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So the plan right now is to set up the OS and program files of both WinXP and Linux (planning on using Redhat 7.2) on the fixed drive and put all the data files on the second drive. But I have no idea what kind of partitions to set up.
On the fixed drive I assume I need one Linux partion for the OS files, another for the Linux program files, and some kind of swap partition. Then I'll need a partion for the WinXP OS and program files. (Is it possible/advisable to separate the Windows OS and program files?)
Then on the swappable drive, do I just create separate partitions for Linux and Win files? Is there anyway to have a partion accessible by both OSes for files that both can use?
As far as older versions of Windows, it's one partition. Can't split the tree structure up like linux. XP probably doesn't either. So you make one partition for XP. As for Linux, you have a lot of partting options, but I would go with a default or more standard setup, eg.
HDA = Fixed Disk
hda1 = XP
hda2 = / = root partition
hda3 = /usr
hda4 = /swap
hda2,3,4 will only be those numbers if you make them Primary partitions, which you can do. It's all an example.
HDB = Removable Disk
hdb1 = ANYTHING you want. I'd make it a Windows partition since Linux has no problems seeing them, reading and writing NT or FAT32. You need a program to see Linux partitions in Windows and you can't write to them. That's what I'd do, someone may have some idears ontop of this i'm sure.
Do you have any suggestions on sizes for each partition on the fixed drive? And should they all be primary partitions? What exactly is the swap partition for anyway?
I'm planning on installing from a download -- I haven't looked at it yet, but I assume I can install Red Hat from the harddrive without having to burn a CD -- if that's the case, does it matter where I download it to?
Hmm -- all right, now I'm looking at things and confusing myself. I think the setup I gave is probably the best, but here's what I'm working with.
My notebook only has one swap bay, so if I install one of the OSs on the swappable hard drive, I can't use the CD-ROM/CD-RW/DVD-ROM with it, which would be not good. Then again, I also have a lot of music and other data that I write to CDs on my system, but I wouldn't be able to write it (at least not without moving it) if have it on the swappable hard drive.
So you think it'd be best to do what I have planned but leave a large Win partition on the fixed drive? Is it possible to only put the Linux root on the fixed and put everything else on the swappable drive? All my Windows stuff comes to about 11.8Gb (2.11 in the WINDOWS folder) which means I have about 6.74Gb of free space on the fixed drive currently. (What genius decided to make a hardware Kb different from a software Kb?) So I don't think it'd be a problem to keep most of my Win data on the fixed drive as long as I can put some of the Linux partitions on the other drive.
Unless you decide to install everything, you probably wont go over a gig for linux install, and in that gig will more then likly be everything you will ever need and then some to be able to use linux for anything. heres what i did on my laptop:
hda1 fat32 win2k 10g
hda2 fat32 2g win/linux shared drive (backups)
hda5 ext2 slakware / directory 3gig
hda6 ext2 LFS / directory 3gig
hda7 ext2 linux shared drive 1gig ( dont ask why, I dont know why i did this one)
hda8 linux swap (used by both slak and lfs) 256mb
Looks like Hanzerik has a good setup that would also fit what you want, so you may try that for yourself per his suggestions. It differs per system obviously, and as far as the swap goes, that's about right also. It's just a small partition utilized like extra RAM if you will. A scratch disk or overflow. If you have enough RAM, you'll end up never using it anyhow. Good luck...
So is that going to be a problem since the Linux root directory starts after 14.6Gb? If it's a problem, how do I arrange things to work if I want a big Windows partition and a Linux partition that's also over 2Gb?
Oh, and how should I label my Linux partition on my swappable drive? -- /usr2 or something?
Glad I am to say, that there is no more 1024 limitation. So don't worry about that. The new bootloader versions get around it easy. So as far as things are, you should be fine. As for the swappable drive, name the partition /home. I personally think that'd be the best, most universal way to go, and that way, you could also make a symlink to it from your fixed disc's /home dir to combine them in a sort of way.
If it keeps hanging at the mouse screen or the same place everytime, it's probably not the .iso's fault. I hear that laptops are pretty bit**y when it comes to getting Linux to work right. If you got the iso's from the site, they are probably fine. If there is a way to disable your mouse, do that and see if it still hangs then...
The mouse actually isn't in use at the point it hangs -- it's just asking for the config settings for it. I can' t get anything to work right now, so I'll take a look around the boards and see what others have done with hangs, then maybe redownload the images anyway.
Hmm, well, tried text mode and expert mode just to see if things'd turn out differently, but I always end up at the same screen with the same problem. Unplugging the mouse doesn't do anything because it's not detecting it, it's just asking what I'm going to be using.
I'm trying a local disk install right now. I assume that's not the problem since the process starts correctly, but does anyone have any experience doing it this way? Should I burn the CDs and just see if that helps anything?