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Old 05-16-2005, 03:44 AM   #1
awahab
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Registered: May 2005
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RH Linux 9.0 installation step "Auto partitioning" not able to read partition table


I'm attempting to install Red Hat Linux 9.0 on a P1 (pentium 1) machine(which is already running with Win 98) to make the m/c as dual OS bootable.

The m/c has single hard disk with two partitions: C (1.8 GB, Active, DOS, FAT32) and D(2.2GB, FAT32, DOS Extended partition).

I want to install Linux on "D" drive while keeping Windows(and C drive) untouched.

Following are the steps of installation:

1. Chosen Text mode
2. Selection of Language, mouse, keyboard.
3. Selection of Personal Desktop installtion type.
4. Auto Partitioning

At this moment(i.e. clicking "Auto Partitioning) following error is received:

"The partition table on device hda was unreadable. To create new partitions it must be initialized, causing the loss of ALL DATA on this drive. WOuld you like to initialize this drive, erasing ALL DATA?"

The same error is received even when "Manual Partitioning" is chosen at step 4 above. The same error also come when installing in graphics mode.

Don't want to take risk of deleting or re-partitioning "C" or "D" in Windows. Any help or pointer to resolve the problem???
 
Old 05-16-2005, 01:09 PM   #2
rylan76
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Potchefstroom, South Africa
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Wowie that sounds like OLD hardware. Maybe anaconda (RH 9's installer) cannot read the disk cause its so old - strange or obsolete geometry? Or more likely the BIOS in the machine is so old that it does not support calls that anaconda is making to try and read the disk's parition table, and the fall-through if it can't read the partition (cause the BIOS or the disk is too old) is that it reports as unreadable?

If the disk still works in Win98, this might be what is going on.
 
Old 05-18-2005, 12:56 AM   #3
awahab
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Thanks Stefan for the response.

But is there a solution out there? I can't think of changing the h/w or the BIOS.

Should I try an older version of RH say, 3.0? RH 3.0 installer may recognise the m/c hardware.

Also, isn't Linux known to work with even 486 machines, older BIOSes and smaller disks. So why can't it work with a Pentium 1 m/c with 4GB disk. I've no problem running Windows 98 on this m/c.

Regards
wahab
 
Old 05-18-2005, 09:48 AM   #4
jabfinger
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Location: USA, Pa
Distribution: Gentoo, Fedora Core 3, Mepis, Vector
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Sounds like trying an older version of RH may work.

You might consider trying a live linux cd such as knoppix if your BIOS supports booting from the CD. If all goes well, you may be able to set up your Hard drive from there.

I had slackware running on an old 33MHZ lap top if that helps.
 
Old 05-18-2005, 12:20 PM   #5
rylan76
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Potchefstroom, South Africa
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Hi Wahab

Quote:
Also, isn't Linux known to work with even 486 machines, older BIOSes and smaller disks. So why can't it work with a Pentium 1 m/c with 4GB disk. I've no problem running Windows 98 on this m/c.
Yep it is supposed to, but that doesn't mean it will (neccessarily) or that it will be easy. It can be doen but you'll most likely need to detune a kernel (remove lots of features, I suspect, that old hardware doesn't support) and there is no distro with a packaged installation feature that will work either, mainly due to memory constraints I'm conjecturing. If you really want to do it, you'll most likely need to "roll your own" - compile your own kernel, then manually install grub or lilo to get it started on the old architecture.

So yes, our beloved penguin powered operating system can do it, but not without some shoehorning and work. Also, it might just be that you need to format the entire HDD to ext3 - for example, FIPS complains and crashes on my current system (with a 40GB HDD) and Anaconda moans about the partition table - but I'm guessing that it is because I dual boot XP and Rh 9. Maybe there is a similar situation in your case?

If you can countenance a total reformat / reinstall, and it still doesn't work, then you might try to dig further. But I am suspecting it is connected with you having Windows on the same disk, plus the fact that it is old hardware so maybe it has some nonstandard (related to more modern setups) geometry or its BIOS is simply too old in the disk functions department. Or faulty!
 
Old 05-19-2005, 07:53 AM   #6
awahab
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Thanks guys!

Let me learned the hard way by trying out some of your suggestions.


Regds
wahab
 
  


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