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Old 02-07-2006, 06:33 AM   #1
adamas
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Missing Partitions


I am trying to set up a dual boot on my pc so I can play around Linux and hopefully learn a bit more than just using the live cd, but have run into a problem. The pc is a 64 bit running XP 64 in raid 0, currently partitioned into 3, first partition has XP, second all other programs and third is for my own data. I left around 48 Gig unallocated, this I planned on setting up the Linux partition and the Linux swap.

I have tried both Fedora 3 and Knoppix 4, The automated installer from Knoppix complains that there are no existing partitions and it wants to recreate the boot loader, thus destroying the windows installation. I have tried using QTParted by booting with the live disk and also Linux fdisk, but they also do not show the existing partitions or raided drives. It does give an error of "Critical Error during ped_disk_new!" when clicking on sda, but is fine when clicking on sdb.

I have managed to created both the Linux and swp partition using PartitionMagic 8, but again when trying to install Linux it does not see the existing windows partitions or the new Linux partitions nor the raided drives and wants to recreate the boot loader.

I have considered that if the one drive sda, is damaged, then that would explain why it does not see the two raided drives nor the partitions. But how come windows does not have a problem?

If you have any ideas or suggestions and you fancy helping me make the crossover from windows to Linux, please send a few clues this way!!! I am having sleepless nights!!!

Before I get flamed I know Knoppix is meant to be used as a live disto, and Debian is the better option, but at my current level of Linux and the mention of dificulty when installing puts me off at the moment.
 
Old 02-07-2006, 06:47 AM   #2
satinet
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for the record i would say try mepis or ubuntu, as these are both very easy to use and have good hardware support.

i'm a bit confused when you say sda1 might be broken.... is this your windows partition?? surely in effect you only have one 'drive' here. how does windows report this? do you have otehr disks on the system?

maybe your raid controller is not being recognised.
 
Old 02-07-2006, 07:08 AM   #3
adamas
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I read that when you get the error "Critical Error during ped_disk_new!" it could be that the hard disk is damaged, what confused me is windows does not report the error, only linux. I would have thought that whatever partitioning software used it should report only one disk due to the two set in the array, but it shows the both, sda giving the error.

I have the two drives set in raid 0, so the windows partitions will be split over the two disks.

If it is the raid controller not being recognised, how can this be checked?
 
Old 02-07-2006, 07:33 AM   #4
adamas
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Just checked the errors I get from QTParted when I click on the drives

/unionfs/dev/hda gives Partition table empty

/unionfs/dev/sda gives Critical Error during ped_disk_new!

/unionfs/dev/sdb gives Partition table empty
 
Old 02-07-2006, 07:37 AM   #5
pixellany
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congratulations on the decision to dive in...

Some clarification: If you want to dual-boot, you will have to allow the Linux installer to install a boot-loader. This does not "destroy wth Windows installation". You can put the boot loader on the first drive or aon a floppy. If you have trouble, you can always restore the windows mbr using the install disk in recovery mode.
If the Linux installer does not see Windows partitions at the beginning, it is not necessarily a problem. But, it must see something about the disk to tell you where the new Linux partitions will be set up. If it does not see ANY partitions, free space, etc., then it may not be recognizing the RAID setup.
So...don't worry about the bootloader if you can't see the partition structure at the beginning of the install process.
FWIW, I never succeeded with dual-boot and raid. I recommend a different strategy:
2 OSes on the first drive, and data (FAT32) on the second.

And, ofcourse, back up important data before attempitng any of this.
 
Old 02-07-2006, 07:41 AM   #6
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamas
Just checked the errors I get from QTParted when I click on the drives

/unionfs/dev/hda gives Partition table empty

/unionfs/dev/sda gives Critical Error during ped_disk_new!

/unionfs/dev/sdb gives Partition table empty
Now I'm more confused...I don't remember you telling us that you had three drives.
If you have raid setup, then partitioning tools will not see partition table one individual drives.

How many and what size drives, and which are in the RAID?
 
Old 02-07-2006, 07:43 AM   #7
Emerson
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Unfortunately I'm not a RAID expert. My (limited) understanding is you have software (or BIOS) RAID. Linux uses another type of software RAID which is not compatible with Windows one. I've heard there is also a Win-compatible RAID for Linux but I have no idea how it's called and I'm pretty sure it is not included with standard Linux distibutions.
 
Old 02-07-2006, 07:45 AM   #8
saikee
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I believe the problem here is more to do with the selected distros cannot recognised the RAID 0 and see the two disks separately instead of one combined unit.

I have broken my RAID 0 to avoid this issue. May be someone can comment on how to have an existing RAID 0 set up to run Windows and can still be acceptable to a Linux. Many Linux users seem to recommend software RAID but that may have an issue with a Windows system.
 
Old 02-07-2006, 08:01 AM   #9
Emerson
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I think dmraid is the thing you are looking for.
 
Old 02-08-2006, 01:30 AM   #10
adamas
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pixellany:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany
Congratulations on the decision to dive in...
I would not say it is as elegant as diving in, perhaps stumble, trip, fall would be slightly more accurate!

I have two 120 gig drives in Raid 0, I don't know why it shows three, and if that confuses all the Linux gurus then just imagine what it does to us windows lot!!!!

Emerson:

Thanks, about to google dmraid to see what it says.

saikee:

I would also love to hear how people set their systems up if they have a setup similar to what I am trying to do......

2 x sata drives in raid 0
Dual boot with XP either 32 or 64 bit (I have 64 but I doubt this could be the issue)
Partitioned with 1,2,3 for windows, 4,5 for a linux distro

And all this in a simple language that I can follow! Hows that for a challange!

Thanks to the guys so far.

Last edited by adamas; 02-08-2006 at 04:05 AM.
 
Old 02-08-2006, 05:55 AM   #11
Emerson
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Probably you know already, but for everyone else who happens to read this thread:

BIOS RAID is *not* hardware RAID, it is software RAID, provided by the BIOS.
 
Old 02-08-2006, 06:31 AM   #12
saikee
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The software RAID is the problem. Windows has its devoted driver and Linux has its own too. The problem is whether the read/write activities of different systems are compatible on a shared disk. It is unrealistic to expect Linux in early 2006 has developed to this extent when new Sata, new chopsets and new Raid controllers are still coming out.

Then there is the problem that not all distros are up to date. What is the chance of forcing stable Linux using 2.2 or 2.4 kernels to read Sata RAID?

If you intend to multi boot with the 3 disks I strongly advise you to put the boot loader in hda and install inside it any system that cannot recognise your Sata RAID to avoid damage to the setup.
 
Old 02-08-2006, 06:47 AM   #13
Emerson
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Real hardware RAID does not require any special treatment from OS. As far as I know Linux has better software RAID than Windows does, this opinion may be biased though. The problem is people think they have h/w RAID when they actually have BIOS RAID.
SATA RAID FAQ
 
Old 02-08-2006, 08:37 AM   #14
saikee
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Emerson,

Are you comfortable of using ATARAID (designed for ATA disks) to run Sata disks?

Bearing in mind XP still needs the proprietary mobo's Raid driver to work with every RAID controller program and some Linux are still having problem to recognise some Sata disks, let alone in RAID setups.

Last edited by saikee; 02-08-2006 at 08:38 AM.
 
Old 02-08-2006, 08:49 AM   #15
Emerson
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Nope. As I stated somewhere there above I'm not a RAID expert, I'd say noob describes best my experience level in this field. Sorry.
 
  


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