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Distribution: Suse 9.2 on desktop. Fedora Core 6 on laptop
Full system backup Suse Personal 9.1
After several failed attempts at installing and configuring various Linux version(Red Hat, Mandrake etc) I have finally managed to get Suse 9.1 Personal to work (only took 7 days to get the Speedtouch ADSL modem working). I now have a system that does just about everything I need.
My problem is that I was originally using a dual boot system, Samsung 120GB (primary master), with XP and 98 on it. I installed and additional hard drive, WD 20GB (primary slave), and put Suse onto this. I now have the choice of booting Suse, 98, or XP. My partitions are so messed up so I want to delete everything off the 120GB and reinstall just Suse onto that, the 20GB is destined for another machine. I just don't know exactly where Suse is installed. YAST says I have Linux partitions on both drives and I don't want to delete one that I need. I tried just unplugging the 20GB today and was met with a GRUB error. I assume that is because the boot loader is installed on the 120GB and the rest of Suse is on the 20GB
My question and an ideal scenario is this. Can I perform a FULL system backup and then transfer this onto a boot CD, wipe both hard drives clean and then restore my system to the 120GB drive?
I would have included a list of the partitions and sizes but being new and stupid I don't know how to do this from the shell.
Regardless of partitions etc, can you find out where your GRUB bootlaoder is installed?
go to YAST, Misc. and then there should be an icon of a sports shoe that says bootloader configuration. click on this and it'll tell you, amongst other things, whether your Linux bootloader is on the MBR. If it is, then removing the HDD (the 20 GB one) will cause an error because GRUB can't find your Suse boot partition.
I'm fairly new to Suse too, and I'd recommend taking an image (GHOST ) of at least one Windows o/s as a fallback if anything ever goes wrong.
Back up everything you want to save on the 120GB before wiping it. them, install Win98 (either from your image or fresh) I keep a small 4GB Win98 partition. then install Suse howeverr you like, but this time, go into the Boot loading options and choose 'boot from root partition'. that way whenm you boot up, Grub will look for your Suse installation boot instructions on the Linux partition, leaving the original Windows MBR untouched.
Of course, the safest way to do this is have Linux boot from a floppy, that's what I do as I had too much hassle doing dual and triple boots.
Or, if your feeling advernturous, why not install OSL2000 (google OSL2000), it happily handles multiple o/s but you need to buy a copy after about 10 goes or you get a nag screen.
Remember: back up everything you want to save and then go for a complete clean and reinstall it;s quicker in the long run.
If you're running Suse, click on the red and white "life saver ring", then in the Contents tab, select the Suse Userguide. Go to Chapter 25, section 3 (which is under "Excursions", "Working with the Shell")
Also, there are numerous guides online, these two looked pretty decent. Have fun, knowing how to use the CLI is a hugely important skill if you ask me. -- J.W.