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Old 09-01-2004, 12:19 PM   #1
viochemist
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Unhappy Windows ME dual boot help


So, my wife and I just read an article in Technology Review about Linux and got so excited that we went out and bought the Linux for non-geeks book with Fedora. I use Red Hat 9 at work, so I'm a pseudo-newbie, but it was installed on my system for me, so I have no idea of how to set it up to start with.

Now, here's the problem, and please send me to another thread if this has already been asked and solved. The computer we have that we want to install Fedora on is a Windows ME computer (E machines ... woo hoo :-P) and it only has the one vfat partition. It's 10GB. Now, I saw a nice thread on how to resize NTFS file systems (is that redundant?) but is there a similar way to do that with vfat? We don't have any partitioning software, but downloaded a Ranish program. I'm just a little wary of playing around with things I don't know much about. Now, it'll be no huge loss if ME gets wasted in the process, but we would like to dual boot the system in some shape or form and that's the only windows we have to install (trust me, XP will not work on this computer). So, that's my rambling. Does anyone have some general advice of where to start? Once we get the second partition set up, I know that the book we bought will help us through the rest. Thanks.

Last edited by viochemist; 09-01-2004 at 03:30 PM.
 
Old 09-01-2004, 12:47 PM   #2
halo14
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My recommendation for you is, if there is nothing really important, or nothing important that you can't back up... Wipe it clean!!..

If you're running WinME it's probably an older install anyways right?? I would say to use a Windows 98 (or WinME) startup disk and FDISK your drive.. delete the whole thing... and make a 50% partition on which to install WinME...

Then install ME and get it all set up... after that install Fedora on the remaining 50% of the drive... This will work nicely because Linux plays much nicer with booting Windows than vise versa...

If you do that, Fedora will install the "grub" bootloader into the MBR... all this really means is that when your computer boots up, you will have a list to pick from... Fedora Core or Windows... it's pretty easy... and the Installation with Fedora is VERY VERY VERY noober friendly... Good luck and let us know how you do...

P.S. - If you really really want to keep your existing windows install... I would recommend shrinking it with PartitionMagic... though you'll hae to buy it.. and it's aroun $40 or so i think...
 
Old 09-01-2004, 12:54 PM   #3
viochemist
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Smile

Thanks for the help. Is FDISK something that should already be on the computer, or boot disk? How does that work?
 
Old 09-01-2004, 01:18 PM   #4
halo14
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FDISK is a pre-NTFS disk formatting program. It's what is used to create/format partitions for Windows 9x OSes. To create a Windows ME startup disk go here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=267287

This will create a bootable floppy disk. Boot the computer to the disk after backing everything up... Once everything is loaded from the floppy.. at the A:> prompt key "FDISK" and it will load the FDISK utility... from here.. follow the instructions to delete the windows partition... then create a new partition using 50% of the drive... (Don't worry about formatting the remainder, one of the options upon the Fedora install is to "Use available free space") after you create this partition, it will also ask you if you want to set is as active.. say yes.. after you finish the partition setup.. boot from the WinME CD and install windows...

After you do that...and windows is going good... you can then insert disk 1 of Fedora and boot from that to begin the install...
 
Old 09-01-2004, 02:39 PM   #5
viochemist
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Smile

Thank you so much. I feel at least a small amount less of a newbie now.
 
Old 09-01-2004, 02:53 PM   #6
Linux24
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You can keep what you have if you don't want to bother wiping everything out.

Partition Magic 8.0 has the ability to resize existing partitions and free up space on your hard drive without destroying any data. Get a copy, fire it up, choose your windows partition, and drag the pretty slider to the left to shrink the partition and free up space for Linux.

Fdisk comes with most installations of operating systems for PC's. It's the "format disk" tool from DOS days, and basically you just stick in a CD or boot disk from any Windows installer disk, and then find fdisk and run it against your drive.

However, back up all documents, data, photos, music, or anything else you might be looking for later (which I am sure you do every weekend anyway) because fdisk annihilates everything on your drive.

Tip of the day: Don't use Windows ME. It is the least stable Windows version. Use Windows 98 or Windows 2000 if you want to use a heavier duty OS.

Or even better, install linux *only* and force yourself into a learn-or-die situation. You'll live.
 
Old 09-01-2004, 03:23 PM   #7
dhughes
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Semi-noob here too. Just a thought.( Maybe all this reading is sinking in. )

Just a suggestion wouldn't it be wise to not use NTFS, use FAT32 instead, on the Windows partition in case he wanted to share data (read/write...not just read) between Linux and Windows? However that's done, you can do that can't you...with Samba?
 
Old 09-01-2004, 03:30 PM   #8
Linux24
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Quote:
Originally posted by dhughes
Semi-noob here too. Just a thought.( Maybe all this reading is sinking in. )

Just a suggestion wouldn't it be wise to not use NTFS, use FAT32 instead, on the Windows partition in case he wanted to share data (read/write...not just read) between Linux and Windows? However that's done, you can do that can't you...with Samba?
If you have the option of NTFS and FAT32, and you are going to run a dual boot system, you should ask Windows to use FAT32 - it's slightly faster because it has very little overhead in comparison, and I think you can write to it as well. So, yeah, I think so.

But Windows XP doesn't give you the option. It only installs as NTFS. And Windows ME doesn't do NTFS.

Suse and Mandrake auto-mount your windows partition to the root filesystem when you install them, so you don't have to do anything at all to read files there.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 10:42 AM   #9
halo14
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You can write to Fat32 with Linux... But that statement is superfelous because Windows ME doesn't even have NTFS support... So no matter what he does with installing Windows ME it's going to be Fat32...

viochemist: Good Luck! Let us know how you do!
 
Old 09-02-2004, 12:05 PM   #10
viochemist
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Unhappy

Last night, I tried doing what you said and used FDISK to delete the primary dos partition, then create a new primary dos (50%) and an extended dos (50%) which it automatically turned into logical dos (what is that?). I then tried to restore windows ME and it almost immediately in the process gave an error. It wanted to write a "ghost.err" file, but obviously couldn't because it was trying to do it to the CD ROM drive that it was installing from. I played with fdisk and formatting to get it to work for the next few hours and got nowhere. I recreated a primary dos partition that was 100% of the drive and still couldn't restore ME. I'm this close (holding my thumb and index fingers tightly together) to doing a Linux only boot, but at this point, that would be like failing because it wasn't my original goal. Any more suggestions? Basically, at this point I can't even reinstall windows. I'm going to look for some other windows versions to install to see if that works.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 12:14 PM   #11
maicorider
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Total Linux Noob here, but know my windows quite well.

You should have used Partition magic. Using FDisk to delete the partition did just that, and any information that was on the partition you deleted is all but gone. So, now that you're in this pickle, my suggestion is to go back into Fdisk, and create the 2 partitions. Then you're stuck with a fresh install of Windows. I think you're pretty well screwed on trying any restore attempts with windows. But you can always do a format and fresh install of it. Then install Fedora on the 2nd partition.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 12:19 PM   #12
viochemist
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that was my goal, but I can't even do that. (I don't have $40 at the moment for new software) I don't think I'm creating the partitions correctly for them to work properly. And do I need to format them afterwards?
 
Old 09-02-2004, 12:22 PM   #13
maicorider
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Well, I would just create the partitions, and then format them both and start from scratch. Once you have a clean partition you should have no problem doing a fresh windows install
 
Old 09-02-2004, 01:07 PM   #14
viochemist
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And if I do have problems restoring? ...

This is what I did. Please tell me if there's anything I did wrong.

1) Created boot disk from ME
2) Restart with floppy in drive
3) Boot without CD support
4) Run FDISK
5) Says some paragraph about FAT32, and I say Yes
6) choose option 3 to delete
7) delete primary partition
8) choose option 1 to create partition
9) create primary dos partition (50%) called C:

it does its thing

10) create extended dos partition, remainder of the drive called D:

now here, when it finishes it says something like "There's no Logical DOS drive" or something, and then, from what I can tell, converts the extended drive to logical dos, whatever that is.

11) I say to myself, o ... k ... And check that partition 1 is active. ok, it is
12) I exit fdisk and it tells me I need to restart for things to work and i think, "Ok, that seems reasonable"

13) I repeat steps 2&3 and type 'format c: /s' (a windows me thing told me that's the right thing to do) and it balks at me and says it doesn't work that way anymore, so I just type 'format c:' instead and it works ... I suppose. At the end I name the drive

14) I repeat this step for drive d and give it a name

15) I restart the computer with the ME restore CD in the CD-ROM
16) I choose to restore ME
17) Ghost starts up, starts doing it's thing and 11MB into the process it asks if I want to write the file "ghost.err" and I say sure, then it tells me more problems, so it comes back to the first question and I say no, and it tells me it has a problem writing to the drive or some crazy thing, and it ends Ghost and puts up a white text message and ejects my CD and tells me "Save this CD ... bla bla bla"

18) I press a key and the computer restarts ....

Thus, the cycle starts over again. I understand this is a long post, but I really don't know what I'm doing wrong. Anything? thanks
 
Old 09-02-2004, 01:39 PM   #15
Linux24
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Quote:
Originally posted by viochemist
And if I do have problems restoring? ...
Now that you have deleted your partitions, you will not be restoring anything.

Quote:
This is what I did. Please tell me if there's anything I did wrong.

1) Created boot disk from ME
First mistake: You had Windows ME, the worst Windows version ever released - one that Bill Gates probably never hit the shelves.

Quote:
2) Restart with floppy in drive
3) Boot without CD support
4) Run FDISK
5) Says some paragraph about FAT32, and I say Yes
6) choose option 3 to delete
7) delete primary partition
8) choose option 1 to create partition
9) create primary dos partition (50%) called C:

it does its thing

Doing good!

Quote:
10) create extended dos partition, remainder of the drive called D:

now here, when it finishes it says something like "There's no Logical DOS drive" or something, and then, from what I can tell, converts the extended drive to logical dos, whatever that is.
Windows version of Fdisk cannot make the partition that you will put Linux in. The Microsoft version of Fdisk only makes dos and windows partitions. So when you asked it to make a second partition, it forced it to the DOS format.

If you want to dual boot, then you only make a single primary partition with Windows on it, install Windows to that single partition, and leave the rest of the disk *unpartitioned*.

Then, after you have Windows running, run the installation CD's for Linux and create your Linux partition from that routine.

Quote:
1) I say to myself, o ... k ... And check that partition 1 is active. ok, it is
12) I exit fdisk and it tells me I need to restart for things to work and i think, "Ok, that seems reasonable"

13) I repeat steps 2&3 and type 'format c: /s' (a windows me thing told me that's the right thing to do) and it balks at me and says it doesn't work that way anymore, so I just type 'format c:' instead and it works ... I suppose. At the end I name the drive

14) I repeat this step for drive d and give it a name

15) I restart the computer with the ME restore CD in the CD-ROM
16) I choose to restore ME
17) Ghost starts up, starts doing it's thing and 11MB into the process it asks if I want to write the file "ghost.err" and I say sure, then it tells me more problems, so it comes back to the first question and I say no, and it tells me it has a problem writing to the drive or some crazy thing, and it ends Ghost and puts up a white text message and ejects my CD and tells me "Save this CD ... bla bla bla"

18) I press a key and the computer restarts ....

Thus, the cycle starts over again. I understand this is a long post, but I really don't know what I'm doing wrong. Anything? thanks [/B]
I believe you are doing something wrong.

You are trying to restore Windows to a disk partition structure that is different from your original structure. You cannot do that. In fact, now that you have run Fdisk, your restore copy is probably just junk. I never used the Windows backup/restore because it was famous for not working very well.

You will either have to make a single big partition exactly like what you had originally

OR

Do a fresh install and stop trying the futile attempt to do a restore.

Told you so: just use partition magic, but nobody ever listens to Zathras. "Quite insane" they say.
 
  


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