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Old 03-04-2004, 03:18 AM   #1
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Mandrake 9.1 installation concerns

Ok, so I've jumped into the land of Linux world, no use of Windows whatsoever, and figured I'd try Redhat 9.0 first which I liked right off the bat, had no problems just learning the codes for installation of browser stuff, I'm very new to linux so I'm doing this one slow one step at a time.
My next purchase was of Mandrake 9.1, I had purchased 8.1 one year ago as I had numerous problems getting Mandrake to seat on my Samsung harddrive, thus after rechecking my mistakes I found I had mis cued my jumpers on my harddrive. I tried again with bitterness and said the hell with it.
Enter one year later and I install 9.1, easy? Well that depends on what your idea of easy is. Alot of what I've learned has been from third or fourth hand accounts, and I probably will go with Redhat because of the familiarity I have with that software. I don't mind trying new things, my over all objection/concern is with Mandrake itself. I've read most folks like the use of Mandrake and how easy installation is, for me I've had so many problems with the harddrive partioning software Driveworks2.0, Mandrake refuses to understand my partioning code, and as I've learned Mandrake works completely different with seating root, swap, and extended. Maybe I'm of a simple minded persuasion but this is plain crazy.
So I then reinstall the software, and think maybe the o.s., I get L 99 all across the monitor screen. Saying the Grub/Lilo didn't seat. So I then put the installation disc in to redo the install put (not a whole new one, just to check to see if something wasn't loaded upon initial install) Come to find out, the soundcard, and monitor, and video cards I cannot tweak physcially in the configure part. Another concern I have is that you have to physcially go in as user to change your account for Root. I've popped my eyeballs at different sites for some explanation, and Mandrake has a real issue about calling one back, and instituting some dialoge. So I come to a forum to ask questions.

I'm curious if others have had similar problems with seating of this o.s. and how not to continue making these stupid mistakes, because for the life of me I'm a dunce with Mandrake. To answer you question of what verison? I have Standard Mandrake 9.1, on a Elitegroup K75SA series mainboard, Amd 1.54 or 1800, 64 mb ATI Radeon 7500, CTX PL700 series monitor, SIS chipset, 40gb Samsung Harddrive, Artec DVD rom, Samsung Rcd/RWcd rom, 256mb SDRAM, and onboard lan.
Old 03-04-2004, 05:44 AM   #2
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I'm not sure what you're trying to do. Why are you using 3rd-party (Windows?) partitioning software? In my experience if you want to use such software for initial partitioning of the drive in question (I have done this with Partition Magic), it's best to either leave the space you intend to install Linux on as unpartitioned, or partition it as ext2 and let Mandrake reformat it to whatever filesystem you ultimately choose.

Use Windows tools for Windows partitions, use Linux tools for Linux partitions, that's my rule. Those utilities claim that they can work transparently with Linux, but it's not completely true (the only Linux filesystem that it seems to be true of is ext2, but one doesn't so much want to use that as the installed fs since it has no journalling capability).

Mandrake does not work "completely different" from any other Linux system in terms of setting root, swap or any other partition. Why do you think it does?

As for the L99 business, this means that your bootloader, LiLO, is not properly installed. We'll come back to that.

If you chose "Upgrade" when you tried to "reinstall"-- which seems likely if you were just trying to check your settings, and Mandrake would have detected that Mandrake was already on the system and asked you what you wanted as the second screen, right after asking what language and keyboard you wanted to use-- then, no, you wouldn't get to tweak anything. The whole idea of an "upgrade" install is that you don't want to tweak anything, you want your settings from the previous install to be retained.

Next time, choose "Install" and you will go through the entire install process again. You could also hit F2 and choose "rescue" and Mandrake will give you some options to repair the current installation (one of which is reinstalling the bootloader).

If you instead choose to do a full reinstall, when you get to the bootloader installer, you should install it to the MBR, and if you get an error saying that LiLO could not be installed for some reason, please report it here. It is possible that the RedHat version of GRUB you (presumably) had previously installed is not giving up its place as easily as expected.

Hope this helps.
Old 03-04-2004, 12:40 PM   #3
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DriveWorks is a fairly simple partition program that allows the user to control how much space on either a fat32 or vfat partition. When I installed Redhat I used Driveworks because I had Windows 98, I had numerous problems with shutting down Windoze before I put Redhat on, and I did use Driveworks for backing up my harddrive which most folks tend to do when using that type of program, and when I did put Redhat 9.0 I worked with that one more, and liked the look and feel. Then one day as with using Windows 98 I had sound issues, browser problems, ugh too many to name here, I eventually just decided well my original intentions were to go with linux with my own built computer that I eventually just said the hell with it, and did a whole reformat. As far as removing the Grub with Redhat, I did use as stated the uninstall instructions per Redhat manual, and wiped my Grub clean, as I thought that is the case with any uninstallation because one could and do have problems reinstalling the o.s. I think I may just have a bunk system, with a bios that is real finky about whether or not this Mandrake will work. As I stated in my first post 8.1 or so I had this same problem and I didn't even install Windows yet. I can't explain it any better than that, its a hit or miss, and I've done enough reading and asked some very straight forward questions about what one must do to make sure the Lilo/Grub are completely removed. When I did do a complete remove my cd rom wouldn't pick up Windows 98, and thus I had a heck of a time trying to figure that monster out. In essence I've been windows free since January 2 2004.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still learning the curves and such with linux, these are a few concerns I have with trying to understand the seating and unseating of this o.s. As far as the 3rd party or 4th party Partitioning software, I don't have a lot of monies I can just whip out for good stuff, I live on a very small income so it took over a six months to finally get my first computer built. The windows thing pissed me off because of the outlandish costs for their crap and that is why I moved to linux.
I think sometimes people get frustrated with newbies whom are learning about linux themselves and I find that please have a little bit of patience and understanding, this isn't going to be a quick and easy jump so bare with my lack of knowledge, and as with any lack of anything I want to rid myself of the inherient crap and learn something I actually use for a change.

Yes, I did eventually use Mandrakes partitioning wizard, which is very confusing to what I was used to with Redhat's.

I did the F2 part with the installation disc and I'm very new with the command line so its going to take some time to get all the codes down.

I have a printer, I can't use, so printing information out is going to be real tough, unless I can just plunk down 100 bucks for a decent printer that is supported by linux, yeah I know but what can I do, I'll just save my pennies...

With Mandrakes partioning, I went in and checked how this one seats, is different from what I've done with my partitioning knowledge, I usually go with 100mb as root, 256mb or 512mb for swap, and then extended, then whatever the size for the main linux partition.
Mandrake has it like 5gb for the main, 256mb for swap, and what ever for extended, then linux.
I wanted to be sure, so I went and checked. Its different to what I'm used too.

I've done reinstall bit, and went thru F2 command, I'm no better off than doing a complete wiping of the harddrive and trying to get the Lilo to seat on the drive. So confusing.

This is where I'm not really clear on, I already know that I use the disc to remove the linux and mbr, what am I doing wrong and why if at all is grub still giving me hassles now? I remember having this same problem with 8.1 when installing, it freeze and then I would refer to the manual which doesn't have it clear enough on how to remove the grub/lilo.
Old 03-04-2004, 05:54 PM   #4
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Well, even though I do currently have boot, swap and root partitions, that's only because i've also got gentoo installed.

I'm gonna recommend a "start from scratch". Mandrake 9.1 is actually very easy (of course I understand your disappointments though, I've had shit loads myself).

I'd start like this. Put the first mandrake disc in, when it ask's you, hit F2, and at the prompt, type rescue and return.

When the page loads up on your monitor, you should see some choices, go for the re-install windows bootloader, and hit OK. follow the instructins and reboot, but make sure you remove the mandrake disc.

When you're back in windows use your partitioning software and change it so you just have a windows partition and 1 linux partition. If it will allow you, tell it to format the linux partition as ext2 or ext3 (if it's good enough, you could try Reiserfs, but my partition magic 8, from memory, only offers ext2 and ext3 - erm I'd choose ext3 - there's a ton of technical reasons, but I don't understand them and as you just seem to want a running mandrake install.....)

So, now you should have just 2 partitions 1 windows and 1 linux (hopefully formatted ext2 or 3, but if my memory serves me correctly, you get the choice to do this later if it's not already done).

Now boot the mandrake install disc, when it tell's you, it should ask about which partition to use, if you then just make sure that you can tell the difference between which is which, and leave the other dropdown box blank, and OK that (it may tell you that you have to put something in the dropdown, if so, just use the dropdown and select the / ). It doesn't actually need to have a boot or swap partition at this stage (or any with mandrake, but if you want to, you could sort that out next time you do an install).

Then you should be able to follow the instructions on screen.

Looking at your system spec, I can't see anything that could cause you undue stress. But I don't know about the onboard LAN, mine is a pci card, and that's connected to an external router/modem device for my dsl connection. So you may need more assistance to get it configured, but equally, it might be like my system where I just put the LAN ip addresses in.

Tell the install to put the bootloader onto the first part of the hard drive/MBR and then follow the instructions again.

Tell it not to install the updates yet (though if you have snag's with your LAN connection, you wouldn't be able to yet, anyway).

When it comes to the install summary if you investigate that under the boot section (just click on the configure button, followed by highlighthing the linux, and then modify, you can change it and make windows the default if you want to - in my case, I have to because i'm not the only user of this PC)the mandrake will be the default OS.

Then just hit all the OK's and when it tell's you to reboot, take the disc out and do the reboot, and you should see the bootloader offer OS selection - windows, linux, linux non-fb, failsafe, floppy

I've never had to use linux non-fb (non-frame buffer) or failsafe.

Oh, and while I remember, during the install, when you get to the screen for package selection, just select all the stuff down the left of the dialogue box and only kde and gnome from the right. Then when it tell's you that you've selected cups, webmin, etc etc and even though there's no reported problems with them just say no. and continue from there.

at the end, you should have a basic, straightforward, running, mandrake 9.1 system installed that will dual boot windows with no problem.

Sorry for the long post, but it did seem that you had got a little mixed up - mandrake truely is one of the easier (if not the easiest) distro's to install (normally).

Hope this helps.



p.s. Oh, and when you boot into mandrake, you will only see graphic login for your user account - if you want to have graphci login for root as well, you will have to use kde, and then go into the control centre (not the "mandrake control centre", the kde one), then system, then login manager - click the "administrator mode", apply your root pass word, then the users tab, and uncheck root as "a hidden user". mandrake have done that as a safety/security default.
Old 03-09-2004, 03:12 AM   #5
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I've done exactly as the what you've said, after the install I am brought to the configure part which I do...monitor, printer which isn't supported, sound, and my onboard nic. Then after thats done I receive the do you want to make a mbr, lilo, non, or failsafe, I choose MBR so that it will start when I reboot, after I reboot, I've had problems where the MBR didn't seat correctly, and thus am concerned because if I have to (in more than likable fashion I'll reformat and reinstall Mandrake or Redhat) I get the nasty little L99 message. Sometimes when I install I would get no operating system, and even the RFCL 1, 2, 3, 4.
So I'm learning how NOT to install with Driveworks, unless I know more about partitioning. Its getting out of the Windoze mindset for pointing and clicking and having things work, I really could care less about the Doze because I don't like having to be redundant. (hope that made some sense)

Otherwise I'm going to have to learn some more about codes, how they work, what benefits I can utilize them and what fashion I need to go about avoiding these miscues in the future. I thank many of you who've put up with my focused rage with this, and I'm now seating into the Linux world very well, I even got updates for this thing...for some reason I can't send email with Kmail. ( and are the correct setup, I can receive mail but can't send jacksquat) Sometimes my Mandrake won't connect to the net correctly so I have to physically turn off the modem, and reset it. Three times this has happened. Minor annoyances, so lets keep this thread going, any ideas on where I should be going and how the heck do I combat the Kmail problem and the network thing?


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