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Old 09-13-2005, 07:32 PM   #1
Halsafar
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Vector Linux installation woes


Okay I have been at this for too long so it is time I ask for some advice.

I booted up VL, resized my windows partition to free up space, used the FDISK on the VL CD to create several partitions -- here is a list of them.

Windows Primary - FAT32 - 1.5GB
Another Primary -- Linux -- 100mb
Swap Logic -- Linux -- 500mb
Root Logic -- Ext2 -- 1.8gb
Home Logic -- Ext3 -- 500mb


Now -- I get a few problems I notice once installation is done.

- LiLo installation runs into an error which says can be fixed by modifying lilo.cfg or something.

- I don't get a chance to configure anything before its trying to reboot.

Now, with that said -- trying to boot runs me into one simple problem. First I set the boot partition to be the Root Logic -- Ext2 partition. Then reboot and I get a clear message, "No Operating system installed"


I have been following this guide here: ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distribu..._guide_en.html

I cannot seem to get the same results, nor does that guide seem very helpful to the newbie's at this.

Last edited by Halsafar; 09-13-2005 at 07:33 PM.
 
Old 09-13-2005, 08:09 PM   #2
saikee
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OK help is at hand

Let's make one think clear first. Your PC on boot-up the BIOS always tries to evade its responsibility by dragging another system into the memory to take over, so that it can bugger off for a coffe or something like that. It does this by having a go at everyone in the booting queue.

If it is the hard disk's turn the BIOS will grab the first 512 bytes of the hard disk, put it in the memory and disappears before you even have time to pull a gun to stop it.

So what the BIOS has fetched from the so called MBR (1st 512 bytes) was nothing! because you place the boot loader in a logical partition, which started as 5th position. Obviously you and Mr. BIOS make a lousy relay team.

Your partition numbers of the quoted information should be

hda1 type b for Fat32
hda2 type 83 for Linux
hda5 for swap
hda6 type 83 for /root of Vector Linux
hda7 type 83 for /home

Your system is only bootable if there is a bootloader in the MBR. In this case it should be Lilo.

The cure----------------

Boot up Vector installation CD to its kernel, same position as you did fdisk

take a look of your partition table by typing

fdisk -l

You then make a temporary directory, mount your Vector's /root partition, change root from the installation CD's kernel to the "installed" Vector Linux and replicate Lilo in both MBR and a floppy. The instructions are (after boot up CD's kernel)

mkdir /mnt/hda6
mount /dev/hda6 /mnt/hda6
chroot /mnt/hda6

at this point you are inside Vector Linux!

lilo -b /dev/hda
lilo -b /dev/fd0

The first is to create a bootable floppy for Vector and the second is to put Lilo on the whole disk of hda and that means MBR.

Thereafer your Vector Linux should be bootable by either the floppy or the hard disk. If your Windows was running normally after resizing then it would be bootable, otherwise more work may be needed. I doesn't look promising to me because if your Windows were good it would have booted up when Linux failed.

Check the partition numbers with fdisk -l, improvise, make the necessary adjustments to the above if applicable.

Good luck
 
Old 09-14-2005, 01:30 AM   #3
Halsafar
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Thank you, Hopefully you've got me started in the right direction. I need to get this up and running since my university use's Linux I need to familiarize myself with it a bit.

Well my Vector installation of LiLo runs into an error that apparently can be fixed by modifying the lilo.cfg file.

Also, the partition listing that you explained, which are logical and which are primary?
 
Old 09-14-2005, 03:44 AM   #4
saikee
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Every hdd can have a maximum of 4 primaries. If more than 4 are needed people give up one primary to become an extended partition. Inside an extended partition you can have possibly 56 logical partition. A logical partition if created in Linux will automatically generates the border of the extended partition.

Every partition in LInux is uniquely name. For the 1st disk hda1, to hda4 are primaries but one of them can be the extended partition. The first logical partition if created is always hda5. Logical partition must be consecutive because the ith partition carries the hard disk address for the i+1th partition, just like a metal chain and cannot be broken.

You can amend Lilo's configuration file by loading any Live CD. The file is always /etc/lilo.conf. It is a text file editable by any editor in the desktop or the line editor vi in terminal mode. You need to log in as root to have the privilege to touch Linux's system files.
 
Old 09-14-2005, 11:01 AM   #5
Halsafar
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Okay, I'm sure I can figure out how to manipulate the file myself.
As for the partition notation I have been catching on, I do believe I understand.

As for Primary, Logical, Extended...
How do I go about creating an extended partition?
The FDISK which comes with Vector only seems to allow the creation of Primary or Logical types.

This is what my partition list should look like according to the Vector Linux installation guide.

I have been trying to set it up using PartitionMagic inside Windows and trying with FDISK via Linux but neither allow me to get the list to look like this. Mainly I cannot get the Extended to appear so I can push the Logical's into them.

*

/dev/hda1 (primary): Windows C:
Windows (9x/NT/2000/XP,...) should be installed on the first primary partition.

/dev/hda2 (primary): Extended <-- This is my problem
This partition is used to hold the logical partitions.

/dev/hda5 (logical) : Windows D:
Use drive D: to store files you would like to share between Windows and Linux. You should format this partition as FAT32. Do not use NTFS.

/dev/hda6 (logical): swap
then put Linux swap partition next.

/dev/hda7 (logical): / (root)
Install VL here

/dev/hda7 (logical): /home <-- Two hda7's???
This is for storing your data.

Last edited by Halsafar; 09-14-2005 at 11:07 AM.
 
Old 09-14-2005, 11:42 AM   #6
saikee
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With Cfdisk in Linux you can't create an extended partition. It appears automatically the first time you make a logical partition and disappears as soon as you delete the last logical partition.

An extended partition is just a border or a frame. There is no space inside except a collection of logical partitions. Nobody can store anything inside. Hope this is clear.

In fact Vector's information states

/dev/hda2 (primary): Extended
This partition is used to hold the logical partitions.

There is nothing you need to do! Vector's strategy is to open up one primary partition for Windows because M$ systems cannot be booted from a logical partition but a Linux can. After hda5 is created you will automatically have hda2. It will show up after you leave cfdisk and do a fdisk -l.

Partition Magic and Linux can mix together because any correction by Partition Magic is bogus and the Linux partitions can be damaged if you permit Partition Magic to carry out the corrections. Partition Magic is a Windows product and may not support Linux fully.

As an example the number of partitions in Windows is limited by the number of alphabets. In Linux an IDE can have 60 partitions so Partition Magic would go crazy on seeing a hard disk with 60 partitions.

The cfdisk in Linux is the best partitioning tool.

I normally just give one partition to each Linux, (5Gb for Vector as /) and the installer will mount everything inside.

The multi partitions for a Linux is an old school and have its place if you do not contemplating to load a new or another Linux in the same box.

You do need a swap separately in its own partition, something between 0.5 to 1Gb would suffice.
 
Old 09-14-2005, 07:24 PM   #7
Halsafar
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Okay I have it setup like you have explained.
I have been following the steps necessary.

I got LiLo going, I can now Multiboot just fine ^^ Thank you for your help on that one.
I wish I had a clue as to what you did for me there with your mount and chroot ^^

Now I do however have some more questions.

When I began Vector installation it said -- "Skipping Swap Installatoin" when I went to choose the swap partition. I am not sure why since I had a 750mb partition ready for swap, but I've researched forums and others have had this problem to. How can I correct this issue now that I am playing with VL?

Also, my Network card was clearly not detected...
I believe I can find the drivers for it off of driverguide.com on my window box but what then?


Edit: VL is running like a turtle... soooo slow....

Last edited by Halsafar; 09-14-2005 at 07:26 PM.
 
Old 09-14-2005, 07:54 PM   #8
saikee
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Glad to hear it works out OK for you. Thanks for let us know.

As far as swap is concerned you only install it once. All future Linux intalled to your box will pick it up and use it, including any re-installation.

I have Vector in the box but seldom use it because it is one of the 50+ systems. I have a few distros not giving me Internet or playing MP3 but on the whole most of them work OK. I would suggest you to load a few distros instead trying to conquer one completely. Linux are being updated and revised so often that some of your problems could be eliminated in the next release.

In Linux booting 100 systems is just as easy of booting 2. Lilo has a limit of 15 bootable entries. Grub can do a whole lot more and is a lot easier to work with.
 
Old 09-14-2005, 08:01 PM   #9
Halsafar
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Hmmm.
Okay, I'll take ur advice but would u by any chance think that it not setting a swap partition could result in it running so slow it took 10min of thinking to even begin popping up the browse window...

Do you have any distro's for me with this comp:
P2 266mhz, 32mb ram, 3.5GB left on HD after Windows


I do not wish to install on my main for fear of corrupting something. So I got a junker I wanna mess with.
 
Old 09-15-2005, 04:34 AM   #10
saikee
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Sorry I didn't realise you didn't install a swap. Yes it will slow you down significantly.

You can get Slax (very fast) and Damn Small Linux. They need about 500Mb and you can install a swap of say 128Mb.

If you keep each Linux to its own partition there is no corruption possible. Fellow Linux in the same box is good for rescuing each other and Windows.
 
  


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