.

and like skyline said install Lilo as your boot manager.

Then after you're done with the install go back to windows and turn your swap back on. Just remeber to keep enough hardrive space for windows to have swap space and for you to save stuff on.
 
Old 12-28-2003, 03:53 AM   #6
Skyline
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Quote:
My Partition Magic software seems to be able to reformat the partition to either a "Linux Ext2" or "Linux Ext3" partition--would that help, and if so, which one is better? Or is there just another alternative with DrakX I should pursue?
Its best to just use Partition Magic to resize partitions - don't use it to format any Linux partitions in advance - on average, Linux distros seem to install best when creating there own partitions out of unpartitioned free space - so follow what brew said about switching off swap/cache then defraging and resize XP and leave some unpartitioned free space for Mandrake to go on to - if you get to this scenario, you should be able to choose the option - "keep existing partitions and install in the free space" - ie your instructing the installer to leave your XP partition alone and automatically install Mandrake into the remaining free space - this tends to be the easiest install for a newer Linux user - again just repost if there are any other questions/queries etc etc.

Last edited by Skyline; 12-28-2003 at 03:54 AM.
 
Old 12-28-2003, 05:54 AM   #7
davidfarnell
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Fukuoka, Japan (North American expat)
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
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Thanks again to both of you. Your advice got me past the problem--only I ran into another one. (More on that below.)

Actually, I have no idea how to turn off swap/cache in Windows--as I mentioned, my edition is Japanese, and I can read about, oh, 1% of Japanese. (A little more of computer-oriented Japanese, but only a little.) Deciding that trying to figure that out would take days, I took a deep breath and just chose "Use free space," and then resized that second partition I'd made earlier (with Partition Magic). (It's not quite as big as I wanted, but I can fix that later--and I've already cleaned up the leftovers, merging the now-tiny 2nd partition back into the original XP partition.)

After that, no problem (for a while)--I chose my packages and started the install. However, very near the end of the install, while I was on the second install disk, my CD drive went funny: it started to "moan" or "grind" over and over, and stopped reading data. After a couple of minutes of this, I got scared, and having no other alternatives than to power off or wait until my drive burst into flames, I powered off. (Again, is there any safe keyboard alternative?)

Now I'd read about the LG drive problem and Mandrake, so I'd checked ahead of time, and I have a Philips CD/DVD+RW drive, so I thought it was safe. And I've checked--the drive has suffered no damage.

Now this happened once before: when I was using Knoppix, the CD drive locked up just like this when I tried to access the Settings to change the screen resolution. Again, the only way I got out of it was to power off.

So, do you think I have bad disks, or is my computer allergic to Linux, or what?

(Message Board Protocol Question: I realize that now I'm asking for help with a different problem--should I start a new thread or just keep on with this?)

Again, many thanks for all your help.
 
Old 12-28-2003, 06:24 AM   #8
brew1brew
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dvd/cdrw drives are not effected. so you may have a bad cd. check your iso image that you downloaded to make sure the md5 checksum matches. You may need to download the iso again. I'm ashamed to admit that have never verified the checksum on an iso, looks like you can use this tool, http://www.fastsum.com/download.php. If the checksum is good, just burn another CD, it it also gives you problems you may have a flakey DCrom drive. also make sure the drive does not have any dust in it.
 
Old 12-28-2003, 09:23 AM   #9
davidfarnell
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Thanks Brew--I wasn't able to connect to that site, but I downloaded the ISO again and made a new 2nd disk, and it worked fine. Apparently, I now have Mandrake 9.2 installed on my system.

But one...last...problem. (Yeah, right.)

I followed the instructions, and I installed LILO, and I think I configured everything right at the end, but when I clicked "finish" to reboot, it rebooted straight to Windows. No LILO, no Linux in sight. I tried rebooting again two more times, same thing.

The manual says, "You made a boot disk, right?" Uh, no--my notebook computer has no floppy drive, and there was no opportunity to make a CD-boot disk during the installation. So...what now? I've been flipping a lot of pages and there's no answers in the manuals.

One thing--When I configured LILO during the install, I was given a list of my boot choices. One of them was a second Windows entry with "sda" instead of "hda" in it (or something like that--I'm just trying to remember). After hitting "next" I got a message that it didn't work because that sda drive didn't exist. I *thought* about removing that entry, but since I didn't know what it was, and I wasn't getting any big warning messages, I decided to leave it alone. Maybe that's why LILO didn't appear during the reboot.

So, can I go back in and try to fix it with the install disks, or is there some way to make a boot disk in Windows?

Sorry for being such a noob. Thanks once again for your help.
 
Old 12-28-2003, 07:25 PM   #10
brew1brew
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sounds like Lilo didn't write the MBR. you should be able to boot your install cd again but when it says "hit return to continue or F1 for more options" hit F1 and follow prompts for "recovery" you should be able to have it write the MBR from the lilo config you already created, remove the sda entry and have it boot hda. if that doesn't work, then rerun setup, it don't take that long. pay close attention to the lilo setup, hda is the drive you want to boot.
 
Old 12-29-2003, 12:25 AM   #11
davidfarnell
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Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
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Thanks brew! Doing it though Recovery didn't work, but a reinstall did the trick--LILO seems to be working fine now.

And yet...my troubles are not yet over.

[Problem 1 (minor)]: When I choose "Linux" on LILO, right away I get a message: "You passed an undefined mode number" and then a request to choose one of 10 monitor resolutions. I always got that with Knoppix, too, and I never could seem to find the right resolution--I just always tried a different one each time, and either got a blank screen or one where everything was way too big. I hadn't expected to run into this problem this time around, because I'd already configured my monitor successfully (AFAIK) during install.

BTW, my graphics card is an Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME Graphics Controller (part of the Centrino package), with a flat-panel monitor, normal resolution of 1400x1050, with 32-bit color. Just in case that helps any.

Anyway, so I pick one roughly at random, just to continue. Then I run into

[Problem 2 (major)]: While booting up, I see "Checking for new hardware", and then it hangs for a while. Then that line continues with no space, "zcip [903]: retrieved address 127.255.255.255 for eth0:9". Then the following lines:
"zcip [903]: sending probe 2 for 127.255.255.255"
"zcip [903]: sending probe 4 for 127.255.255.255"
"zcip [903]: stored address 127.255.255.255 for eth0:9".

And then nothing. All froze up. I finally used <Alt-SysRq-B> to reboot, and tried again. Five times, and it always freezes at the same spot. (The 12-digit address is sometimes the same, sometimes different.)

So finally I rebooted to Windows (Windows...I can't believe I'm still in Windows...) so I could come here and bug you all for answers again.
 
Old 12-29-2003, 10:42 AM   #12
brew1brew
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ok, your lilo.conf file should look something like this, the important line that should fix your problem 1. vga=792 will have it choose 1024x768, you can try vga=normal if that doesn't work.




boot=/dev/hda
map=/boot/map
install=/boot/boot.b
prompt
timeout=50
lba32
default=linux
vga=792
image=/boot/kernel-2.4.20-gentoo-r6
label=linux
root=/dev/hda3
initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.20-gentoo-r6
append="root=/dev/hda3 init=/linuxrc"

image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.22
label=2.4.22
root=/dev/hda3



For the other problem, unplug your ethernet when you boot. the issue is that your not getting an IP address. You have an issue with your ethernet driver or with the config of DHCP client. If you wait for it to time out it will finish booting. once it comes up, I will assume you set it to boot run level 5 (gui mode) when it comes up bring up mandrake control center and go to network settings, then use the configuration wizard to set up your ethernet, you can then plug the ethernet back in.

(I've been up all night, I work mid shift, so if this doesn't sound right I'm sorry).

Hope this helps
 
Old 12-31-2003, 06:23 AM   #13
davidfarnell
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Fukuoka, Japan (North American expat)
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Thanks Brew, and Happy New Year! (It's New Year's Eve here, now.)

I've printed out your directions, but I don't really understand or know how to implement most of them. I unplugged the cable to my cable modem, and then started the computer. When I got the "undefined mode" message, I chose "0" because it had the highest number of rows x columns, and after that, it booted up all the way, so I did finally get into Linux, thanks to you.

But the visuals were still huge and hard to work with, so first I tried to change the settings for my screen resolution. Under the control center, I found the settings were just what they should be, so I still don't get what's going on. I tried rebooting to see if the right settings would take effect--nope.

And I don't know how to find or modify my lilo.conf file, but I'll be checking manuals when I have free moments in between family stuff over the next couple of days.
 
Old 12-31-2003, 07:57 PM   #14
brew1brew
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If you can get booted up, go to the control center -> hardware -> XFdrake and set every thing, run test after you set it, when you finish it it will apply it you should not have to reboot, you should never have to reboot when making system changes in linux.

make sure you don't have the resolution set higher that your monitor can take, the issue could be that you need to setup your monitor properly, XFdrake should cover this, but if not there is a option for "setup your monitor" under hardware in the control panel.

then go to "network and Internet" and click on "Drake Connect" and run the wizard to setup your network. from what you described it should tell you that it needs to install an RPM for DHCPC, this is the DHCP client. after it sets it all up you should be good to go.
 
Old 01-03-2004, 12:01 AM   #15
davidfarnell
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Thanks again, Brew. Unfortunately, for some reason, I can no longer get properly booted up--I end up at a command line now, and can't get into KDE or GNOME.

So...well, I'm going to take a few days off from Linux, then I guess I'll hit the books again and try to figure out what the heck I've done wrong. I'm getting near my frustration threshold at the moment, so I'd better step away, before I go nuts and shell out the bucks for the English edition of XP.

Seeing as I haven't actually been able to *do* anything with Mandrake yet, I think maybe I should just reinstall it, and build on the lessons learned this time around to make it go a lot smoother. I'm sure you'll hear from me again in a new thread in a week or so. :-)

Thanks again for all your help, Brew1brew, Skyline, and Carlywarly!
 
  


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