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I have Red Hat 7.2 on a partition, I now want to get rid of it totally and stick on a new distro (either Knoppix or Mandrake).
a. delete it using a Live Linux CD (if so, what commands?)
b. format it using window boot disk (which also deletes everything) and then get cfdisk to convert the partition type to ext2/3
c. don't delete at all, and simply install a new distro. Presumably it will take care of th necessary disabling of the underlying Red Hat.
Well, I thought FDISK was pretty partition-oriented. I mean it would delete the partition for me, and actually leave the filesystem intact, as long as I give it another (compatible) partition to go to.
I'm not so interested in the partitions as such. It's the Red Hat filesystem, and how to "sweep" it off the HD safely.
Maybe Knoppix will write its own filesystem with total disregard for what's under it, though this sounds really sloppy. If I was using windows, I would just format the partition, but my trusty "Linux for TTs" book tells me there' s no equivalent MSDOS' FORMAT command in Linux.
I'm revising my plans on this. If one has enough space on one's HD, it may not be necessary to get rid of the old Linux. So I'm now looking into creating a new partition for the new Linux. THat probably means I will have to use FDISK at some stage.
I read the mke2fs man (just about) and I don't understand how you can create a new filesystem, if you don't have a seperate partition for it to sit on.
If you do, that's fine, but I don't.
Anyhow, once you happen to have free, unpartitioned space on your HD, FDISK will allow you create a new partition, and even if it doesn't physically create a filesystem for you, it will allow you to tell the partition what type of filesystem to be expecting.
For my purposes mke2fs, isn't so interesting, but ... resize2fs is. However, it's really geared towards ext2 and not ext3, so I'm just trying to sort that out at the moment.
I'm going to continue posting on this thread, because I think it does follow a valid and even (fairly) common line of investigation.
However, I still haven't sorted it out 100%. In fact, I've run into some problems.
What I had to do was convert ext3 to ext2 (using TUNE2FS), then resize (using RESIZE2FS) and finally repartition using CFDISK. It worked .. cough cough .. almost. I can still read the directories and files of my old RH7.2 installation but I can't boot into it.
Pending confirmation, it looks as if you have to tell the kernel somehow not to expect any journalling anymore (it is not enough for it to only see ext2, it does not make the assumption that just because it only sees an ext2, that there's no journalling). So I have to try and sort this out now.
However, as a halfway stop, I can report, that I have acheieved the reduction of an old ext 3 partition in order to make space for a new partition upon which I installed Knoppix/Debian Linux. So now I have two Linux Distros on the HD, as well as Windouse. Readable, writeable and not yet bootable, but that' s coming ...
Anyhow, even if there's only one reader in the audience for this thread, and even if it happens to be the resident Forum beetle, I'm going to continue.
The way to clean up your windows MBR widely accepted as fdisk /mbr, where fdisk is the DOS programme on your emergency windows bootdisk.
I tried it and it worked well. I am now able to boot into Windows, and through my Linux bootdisk, boot into Knoppix. I cannot boot into Redhat, but I have access to all its files, anyhows I'm not particuclarly interested in it anymore.
I know I can clean up the procedure with LILO or GRUB, but really, I am operational now, and it isn't totally necessary.
So that's the conclusion of this thread. I got a (bearly) working Windblows-Knoppix Dual Boot Box.