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Old 10-03-2007, 10:10 AM   #1
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Difficulty partitioning hard disk using Gnome

Wow this is a steep learning curve! My self build has an ageing bios (1997) and a 4gb main drive with 40gb secondary, 192 ram, old AMD 266 processor, which I'm dealing with by using Beafanatix- it's very good and I'll be posting some comments when I've got a bit further. I have had to load using "failsafe". At present I can only run from the cd as I can't get it to load on HD due to partition issues!

It wants about 600mb partition (which I have) and 128 swap partition- I set up 256mb as a Linux swap using Gnome, that didn't help, then another 256mb as FAT32 also in Gnome- still not there. I find that the Linux swap is inaccessible within Gnome and I'd prefer not to weaken and go back into MS-DOS to fix it. Can I do something within opensource software?

I have followed a thread about size of partitions, and the required sizes are now clear to me, but my ability is sadly limited so I don't really know how to create the partitions in a way that the CD will be able to work with- all I can do in Gnome is make the partitions, adjust sizes, and assign file types- should I be using FAT32, Linux swap, or something else? What about the names of the partitions? And mounting partitions? Apologies for ignorance but as I say I'm on a steep curve here... and I can't seem to touch the Linux swap partition.

I'm very impressed with Linux and the Linux community and really want to take this further so any help will be appreciated!
Old 10-03-2007, 12:18 PM   #2
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This is for Red Hat, but it should get you headed in the right direction as for commands and requirements for creating a Linux Swap partition. There are instructions for creating a swap file as well, but from the sound of it you don't need to follow those.
Old 10-03-2007, 01:03 PM   #3
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My advice is partitioning a hard disk should always be done in a terminal.

Not too sure with Beafanatix but it should have either cfdisk or/and fdisk. Red Hat uses sfdisk instead of cfdisk. Syntax should be "cfdisk /dev/hda".

The reason of using a terminal partitioner is because it is deteched from the formatting operation. Partitioning is reversible but formatting is not. The former involves writing a mere 16 bytes for every partition created. The partition interior is not touched. A Linux partition tool typicalling supports over 100 different partition type whereas as a formatting tool supports no more than half a dozen filing systems in Linux. Therefore using a graphic partition/format tool in Gnome means you don't even learn how many partitions types you can create in Linux.

A good Linux installer should not trust a user for formatting the partition it is about to install and always insists on carrying out the formatting itself. Therefore leave the formatting to the installer because you don't even know what filing system it prefers. By offering a Fat32 partition available possibly 2 in a 100 Linux could use it for installation (like Puppy and DSL). Standard Linux resides in a Ext2 or Ext3 or Reiserfs partition. A Linux using Fat32 or Fat16 does not actually reside in it. It simply uses it a a spring board to launch itself to work as a Live CD. On completion the Linux filing system in the ram is rolled back and compressed into a single file.
Old 10-04-2007, 07:23 PM   #4
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Thanks! Now up & running but with a few issues, I'll see if I can sort them on my own before posting again


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