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Old 07-21-2006, 02:57 PM   #1
HiIamBill
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What happens when you reformat...


...your linux partition as well as the swap file. Meanwhile, you still have Lilo written to your MBR. Will it just bypass the boot loader screen, or would the boot loader still work? Will I have to immediately boot back to the CDROM with the Slackware CDs to reinstall?

Thank you.
 
Old 07-21-2006, 03:18 PM   #2
Lenard
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The part of LILO that is in the MBR will still be active, the rest is gone. No the bootloader will not work in a successful fashion.
 
Old 07-21-2006, 03:27 PM   #3
bigjohn
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Erm, the wording of your post is rather "inscrutable" my friend.

If you have formatted a specific partition, then you will have lost all info on that partition. If you formatted the whole hard drive, it probably doesn't matter what you think you've got written on the hard drive.

I can't say for slack, I only tried it the once and failed miserably, but the install should (theoretically) pick up any partitions already set up i.e. it should "see" the partition table.

If you happen to have formatted the / partition, but the system BIOS is set so that it looks at the hard drive before the CDROM/CDRW/Whatever device, then it wouldn't matter if the bootloader is installed/setup on the HD's MBR, it ain't gonna boot cos you'd have already have binned all the necessary stuff with the reformat.

If you want to re-install, surely you should just make sure what's already setup partitionwise, and then just re-install the system to the partitions you had already, unless you want to change your partitioning scheme (google for "gparted" live CD) and then install it (the system) to the / partition.

Different distros have different default schemes (e.g. last time I had gentoo installed, their default was /boot, /swap and /, but I wanted to have a seperate /home as well, so I just had to make sure that the fstab was set up so that there was an entry for the /home so that it mounted on boot and when I logged in, I was actually logging into my /home, rather than a /home that was just a directory in the / partition) - I understand that slack has to have lots of stuff done manually??? So does it actually detect any existing partitions? Or does it ask you to set up your own scheme when you "fire up" the disc ???

Thats about all I can think of. Though if I've mis-read your original post, sorry for wasting your time!

regards

John
 
Old 07-21-2006, 05:23 PM   #4
HiIamBill
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bigjohn you're wasting my time!!! Nah, just kidding, you pretty much read what I was going for.

Basically, my problem is, several things in my Linux partition appear to have been deleted and/or corrupted. Rather than trouble shooting everything, I figured I'd just reinstall Slackware and start from scratch. I figured, though, I would have to delete what was on there already, it seems your saying I don't. If I just pop the CDs in and install again, will it replace what's already on there with the good stuff or will it just use a whole new 3 GB of empty harddrive space for another install?
 
Old 07-21-2006, 05:47 PM   #5
Chromezero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiIamBill
If I just pop the CDs in and install again, will it replace what's already on there with the good stuff or will it just use a whole new 3 GB of empty harddrive space for another install?
It depends how you tell it to handle the partitions and mount points. For example, if if you have 2 partitions and a swap setup(hda1, hda2, hda3=swap), and your current install is on hda1, you could choose to install your distro on hda2 and then you'd have 2 seperate installs. Or, you can choose to install your distro on hda1, formatting hda1, and then mounting hda2 as storage space. It's really all up to you and how you want to handle things.
 
Old 07-21-2006, 06:37 PM   #6
HiIamBill
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The only real requirement I have for handling things is not screwing up my ability to boot my computer.

So any tips on the best way to do that? Do I have reason to be concerned about screwing up my computer if I reinstall over the current partition (thus reformatting and likely losing my lilo.conf) or would that be completely safe? Perhaps I should split the partition, install on empty space, then move my lilo.conf over to the new installation, reformat the first partition and merge? Overly complicated to say the least, but is it the necessary way?
 
Old 07-21-2006, 08:32 PM   #7
zetabill
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If you have your heart set on reinstalling slackware, then literally go through the whole thing.

All you have to do is make sure that the CD-ROM has boot priority in the BIOS. With the exception of anything Windows, you can (and should) reformat those partitions.

If your computer is set to boot from CD before the hard drive, then it will never see lilo if a bootable CD like the slack installer is in the drive. You're over-complicating it.... it's okay though because you care.

Reinstalling your installation is exactly that... everything that was there before is no longer there if you do it properly.

Here is what I suggest if you're going to reinstall:
- Make the CD bootable from the BIOS... which it should be already... so booting with the CD in the drive should simply be enough
- At the very least you should use cfdisk (fdisk if you like the challenge) to "reset" the linux partitions to type 83. Unless you want to change the size, you can leave the swap partition alone.
- Go ahead and install however you want, but make sure that you format your partitions when it asks you to... and make damn sure that you install lilo properly in the installation. If you don't do it then you'll have problems. If it makes you feel better then make a boot disk in case something goes wrong. But if you install lilo from the installation then the lilo that boots is only going to see what you let it see from the installation... i.e. that's how you get rid of the old one. You shouldn't have any problems.

There's no need to make more work for yourself. Don't make new partitions to delete old partitions unless you're going to backup data.

I'd say you should be fine from here.

Let us know how you make out.
 
Old 07-22-2006, 12:26 PM   #8
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiIamBill
The only real requirement I have for handling things is not screwing up my ability to boot my computer.

So any tips on the best way to do that? Do I have reason to be concerned about screwing up my computer if I reinstall over the current partition (thus reformatting and likely losing my lilo.conf) or would that be completely safe? Perhaps I should split the partition, install on empty space, then move my lilo.conf over to the new installation, reformat the first partition and merge? Overly complicated to say the least, but is it the necessary way?
I'm presuming that slack does all the same stuff that most other distros do - so you just bung the disc in and when the installer asks where you want to install it too, take the "use existing partitions" option (presuming it offers you that). Then tell it to format all the partitions and just install straight over the top.

As I say, dunno how slack sets stuff up, but if you haven't already, it might be worth thinking about modding the partition scheme i.e. include a seperate /home as well. That way, if you get pissed off with slack, you can just install a different distro to the / partition and as long as you install the same application packages (and that the /home has it's own entry/mount point listing in the /etc/fstab) it should all "just work" and you won't have lost all the personal stuff like e-mails and address book and other stuff thats a PITA when you loose it.

regards

John
 
  


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