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Old 12-13-2003, 09:11 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Harford County, Maryland
Distribution: Mandrake 10.1
Posts: 162

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Question Re-do poorly designed install

Recently installed Red Hat 9 on my 1st (master) hard-drive. Whatever I could a)poorly plan, or b)do wrong was what I did.

Using PartitionMagic, I:

a)created a BootMagic (FAT) partition on the primary drive (for my options choices later on-so, I'm Windows oriented, already! There's still time to make peace with myself on that matter).
b)in the Logical frame (already had the 4 max Primary partitions) I created an Ext2/3 partition and a Swap partition, into which went Linux Red Hat 9.

Now, the BootMagic page will boot to Windows (XP Home) but not to Linux (aha! says an obscure little note that OF COURSE I would not have seen until after the fact: "BootMagic will not see a Linux installation in a Logical partition). The Grub welcome mat will boot to Linux, but not to Windows (Grub had set up the secondary choice as DOS, under which it created the commands "rootnoverify (hd0.3) chainloader +1".

I suppose the quick fix (and of the shorter ones, the one I would prefer, would be to alter the DOS boot commands under Grub that would allow Windows to boot. After which, BootMagic would be cast from my computer to eternal damnation.

The bigger fix, and in retrospect it appears that most right-thinking (read, people who have done this Linux thing for more than 3.7 minutes) would be to re-install Linux in its' own (primary) drive on my 2d (slave) hd. To that end, how would I proceed? Create new Ext/Swap drives on the secondary drive, and:

a)shift my existing Linux install to those partitions?
b)uninstall Linux (my books don't recognize this concept) and re-install it on the 2d hd?
c)and, as noted earlier, cast BootMagic forever from my midst.

I leave it to the experts (any one who has been mucking about in the Linux swamp for more than 1/3 of a day).

(BTW-being new at this, and recognizing that Linux knowledge was not generally absorbed by a person suckling at his mother's teat in the 1940's, I make no apologies for any bad steps, and don't anticipate that a pedagogially-intended and helping-hand-inspired forum would find fault with the inevitable pitfalls of my early wanderings).
Old 12-13-2003, 11:33 AM   #2
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Montana, USA
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I reinstalled Linux SEVERAL times trying toget it working - I think it got better each time and I learned more - so don't feel to bad (I didn't ).

I would do a new install on the second drive, and then reclaim the space on the first drive for Windows by reformatting (Windows doesn't share hardrives well) or maybe you can change the mount point and have Linux use it ???.

Hope that helps,

Old 12-13-2003, 11:42 AM   #3
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Registered: Feb 2003
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Grub boots Windows for a lot of people and a lot of people boot Linux from extended partitions. So it's a problem with PM and probably a problem with your config. Nothing wrong with rethinking your strategy and/or reinstalling. I just doubt it's necessary here. I only use LILO - if it was LILO, I'd say make sure the Windows partition is flagged bootable and install LILO to the MBR - probably the same for Grub, but I don't know. I mean, there's all kinds of ways to do it (and all kinds of ways for it to go wrong) but that's a pretty solid method. I just have no idea what your grub.conf should look like - but hold off reinstalling until someone can help you with that.

But, yeah, people should definitely quit trying to use these 3rd party proprietary loaders that hardly understand any system. You'd be better off with ntldr (which at least understand NT and can be made to boot Linux), grub, or LILO (and not in that order).
Old 12-13-2003, 12:04 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Harford County, Maryland
Distribution: Mandrake 10.1
Posts: 162

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It warms the cockles of an old warriors heart to receive such thoughtful and well-offered advice. The first (and only!) install I ever did with RedHat9 went frightening well. I have no qualms about re-travelling that trail, although some gremlin is probably lying in wait for me to dare try.

I believe that what I shall do is:

a)obliterate RedHat from its' existing nest in the [Logical] Ext2/3 partition I created for it. (However, how do I uninstall? Just reformat with PartitionMagic, and wipe the partitions away? I tried that with BootMagic once, only to learn later-of course!-that I should have uninstalled BootMagic before wiping out the partition. The resulting chaos was only corrected when I finally, in desparation, REFORMATTED my entire hard-drive, and started everything from scratch. Amazing how much clearer the CD music I have tucked away sounds when I reinstalled it all. How does all this fit together?!) But, I digress.

Somehow, I need to wipe from my computer the memory of RedHat 9, reformat my drives with PartitionMagic, and create a new, luxury condo-home for Linux in the Primary Portion of hd2.

(On a related note, I got to pondering the entire fragility of these damned computers one morning on my hour's drive thru the beautiful rural farm-land of northern Harford County, MD. I decided it was kinda like adding a new, small addition to an existing home. At some point, and for no particular reason, the carpenter drives a particular nail and, all of a sudden, and for no real reason, the entire house falls down. Maybe, everything in the house is lost, and maybe not. Anyhoo, the entire house has to be rebuilt. Get started, get partway along, and-yup-for no real reason, and at a random stroke, the entire structure thus recreated falls down again!)

There's something frightening true, and very wrong with this analogy. Folks spend a lot of time putting stuff into these computers upon which they tend to rely more and more, and the damned things are too fragile and cantankerous to repay the trust with any kind of stability. Something is very wrong with that picture.
Old 12-13-2003, 10:25 PM   #5
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Registered: May 2001
Distribution: Debian
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Start again


You probaly have this sorted by now, but I'll carry on any way

I learn't this years ago, but NEVER from my experiance, try to create or restore a NON windows partiton using windows tools, i.e. partition Magic in this case.

Your best bet is nuke both (you can use the XP installtion for this as well), and reinstall Windows XP, on the XP setup from what I know, there is an option to partition the hard drive, set the ammount of drive space up for XP and leave the rest for Redhat, but DO NOT partition this at all, so this is left un partitioned.

So if you have a 20GB harddrive, and want to use 10GB for XP, just tell XP to use 10GB and thats it, instal XP, spend the next 6 hrs updating security holes and drivers... ....

Then Start a fresh install of Redhat off, use the Custom partitioning option and use the rest for root and swap and probally home (just make sure you do not try to format the windows partition or let Redhat use the whole drive.)

Anaconda will (should) automatically pick up the Windows parition and call it DOS, follow the prompts and keep the default settings, and enjoy a dual booting machine...

If you happen to use NTFS for windows, you will need to recompile the kernel to use NTFS read support, as this is not default in Redhat..

Old 12-13-2003, 10:33 PM   #6
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Harford County, Maryland
Distribution: Mandrake 10.1
Posts: 162

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Or, I could just go back to using the backs of old envelopes. Never did have a reformat problem with one of those.


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