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Old 08-06-2007, 05:59 PM   #1
3lowdown
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opensuse10.2 which partition will it install to?


Ok, I've got OpenSuse 10.2 on CD's, and I want to setup a dual boot with Linux and XP.

I've used Win XP Administrative tools to add a new 16gb partition (seen as the F drive in windows) for Linux. Problem is when I go to install OpenSUSE it says it's going to install on C:\ and erase everything on the drive. How do I point the linux install to F:?

I thought maybe I'd try creating the partition with Gparted instead of the XP tools, so I created a Gparted iso CD and booted with it, but Gparted hangs as soon as it accesses the PCI cards so that doesn't help.
 
Old 08-06-2007, 06:02 PM   #2
jay73
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Choose manual partitioning (may be called "expert" if I'm not mistaken) and point it to the proper partition. It may be a good idea to get rid of the windows partition and leave the space empty before doing the install.

As for Gparted, I have the same issue but there is a workaround. Just hit ctrl + alt + backspace, type Forcevideo and select vesa. But I don't think you'll be needing it.

Last edited by jay73; 08-06-2007 at 06:04 PM.
 
Old 08-06-2007, 07:09 PM   #3
3lowdown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73
Choose manual partitioning (may be called "expert" if I'm not mistaken) and point it to the proper partition. It may be a good idea to get rid of the windows partition and leave the space empty before doing the install.

As for Gparted, I have the same issue but there is a workaround. Just hit ctrl + alt + backspace, type Forcevideo and select vesa. But I don't think you'll be needing it.
Guess that's why they call it expert mode, cause I don't understand it. So do I have to write down which cylinders to know which partition linux will install to? And what do you mean by get rid of the windows partition? Doesn't opensuse need a partition? i.e. what Gparted would create if I could get it to run?

THanks
 
Old 08-07-2007, 12:45 AM   #4
jay73
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Quote:
And what do you mean by get rid of the windows partition?
You may be right about this. It's been a while since I installed openSuse so I don't remember all the details. But now that you mention it, it is more convenient to have a partition prepared (the Suse installer is a bit inconvenient on this point, most other distros make it much easier to create/delete/format partitions while installing). So OK, you can do two things: either make a partition using windows but NOT format it yet or use gparted to create one and format it to ext3 or xfs. If you're having trouble with gparted, you may as well choose the first option. By the way, I think you should make at least two partitions: unlike windows, Linux prefers having its virtual memory (called "swap" in the Linux world) on a separate partition that is twice the size of your available RAM with a maximum of 2GB. If you are going to use the xfs filesystem (generally faster than ext3), you should make a separate boot partition as well (100MB or so) and format it to ext3 (if you didn't, the boot directory would be placed under the xfs formatted root partition - and some files in boot don't like that filesystem).

Quote:
Guess that's why they call it expert mode, cause I don't understand it. So do I have to write down which cylinders to know which partition linux will install to?
Well, it's hardly as expert as it sounds but you're right that there is cause to feel a bit lost the first time you go through it. Let me start by explaining how Linux is organized. Unlike windows, Linux is a real tree: while windows can have multiple partitions (C, D, E etc) that exist on the same level, Linux has a more strict hierarchy. There is only one "top" of the tree, which is known as the root partition, often abbreviated to /. All other directories are subdirectories of /. This means that if you make only one partition, everything will be placed on the root partition. However, some of those directories are best placed on a separate partition. I already mentioned swap and the boot directory. Another one that is often kept on a partition of its own is the "home" directory, which is where your personal files will be stored. However, with only 16GB of space available, it would be best to keep it on the root partition. This is a representation of the Linux hierarchy:

level1 :root (/)
level2: boot home opt swap tmp usr var
level3: subdirectories of boot, home, opt, etc.

Never mind the odd names, these will start making sense in time.

This is a purely logical hierarchy that could be drawn on paper for example; on a computer, however, you would have to "draw" it onto hard disk space and this is where partitions come into the picture. If you have only one partition, the installer will mount it on the root mount point (there's some more lingo for you: the various branches of the tree (root, boot, home, etc.) are called "mount points" and "mounting" is attaching a partition to a specific mount point). If you make more partitions, you have to mount those on a mount point of their own. As pointed out, you can make a separate partition for boot and mount that on the boot mount point; as a rule, anything that does not have a separate partition will still be right under root.So this is what you do in expert mode: you select a partition, right-click and choose "edit". Then you select the filesystem for that partition (ext3 for boot, xfs for / and swap for swap) - unless the partitions were already formatted using something like gparted but doing it again doesn't hurt. Next you select the mount point for the partition (boot for the 100MB partition and / for the largest one ; swap doesn't really have a mount point). You can also tinker with the size of the partition but you can leave that alone unless you didn't create your partitions beforehand. Confirm and proceed with the next partition. When you're done, press OK at the bottom of the screen. The pane on the left-hand side of the screen should offer more information.

One more thing I should mention is the bootloader. Since your computer doesn't know which OS to start and it obviously can't start two at the same time, Suse will install a bootloader that enables you to make a choice from a menu. Two bootloaders have wide currency in the world of Linux, viz. GRUB (=Grand Unified Bootloader) and LILO (=Linux Loader). GRUB is most widely used and will be installed by default unless you chose otherwise (which I don't recommend). Suse will automatically add an entry to it for your windows OS. When the installer gets to the stage where it asks about the bootloader, just press OK where it suggests GRUB. You shouldn't need to go into the advanced options unless you want to set a password (not recommended for most home users) or you want to modify its default behaviour (GRUB will automatically boot Suse about three seconds after it appears on your screen; but you can modify it in such a way that it boots Windows by default, or that it waits longer than three seconds before it does anything). I suggest you leave all of that alone; these things can easily be modified at a later time.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck and post back if you have any more questions.

Last edited by jay73; 08-07-2007 at 01:28 AM.
 
Old 08-07-2007, 09:28 AM   #5
3lowdown
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Thanks for the info.
So if install automaticaly wants to set a mount point of /dev/hda1 to /windows/C do I have to change it?

Here's what install defaults to:

Create extended partition /dev/hda3 (21.0 GB)
Create swap partition /dev/hda5 (502.0 MB)
Create root partition /dev/hda6 (8.3 GB) with ext3
Create partition /dev/hda7 (12.2 GB) for /home with ext3
Set mount point of dev hda1 to /windows/C
Set mount point of dev hda2 to /windows/D
Set mount point of dev hdb1 to /windows/E

Would this default installation work without overwriting XP?
 
Old 08-07-2007, 10:21 AM   #6
jay73
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Well, it is going to preserve your C, D and E partitions so those are safe. The rest will be used for Suse.
 
Old 08-07-2007, 01:20 PM   #7
3lowdown
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Ok, so I tried installing with defaults. It installed first CD, then rebooted and hung on the initial windows startup screen. I shut down, removed the cd, now it boots to grub, but hangs showing 'error 18'

guess I'll try installing from scratch again?
 
Old 08-07-2007, 01:50 PM   #8
jay73
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What do you mean by "hang"? Does it freeze up or do you simply get a blank screen?
 
Old 08-07-2007, 01:50 PM   #9
3lowdown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3lowdown
Ok, so I tried installing with defaults. It installed first CD, then rebooted and hung on the initial windows startup screen. I shut down, removed the cd, now it boots to grub, but hangs showing 'error 18'

guess I'll try installing from scratch again?
That didn't work. It installs the first cd, then reboots, then
Booting from local disk...
GRUB Loading stage1.5.

GRUB loading, please wait...
Error 18
{it hangs here]

I can't get past this. Can't boot to Windows, and can't continue install of Linux.
 
Old 08-07-2007, 01:58 PM   #10
jay73
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Hmm, is that an old computer? Error 18 often means that it can't boot anything that does not fall within the first 8 GB of a disk.
 
Old 08-07-2007, 02:11 PM   #11
3lowdown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73
Hmm, is that an old computer? Error 18 often means that it can't boot anything that does not fall within the first 8 GB of a disk.
Several years old. It's a 900mhz Celeron running XP home.
 
Old 08-07-2007, 02:19 PM   #12
jay73
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Ah, I see, then there is a real chance that it is a hardware limitation. Could you move your windows partition on the seconds disk and install Suse at the start of that one? That way, it will fall well within the first 8GB.

By the way, have you got a windows install cd? The thing is that GRUB has overwritten your windows bootloader and you'll need to restore it if you need to get into windows before you have GRUB working properly. If you can wait for it, then you needn't bother. Still, if you want to avoid this potential issue altogether, you'll have to go into BIOS and set the second disk to be the boot disk - that way GRUB will be installed on what is now your second disk instead of on the one that has your windows OS (and the windows bootloader).

Last edited by jay73; 08-07-2007 at 02:22 PM.
 
Old 08-07-2007, 03:21 PM   #13
3lowdown
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I'm stuck.
Can't get Gparted to run - still hangs accessing PCI. (tried ctrl +alt +backspace still hung)
Can't boot to windows - Grub says error 18
Can't install OpenSuse - it trys to boot after first CD is insalled, then get Grub error 18
 
Old 08-07-2007, 03:45 PM   #14
jay73
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Try booting from the cd - there should be an option that says "boot from disk" (well, it is on the dvd but I think it's on the cds as well). If that doesn't help, you'll have to get a windows install cd or a windows boot floppy to restore the windows bootloader. That still won't make Suse boot, of course, but at least you can boot windows again and maybe free up space on the second disk.
 
Old 08-07-2007, 04:07 PM   #15
3lowdown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73
Try booting from the cd - there should be an option that says "boot from disk"
Tried that - it still uses Grub and hangs with Error 18
I'm trying with the windows CD's, but they want to do a complete restore and format. The Restore disks I have don't have a recovery option.
 
  


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