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Old 11-22-2000, 07:29 PM   #1
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I have a brand-new box that runs Mandrake 7 on a 30GB hard drive. I'd eventually like to run Windows 2000, NT, Linux and BSD on it, but i'm going to start with Windows 98/Linux. Partitioning still has me baffled, though...
Is there a place where i can find answers to questions like: How large do i want my partitions to be if i'm pretty much using it for fairly light work (networking classes at school, email, text-based MUDding, surfing the net, etc., etc.)? Will FDISK on the boot floppy I have for Windows 98 also set up the partitions for Linux? Do i need to know the cylinders, heads and sectors for my hard drive? HOw do i find that out if it's larger than 8.4 GB?

I've been focussed on/frustrated by this question for a few days now, and my brain is like mushy stuffing. Please forgive, if this is a bit unclear.
Old 11-23-2000, 07:00 PM   #2
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OK, I'll try to help you. I didn't understand exactly what you're going to do, and I've never worked with Mandrake, but here are some hints.
With a modern computer (1999/2000) you don't have to worry about 8.4 GB when you're going to use LILO (which I highly revommend) as long as you put the word:
(alone, on one line) somewhere in the beginning of /etc/lilo.conf.
The size of your partitions you have to decide for yourself, but keep the next things in mind:
- The boot sector where you're going to install LILO has to be below this awfull 8.4 GB (I thought so, but I'm not very sure) DOS/Windows 95/Windows 98 first release cannot handle anything above this limit, at least not on my PC.
- Notice that LILO can start from any partition (exept maybe the swap-partition), so also from your Dos/Windows partition, as long as the partition starts below 8.4 GB.
- When using one of the OSses mentioned above, there's another problem: those can only handle one _primary_ partition per disk. For the rest of your partitions you have to declare so called _extended_ partitions, whith contain so called _logical_ partitions. Pretty complicated, but remember that its only difficult names for simple things (megabytes on disk).
- Also don't forget to reserve some space somewhere (anywhere) on disk to contain your linux-swap partition. Although you don't need it, a swap-partition can speed up linux, and make it possible to run more processes at the same time. Something in between 50 and 500 Mb will do (I don't know it there are limits).
- It does no harm to reserve already some space for other OSses.
- Don't forget to check it the BOIS recognizes the hard disk propperly! In the white screen, after booting it shoult at say that the hard disk is at least 8000 Mb (something like that). Otherwise you have to configure your BIOS, but it will probally detect your hard-disk settings by itself.
The next sceme is a suggestion to divide your hard disk, for use with Windows 95 and Linux (it will also do for Windows 98):
| Primary partition, (less than 8.4 GB on an old PC)
| format: FAT32
| name in linux: /dev/hda1
| name in dos/windows: C:
| Operating System: Windows 95
| Extended partition, Any size you want.
| name in linux /dev/hda2, no name in dos, no OS, no format
| Devided in one to four logical partitions
| +-----------------------------
| | Native linux partition (on old PC's it has to start
| | below 8.4 GB)
| | name in linux /dev/hda5
| | format: ext2 (linux filesystem)
| | Operating System: linux
| +--------------------------------
| | Linux swap partition (any size you want,
| | anywhere on disk, linux has no trouble with 8.4 GB)
| | name in linux /dev/hda6
| | format: linux swap
| | Operating system: none
| +--------------------------------
| | Free space for future use
| | name in linux: /dev/hda7
| +--------------------------------
| Free space for future use

A great and very easy tool to make partitions is of course Partition Magic, but cheaper is the linux-program cfdisk, you can probally start it after starting your linux-installation diskettes.
Well I can go on writing about partitions for hours, but I think this will give you a start. A lot of things are automated by the different distributions. Below are some links to interresting documents. When you have more specific problems I'll beglad to help.



Old 11-23-2000, 07:36 PM   #3
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A clean Win98 install needs about 270 Mb of your HD, without additional programs (like word or whatever).

Swapfile for Linux should be twice your available RAM (so I heard). So when you have 128 Mb RAM, you can do with a swapfile of about 256 Mb. (I don't know if anymore reduces speed).

Linux needs about 200 Mb (minimal installation) up to 800 Mb (Full installation). You can use the rest for other OS'es.

Please anyone, correct me if I'm wrong. I too am quite new at this.



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