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Old 06-15-2004, 03:53 AM   #1
Registered: May 2004
Location: Colorado
Distribution: Mandrake 10 power-pack
Posts: 74

Rep: Reputation: 15
trouble with fdisk/install


I am trying to install Slackware for the first time and am running into some problems with the fdisk program on the install cd.

Here is my set up:

60G hard drive
hda1 1G / --mandrake
hda2 29G extended--mandrake
hda5 10G /usr--mandrake
hda6 650MB swap
hda7 15G /home--mandrake
hda8 5G /home/mp3--mandrake
30g unallocated

As you can see I already have used 2 primary partitions but this sould not be a problem right? I figured I would set up primary partition 3 at 1G and set it as root. Then create an extended partition with the rest of the space and fill that full of logical drives for /usr, /home and swap. I reallize I could share the swap space from the mandrake drive but want to set one a bit closer to the slack drive.

Here is my problem and it deals with the fdisk program from the install CD. When trying to set my partitions I am only given the option of either "p" or "l" primary or logical. Obviously I can create hda3 for / and one other primary partition, biut what I really need is to create an extended partition. If I try to create any logical partitions I am told there is not enough space, which makes sense as there is no extended partition to support them.

If I try to change the "type" of the fourth primary partition to extended (command t, type 5) a warnng tells me that I cannot change a non-extended partition into an extended and vis-versa, etc...

So what are my options? I wonder if I could simply use parted or qtparted and set the partitions that way. Then go right into the setup of Slackware. Any help or advice here would be greatly appreciated.


This is a quick edit. I have just been doing a bit of google research on extended partitions. Is it true that only one of the primary partitions can be used as an extended? If so how then can I have a duel boot system with slackware and any other Linux distro?

Last edited by tsw; 06-15-2004 at 04:54 AM.
Old 06-15-2004, 05:44 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Third Stone from the Sun
Distribution: Debian Sid, SourceMage 0.9.5, & To be Continued on a TP
Posts: 800

Rep: Reputation: 31
Here's a little insight. You can only have one Extended partition. The 30g should be included in that Ext. partition and you should be able to divide it as you like.

If you want to boot other distros, one way is to use your one main distro bootloader in the MBR and put the other distros lilo/grub in their main partition, then add two lines to the MBR bootloader to recognize the new distro.

Here's an article from on multiple Linux distros.
Old 06-15-2004, 02:18 PM   #3
Registered: May 2004
Location: Colorado
Distribution: Mandrake 10 power-pack
Posts: 74

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks BittaBrotha,

That is a pretty good link. It turns out that when diskdrake set up the partitions, hda2 (the extended) stopped at the end of the Mandrake drive. I don't know if this is a default or what but whatever. I moved down to init 1 and with parted resized the extended partition to fill the rest of the drive--or almost, I messed up on my math and left like 650mb at the end. Not big deal. My goal in to investigate several different distros and see which flavor I like the best. So I'll simply pick up that 650mb later if I need.

Thanks again for responding. I am installing Slack as of this writting.


Last edited by tsw; 06-15-2004 at 02:21 PM.


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