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Old 10-18-2004, 09:50 PM   #1
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Question creating partition when installing Mandrake


I run Windows XP Home and I want to keep it, in a dual-boot with Linux.

My HD has two Windows partitions: C:, with nothing but the boot files, to boot into W XP

which is on the E: drive.

Both partitions are FAT32.

Drive C: has 9GB of free space.

When I install Linux, can Mandrake create a Linux partition in the empty space on C:?

Will I be able to dual-boot, i.e., into Linux or into W XP on the E: drive?

Can I copy data files from the W XP partition (E:, FAT32) to the Linux partition?
 
Old 10-19-2004, 12:22 AM   #2
dalek
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I used Mandrake 9.1 a good while back and Mandrake has a very good partition program that it uses. There is also a program called parted, I think that is it, that can split a partition.

Make SURE you defrag and that all the data is at the beginning of the drive. There is a option in the defrag that says something like 'make programs load faster'. Make sure it is not checked. If you have data that is way out there on the drive, do not split the partition.

Mandrake is pretty easy to install and it should setup the proper boot line for your windoze. If you machine is fairly new I would use grub for the bootloader. It is easier to deal with when you have trouble booting for some reason.

If you plan to install other distros, use a seperate /boot partition. It only needs to be about 50MBs or so. That will be plenty, more than plenty. You can share that with ever how many distros you want to install. You will likely do others later too. I did, so have others. Mandrake is excellent to start out with though.

Hope that helps.



Mandrake used to have screen shots on their site. You may want to scout around there too.
 
Old 10-19-2004, 03:13 AM   #3
opjose
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Mandrake uses FIPS to permit resizing of existing Windows partitions.

It moves things around while retaining the partitions you are subtracting files from.

You do NOT have to defrag the drive, though this may speed up the process.

Prior defragging has nothing really to do with resizing the partition.

To resize the partition a program has to intelligently know the partition directory/file structure and then move things around to free up as much space as possible.

In effect the resizer has to defrag the drive to free up space but as it does so it modifies the directory structure to reflect the new target size of the drive before actually truncating available space.

Defragging doesn't of itself do any such thing.
 
Old 10-19-2004, 04:37 AM   #4
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Just to clarify and add my two cents worth...

When I install Linux, can Mandrake create a Linux partition in the empty space on C:?
- You can't install Linux on the C: drive, as Linux requires a native file system. But the above posters have got you covered, by telling you how to make room for such a native partition.

Will I be able to dual-boot, i.e., into Linux or into W XP on the E: drive?
- You can put the boot manager on the C:-drive so that it starts up as the first thing. This will allow you to run a dual boot.

Can I copy data files from the W XP partition (E:, FAT32) to the Linux partition?
- Windows can't see the Linux partitions (unless they're shared over a network, which you can't do from the same machine, so nevermind). However, since your Windows partition uses the FAT32 file system, this drive is visible from within Linux.
So you can move files around, you just gotta do it from within Linux.
 
Old 10-19-2004, 05:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
[Will I be able to dual-boot, i.e., into Linux or into W XP on the E: drive?
- You can put the boot manager on the C:-drive so that it starts up as the first thing. This will allow you to run a dual boot.

Can I copy data files from the W XP partition (E:, FAT32) to the Linux partition?
- Windows can't see the Linux partitions (unless they're shared over a network, which you can't do from the same machine, so nevermind). However, since your Windows partition uses the FAT32 file system, this drive is visible from within Linux.
So you can move files around, you just gotta do it from within Linux. [/B]
More Clarification.

Don't put the boot manager on the C: partition (C: is a partition in effect) rather put it on the Master Boot Record of your first (Master) boot drive of your PRIMARY IDE channel (or SATA whichever is your primary boot device).

Linux CAN safely read and write NTFS partitions using a program called CAPTIVE, which in turn loads XP drivers into Linux.

But as posted Linux has no problems with FAT32.
 
Old 10-19-2004, 05:39 AM   #6
dalek
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opjose, I disagree. I did a install with XP and NTFS before to test out how well it worked after installing Linux, Mandrake no less. XP, with NTFS for sure, puts unmovable data way way out there in the drive. Those are system files. If they are erased, it will not boot. I have done that. I have also done defrag on several other system and they have that data way out there too. My brother is one of them, I have friends that own a business that use XP and it does the same thing. One of the systems does not use NTFS and still has that data out there.

The only program that I am aware of that will move data when resizing partitions is partition magic. Defraging the drive first and making it move that data up to where the rest is. If it is not moved before you resize the partition, it will be gone. Unless Mandrake added it, it does not move data. It just splits it where you want it splitted and that is it.

I also have a how to here somewhere that shows you how to repartition and install Mandrake 9.1. I have not tried it with Mandrake 10 though. I have seen through a email that it still is real close. Link to how to.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ticle&artid=73

If done correctly, it will work fine. If not, you can at the least mess up your windoze, which doesn't need any help for that anyway.

Later

 
Old 10-19-2004, 04:23 PM   #7
opjose
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No, you misunderstand how this process works.

Defragging may indeed move the data to one portion of the drive so to speak, but Windows is always writing to the drive.

But this is beside the point.

Defragging does NOTHING to the directory and file structures that would reflect a partition resize.

Imagine that you had a directory table that was created for a 90 gig drive.

You then have entries that would permit NTFS to continue allocating space up to the 90 gig mark.

Then you defrag and repartition the drive to say 30 gigs for NTFS.

Programs such as FIPS -MUST- move files around and adjust the directory, allocation tables, end of partition marks, file placements, etc.

If not NTFS would merrily continue trying to allocate space beyond the 30 gig mark.

If the partition resizers did NOT adjust both file placement and adjust things, then they would totally trash your drive.

In effect the defrag may help speed up the process (since these programs then have much less moving around to do) but they still must be able to deal with a file that has been allocated say at the tail end of the drive.

Why?

Even a defragged drive does not have everything "towards the front" so to speak.

Check out how a defragger lays things out.

Usually frequently used files are placed to the "front" of the drive to minimize head seeks away from the initial directory/allocation structures.

Swap files tend to get placed smack in the middle and temporary files towards the middle of the remaining free space on either side of the swap.


Defrag your drive and Winblows is still writing temporary files at the tail end as you shut things down.

The resizers have to deal with this, lest they ruin your data.

e.g. they MUST move things around.

How much work they have to do depends upon how badly fragemented the drive is, but they must move the files to at least some extent.
 
Old 10-19-2004, 06:25 PM   #8
dalek
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Quote:
Originally posted by opjose

Even a defragged drive does not have everything "towards the front" so to speak.
It does if you set it right as I posted earlier. I was working on computers when partition magic first came out. I know what defraging does if you set it right. There are different ways that it can do it. Windoze XP puts data out there and usually will mark it as unmovable. It won't move unless you force it.

Don't take just my word for it though:

Quote:
After running the defragmenter (which can take a while on a large disk), reboot with the fips disk you created in the floppy drive. Simply type a:\fips and follow the directions.
http://www.debian.org/releases/slink...ioning.en.html

Quote:
Defragment your hard disk this puts all the data at the beginning leaving enough space for Fips to create a new partition from.
http://linux.co.uk/howtos/Install-Strategies/x164.html

Quote:
Defragment the hard drive so that all the data on the hard drive is located at the beginning of the drive.
http://library.n0i.net/linux-unix/re...boot-fips.html

I'm not the only one. Quotes are on top with the link to the source under it.

My point is, FIPS according to what I have read does NOT move data. It only splits the partition. Partition Magic will split the partition AND move data if needed.

Enjoy the reading.

Later

 
Old 10-19-2004, 08:19 PM   #9
opjose
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Eh, not quite.

Defragging itself is NOT necessary (but I guess I should have said, for NT partitions as it IS indeed for DOS partitions), but as I've stated it helps the process, except as follows.

What is essential is that the existing file and directory structures be consistent.

FIPS uses the file allocation table to determine where to grab free space from. It does so from DOS/FAT partitions.

Apparently as you've stated it is indeed "stupid" enough not to handle this process well, hence the recommendation that the drive be defragged first and the admonishions about files which are left at the end of the drive by DOS and Windows 9X.

So indeed for FAT, defragging is required.

Having not used fips in quite a while I had assumed that it had been updated to handle NTFS.

NTFS partitions are a different breed altogether.

FIPS is unable to handle NTFS partions which contains data structures scattered throughout the drive as I've indicated.


This requires an "offline" program to prevent the open files problem under XP/NT.

Other programs which work, and pointed to by the links you've provided are ntresize, etc...


I've used Acronis, Partition Magic, etc. and even Ghost to resize partitions on dual boot NT systems w/o problems.

Again with -NT- defragging is neither needed or required.

The partitioning software absolutely MUST be able to move files around in this case.
 
Old 10-19-2004, 10:14 PM   #10
dalek
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Wrong again. Windose XP, especially with NTFS, puts data about half way out on the drive. If you plan to split a drive say 40/60, then you will loose that data when you resize. It has nothing to do with the tables, it is the data that you will loose. The table will think it is still there, until it goes looking for it. Then it crashes because the partition sort of runs out.

I know this for a fact. I did it on purpose to test it. The machine never booted again until windoze was reinstalled. It did start to boot but that nasty little box said it was over. Missing critical files and it was quite a list.

You can do yours anyway you want. It is your system that will have problems, not mine. May want to use google and search some more. I know what I am saying to be fact. I have used FIPS before, it does work as far as splitting a partition but it does not move data, at least not when I used it anyway. During my brief search before, I saw no mention of it moving data.

Later



 
Old 10-19-2004, 10:24 PM   #11
opjose
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No. I'm not wrong here.

I said that FIPS DOES NOT move the data as you've stated.

NTFS -ALWAYS- requires that the partitioning software move the data as I've said. That is why FIPS has not been re-written to handle NTFS partitions.


And yes I've done NTFS repartitions for years this way on a slew of systems without problems or lost data.


You said it yourself: "Windose XP, especially with NTFS, puts data about half way out on the drive. "

Correct!

And even defragging doesn't move this data around. The linked lists are also all over the place, which defragging does not affect.

That is why the partition resizer ABSOLUTELY MUST deal with this least you end up missing data after a resize attempt.

Under NTFS defragging is rather pointless, as the partitioner ends up doing the same thing.

"May want to use google and search some more. I know what I am saying to be fact. I have used FIPS before, it does work as far as splitting a partition but it does not move data, at least not when I used it anyway. During my brief search before, I saw no mention of it moving data."

Yup, you are right on the money on this.

FIPS DOES NOT move data as you have stated.

But FIPS cannot handle NTFS either as a result!

Re-read my previous post again.

Last edited by opjose; 10-19-2004 at 10:25 PM.
 
Old 10-19-2004, 10:32 PM   #12
dalek
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Defraging will move that data, IF YOU TELL IT TOO. It will not do it by default. It is the 'make programs load faster' option that makes it put it out there. If you take that away, it will put all the data as far up to the 'front' or inner portion of the drive. Then you don't have to have anything to move the data.

I did my test with windoze XP, defrag, then resizing the partition, then installed Linux. I didn't use FIPS but it worksed the same way. Doing it that way means you don't have to buy partition magic or anything.

Later

 
Old 10-19-2004, 10:47 PM   #13
opjose
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Argh!

You totally missed the point.

You can adjust the defragging parameters in XP, but this does NOT help with the parition resizing as NTFS data structures are kept all over the drive.

The defragging does nothing about this.

The partition resizer MUST deal with this, hence a defragement is NOT required at ALL.

The partition resizer MUST MUST MUST be capable of doing the SAME thing on NTFS partitions.

You said it...

"I didn't use FIPS"

to resize an NTFS partition.

FIPS does EXACTLY what you say, and because of this it CANNOT handle NTFS partitions (amoung other reasons).

To resize an NTFS partition you need something that not only understands the NTFS partition's data structures but can move the data around.

What did you use to resize the NTFS partition?

Any program you selected has this capability WITHOUT requiring a defragement.

Eh, Let me make this in big letters so you read it....

FIPS DOES NOT WORK WITH NTFS PARTITIONS.

FIPS CANNOT MOVE DATA AROUND. FIPS CANNOT HANDLE XP.

You MUST use a program which CAN move data around (hence no defragement is needed) such as the very same links you pointed to cite programs such as ntfsresizer and others.

ALL OF THESE PROGRAMS DO NOT require a prior defragement.

Check them out.
 
Old 10-20-2004, 03:14 AM   #14
dalek
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Then explain why all those howtos say to defrag first? They all say to defrag first unless you are installing on a second drive and not touching the windoze drive except for the bootloader.

Later

 
Old 10-20-2004, 03:20 AM   #15
opjose
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Yep defrag for FIPS as you stated since it's a little braindead anyway.

NTFS is a different story.

NTRESIZE does not need you to defrag.

Ever use it?
 
  


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