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tmick 02-20-2006 06:04 PM

Repairing or reinstalling Fedora Core 4 to fix the upgrade issues
 
Hi All,
I was on Core 3 and used some CDs to upgrade to Core 4, instead of doing a "fresh" install :tisk: I know bad idea :( anyway I am tired of fighting the issues I am having and would like to do the following:
1) Save my data such as web book marks, config settings personal files etc.
2) Fix or replace my current Core 4 install with one that isn't a PIA to get to install or update without fighting dependancies that should have been fixed when I updated.
3) Not hose my existing Windows hard drive, it's a two drive system

The things to keep in mind are hda is WinXP, hdb is Fedora Core 4.
The Main Board is a MSI 8xtreme, with a AMD XP 3200 processor with 1 GB SDDRAM.
and 2 80GB Western Digital Hard drives.

My Goal here is to fix this OS if Recompileing is the only option then so be it. Please advise me on how the best way to do this would be.

Simon Bridge 02-20-2006 06:28 PM

tar.bz your /home directory and save it to a CD (or across multiple CD's) If you have stuff stored in /root, you'll want to back that up too. In general, you shouldn't be using root nearly that much.

Reinstall FC4 from scratch.
(It is worth taking some time to re-organise your partition scheme, now, so you will have less painful upgrades in future. The object is stick the parts of the tree you would store your modifications in, into their own partitions. Next install, those partitions get left alone.)

When you get to partitioning - remove all linux partitions and start over.

Do not use the default scheme.

Make a seperate partition for boot, swap, and root, as normal. Also create partitions for /usr and /home.

Complete the installation.
(Check out www.mjmwired.net for optimising the FC4 installation)

Now - /usr will contain third party software. This partition needs to be big.
/home will contain all your users and user specific stuff. If there are only one or two it may not need to be all that big.

If you have a lot of ram, then swap need only be very small - and you can actually improve performance by disabling the swap partition in fstab later (Anaconda keeps stuffing up the fstab swap entry anyway).

the root partition then need not be much bigger than the distro packages - 6-10Gig is usually plenty - since all the business goes in usr and home.

With this partition scheme. When you do your next upgrade (FC5 anyone?), you just do a fresh install again, only tell disk druid to leave the /home and /usr partitions alone. Thus saving all your data and settings.

Note: FYI: Fedora Core is a pretty geeky distro so far. Red Hat put a lot of experimental stuff in there for you to try out. You're already well on yur way in the learning curve, so I doubt you will benifit from a distro change.

Hopefully the "upgrade" issues will resolved in FC5 ... but I doubt it. They exist due to the assumption that you use only approved Fedora Project sources and you don't fiddle around. Nor do you install any binary/proprietary drivers.

pljvaldez 02-20-2006 06:31 PM

1) It's a good idea to backup your important data anyway. Most everything should already live in the /home directory. You should probably also backup the /etc directory since it contains many network settings and whatnot you could look at later when you're reinstalling stuff. Oh, and maybe your grub.conf or lilo.conf files...

2) If you're looking for a new distro, take the two quizes in my signature to see if something else might suit your wants better. I always recommend Debian (plus dist-upgrades are easy)... If you want to fix Fedora, I can't help you. If you want to reinstall Fedora, more power to you! :D

3) The only gotcha's I can think of are to make sure you don't delete your linux partitions until AFTER you've fixed the master boot record for Windows and when you reinstall the new linux, just don't overwrite your Windows partitions. Oh, and it looks like you've been using Fedora a bit, so I'm sure you already know that you should have a shared FAT32 partition for Windows and Linux to share.

Good luck!

Simon Bridge 02-20-2006 06:35 PM

Non PIA distros?

Actually, the fedora install is pretty good (installationwise) compared with many others.

Ubuntu, for eg, has a text only installer which you have to read very carefully to get right. Then, there is this scarcity of apps on the (single) disk supplied - so you spend a while online installing the stuff to make more than a basic desktop.

OTOH: Ubuntu is probably the world #1 distro by now (likely to depend on who you ask). Upgrading and maintaining Ubuntu is a peice of cake!

From previous, you are probably best to reinstall FC4 - then everything will just go (better than in FC3 even) and you are already used to FC3.

tmick 02-21-2006 05:24 PM

Repairing or reinstalling Fedora Core 4 to fix the upgrade issues
 
Ok I followed the links... kinda got a laugh, they recommend:
Redhat, SuSe, Mandiva.:rolleyes: I tried SuSe; the documentation is in need of help,but loved YaST. I tried Mandrake9... don't know if Mandiva would be better. I started with Red Hat 9 went to Core 3, now Core 4. Anyway I'll back up my /home and /etc directories and do a fresh install:cry: and follow the recommendations for creating partions.
I do have two more questions, what would you recommend for the Vfat partition on a 80GB drive?
I was thinking of doing this for a scheme:
root= 2GB
boot = 1GB
swap = 1 GB ( I was told it should equal the RAM on the machine)
opt = 20GB (for optional/extra programs)
vfat= 10GB
home = remainder

Does that sound about right for an "all around" set up?

Simon Bridge 02-26-2006 11:53 PM

Your vfat is really only for files you want to write to in windows and linux. 1Gb is plenty, and only needed if you are going to dual-boot.

(Personally, I confine Windows to a different computer.)

Mandrivia is better than mandrake.
The choosers are a little out of date.

Since you have such experience with the RH way, you will probably benifit little from changing styles. Though OpenSuSE is probably closest to Fedora.

Simon Bridge 02-27-2006 12:04 AM

80Gig and FC4:

root 10Gb /
swap 0.5Gb swap
boot 1Gb /boot
user 30Gb /usr
home balance /home

lots of room to manouver, like Fedora is only going to get bigger.

"opt" optional extra stuff should probably go in /usr someplace. Most stuff installed from source will want to go there anyway. You probably don't need to overwrite the entire /usr in a fresh install - just upgrade stuff that goes there via yum once the next version is running.

Anything just for you should go in ~/myprogs (or ~/something) anyway. The configuration should last you a while.

Once installed, check for errors in /etc/fstab ... likely the swap partition will not be mounting properly - it's a bug in the installer. If you have more than, say, 512Mb RAM it is unlilely you will need a swap partition in any case (it slows you down).

tmick 02-27-2006 03:42 AM

Thanks for the help I got it all fixed up now, NVIDIA works like it should (finally) and no more weird things happening when I try to run simple programs. I'm a happy camper now thanks for the help & advice.

Simon Bridge 02-27-2006 04:43 AM

great to hear.
if this has been useful - just click tha ... hello! The "thanks" link has vanished!


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