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I have been successful in installing a RH9 system and its working very stably at the present time.
When I began my quest, I had a blank 100gb drive that I wanted to divide up between Linux and couple of FAT32 partitions I could use for sharing files between Linux and Windows. Windows is on another physical drive.So
I went ahead with the install using RH9 and created just the partitions I needed to get Linux working properly in about 30gb of space. I simply used the Disk Druid portion of the install and let it do the partitioning and formatting.
However, now I want to create a couple of 30+gb partitions on the remaining space in FAT32 format. I tried to use Partition Magic, but it just reports that the entire 100gb drive is bad and it cant do a damn thing with it..
So, that leaves me in a quandry of how to create those other two partitions. I would have been more than willing to use PM to just re format the whole thing and do a reinstall, but PM wont even recognize it...it thinks the drive is bad because there is no MBR (I boot with a floppy to Linux).
So..any ideas on how to get me out of this dilemma?
it is possible to create fat32 partitions from inside linux. I don't know if RedHat's diskdruid can do it (you should check - I think you can start it from somewhere in the menus). If that doesn't work, there are less user friendly tools like parted and mkfs.vfat. I'm not sure on the syntax and all that (mandrake makes me very lazy) but check out the man pages and search the forum.
From the research I have done, it looks like disk druid only can be invoked during install time. Even the Red Hat Linux Bible makes no reference of its use any other time.
That leaves me with Partition Magic, which, right now, cant even decipher what that second disk is, because its been formatted with RedHat's installer!!!
Word to the wise...DO NOT EVER take the advice of someone here and let LINUX do your partitioning!!!!! Because you have absolutely NO control afterward. I guess the only alternative I have is to literally throw a $150 100gb drive away because NO partitioning tool can see it.
Actually I am not "dual booting" per se. I mean that in saying I did not allow GRUB or LILO to alter my MBR. I boot Linux from a floppy, because there is so much of a problem with Linux boot managers corrupting NTFS WinXP systems.
So, yes Im dual booting in that I have WinXP on my first HDD and Linux on my Second. But NO...in that there is no boot manager.
as i said, you can create fat32 partitions from inside linux even if you cannot use diskdruid. parted and mkfs.vfat are two such tools which I'm sure you have on your system. Have you looked around for diskdruid in the menus and whatever tools rh has? Maybe there is even a command like
BTW, mandrake comes with a wonderful gui-based partitioning tool if that is what you want most of all.
I guess diskdruid really is mainly for install. So forget what I said about looking for diskdruid.
But you should have
Try running this from the command line (the command is cfdisk and you have to be root - possibly you have to use /usr/sbin/cfdisk or /sbin/cfdisk as the command to start it). It's not exactly graphical but it is interactive and once you start it, I think you'll find your way around it.
so long as you use fat32 Windows should be able to see it - it's basically the one filesystem that both linux and windows can read and write to w/o problems. As for the MBR, you can always install the bootloader. You do not have to do it at the time of installation. If your system is not set to boot from your linux drive, then there shouldn't be a problem writing to its MBR (writing to the MBR of the win HD is another story).
it might be under /usr/sbin or under /sbin. In mandrake it's in /usr/sbin. Also, you have to be root to run it.
fdisk is a bit harder to use. You'd have to do some reading (but cfdisk is basically a frontend for that).
Another thought that I had: have you tried if XP can see the second drive? Right click on My computer, choose Management and then go to disk management (i think that's what it's called; been a while since i used xp). It might see the partition table of your linux drive. If it does, it will recognize your linux partition - not as a linux partition but as an empty one - and see lots of unpartitioned free space. You can then create partitions using XP on that free space.
what partitions is pm saying is bad? and how does your hard drive look? is all the space formatted? or do you have actual freespace? also what filesystem is your linux install using? why not try using scandisk to fix the windows parititions? and if your linux partition is using ext3, why not just boot into linux and do cold shutdown (pressing the power button while linux is running)? when you start to boot back into linux, you can have it use its filesystem checker. i'm suggesting this, because about a month ago, i wanted to extend my linux partition by an extra gig, but pm8 wouldn't go for it saying there was an error in my linux partition. i just let linux's fs checker fix the faulty inode and then resized the linux partition. if your linux partition is using ext2, you may want to ask how to invoke e2fsck on system boot up.
There is a wealth of information here in these last posts!! Thanks to each of you!!
Regarding the XP tool...that was a good suggestion. Yes XP does see the second drive just fine. It also sees the partitions that linux made (which is more than PM did). And it DOES report the remaining 65GB as free space. However, the trick is here, for some stupid reason, when I go to partition it, it will ONLY let me format it NTFS..and thats not going to do me any good, seeing that I want both Linux and Windows to read it.
Now I keep going back to this, and Im sorry if I am ignorant, but I just havent read enough I guess. I have NO MBR on this second disk. I thought that Windows had to have an MBR for it to create a logical volume? It said it did, but still went through the process, only to say that NTFS was my only formatting option.
My feeling, and I cant verify it, is that Partition Magic cant do anything with the second drive because there is no MBR. I chose not to write one when I installed Lunux, and just boot by floppy to the second drive. I didnt want to take a chance that the process would corrupt my Windows drive.
Do I need to go back and somehow write an MBR for this second drive somehow? Will that fix the problems?