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Old 10-14-2005, 11:34 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2005
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Need help adding hard drive after Suse 10 install

I need help and I'm an admitted "N" word in linux. I have a fresh install of Suse 10. Here's the goods below:

MSI Board. P4 2.4. 512mb RAM. 80 gig Seagate drive. Nvidia GeForce MX/MX 400.
Linksys WMP54GS 1.1 wireless.

The PC was running XP. I erased the drive and spent about a week after installing the OS to get my wireless running. MY eyes hurt from searching and reading, so if someone could point me to a guide in installing an extra hard drive after installing Suse it would be a great help.

I installed Suse and after running it for a few days I added a 30 gig drive (it was invisible). I got frustrated and reinstalled the OS with the drive connected along with the 80 gig as a boot drive. OK, that worked but the 30 is read only and so far getting it read write is futile.

Then I installed another 30 gig drive, it was invisible in Gnome until I poked around and got it visible (somehow!) and it's shown as owner root, group root.

Do I sound dumb? I feel like it. I've been reading and as I said, my eyes hurt badly from doing so. But I did get my wireless going and it starts on boot.

Is there any plain english guide for installing drives? The whole "mount, unmount" thing I'm starting to understand.

Help? Anyone?

Old 10-15-2005, 04:21 PM   #2
Mega Man X
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Registered: Apr 2003
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Hi there!

What type of file system do you have in those HD's you are trying to install? If it's NTFS, I can save you the trouble searching and tell you that it will be read-only unless you do some tweaking recompiling the kernel

Now, if they are unformatted HD's, I will tell you one way to do is and make it visible, format it with a Linux file system and make it visible for read and writing. Here ya go:

1 - Assuming the HD is correctly plugged and that your BIOS can see the attached device, continue;

2 - The first thing you've to do is to create partitions for your HD. I will tell you how to do it with fdisk. Some peoples find cfdisk to be more friendly. It's your choice

3 - Make sure your "new" HD is not mounted. If it is, umount it, otherwise you won't be able to make changes in your HD.

4 - Fire fdisk up and point if to the device of your new HD:
fdisk /dev/hdb

The above is the full path to my second HD (slave) on my primary IDE slot. Sata devices use different devices, usually /dev/sdb. You should get a prompt similar to this:

Command (m for help):

Press "p" to print your current partitions (if any) and other info as driver size. eg:
Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hdb: 200.0 GB, 200049647616 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 24321 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hdb1               1       24321   195358401   83  Linux
The above shows that I have a 200 GB HD with one partition of type 83 (Linux file system). I recommend you to delete any partitions you have in there. Press "m" to info about possible commands. "d" will delete a partition.

5 - Now it's time to create the partitions. As you know, you can only create up to 4 Primary partitions. That is because primary partitions are declared inside the mbr (master boot record), which is a very small portion of your HD. A work around to bypass the 4 Primary partitions limit was the creation of logical partitions. Unlike Primary partitions, Logical partitions are declared inside a primary one. Since going into partitions is a little beyond this thread, I will let you search google for it if you are interested . There's a limit for the number of partitions you can have and that limit also depends of the HD type (IDE, sATA, etc).

At the fdisk prompt, press "n" to create a new partition. You'll need to choose it's primary or not. If it is, you also will be prompted to chose a number between 1 and 4 (4 primary partitions limit). Change the partitions id (press "t" at the fdish prompt) to 83 (linux file system) or 82, if you want to use it as swap. You can check all possible file system (even NTFS and FAT32 are possible) by pressing "l" at the fdisk prompt.

fdisk is pretty much self explanatory so I will let you use the help menu ("m" key) and a little imagination to create the amount of partitions you need

6 - You should by now have your partitions created correctly to suit your needs. Now you need to create the file system structure for them. I will use a tool to create ext3 file system, which is pretty good and has journaling. Type:

mke2fs -j /dev/hdb1

The above example will make the first partition of my secondary IDE harddrive of type ext3. Failing to use the -j flag will create a ext2, which is a very old Linux partition type, without journaling, thus not recommended... Repeat the above step to all partitions you've created. There are other tools to create different file systems too, such as ReiserFS.

7 - Now it's time to mount your HD in order to put it for some good use. The first thing to choose here is a good mount point, which is nothing but a directory, or mount point. Example:

mkdir -p /mnt/disk2

8 - Once you've chosen the HD mount point, you need to tell /etc/fstab what device (/dev/hdb) and which mount point (/mnt/disk2) to be used, plus a few other things as file system type and access type. Here is an example of a fully writable mount point:

/dev/hdb1 /mnt/disk2 ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1

The above example mounts the first partition of my second IDE (slave) hd at /mnt/disk2. Add as many partitions you've created in that file and it's mount point.

9 - You've two choices now: Reboot the system so fstab is loaded or run "mount -a" to re-read the fstab on the fly. It's your call.

You should now be able to access your partitions through their mount points. It was not that difficult was it?

Good luck!

Last edited by Mega Man X; 10-15-2005 at 04:34 PM.
Old 10-15-2005, 04:52 PM   #3
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Registered: Oct 2005
Posts: 21

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The drives are both NTFS. I wish to use them to access the files that are still on them. I do not want to wipe whats already on them at all, just to simply have them show as drives visible in the file system.

Bottom line is I wish to plug in a drive already formatted from a windows machine and be able to read and write to it without wiping whats already on it.

As I mentioned, if i plug a drive in when installing Suse (Primary slave, Boot is Pri master and CD is Pri slave) then it shows in the file system as a subfolder in "windows", "c".

Does everything have to be done from terminal or can I do this with Yast?

And then there's ownership, permissions......arrrghhhh!

I feel as if I got droppd in a foreign country without a clue of the language or customs.

Now I'm getting errors (I logged in as root a few times and I did post this problem) of "Your $/HOME.drmc file has incorrect permissions and is being ignored........etc......File should be owned by user and have 644 permissions" I think I probably screwed things up. Go figure!

Oh, and now I'm also getting "Your last session only lasted less than 10 seconds......etc" errors when logging into my account or when simply using auto log on. None of my sessions lasten less than 10 minutes. I have to log in a failsafe mode. Am I screwed? How can I restore everything?

Sorry, reformatting isn't a problem right now to start from scratch but another PC I have has the same "Your last session only lasted less than....." but this is when logging in as root.

But, I do still remember sitting at my first Windows machine at a new job. I wasn't "Owned" for long. I spent many hours to get good and now it's back to square one.

Thanks for the help by the way, I just need to have a bit more info and try to fix the OS before I wipe the boot drive again.



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