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I'm tryin to get onboard with linux- got myself SUSE 9 Pro and Xandros 2 Deluxe, which I'd like to set up in a tri-boot config with my existing win2k pro, plus a swap. At present I only have one drive- a SATA 36GB Raptor with win2k on it, no other partitions (*smacks forehead*), and as I understood it both those distros played well with win and were supposed to make room for themselves alongside win, but when I got into SUSE's YaST the only option it gave me was to wipe the whole drive and then partition for itself and a swap only (time out- a swap partition is like a partition with no OS on it, used to keep files for use in some/all installed OS's on other partitions, right? Just checkin), no mention of preserving win2k. :/
I'm guessing the distro is being cranky b/c it's a SATA drive... ??? If it matters the controller is the one that's onboard the Asus A7N8X Deluxe rev. 2; Silicon Image 3112.
In any case are there any options to achieve my goal and preserve win2k, or will I have to wipe it and partition my HD anew (and intelligently this time)?
On a slight tangent, how much space (with breathing room) do each of those OS's take up, if anyone knows? If I understand this partition thing right I think I'd like to give the OS partitions just enough room to function, and make my swap partition the largest.
You may have guessed right, because as I understand it, SATA support can be a little sketchy, though I'd have thought that the SuSE would be ok.
To sort out partitions, you can either throw some money at partition magic, which is good i.e. you can pre format the partitions as ext2 or ext3 (my preference being 3) or you can surf for Ranish partition manager, and download it (freeware/shareware). I haven't used it myself, but have heard some here at LQ say it works fine - don't forget the "howto's" or instructions/doc's for it (you might also surf for "md5summer", install that into windows as well, and when you've got the Ranish (or any other distro type stuff for that matter - under windows that is - you can tell it to "create sum's" and it will produce the md5sum to compare with the one that you got from whatever mirror you got the app/distro from - to check the integrity of the download under windows before you burn).
Partition sizes. Well, I currently have boot, swap and root, which i had to set up when I installed gentoo (that's it's default setup requirement), but I ran various mandrake distro's with out any swap.
The "rule of thumb" with swap is to normally have double the amount of physical ram that you've got installed. My swap is 1.5 gig's, as I've got 768 megs of ram installed. the amount of other space you might need?
Well, Mandrake usually takes up about 1.8 gig's for the entire distro. Knoppix, if installed to the hard drive comes in at about 1.7 gig's (and yes you could reduce them down some by not installing "the world + kitchen sink). I'd figure that SuSE would need the same (though possibly more) than mandrake. I have my /boot set at about 1 gig, my /swap at about the 1.5 gig's mentioned earlier and my mandrake and gentoo /root set at about 20 gig's a piece.
You should (in theory) be able to run at least one of the distro's with your win2k without any snag's. The challenging bit would be installing the second linux distro and getting it to boot properly (maybe something like a boot floppy until you are "up and running" when it comes to modifying the config for which ever bootloader you choose.
OK so you're saying it is prolly a SATA thing and the solution is to pre-partition my drive with something like Partition Magic, yes? That's not so bad :]
But what do you mean by ext2 and ext3? :/
And apparently my understanding of swaps files and partitioning in general was a bit off... so please recommend a good setup with explicit instructions/explanations, and links to good partition tuts/faq's would be cool too.
OK at this point everything I care about from win is backed up, so I'm ready for anything. Read good things about System Commander so I installed that- with a little fiddling it seems to be working right, except that it doesn't recognize my mouse and it crashes when I try to use OS wizard or the Partition function (in both cases it dies right after saying 'examining your sys' or somethin like that). Now I had to disable my onboard boot virus detection thru bios to make the thing work semi-right, could that still be affecting it? Or... it may be just the display that's going bonkers, all I see is the 'exam sys' message and then blank with a little bar of gobbledegook at the top of screen :/ Should note that though I have an AGP slot on my mobo I'm just using a PCI card, which gave me probs in win as well until I disabled some related driver.
Grrr... Xandros blanked after the first installation screen. So either SATA is really killing these things, or my gfx card is to blame. Since I plan on getting a new gfx card soon it'll be interesting to see what happens then, but until then I'm just gonna wipe my drive and install win and suse fresh. Just one more question then- which one first and how should I arrange my partitions for multi-boot, preferably with a part or two to spare for more OS's?
No, not even that good- booted to the Xandros disc and it started to gear up to install, then screen blanked. At least SUSE got much farther and seems like it COULD install, it just wants to wipe my drive entirely.
And the gfx thing is kinda complicated- My mobo is Asus A7N8X Deluxe rev2, and it has an AGP slot, BUT I'm not using it; I'm using an ATI Radeon VE PCI card. This setup caused problems initially in win2k, errors pointed to the NVIDIA nforce2 AGP Host to PCI Bridge, so I disabled it and win's been cool ever since. I'm thinkin maybe Xandros and System Commander are having similar trouble recognizing that my gfx card is on PCI instead of AGP; like, maybe they are actually working correctly, but I can't see it correctly or at all. Or something, I dunno lol ;p I've been digging in my BIOS for AGP disable options that might help, but there don't seem to be any (just stuff for 8x support and the like). Checking manual for possible jumper settings.
It's either that or just that SATA is throwing them off, I can't think of anything else...
I am not happy blaming the problem to the sata-thing. If yast does recognize the HDD (and it seem so, as it proposes a partitioning), the problem seems to be the NTFS resize function.
I am sorry, as this does not help you, but at least I can say that the SuSE works fine with the Intel sata controller.
Did you defragment the NTFS-partition? Maybe yast needs to find empty space on it. But I think if you have the opportunity, you should try out Partition Magic. This works well. Some of the Mandrake people in this forum where very happy with it's resize support, either.
So I repeat what bigjohn said: DON'T GIVE UP, it's fun to work with SuSE
And yeah I did try to defrag and then let SuSE have another go, but even with it showing 15GB free space it wouldn't let me resize the NTFS partition. That's not a deal-breaker though, just an inconvenience.
The kicker to me is with Xandros- apparently it can't do squat! On their site it says that Xandros is not compatible with SATA RAID arrays, but I don't have a RAID array set up; you think they meant both SATA drives and RAID arrays?
About the nvidia linux drivers- is that something that might need to be loaded during install, or just something to run after install? I think both linux OS's give the opportunity to load extra drivers during install... let me know.
Lastly, I still need explicit instructions on the best partitioning setup for when I wipe/reparition the drive; again I'll be wanting to put win2k and SuSE on it, plus room for another maybe. And in what order should the OS's be installed?
EDIT: I'm not going to try and wipe/repartition the drive right away, as I just read about an instance of even SuSE hangin up further in the install. Just have to wait until my new lappy arrives (Asus M6N, yeeHAW!) so I'll have a lifeboat if something goes wrong.
nvidia driver usually has to be installed after the main install (as I understand it).
There is a generic "nv" driver that usually work's - though I've never managed to get it configured properly i.e. I usually have some horizontal scanning lines that show up, I've tried lots of variations of horiz/vert sync rates etc but never cured it.
By downloading the nvidia driver and following their instructions to the letter, it installs fine and I get very good visual's.
The easiest way I've found was when I bought a boxed set of mandrake 9.0 - that had the nvidia driver plus a few other non-GPL commercial bit's pre-compiled and ready to go on completion of the install (adobe acrobat reader etc). It was a suprise. But if I'd read the "blurb" I should have known.
that's the reason that I normally buy boxed set's - though the temptation to try mandy 10 community was too much, what with kde 3.2, a 2.6 kernel as default etc etc I just have to make sure that I apply any updates regularly, so they don't build up too much (about 2 or 3 times a week). That way, I should (in theory) end up with the same as the finished distro, when it's released about may time.
As far as your partitioning question, well, historically people used to get problems if they didn't have windows installed first. Though I understand that now it doesn't matter so much, though I've always followed convention in that respect and kept my XP install on the first partition. Then when you install the linux distro, you just tell it to put the bootloader on the first part of the MBR (main boot record).
If I understand it correctly, then that is the distro that controls the way/how of the bootloader (I've always used lilo, but that's only because I can't get my head round the different partition naming convention used by grub). Then you need to do stuff like modify your fstab, so that the first distro can see the second, i.e. mounts the partition. Then you need to copy the relevant files across to the boot partition (that's irrespective of whether you have a completely seperate boot partiton or whether you have things set up so the boot is actually part of the first distro, either way, the bootloader has to know where the kernel image and initrd etc are so it can then boot the correct partition/version).
I've got my single hard disc set up so it's got
hda4=extended so it then has hda5 for gentoo and hda6 for mandrake (about 25 gig's for mandrake and gentoo and then the rest of the space on the 120 gig hdd is unallocated)
As I've been meddling recently, I can't boot the gentoo at the moment but I'll have another go soon. I'll probably have to note down all the mandrake stuff in the /boot so if a gentoo install over-writes the boot partition, I've only got to know what/where the mandrake files are so I just do the fstab mod, and then copy the mandrake files over to the /boot and then (in theory) I've got my multi boot going again.