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-   -   trying to install Fedora7, have win98SE, but have loads of questions... (

DarkPlexus 10-12-2007 03:34 AM

trying to install Fedora7, have win98SE, but have loads of questions...
well hello there. this is my 2nd post. (the first one said i can't post url's in it..but that's fine, i bet i can guess why...)and i've rummaged around the net and various other forums and so on trying to find out as much as i can...

this is going to be a really big post, so bear with me ;) and thanks ahead of time, especially if you make it to the end lol

i am using win98SE, i do not plan on installing xp, 2k, vista, or anything else...ever.. from microsoft regarding operating systems.
however i need a better file system then fat32 because of extrema size limits. i think i can only go up to 132 gigs here and anything past 3 or 4 gigs in a single file is really pushing it for my system.
i searched around and hey linux has these massive file systems... so okay.. time to finally switch to linux, but whoa there's 500 some variations and here i thought there was just one or two ;)

anyway i want to put in at least one partition thats ntsf i suppose unless there's something more reliable, this was my original plan but its' changing as i learn about new things heh

the problem though is that i have... 2 hard drives, a 40 and an 80
the 20 is really old and slow, the 80.. isn't sorta...
the 80 gig has uhh 4 things to it:
C: 5 gig
E: 42 gig
F: 17 gig
G: 10 gig (hey that only adds up to 74 o.O? lol)

the other slower drive is made up of
D: 17 gig
H: 2 gig

well that's some of the drive specs
the thing i want to do is keep win98 and have the choice of booting between the two.
is there something special i need to install to have the choice between the two? i believe fedora does that for me when i attempt to install it...but i don't know for sure.
i downloaded F-7-i386-DVD.iso, F-7-i386-rescuecd.iso, and SHA1SUM from a torrent off of
i did not see a link to download a cd sized install of linux there, however i saw different live-cd things, which from what i read about is supposed to be a boot cd version type of thing... which comes to another problem i have..
--i can't boot from my cd drive :S

i seen things that offer programs to fix something about this.
i can set my bios to boot from cd, but regardless of what i do, it fails to boot -anything- regardless of what it is...
my primary ide has my 2 hard drives,
my 2nd ide has my cd burner, and my 100-zip drive.
i think it's because my cd is on 2nd ide but i dono about such things :S

i have a cd with knoppix that i burned to try to test out linux but i can't get my system to even boot windows off of a cd ( like the winxp cd that ppl can boot off of )

if you noted from above, i have a cd burner, not a dvd burner, and i have the dvd image of fedora......
i have this program that allows me to mount cd or dvd images, but it's a windows program. not dos or anything else...

so here's another question, can i use windows to mount this dvd image, install fedora, put in a duel boot option?
im affird fedora will act like windwos when it installs and restart my pc, then continue installing, and then say can not find file error or something ( because they're all packed up in an iso after all, and windows isn't on running the virtual cd/dvd thing)

i don't even have a clue how much space i'm going to need to at least install the system to get me going.. many web sites say anything from 300 megs to 5 gigs and don't give me details of what's installed that takes up that much. i know there's minimal and extensive versions of linux, but websites with no details is just....bah
i just want a graphical interface like my windows desktop ( whatever it may be ) i know i'll have the command terminal thing.
and i've been working real hard to free up space on all my drives cuz i don't know how this is going to work yet... that's why i'm here at the moment heh

i was thinking of getting 2 200 meg drives because they're super cheap over here where i live. but i found out windows 98 has 32 bit addressing, and thus has a ceiling, a cap, a limit on how high my machine can count ( somewhere near 128 gigs ) ...this is what started this whollleeee process of getting me to right here lol
i thought about adding on devices into my usb like on here
but really i'm getting tired of win98 not begin compatible with things i want, and i don't like where windows is heading...soo.. time to move on heh

i've free'd up space.. just to get the dvd iso.. but hey i'll spend another month or so cleaning my pc out so i can actually install fedora... i only had like 50 megs free on *all* drives, so you can imagine the funny things i'm facing hehe

also i want to know if i can install linux from live-cd type of packages, because i can't find cd-sized fedora on that page at all, but i see things that look like boot cd to 'test' linux...but my sys fails to boot soo.. i'll test it the hard way if i have to... to just install it and see what happens.

as i look around the forums, i see that my vid card, nvidia geforce4 mx 4000 is compatible with all dist's and hooray too because this card is becoming total junk har har, and i read the variosu things about 3rd party drivers vs the one's in linux..don't i don't understand the terminology yet about most things related to linux. that will come with time and exp... x.X

i assume a lot of my hardwhere profile stuffs is already working in linux stuff, it's nothing brand new and super weird or fancy soo..

i would like to install fedora onto my D drive..
i don't even know if fedora is the best but eh i'll find those topics around here somewhere.. i actually couldn't find any when i looked, and the readme thing says they're everywhere o.O lol

soo.. let's see here.. i'll recap on stuffs since all the storyline is above

i need to find some number of how much space i need to free up to install fedora.. for jsut the basics to start me off so i may expand it later

i need to make this whole thing a dual boot so i can keep windows 98 in case things go wrong lol plus i have many things that i need 98 for at the moment. perhaps that will change later.

i need to find a smaller install if i can't use windows to install my dvd iso using demon tools virtual cd/dvd drive( in case fedora asks me to restart and then fails to install cuz it's wondering where the files where that was just there...)

and i need to have something more useful than this fat32 for storing ridiculously large files with ridiculously large drive capacities, and from what i see on the wiki's about linux.. this seems to be it :D

wish me luck o.O just don't say i'm something that rhyme's with it... lol

billymayday 10-12-2007 03:43 AM

Fedora do a bootable CD with either gnome or kde, so try one of those, because what your suggesting won't work at a guess.

Also, why don't you try switching controllers for the CD to the primary ide cntroller and then try booting

DarkPlexus 10-12-2007 04:44 AM

because for some reason the hard drives stop responding when they're on the 2nd ide, regardless of the jumper settings i use for them, and then my zip drives stop responding too and i dono what's up with it o.O

was hoping it would all go away when i buy new hd's and a new mother board... even thought my mb is fairly new..
hmm dono how to find the brand.. but it takes "via rhine 3" drivers
i could try to extract all the files out of the iso onto my hard drive, but i think it still takes a bootable cd to start the whole process up, i think...

oskar 10-12-2007 06:15 AM

About the file-system: Use the one that the distribution wants to set up. Most likely it will be ext3 or reiserfs. Both are journaling file systems - like ntfs, and can handle any consumer harddrive.
You can access ntfs with linux, however It is a really bad idea to put linux on an ntfs partition. And it takes a lot of processing power to access it.

I guess fedora sets up dual-boot by default. Even if it doesn't, that's easy to fix. Just don't overwrite windows during the installation :)

If you set the boot sequence with cd-rom on top, it should boot from any bootable cd-rom. make shure you burned the iso, and did not make a data disk with the iso in it. (Open it in windows - do you see just one iso file, or multiple files?)

There are ways to mount an image as loop device to install from it. I have never done that, you would need to google.

Bare minimum is 10 gig for a modern home system, I would say. I would suggest you say a prayer and put the <80 gig drives to rest, and install the system on one of the bigger drives so you don't need to worry about space. It's dirt cheap nowadays anyway

About win98 not being compatible - you can't really blame it. They didn't create it to last 10+ years.

If there is a particular reason for you to use fedora, go for it. I really like it, however it definitely requires you to learn more at first than Ubuntu for example. Mostly because you will find less in wikis and howto's.

Could you also post the specs of your machine (ram, cpu). Keep in mind that you have an in-computer-time: ancient operating system. Your PC may feel very slow when you switch to fedora.

DarkPlexus 10-12-2007 08:56 AM

hmm well, i have an AMD 800mhz processor

about 400 megs.. 128+256 ddr2 ( and the 256 is slower freq, go figure)

i got a 128 meg piece of junk card, GeForce4 MX 4000
i have surround-sound sound-card, but no speaks that match it lol
just basic speakers :S

at the moment im using fedora 7 kde i686 live
using konqueror too

had to burn about 3 disc's because i believed in the verify+boot option thingy it had, and it said the media is bad... soo i tried anyway, and it worked..
then i did a sha1sum /dev/cdrom cuz i saw it on the web that i can do this and blah blah, and it matched perfectly... go figure lol

anyway uhh let me think... it's 7 am and my mind is sorta going blank

i have win98 "SE" installed but it's so heavily modified i wouldn't even call it 98 anymore.. but i have to since it can't use xp 2k and so forth :P all my system files are scattered all over my other drives from modifying stuffs, so i gotta figure out a way to ether collect things all back together, or only use the d drive :S cuz nothings on that drive that has to do with windows at all.

hmm don't know what other specs to add at the moment.

if i could access my hard drives i'd delete the dvd iso to make room for the install but eh i'll do that later

and uhh as for the other iso i burned about knoppix, i actually burned the iso.. not copied as in drag and drop into a blank cd lol.
i don't have a clue why it didn't work..this one did

also what's the difference between i686 i386 and uhh i guess that's it
i don't suppose you can't use a 686 on super old machines liek a 486 processor :S
cuz it seems sorta obvious but eh.. not taking anything for granted anymore o.O lol

and if i can use the ext3 file system, i wont need ntsf... it's just that i didn't know if it came with it or not so ntfs would of won by default if i had to choose and was in a predicament... but those were in plans of like.. when i get a 200 gig drive.. lol or bigger by now :S they were like 70$ out here about last year...

annnddd i've just basically choosen fedora because i went to variosu web sites that had "pick what you want out of a linux disto" which was playing games, sharing files, and standard desktop.. and this one was at the top of the list and the rest were just odd variations of it. im still open to anything better :S but at the moment i wont know what things are to know anything like major differences...
thigns said fedora had it's own web server stuffs.. i dono what that meansss but if it's better than the stuff i got.. then cool.. if not.. then i'll just run it in some windows emulator i hope.

Tischbein 10-12-2007 10:14 AM

I'd go and buy one of those 200G thingies and put Linux on one of those. That way you can play around with linux without killing your existing system.

The main contendors for filesystem types are Ext2, Ext3 and ReiserFS. Reiser is modelled on ext2 but has faster file creation times at the expense of slower file deletion times. It's better if you create huge numbers of small files, otherwise you probably want the more mainstream ext3.

There are various dual boot options, but really, I'd get used to linux first, even if you have to scratch your first installation after playing with it.

It's pretty easy to run lots of versions of linux simultaneously. Running linux and windows isn't something I have done though. I imagine you can just tell the bios which drive to boot from. Win will have to be the IDE primary master but Linux is more flexible.

oskar 10-12-2007 11:16 AM

Well your PC should be up to it.
The 386/686 is nothing you have to worry about. Fedora will automatically give you an i686 kernel if it thinks you will benefit.

Pretty much every linux distro has the "webserver stuff". Anyway - like I said - Fedora isn't a bad choice, and you seem fairly ambitious... I think you can take it :)

+1 on getting another drive for linux. When you have to start deleting iso files to install an operating system there's something wrong.
I always used Winchester drives for dual-boot because windows was driving me crazy. One of the standard procedures of XP while fixing a filesystem is to 'fix' the mbr, which leaves you with the windows bootloader. (A second linux system can be as bad) It's easy to fix, but it's an annoyance. The cases are like 15$, and you save yourself potential trouble. But at least I'd get another drive. When I said 10GB I meant bare minimum. I'd recommend 60, I personally need 80 for my OS and 1TB for data.

jay73 10-12-2007 11:49 AM


I'd recommend 60, I personally need 80 for my OS and 1TB for data.
80GB for an OS? That may be a bit misleading. If you have some very special uses, OK, but 10 tot 12 GB is really enough for most people.

oskar 10-12-2007 12:55 PM

Hm... I have a very clean F7 system right here and I have 14 gig used. With just 1 gig in my home directory. I must admit I'm a little suprised at this... tmp is basically empty, usr is 3.5 gig and home is 1 gig. Hm... I have linked some folders, maybe df is counting them too. Anyway... 80gig might be a bit much, but 40 you should have. Especially if you're new and you're going to try lots of different programs.

DarkPlexus 10-12-2007 05:21 PM

i have stuff on my d drive i want to install fedora on

im definitely going to use ext3, but now i go a question lol
will i have to basically delete the partition, and remake it so it's ext3? or can i keep my files on it, install fedora and upgrade the fat32 to ext3 and keep my files?

ive been deleting things i don't want anymore and shuffling stuff around.. i got about 12 gigs free now lol

and my bios has an option of which device i want to boot from that i can use on the fly before one takes overs.
i'd rather just have something ask me which os to load anyway when i boot up at the moment.

and what cha mean about sometimes wrong when i have to del iso files for an os? :S
i deleted the dvd iso cz i was unable to put it on any disc (no dvd-r lol) and i found a live version.. i wasn't aware you could install it from live versions.. from what i was reading about... i thought they were just to look at :S but i guess i know better now lol

jay73 10-12-2007 06:40 PM

Well, no, you can't simply convert fat32 to ext3. You'll have to move the data to another partition and do a format.

12GB should be enough for Fedora. I am currently using 14GB but I could easily clean up 2.5GB because those are just cached rpms (something like windows software installers - exes - not quite the same, but just as useless once they have been installed). On top of that, I have about 2.5GB of software packages that most people won't need (programming stuff etc.).

If you're fed up with moving stuff around, you could follow an alternative scenario. Move the data from H: (2GB) to D: and delete H: Then get yourself the gparted livecd (about 50MB) and use it to resize D: to 7 or 8 GB. That will leave you with about 11 to 12GB of unallocated space at the end of the disk, which can be used to install Fedora. One thing to bear in mind: older computers may have trouble with this kind of set-up because they expect at least part of operating systems to be inside the first 8GB of the disk. In fact, some computers find even that too liberal so this solution may not work for you.

I suggest that you do not use guided partitioning when installing. Use custom instead so you have more control. Create a swap partition in the empty space (2 to 3 times the size of your amount of RAM) and use the rest for /. You create a partition by selecting the "create" button and filling out the size, file system type and mount point: select filesystem type "swap" for the first one, and "ext3", all of the remaining space and mount point "/" for the rest.

In time, the /home folder on your Fedora partition may grow too small to store any of your personal files. That's OK, there are ways around this. Fedora can read from and write to fat32 so you could use one of the windows partitions to save your documents to.

As for booting, let the installer put GRUB on your MBR. If you do, this implies that your windows MBR will be overwritten. This is not bad but it does mean that you'll have some extra work if you remove Fedora (windows won't be able to boot anymore until its boot files have been restored). If this seems less than attractive, you should invert disk order in BIOS so that the smaller disk becomes the first one. You may even need to physically swap your hard drives if you are using a master vs slave configuration. Here again, you should let GRUB install on the MBR - only this time, it will install to the smaller disk rather than the larger one so windows will be entirely unaffected. However, you may need a small hack to solve another windows boot problem that would arise in this situation. You'd have to edit the GRUB file. Not difficult, I'm just saving you the unpleasant surprise of not being able to boot windows from GRUB and not knowing whether that is normal or not.

DarkPlexus 10-12-2007 09:56 PM

ok so i need to wipe out the drive to put in ext3....hmm

i hear a lot about gparted, but i wonder if i shift space around if it wipes out the drives being manipulated... my thing at the moment, is just i have data i can't get rid of yet, and not enough space to wipe a partition clean. such a predicament will be solved when i get a new drive if i can still find ridiculously large drives that still use old IDE instead of sata lol

hmm what does "use the rest for /." mean? that "/." isn't familiar with me lol i haven't mastered the syntax yet for linux i dono if it's just / or /. lol
bah anyway

that swap partition, what's that about?
is that to have a section of the hard drive that's nto used by other files cept the swap file so it doesn't get fragmented all to hell?
..if that's the case.. that's my 2 gig partition.. H:
just my windows swap file is on that drive, which is separate than the one windows is on for a little speed trick sorta.

and uhh.. i take it my /home folder is basically like.. a store house for your stuff right? not installed program files, not system files and os stuff, just.. simple junk? lol

annnddd.. as for editing the mbr and things like that...
you mean to put grub on the mini hd's mbr? (i dono where grub would be "put" in this context)

is sounds like, put windows on one hard drive, put fedora on the other, modify the mbr of the fedora hard drive so it can have grub ( and this probrably messes up default windows mbr? i didn't know it existed on anything but the c drive.. >.> )
i don't know how the mbr's are set up, other than bios makes hd1 c: , hd2 d: , and softwhere..somewhere.. makes the rest fall into place lol

also.. are you talking about installing grub before or after fedora?

thanks for showing me different ways of doing stuff and the heads up on everything, im still in the planning on all things so this is very helpful :D

jay73 10-12-2007 11:42 PM

Kay, sit back and relax, here's some reading. : D


i hear a lot about gparted, but i wonder if i shift space around if it wipes out the drives being manipulated...
Gparted only does what you ask it to do. If I were you, I'd use it to do this:
- resize the fat32 partition on the smaller disk (resize, not delete) so that it is just large enough to hold the data that are still on that disk; that will open a large stretch of unallocated space in between the resized partition and the H: partition. It is safer to defragment multiple times under windows before doing so.
- create a new fat32 in that area partition just before the H: partition. Do not use all of the available space - just enough for the data.
- copy or move your data from the first partition to the newly created one (you may have to reboot into windows to do this although it's perfectly possible to do it from withing gparted).
- you can then delete the original fat32 partition on the smaller disk without losing anything and it will leave you with about 12GB of space, which ( now without a file system ) can be used to install Fedora.
Note: you can also disable virtual memory under windows and delete the H: partition. Why would you want to do that? Because a swap partition is always best when it is in the fastest part of a disk - and that is the start of the disk, not the end. If you do so, you can follow the rest of the recipe, only this time you create the new fat32 partition at the end of the disk (there isn't any H: anymore) and you create a new swap partition at the start of the disk. Fedora will fit in between. Enable virtual memory again under windows after pointing it to the new swap partition.


if i can still find ridiculously large drives that still use old IDE instead of sata lol
Shouldn't be a problem. I have a Maxtor 250GB; Western Digital are still selling 750GB PATA drives. Would that be enough?


what does "use the rest for /.mean?
Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux. : D / is the lazy man's spelling of root.
On windows, you have C: as the top level with a lot of directories underneath; on Linux, the top level is called /. ( Yes, I mean /, the . is just a full stop). / contains mostly system files and software.
If you create only one partition, it will house / and all its many subdirectories. It is also possible to place some subdirectories on a partition of their own but that is very much a matter of personal preference. For example, you could opt to place your home partition on a separate partition. One reason for doing so: if you botch up your system and you need to reinstall, you can reinstall only the system files/software and leave your home directory/partition alone. But if your home is on the same partition as / , a reinstall will wipe the whole lot, your movies included.


that swap partition, what's that about?
Virtual memory, like windows virtual memory. A substitute for RAM when you run out of such. Keeping it in a separate partition boosts performance by having the whole thing in one spot rather than spread all over a partition. As for fragmentation, that doesn't really play a role on Linux. Ext3 is a lot more robust than ntfs and especially fat32. Which doesn't mean that it can't happen - it will when a partition gets too full. Just don't stuff your partition to the max or you will see performance degrading over time. By the way, it is possible to use only one swap partition for both windows and Linux; that could save you some space.


i take it my /home folder is basically like.. a store house for your stuff right


you mean to put grub on the mini hd's mbr?
Yes, if you don't want it to overwrite your windows boot files. As I said, overwriting those is OK because you will be able to boot windows from GRUB - but if some day you remove Linux (which will break GRUB) there won't be anything left to take care of booting windows. Nothing is perfect: the easy thing would be to leave everything as is and let GRUB install itself on the MBR (=overwrite the windows boot files); putting GRUB on the mini involves more effort but it won't affect windows. It's just as you prefer. If you prefer GRUB on the Fedora drive, it is best to open your box and swap the the drives physically. That is the failsafe approach.


are you talking about installing grub before or after fedora?
Installing GRUB (=Grand Unified Boot Loader) is part of the install process. It will turn up right after the partitioning stage. In case you wonder, GRUB is a menu that allows you to select which OS to boot into. It is stored on the very first part of a hard drive, in an area that is reserved for just such things and that is not used by the OS or the data.

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