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Old 11-22-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
Completely Clueless
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Question Best partitioning software


Hi guys,

I bought a new Acer Aspire AMD64 2-core desktop the other day and it had Windoze Vista Basic Home pre-installed on it and this has caused me a great deal of trouble as it renders Partition Magic useless. I've noticed before that Windows OS/s often behave like uneradicable viruses and Vista is proving no exception. It's really buggered up the hard drive. I wish more manufactuers would give us the 'no Operating System' option when purchasing new hardware.

Anyway, what I want to do is totally reformat the entire drive, removing the three partitions the 'geniuses' who pre-installed 'doze created. As I said I am unable to use Norton Partition Magic because the presence of a Vista volume on the HDD causes it to crash. So I've tried GParted and QTParted, but neither of them seem to be able to convert unallocated space into ext3. I'm not sure if this is a fundamental flaw in Parted or simply a bug in the two GUIs., but whatever it is, clicking on the unallocated space (over 200GB) just reveals a list of greyed-out unavailable options.

Question 1. Is this a known problem with QTParted and GParted?

Question 2. What is the best program for re-partitioning HDDs in Linux?

Question 3. Does my best immediate option lie with fdisk, cfdisk or something else altogether?

THanks!
 
Old 11-22-2008, 02:37 PM   #2
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Question Partitioning nightmare thanks to pre-installed Vista

Hi guys,

I bought a new Acer Aspire AMD64 2-core desktop the other day and it had Windoze Vista Basic Home pre-installed on it and this has caused me a great deal of trouble as it renders Partition Magic useless. I've noticed before that Windows OS/s often behave like uneradicable viruses and Vista is proving no exception. It's really buggered up the hard drive. I wish more manufactuers would give us the 'no Operating System' option when purchasing new hardware.

Anyway, what I want to do is totally reformat the entire drive, removing the three partitions the 'geniuses' who pre-installed 'doze created. As I said I am unable to use Norton Partition Magic because the presence of a Vista volume on the HDD causes it to crash. So I've tried GParted and QTParted, but neither of them seem to be able to convert unallocated space into ext3. I'm not sure if this is a fundamental flaw in Parted or simply a bug in the two GUIs., but whatever it is, clicking on the unallocated space (over 200GB) just reveals a list of greyed-out unavailable options.

Question 1. Is this a known problem with QTParted and GParted?

Question 2. What is the best program for re-partitioning HDDs in Linux?

Question 3. Does my best immediate option lie with fdisk, cfdisk or something else altogether?

THanks!
 
Old 11-22-2008, 02:49 PM   #3
sycamorex
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How is your hd divided into partitions at the moment? Do you have any logical partitions or all of them are primary. It might be the case that you can't add any more partitions due to the fact that you've run out of primary partitions. If you just want to reformat the entire drive (and get rid of vista) why don't you just insert a linux installation cd and install a system on the drive - it will let you partition t it.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 03:01 PM   #4
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Completely Clueless View Post

I've tried GParted and QTParted, but neither of them seem to be able to convert unallocated space into ext3. I'm not sure if this is a fundamental flaw in Parted or simply a bug in the two GUIs., but whatever it is, clicking on the unallocated space (over 200GB) just reveals a list of greyed-out unavailable options.
Partitioning must occur before you format a file system. Since you are having trouble trying to give gparted the command to do both at once (which it will do) I suggest that you break the problem up into separate programs.


You can do the partitioning with fdisk. Then format each partition with the mkfs command. If you create a swap partition then format that with the mkswap command.

--------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 11-22-2008, 03:02 PM   #5
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Vista will allow you the change it's partition size inside of Vista. I don't recall how to get there, and it was probably ten levels down in the admin/control panel area, but IMO that's the only GOOD feature of Vista. So a) let Vista take care of it's own partition. Then use the other tools to play with the scraps. IMO
 
Old 11-22-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
j.todd
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1.: I never have any problems with GParted, maybe you had a bad burn. Check md5 sums and burn at a lower speed.
2.: Parted. Just parted, no front end.
3.: I don't think so.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 03:11 PM   #7
johnson_steve
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I always just use fdisk. who needs the fany gui. if you use fdisk and want help let me know.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 04:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
How is your hd divided into partitions at the moment? Do you have any logical partitions or all of them are primary. It might be the case that you can't add any more partitions due to the fact that you've run out of primary partitions. If you just want to reformat the entire drive (and get rid of vista) why don't you just insert a linux installation cd and install a system on the drive - it will let you partition t it.
Well that partly answers my questions, I guess and I must admit that possibility had slipped my mind. But various distros are no doubt better than others at creating initial partitions. Possibly the answer is to use the best distro for creating and formatting the partitions, then switching to my preferred distro (Debian etch) for the actual install itself. So what's a good distro for initial partitioning? The HDD is 320Gb and I'd like four roughly equal partitions plus a 3Gb swap; a simple enough scheme in itself.
I'm still curious about the answers to the other points, though.

Last edited by Completely Clueless; 11-22-2008 at 04:17 PM.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Completely Clueless View Post
Well that partly answers my questions, I guess and I must admit that possibility had slipped my mind. But various distros are no doubt better than others at creating initial partitions. Possibly the answer is to use the best distro for creating and formatting the partitions, then switching to my preferred distro (Debian etch) for the actual install itself. So what's a good distro for initial partitioning? The HDD is 320Gb and I'd like four roughly equal partitions plus a 3Gb swap; a simple enough scheme in itself.
I'm still curious about the answers to the other points, though.

Slackware allows you to run cfdisk from the command line without having to install anything (it's generally used for pre-install partitioning). You could try just downloading the first cd, it should be on there. I'm not sure what your download cap is like (mine's only 5gb/month) so if there's a smaller option out there then that would be ideal. Any takers?
 
Old 11-22-2008, 04:47 PM   #10
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Just use "dd" to zap out the start of the disk - one of the few legitimate uses for this. If you have a bootable Linux disk - say the gparted liveCD or Knoppix, or whatever open a terminal, and as root
Code:
dd if=/dev/zero/ of=/dev/sda count=100
As it's a new machine presuming sda is the correct disk address correct - else things will get ugly.
The count is somewhat arbitrary.

Last edited by syg00; 11-22-2008 at 04:49 PM.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 04:57 PM   #11
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Seems I just replied to (almost) a duplicate of this - reporting this to see if we can get them merged.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 05:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
Just use "dd" to zap out the start of the disk - one of the few legitimate uses for this. If you have a bootable Linux disk - say the gparted liveCD or Knoppix, or whatever open a terminal, and as root
Code:
dd if=/dev/zero/ of=/dev/sda count=100
As it's a new machine presuming sda is the correct disk address correct - else things will get ugly.
The count is somewhat arbitrary.
So I wipe the boot sector. I must be missing something as I can't see how that helps?
 
Old 11-22-2008, 06:05 PM   #13
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download a slackware 12.1 iso, and write down the directory trees of a slackware server. boot to the slackware 12.1 disk, and run cfdisk /dev/hda0 /dev/hda1 /dev/hda2 so on so on so on untill you delete all the partitions. it could be /dev/hda does the trick and shows all of the hard drives partitions. /dev/sda0 1 2 3 4 so on for sata drives, and possibly /dev/sda or /dev/sdb(if its on a secondary chanel) or /dev/sdc(if on a 3rd channel) so on. when installing slackware, install from a http or ftp server rather than the cd. it helps to have a spare computer to look up the directories needed from ftp/http servers.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 06:35 PM   #14
jay73
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From what I understand, the best option to resize Vista is to use its own disk management tools.

Also, if you have one of those install/repair partitions at the end of the drive, you should really make an image of your vista install as that is probably the best way of not overwriting all of your disk again if you ever need vista to be reinstalled.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 08:06 PM   #15
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Merged your two identical threads together...
 
  


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