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Old 01-28-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
tigertim71
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XP/Ubuntu/other OS partition manager


I just got a new HDD of 120GB after negative experiences with Sun Virtual Box.

Am so impressed with Ubuntu, that I want to install it to my new HDD. However, the Ubuntu partitioner gives annoying boot options (dual boot) on startup.

I have been fiddling around with gparted booted from the DVD/CD, but am looking for a partitioner that gives me options on startup and that I can change my default system ie. XP or Ubuntu.

Would like to use the HDD in this way; XP:40-50GB, Ubuntu:20-30GB, Free space for Linux or Windows O/S's: 40-60GB.

Which is the best partition manager for this? Partition Magic or gparted? Can I install gparted to my HDD or does this work only from DVD/CD boot and will the Ubuntu installer recognise empty partitions, if it's a good idea to create these first?

Thanks.
 
Old 01-28-2009, 11:39 PM   #2
digerati1338
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I think you're talking about two different things here - a partitioner and a boot manager.

GParted is an awesome partitioner, and you should probably continue using it. You can install it, but it is best to run it live since it can't perform partitioning on a mounted disk (the only reason to install would be to partition a usb key or something similar).

The boot manager is most likely GRUB, but might be LILO depending on your setup. I believe ubuntu, like debian, uses grub by default. I'm not quite sure what you're trying to achieve. Dual booting sounds like what you want. This would give you the option of choosing either ubuntu or windows when you turn on your computer. GRUB can be configured through /boot/grub/menu.lst to change the default operating system. The other is selected at boot time with the arrow keys.

Does that answer you question?
 
Old 01-29-2009, 08:27 AM   #3
tigertim71
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XP/Ubuntu/other OS partition manager

Yeah, thanks - sorry I didn't make it clear about the partition manager and dual booter difference and thanks for letting me know that I can change my default system to XP...

I'm really thinking about this article, which I'm guessing is in the current version of Ubuntu:

http://apcmag.com/how_to_dual_boot_w...rst.htm?page=3

If I have XP, I could designate 67GB(XP) and 60GB(Ubuntu) through the guided system, or perhaps use a booted gparted disk to reduce XP from 127GB to 50GB, have 40GB partitioned space reserved for Ubuntu and leave the rest unpartitioned for another o/s rather than later on grabbing partitioned space from XP and/or Ubuntu.

What do you think is best as I don't want to make a mess of this...?
 
Old 01-29-2009, 08:52 AM   #4
dracofhc
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Cool

What you could do is format that remaining free space as a FAT32 partition, which can be read by both XP and ubuntu. Just a thought. It can always be freed up later. Downside: it's FAT32 (a little outdated).

Your setup should work. Make sure you have the following partitions, though, as the required setup is not all that intuitive.

~100MiB - ext3 mounted as /boot
(must be a primary partition)

one to two times your system RAM as swap
(this is optional but will make things faster, especially if you don't have a lot of RAM)

Rest whatever you want - ext3 mounted as /
(main filesystem)

I'm pretty sure the newest ubuntu installer will do this properly with the "guided" options.

Just out of curiousity, what other OS's would you think of installing on that free space?
 
Old 01-29-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
tigertim71
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I was thinking of installing perhaps W98SE & Linux DSL as well.

This would mean a system with 4 partitions, however my preference (having 127GB) would be something like this:

XP: 60GB

Ubuntu (create partition for this): 30GB

Unpartitioned space: 37GB (for later use (W98SE & DSL) and for additional /boot & swap use with Ubuntu (I suppose its manager would automatically create these partitions?)

If I did this through gparted first (ie. reduce XP, create Ubuntu partition) would the Ubuntu partition manager recognise this and leave me with unpartitioned space too?
 
Old 01-29-2009, 03:05 PM   #6
digerati1338
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There are numerous ways to do this. You could do it all through Gparted (Ubuntu will recognize ext3 partitions as installable), or you could do it all through each distributions partitioner in the install process.

Always install Windows first and then install the others.

From personal experience, I would use Gparted to shrink the XP partition to the desired size. After that, leave the rest as empty (unpartitioned) space. When installing ubuntu, instruct its partitioner to use 30GB of the left over space. This will probably require the manual option in ubuntu's partitioner. The guided option tends to only allow a full overwrite or 1/2 and 1/2. The rest of the unpartitioned space can be used in the same manner.

A single swap partition can be used for as many different distros as you want since only 1 will ever run at once.

You might run into some problems when trying to install 98 and XP since neither of these has great support for dual booting. See if you can find a guide to do this.
 
Old 01-29-2009, 07:32 PM   #7
tigertim71
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XP/Ubuntu/other OS partition manager

OK-this is all quite interesting.

My new HDD is 160 GB, XP only recognises 128 GB and gparted has 21.05 GB as unallocated space. I had Sun Virtual Box on my old HDD and there may be some .ghs and/or .gho files somewhere in the system.

If I reduce /dev/hda1 (ntfs)(XP) to 50,000 MB I should be left with 99,050 MB free space.

Would it then make sense to do this through Ubuntu:

/dev/hda2 ext3 /home 27,950 MB
/dev/hda3 ext3 / 10,002 MB
/dev/hda4 swap 2,048 MB

in this order?

and have:

/dev/hda1 ntfs 50,000 MB from resizing in gparted.

Additionally, I have been looking at some partitioning diagrams and:

-What is the difference between free space preceeding or following? (I noticed that XP has unallocated space of 21.05 GB following).

-If I'm using Ubuntu manually will it place the partitions (including XP) in the correct order for me or does this not matter?

-In gparted the NTFS is currently showing as boot. Does the Ubuntu partition manager immediately default Linux to boot (or do I need to change this?), even when installed manually and does it recognise XP as a dual boot (and will it give me a dual boot manager) even though I don't go through the 50/50 automated process?

Thanks
 
Old 01-30-2009, 08:36 AM   #8
dracofhc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigertim71 View Post
Would it then make sense to do this through Ubuntu:

/dev/hda2 ext3 /home 27,950 MB
/dev/hda3 ext3 / 10,002 MB
/dev/hda4 swap 2,048 MB

in this order?

and have:

/dev/hda1 ntfs 50,000 MB from resizing in gparted.
Good except you still need a ~100MiB partition mounted as /boot which must be a primary partition (more on this in a bit)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigertim71 View Post
-What is the difference between free space preceeding or following? (I noticed that XP has unallocated space of 21.05 GB following).
None

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigertim71 View Post
-If I'm using Ubuntu manually will it place the partitions (including XP) in the correct order for me or does this not matter?
Partition order does not matter. What does matter though is the difference between primary/logical partitions. You can only have 4 unique (primary) partitions on a given hard drive. Since you need more than that you have to use Logical Volume Management to do it. This is handled by the OS, though, so you can't boot to a logical volume (hence /boot must be a primary partition). In the automatic setup ubuntu handles this for you, but you may have to deal with it if you do it manually. / /home and swap can all be logical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigertim71 View Post
-In gparted the NTFS is currently showing as boot. Does the Ubuntu partition manager immediately default Linux to boot (or do I need to change this?), even when installed manually and does it recognise XP as a dual boot (and will it give me a dual boot manager) even though I don't go through the 50/50 automated process?
As you're going through the install process (especially around the partitioning step) check all the advanced menus. You're looking for an option of "Use GRUB as the default boot manager" or something to that effect. Make sure it is enabled and there should also be some options that allow you to set up the boot manager how you like (yes XP is recognized). You can also change the options later but if you install something like W98SE you will have to find out what the boot path is for that OS to add it or reinstall GRUB. The installer will then replace Windows XP's bootloader with GRUB in your master boot record.

Hope that answers your questions. I know the whole partitioning thing can be a bit daunting so I wish you the best of luck.
 
Old 01-31-2009, 02:46 PM   #9
tigertim71
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XP/Ubuntu/other OS partition manager

First of all, thanks dracofhc & digerati1388 for your responses. I could not have done this without your help.

I've successfully installed a dual boot XP/Ubuntu system (manually partitioning) which appears to be working ok.

I did notice a few things, however, though minor, probably worth mentioning:

1. The boot partition is installed automatically at the end of the Ubuntu installation wizard. There is a boot partition option in manual set up, but I would not have been able to access this as the manual option only allows a maximum of three primary partitions (presumably as one is already reserved for GRUB...).

2. If I wanted to install 98SE how would I best do this now as it looks like I've used up all my partitions, and would GRUB notice this automatically? At the end of the day 98SE isn't important and is just really me tinkering with the system.

3. I set the partitions using the Ubuntu partition manager with the following figures:

Device Type Mount point Format Size Used
/dev/sda1 ntfs /windows 60,003MB 8,199MB
/dev/sda5 swap 1,028MB unknown
/dev/sda3 ext3 / y 10,001MB unknown
/dev/sda4 ext3 /home y 38,971MB unknown
unusable 50,034MB

automatic Bootloader (hd0)

however when I booted from gparted afterwards to check the figures were slightly different:

Partition File system Size Used Unused Flags
/dev/hda1 ntfs 55.88GB 7.60GB 48.28GB boot
/dev/hda2 extended 980.53MB
/dev/hda5 linux-swap 980.50MB
/dev/hda3 ext3 9.32GB 2.66GB 6.65GB
/dev/hda4 ext3 36.29GB 477.59MB 35.83GB
unallocated unallocated 46.60GB


Should I change boot from /dev/hda1 to /devhda3 in gparted? (does not make a difference for GRUB at the moment...)

Also gparted shows unallocated space as unallocated, but this was shown as unusable when I was partitioning in Ubuntu, so should I make all further changes in gparted from boot or somewhere internally in Ubuntu?


Thanks
 
Old 01-31-2009, 03:19 PM   #10
Duck2006
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Quote:
Good except you still need a ~100MiB partition mounted as /boot which must be a primary partition
Not needed these days.
 
Old 01-31-2009, 03:31 PM   #11
yancek
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I didn't read your entire post so I'm not sure how you got to this situation. Given your current partition situation, you can't install W98. I requires a primary partition and you have used them all. No sure why you left over 46GB unused? You may be able to include that in your extended partition but you created an extended partition which is equal to the size of your swap?? You might be able to make your extended partition larger but there is no way to know without partition info from "fdisk -l" command.

Not sure what you have in mind when referring to changing boot to hda3 from hda1, hda1 is a windows partition? hda3 is your Linux partition and has the /boot/grub directories in it?
 
Old 01-31-2009, 07:04 PM   #12
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If you can't get 98SE installed on your hard drive, you could run it virtually inside Ubuntu or XP using VirtualBox or VMware.
 
Old 02-01-2009, 01:51 PM   #13
dracofhc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck2006 View Post
Not needed these days.
Oh really? When did that change?
 
  


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