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Old 11-06-2004, 09:02 AM   #1
miffy
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Question Linux 10.1 virgin with XP partition. . .


Firstly - Hello!

I'm a complete and utter Linux virgin, so apologies if I'm asking really stupid questions. . . apologies also if I'm asking them in the wrong forum - I've looked around, tho, and this seems to be the place.

I've been thinking about switching to Linux for a while now . . . partly because - like most of you, I'm sure - I'm sick of kissing the corporate MS botty. . . partly because that contrasts pretty sharply with what you seem to see on these forums - people helping each other out, out of nice, old-fashioned generosity rather than $$$ greed. . .

Trouble is, I'm pretty computer illiterate, and my machine I put together myself out of bits I found in the street over a few months. . . it's an overclocked 600mhz with 256 RAM and a 120Gb drive, partitioned into 30 and 90. . .

I've been using the 90Gb partition as storage - it's almost full of music, the odd game, mpegs I've made - stuff I want to hang on to. And it's not all backed up, I'm afraid. Most of the really important stuff is, but I couldn't afford another drive to back up on to, and who's gonna put 90Gb on CDs?

I previously have been running XP Pro on the smaller C: partition. . .

Okay, so last night I get in from work, and try to put a film on, and it crashes and won't get up. . . no surprise, 'cos I've been needing to reinstall XP for about 6 months. I do that, but the fresh install of XP won't behave, either. I think it would have done if I'd been patient, but by this time it was 1am, I was a bit drunk, and I had these 3 CDs of Mandrake 10.1 which I've had for a week or so. . . and I've been quite keen to see what it's like. . .

So I install it. . . the whole process seemed to go okay, as far as I remember. . . I didn't let it do anything with my 90Gb partition (I don't think) but it seemed to want to split the other C: partition (the one with XP on) into three (at least, I think!) partitions - one of 800Mb for Mandrake, one of 800Mb for swap (???). . . and one . . . other partition of about 16Mb?

I'm afraid I have no idea what's happened!

Mandrake seems to have recognised all my hardware - and respect to it, 'cos it's a really dodgy machine! I'm using the net on a mate's computer, haven't tried Mandrake online yet, but all in all, it seems okay. . .

Trouble is . . . I've got a really bad hangover and an install of Mandrake 10.1 which seems to be working fine, but I can't find my 90Gb D: XP partition anywhere. . . and I really need to settle down this afternoon with a film off that partition (and maybe hair of the dog!). . .

I've had a bit of a look about using KDE (which I understand is the desktop, no?). . . and I've tried the command line thing . . . but with no joy.

I understand the principles of 'command line' having used BBC basic many moons ago, but that was then! I'm afraid I'm hopelessly out of date . . . but I'm keen to learn. I could maybe just reinstall XP and get rid of Mandrake, but I'm thinking that - since it's there, maybe I should learn to live with it?

Anyways. . . my main question is : Does it sound s though I've killed my D: partition with all my data on?

If I have, I accept that it's my fault, not Mandrake's. . . but I hope not!

And. . . if it's still there, can I use Mandrage to get into that partition and play an mpeg or avi?

If anyone can help me, I'll be really grateful.

If you can't - thanks for reading all this, anyway! I'm determined to stick with Linux, but I know I've got a lot to learn!
 
Old 11-06-2004, 09:25 AM   #2
michaelk
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Look in the /mnt directory. If you have something like a win_d then your probably ok.

Also check the to see how the drive is actually partitioned. Log in as root and enter the following command.
fdisk -l /dev/hda (that is a small L)

Change /dev/hda to match your system
/dev/hda - 1st IDE controller master
/dev/hdb - 1st IDE controller slave
/dev/hdc - 2nd IDE controller master
/dev/hdd - 2nd IDE controller slave

And so on... Post the results. I do not need all the info just the partition ID i.e. /dev/hda1 and the filesystem type i.e. NTFS, linux etc...
 
Old 11-06-2004, 09:44 AM   #3
miffy
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Brilliant. . . many thanks. . . I shall be back at home with the Linux machine (which currently has no internet connection, I'm using a friend's) in about an hour. . . I shall follow yer advice, and post the results. . . cheers!
 
Old 11-06-2004, 01:24 PM   #4
allforcarrie
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unless you told it to you didnt touch the D:/
 
Old 11-08-2004, 02:11 PM   #5
miffy
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Thanks for the help. . .

When I tell the command prompt

dir /mnt

it responds with

cdrom dev etc home mnt proc root sys tmp var windows

I'm optimistic that, when it refers to 'windows' there, it actually means my XP partition!

When I then tell it - cd windows
and - dir

It responds with a list that looks vaguely like what I'd expect to find on my old partition. . .

So I guess, hopefully, I've been lucky! Thanks for your help - I think I'm going to have to learn this command-prompt thing! To actually figure out how to 'log in as root' might take me a bit - I'll get back to ya!
 
Old 11-08-2004, 02:50 PM   #6
miffy
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okay - here's what fdisk -l /dev/hda tells me :

Disk /dev/hda: 120.0 GB, 1200. . .bla bla
boot start end blocks ID System
/dev/hda1 * 1 101 811251 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 Linux swap
/dev/hda6 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda7 Linux
/dev/hda8 Linux swap
/dev/hda9 Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Obviously, I've left a bit out, 'cos I've had to re-type it in, on another machine - the Linux one's not online (and prolly won't be for a while, from the look of things!)

Does this mean that I've suddenly got loadsa partitions on my drive? 'Cos there's only s'posed to be 2!

Anyways - thanks to anyone who can tell me what I'm doing wrong!
 
Old 11-09-2004, 05:17 PM   #7
miffy
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*bump!*

Sorry to drag this one back up again - but I was wondering if anyone can answer the question as to whether I've created a silly amount of partitions (as shown in el post above^)

It seems to my untrained eyes that there're quite a few, but I have no idea how many Mandrake wanted/needed to make? All I really want is the storage one (formatted by windows and containing my films/music/etc). . . and the system one - should now be Mandrake 10.1

There seem to now be 7 (!!!??) partitions. . . is that as it should be?

And - all of my media stuff is store on my storage partition, which was formatted by XP. . . but I'm not dual-booting, only booting Mandrake 10.1 on (one of!) the other partition(s). . . So - if I want to play an mp3 for example - can I do that? It's on an NTFS partition formatted by windows. . . How about if I want to play a WMA?

Many thanks to anyone who can point me in the right direction!
 
Old 11-10-2004, 06:24 AM   #8
miffy
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*bump!*

Sorry to keep pestering - but I really can't figure out - does Mandrake really want all these partitions? Or should I do a reformat and reinstall?

Does it actually even need a swap partition?
 
Old 11-10-2004, 12:38 PM   #9
xavierh
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let me see if I can help....

.....miffy (and bear with me, since I'm also learning!!). when you install linux (mandrake), by default it will create 3 partitions in the main bootalbe drvie, unless you specify something else:

/ -> root partition (all the programs and things needed for the Os to work).
/swap - > self explanatory (swap drive, when linux needs more moery and you do't have any left, it will start using the swap partition).
/home -> This is where user specific configuration and files are located (kde user configuration, etc.)

I do not know what you did with your installation but it looks like you did not blow up your "stuff" drive (the one with the mp3's videos and other goodies). That is good!!!... The issue with the partitions could be (and I may be mistaken) that you somehow ask it to create more partitions. I don't see linux doin what by itself....

My machine specs are similar to yours int he sense that I have 2 hard drives and 2 cd-roms, but my total partition count is 4: (root, swap, home, hdb1 - the other hard drive).

If I were you I would find a way to back UP the goodies in an external drive on ir another machine and do a complete reinstall of mandrake, that would recreate the your system drive partitions properly and then you would be able to properly format your goodies drive to use the a native linux filesystem. After you do that then you can restore the goodies into that drive and then we can focus on getting the video playing functionality working.
 
Old 11-10-2004, 01:44 PM   #10
Padma
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Okay, what you have got is quite correct. When you installed Mandrake, it left all of your WinXP stuff alone! That it what it does, by default.

Mandrake used the "excess" space on your C: drive to create an area for itself. Again, by default, it creates a "/" (root) partition, where the OS resides, a "Swap" partition (needed, unless you have a Gig or more of RAM), and a "/home" partition, where all your personal stuff is stored. As you have found, you can also still access all your XP and stored stuff. (Where your extra swap partition comes from, I don't know. But then, you did say you were drunk.... )

To access you music/videos/what-have-you, you need to be sure you have appropriate software installed. For music files (.mp3, .wav, etc.) "Amarok" is a good player. So is "XMMS". These were probably installed for you. If not, just go to the "Mandrake Control Center" (The Star/start button on the toolbar, --> System, -->Configuration, --> Configure your computer. --I think that's the right path - I'm at work, on a Win2ooo box. ). Then select "Software Management" (I think it's called) and choose "install". In the search box, enter "amarok" or xmms", and select the programs it displays in the left pane, and then click "install". You will have to insert your CDs as requested.

For videos, try either "mplayer" or "xine". (Or "Kaffiene" or Totem" ) Again, follow the steps I outlined above.

For access to some formats, you will have to go to a PLF source and download some extra files. That will have to wait until you are online.
 
Old 11-11-2004, 08:44 AM   #11
miffy
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Nice one!

Many thanks people - I'm looking forward to getting home and trying these things. . .

As regards the extra 'swap' partition - well, you're right - I was drunk, so I guess that's what happened. . . such is life! I haven't actually done anything much with Mandrake thus far, and I'm not going to lose anything - I'm still right at the beginning with it - if I reformat these partitions (not the XP one, tho!) and reinstall Mandrake. . . I'll try to do it properly this time!

I would back-up everything from the XP partition - but it's about 60Gb of stuff, and I don't have a drive that big I'm afraid - so I'll just have to be careful. . . Why is it that major changes to your system always seem such a good idea after a couple of bottles of wine. . . ?

Last night I managed to use the Konsole thingy to get into the XP partition, and I could see my mp3 etc files still there, although couldn't open them. . . for some reason, I can't find that partition at all on the KDE graphical interface. . . ho hum. . . at least I know they're there. . .

Thanks for the wise words!
 
Old 11-11-2004, 03:35 PM   #12
xavierh
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NO WORRIES

but laid off the bottle while you are doing that.....

to access your windows partition open the console and do "cd /mnt" and press enten, then do "ls" and press enter, and you will see all devices (cd's, hard drivets, etc.) you will cd your windows partition there,
 
Old 11-11-2004, 06:42 PM   #13
miffy
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Wicked!

Thanks for that ¡V I¡¦ve just tried it and I can see the names of all my old files and folders ¡V phew! It¡¦s great to know they¡¦re still there. . .

One last question! (Actually, prolly not quite my last!)

Thing is, My missus¡¦ machine is getting mighty full ¡V we have hers online and it gets used for downloading ¡V things like Mandrake ¡V big files. She¡¦s only got a 50Gb drive, but her machine¡¦s much better than mine ¡V so they sit next to each other, connected by a twisted link cable. . . we download on hers, then transfer the files across to mine, which has this windows-made NTFS partition acting as a big storage bin. . .

It¡¦s only been less than a week since I put Mandrake on my machine instead of XP, but already her computer¡¦s getting really full. . . I need to transfer about 6 or 7 Gb over to mine (which is the Mandrake one)

I¡¦m thinking the best idea might be to reformat my system partition with XP. . . and say ¡§farewell¡¨ to mandrake for the time being. . . the only other solution seems to be getting another drive on which I can install XP. . . but I can¡¦t afford to do that, we¡¦re saving up to buy a couple of laptops. . .

Also, her 6 year old daughter has all her cartoons on my windows-made NTFS partition. . . and she¡¦s getting right grumpy after almost a week with no ¡¥Blues Clues¡¦ (whatever the hell that is!). . .

Is it going to be feasible to use the twisted-link / network card thang to transfer files from her XP machine to my mandrake one with windows-made NTFS storage partition. . . and then watch her cartoons (and my films!) ¡V which are .mpeg, .avi, .divx, that sorta thing . . . ?

Having said that, I¡¦ve checked (cheers Padma!) and I do have Amarok and Kaffeine. . . Kaffeine can find my .avi ¡¥s on ¡¥open file¡¦ but it won¡¦t play them ¡V just sorta freezes for a bit until I close it. . . then it crashes (¡¥Not Responding¡¦). Since then, Kaffeine won¡¦t start up at all ¡V until I restart, then it opens without my asking it to. . .

Oh ¡V amaroK seems to play my mp3s okay. . . which is great! (I guess wma¡¦s are asking too much?) I like the way it fades tracks in & out!

Actually ¡V I¡¦ve tried Kaffeine again and managed to get sound ¡V just no video output. . .

Any suggestions?

I¡¦m sorry to have asked all these questions then start talking about returning to microsoft! It wouldn¡¦t be ¡¥cos of falling out with mandrake ¡V I¡¦m more keen now to learn linux than ever, now I¡¦ve tried it . . . but maybe it¡¦s gonna be too hard to connect to her XP machine, copy a mpeg or mp3 across to my windows-made NTFS partition on a machine running mandrake. . . and then play it?

Sorry also about the really long question! I type too much. . . And this time I¡¦ll make sure I¡¦m sober when/if I reformat!

If I do end up saying goodbye to mandrake, it would only be like having some ¡¥time off¡¦ ¡V not a divorce ¡V it¡¦s interested me enough that I¡¦ll have to try it again in the future. . . and I¡¦d be sad to say ¡¥au revoir¡¦ ƒ¼ . . . but is the network / NTFS partition & .mpeg thing too much to sort out for someone with my obvious lack of knowledge? Would I be better off playing with Knoppix for a while first to get the hang of linux?

I didn¡¦t know what a command prompt was until a couple of days ago, so I really do know nuffink!

. . . maybe this isn¡¦t the time?



Incidentally ¡V when I switch on my machine, my mouse won¡¦t move until I remove the USB plug and replace it. . . hardly the end of the world, and I¡¦m not gonna cry myself to sleep over it ¡V but puzzling. . .
 
Old 11-12-2004, 03:23 PM   #14
Padma
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I'm not a networking expert, but I am pretty sure that you *can* use your twisted-link cable to move the files. Storing them on the NTFS deive might be problematic, though. There are some issues with writing to ntfs partitions from Linux. (Reading is fine, though.) Someone else will have to help you with any details on the connection.

Assuming you do have internet connectivity on your machine, You need to go to the easyurpmi site and set yourself up to do updates from the 10.1 Official sources. Be SURE to include a PLF source in the list. That will enable you to download the necessary bits to play avi's, wma's, etc.

If you think you need to take a step back from Linux, by all means, go ahead. Mandrake is probably the easiest distro for a newbie (one of the easiest, at least), but playing with a Knoppix Live-CD would let you experiment with Linux a bit, without writing anything to your hard drive. And Knoppix isn't much harder than Mandrake to use.
 
  


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