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Old 08-22-2006, 11:11 AM   #1
bobo333
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Unhappy replacing a distro with a different one on a dual boot PC (win2k/linux)


Hi,
I installed Suse 10.0 on my PC but there are some problems:

the mouse works but I cannot see the pointer. I figured out that there is an incompatibility problem with my graphic card (geforce 6800gs). I tried to install a patch from a CD through YaST but the system tells me it cannot refresh the source. Tried some suggestions found around to get around this refreshing thing but they didn`t work. I just don`t understand what is the problem in reading a file from a CD or the desktop...

I just need to run a few bioinformatic applications written only for unix systems.
It is REALLY frustrating, and since I am not a wiz on a computer and I made several unsuccessful attempts during the years to install a working linux machine. I am very tempted throw the entire thing through the window and get a Mac. But I want to give it one more chance before forgetting about linux. I was thinking to replace suse 10 with another distribution. here are my questions

if I try to fromat the partition in which Suse is currently installed am I going to mess the boot loader (grub)?

If I just use the CD of the new distribution (mandriva) and simply install it, is it going to work without messing with win2k installed in the other HD partition?

Should I remove the boot loader first (I have no clue how to do that) and then install the new distro??

thanks
 
Old 08-22-2006, 12:06 PM   #2
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobo333
Hi,
I just need to run a few bioinformatic applications written only for unix systems.
It is REALLY frustrating, and since I am not a wiz on a computer and I made several unsuccessful attempts during the years to install a working linux machine. I am very tempted throw the entire thing through the window and get a Mac. But I want to give it one more chance before forgetting about linux. I was thinking to replace suse 10 with another distribution.
It is very easy nowadays to install any mainstream linux distro and to multiboot with winbloze. But you have to understand some basics about how partitions are managed and how boot loaders work, because just issuing commands without knowing what they do or why they do it is a good way to spend another day reinstalling winbloze. That said, I would bet money that 95% of people who think they need to reinstall anything after misconfiguring a boot loader or toasting their MBR, are wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobo333
if I try to fromat the partition in which Suse is currently installed am I going to mess the boot loader (grub)?
Yes and no. When you change or add distros you normally have to update the boot loader config. If you don't, you normally can't boot the new distro. If you already have grub booting winbloze and Suse, wiping out Suse isn't going to stop Grub from booting your winbloze system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobo333
If I just use the CD of the new distribution (mandriva) and simply install it, is it going to work without messing with win2k installed in the other HD partition?
I hope so, or Mandriva is going to have a lot of pissed off users.
But you'll have to pay attention during the installation or it may well toast your world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobo333
Should I remove the boot loader first (I have no clue how to do that) and then install the new distro??
Normally people who are going to run a multiboot setup select a boot loader and learn how to configure it. And they learn about the partition table and fdisk/cfdisk. Then they partition from the command line in an existing Linux system or boot a live CD and use the command line to partition.

After that, when they install any new OS, they always select "Don't install any boot loader" when asked- they do the boot loader config on their own. Installing multiple distros with multiple bootloaders is a sure ticket to severe rectal pain.

You can:

1. Leave Grub alone until after you install the next distro and then configure Grub to be aware of your new distro

2. You can uninstall Grub (which will probably, but not certainly) leave you with an unbootable Winbloze (there is probably an option to restore the MBR to pre-Grub status)

3. You can use whatever boot loader your new distro uses to boot all of your systems. If you want this option, you should let the new distro install the boot loader in the MBR and then configure it to recognize your winbloze if it doesn't automatically (but most do automatically)
 
Old 08-22-2006, 12:12 PM   #3
weibullguy
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The solution to your mouse cursor problem isn't a SuSE problem. Here is the solution.
  • Open a root terminal session or change to the root account from a standard terminal session.
  • Edit the X Windows configuration file.
Code:
#gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  • Revise the red line in the "Device" section:
Code:
    Section"Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "nv"
VendorName "Videocard vendor"
BoardName "nVidia Corporation C51 PCI Express Bridge"
##Corrected for bug reported to Fedora Core bugzilla. Bug 182517. See URL https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=182517.
Option "HWCursor" "off"
EndSection
  • Save the file and exit gedit.
  • Log out and log back in. Your mouse pointer should be restored.

But to answer your questions. Formatting the SuSE partition won't hose GRUB unless GRUB is installed on that partition. If you install Mandriva, it shouldn't mess up Win2k. Likely Mandriva will detect it and add it as a boot option. You don't need to remove GRUB. Mandriva will install it anew.
 
Old 08-22-2006, 02:05 PM   #4
bobo333
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Thanks guys.
I will try something soon
 
Old 08-24-2006, 08:59 AM   #5
bobo333
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Just to let you know that using Option "HWCursor" "off" worked

Thanks again for your help
 
  


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