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Thread: HD install questions....floppy boot and new HD formatting

  1. #1
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    HD install questions....floppy boot and new HD formatting

    Hello all and thanks for your help so far!

    Just a couple of questions:

    Im planning on picking up a new HD to run as a slave on my system for knoppix, about 20-30 gigs in size. Id like to boot from a floppy into linux for now, until i become more familiar with lilo or grub. I need to use XP on my main drive for work, as well as for my wife. I dont want to mess that up. Will i have the option to boot via floppy upon install?

    Also, when i add a new drive, do i need to format it or will the install give me the option? How many partitions do you suggest? It will be dedicated for knoppix.

    Would it be better for me to install the new drive alone as master, install knoppix, then change it to a slave drive when done?

    thanks alot.
    -jamie

  2. #2
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    Will i have the option to boot via floppy upon install?
    Just don't install LILO to the MBR.

    Also, when i add a new drive, do i need to format it or will the install give me the option?
    Yes you will have a chance to format the drive with cfdisk a very easy to use partitioning tool. If you've ever used DOS fdisk you'll soon discover that it's almost worthless and you will love cfdisk.

    How many partitions do you suggest?
    This is a personal preference issue really but I use something similar to this:

    100MB-boot partition it's the only partition that needs to be bootable- other partitions can be bootable.

    512MB swap

    4400MB - root - this needs to be a minimum of 2300MB or Knoppix simply will not install. It can be more and should if you plan on installing alot of software.

    Would it be better for me to install the new drive alone as master, install knoppix, then change it to a slave drive when done?
    No- it can be done but if you don't know how..........
    Linux sees drives thusly:

    primary master-hda
    primary slave-hdb
    secondary master-hdc
    secondary slave-hdc

    Partitions on any drive are indicated by appending a partition number to the end like so: hda1=1st partition on first hard drive, hdc3=3rd partition on 3rd hard drive, etc.

    After you use cfdisk to partition (don't forget to write the partition table)it will ask you which drive to install root to (remember partitions are considered to be 'drives').

    Example-you install new 5G hard drive as primary/slave -hdb You partition as follows:
    100MB /boot /dev/hdb1
    512MB /swap /dev/hdb2
    4400MB / /dev/hdb3 (in Linux '/' means 'root')

    I need to use XP on my main drive for work, as well as for my wife.
    Don't worry she'll come to see the light

    If you have any more questions just post. gluck

  3. #3
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    thanks alot! It doesnt sound too hard. Ive built and set up windows computers since DOS 5 and win 3.1....hopefully i can pick this stuff up quickly.

    Unfortunately i have to use XP for one program, chemdraw. But its not that often so linux will be my main OS for web surfing, office stuff, etc.

    I think once i get the hang of this stuff and set my wife up a user account with all of her word docs and mp3s she will see the light.

    One last question: If i only partition 5 gigs out of 20, i can go back in and add more partions later in the unused space correct?

    Thanks for your help. It sure is nice to see how helpful everyone is here, putting up with a newbie like myself

    -jamie

  4. #4
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    One last question: If i only partition 5 gigs out of 20, i can go back in and add more partions later in the unused space correct?
    yep

    open a term, become root and run cfdisk- How?

    su
    <give it the password>
    cfdisk

  5. #5
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    I pretty much agree with rickenbacherus as far as his partitioning, but if you're getting a 20 to 30 GB drive then why not make a /home partition of 5 GB or so , then if you reinstall linux, knoppix or another distro, your home stuff will still be there (you may have to change ownership after a reinstall but everything saved will be there, including customizations). The other thing you may consider is a 5GB or so /store partition that would be formatted vfat (fat32), then you have a safe place to put stuff that you could get to from both linux and windows (note: you'll have to do some fixing to be able to write to the vfat partition as a user). I put mp3's, software downloads, iso's etc. on my shared vfat partition. You do not need a boot partition that is 100 MB (25 to 30 is huge), I have 3 or 4 kernels and grub on this computer and /boot takes up 5.6 MB, although what's 75 mb on a 20 or 30 GB drive, I wouldn't make /boot less than 25MB just in case.

    Also put the drive where you want it and then install knoppix there, for safety put lilo on your root partition and make sure to make a boot floppy. If you install knoppix as hda (your first drive) and write a boot floppy etc. you won't be able to boot up as hdb (your second drive) untill you either manually edit your boot floppy configuration or boot into the system from a knoppix cd and fix your system from there.

    I am a Chem instructor (labs and developmental) I haven't used ChemDraw in recent years, but once you get knoppix installed check out xdrawchem, it is ChemDraw file compatible and is in a deb package so it's easy to install:
    apt-get install xdrawchem
    it may not be as feature rich as ChemDraw.


    I use my own personal linux computer in my office so I don't have to rely on sharing a computer, I use openoffice a lot as it has pretty good ms office compatibility.

    HTH

    rock

  6. #6
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    rock-

    Thanks for the info! Im picking up a new drive tonight and ill give it a run.

    What file system do you recommend? ext3?

    -jamie

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    ext3 is my personal preference fragmentation is a thing of the past. But that's just my 2 cents

  8. #8
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    I picked up a 20 gb drive on friday and installed knoppix (debian). The install was easy, partitioning a breeze. The whole install took about 20 minutes. Thanks for your help on all this!

    Now to start customizing and updating drivers

    -jamie

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesgf
    I picked up a 20 gb drive on friday and installed knoppix (debian). The install was easy, partitioning a breeze. The whole install took about 20 minutes. Thanks for your help on all this!

    Now to start customizing and updating drivers

    -jamie
    schweeet

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