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Old 03-11-2004, 04:25 PM   #1
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SuSE install

I am trying to install SuSE for the first time and I need to make sure that the install doesn’t alter the master boot record and I also need to install it to a specific partition. During the install process I get to a screen that allows me to edit setting but I am unsure what it is referring to. For example: dev/hdd OK I am assuming that hdd is “hard disk drive” but what is “dev” I also am seeing some other entries in this list that I really don’t understand. Does any one know where I can get a concise list of parameters or just some basic tips on the install?
Old 03-11-2004, 04:31 PM   #2
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linux assigns hard drives letters, for instance my hard drive is hda

furthur a harddrive can be divided into different partitions hda1, hda2, hda3

and /dev is where the hard drive is located in the linux file structure tree.

so my hard drive is /dev/hda

my root partition is /dev/hda3

we'll be happy to walk you through this, but we are going to need more info....

if you have windows that you need to preserve chances are that we are going to need to resize your partitions, look into a program called partition magic in windows.
Old 03-11-2004, 04:36 PM   #3
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Hi rec

I don't know a great deal about Linux myself but I can give you some advice from what I remember when I tried to install SUSE. If you set it up to use a LILO boot disk is I think the best option, so that when your machine starts you insert the floppy in and if you have the boot sequence set as floppy first then it should detect SUSE and boot up into it. Otherwise, if you have windows it will boot into that. If you are using windows and you do lose your boot record then at a windows command prompt use fdisk /mbr. That should restore your boot record.

dev stands for device. Linux refers to hard drives, cd roms as devices.

Hope that helps...

Old 03-11-2004, 04:39 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2004
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well, "dev" is you device listing, so all of the hard devices are listed in /dev/.
hdd would be the fourth disk on your ide channels (usually a cd rom disk).
the first disk is labled hda, secon hdb, ect.
So if you were installing on a fresh computer, you would install to /dev/hdd
this is also how the boot record is written, it tells grub or lilo where to boot from.

You can't really install another OS without altering the master boot record, you have to install a bootloader to manage the os choices.

Last time I checked, SuSE used grub as a bootloader. If you want the hardcores of it, or are just looking for a better explaination, check out the gentoo docs on grub at
Old 03-11-2004, 05:06 PM   #5
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WOW I really appreciate the responses. That explains the references to the drives and how linux names them. I was under the understanding that if I set this up to boot from a CD or floppy it wouldn’t make any changes to the boot record. In fact if I’m not mistaken in the edit menu in setup one of the options is to leave the MBR untouched yes/no.

I do have windows installed and this machine has a lot of stuff on it. I generally try to keep the system drive empty except for the OS but at present it does have a few things on it so I really don’t want to risk loosing it right now. I was just getting ready to go get a book on linux when I thought I would check for responses to this thread first. I guess I should go ahead and get the book though, for future refrence.
Old 03-11-2004, 06:12 PM   #6
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In my experience the install of suse 9.0 is completely harmless to ur windows directory. it uses grub that u can modify in yast...but i prefer grub! it has a nice interface and does the same as windows mbr....
Suse 9.0 keeps all ur windows drives and gives each one a folder which u can edit and modify...who needs windows??

Old 03-11-2004, 10:43 PM   #7
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I would defrag first and it will do all the work for you, I've installed a few times and it never messed with windows,I ended up spending all my tine on the Linux side that I just went with Linux after a while.Get Belarc Advisor so you know your hardware so when you are asked questions you will what to answer.Install on free space,yes set up swap yes.You could also try Knoppix to get your feet wet,it runs on a cd.david


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