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Thread: Newbie.. trying to partition HD for install

  1. #1
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    Newbie.. trying to partition HD for install

    Hi all ! win98se/ have a firewire 160G hd formatted FAT32, tried to use Qparted to create the partition(s) for knoppix.. but after several days of reading post and articles(including
    "the poor mans knoppix") still no futher than before. Am I missing the big picture and just overkilling the obvious simplicity of the install on the hard drive?

  2. #2
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    that depends on if you are trying to co-exist install to a part of the hdd or you don't mind killing of the win98se and using the whole drive for Knoppix.

    seems, you can copy all the files from the cdrom to a directory and , in effect, run 'from the cd' but run from the hdd. not really a hdd install.

    doing the
    sudo knoppix-installer
    it 'need' a linux swap partition and a ext2 or ext3 partition to install to.

    tell us more, so wiser heads than mine can help some more

  3. #3
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    Thank you for responding

    I would like to keep a portion of the drive as FAT32 DOS, but would like to take 100G for
    for knoppix(there may arise a need to change computers and/or DOS software for win98se. Living with the option of booting from cd is acceptable, but would rather have the option at boot time of win or knoppix. It appears that knoppix can handle the R/W to the FAT32 file system, but in order to have a swap and ext files for linux/unix that i need to partition the remainder of the hard drive for that. Thanks

  4. #4
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    Howdy westcparts,



    >>
    Am I missing the big picture and just overkilling the obvious simplicity of the install on the hard drive?
    >>

    No, not at all ...

    It is quite simple really, but it is deserving of a bit of thought. A good partitioning scheme can make considerable difference to the overall usability of a Linux install. Including security and ease of upgrading issues.

    So, there's no harm in being initially cautious .


    If you just have a fat32 fs existing there shouldn't be any problem. If you intend using 100Gbs for Knoppix you might like to look into/consider having that split into multiple partitions.

    Basically you will just need to give the current win a good defrag to move everything down to the front (hopefully). Then use what ever tool you have to shrink the existing primary down to the required size.

    I'm not to up on things like Qparted, but if they can size down, well then OK. If there's problems there look for a program called "fips.exe". It's just copied to a dos "start-up" disk and run from the A: prompt. Once shrunk, boot the Knoppix cd and run cfdisk or fdisk and create an "Extended" partition with the rest of the space.

    Then it's just a matter of slicing that Extended Primary up into a number of "extended logical" partitions.

    The numbers will go ...

    hda1 fat primary
    hda2 extended primary
    hda5 extended logical
    hda6
    etc

    hda2 and hda5 will both start at the same place, with the other logicals just daisy chaining on from there.

    Another scenario ...

    hda1 fat prim
    hda2 swap (primary, no fs)
    hda3 extended primary
    hda5 extended logical
    etc

    The big question is how big and how many logicals to create. Private files, home directories are always good candidates for their own partitions. At least then you can dismount them when not needed, or to protect data during a re-install/upgrade

    Running something like ...

    ]# mke2fs -m 2 /dev/hda6

    Will create an ext2 fs with 2% reserved for the superuser (emergency space) on hda6. The default of 5% is a bit to much in my opinion.

    Again, one could also look into other fs's. ext3 maybe.

    Also ...

    hda1 fat32 primary
    hda2 ext2 primary (100 Mbs, boot partition)
    hda3 swap (400 Mb primary)
    hda4 Extended Primary
    hda5 extended logical


    That makes the boot directory safe from any interference while the system is running. It dosen't need to be mounted to boot the system. The only time it would need mounting would be for kernel installs and running /sbin/lilo on a lilo.conf change, ie; new kernel install.

    Having the "swap" partition close to the start of the drive is good for purformance. But if you have the ram, you wont need the swap.

    Again, easy to create ...

    ]# mkswap /dev/hda3

    Creates the neccessary magic for Linux to see it as a swap partition.

    Of course /etc/fstab needs to be edited to reflect all this.

    I'd work it all out on paper first. Play around with different partition size scenarios, and rotate through the available documentation untill it all eventually gels together, as to your requirments.

    The actual shrinking, partition creation, formatting is the easy part. Changing it all around later is where the juggling exersizes start to come into it

    All that above is a bit brief i know, but basically it. But if you post back a few ideas on division schemes, well, then the pros/cons of those could be discused in a bit more detail maybe.

    Good Luck


    jm
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~

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    one little warning... dont know if anyone has said this... but i will say it in big text...

    Make sure you back up everything before you start... just incase everything goes wrong... believe me... its just incase... not insulting your smartness or anything... but things do happen when you are tired and stuff.. you make one mistake (not saying that this is proned to happen), and you computer might catch on fire... i know bit extream.. but hay thats me...

    if you mess up the partions, by accident... well... do i have to finish...

  6. #6
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    jjmac/chris-harry... thank you both

    thanks jm.. shrinking the dos partition down is the key perhaps from 160g to 60...
    have 1g of memory, so perhaps the swap file can stay ram and not on the hd.. thanks for the lead and information and yes chris-harry( i do backup frequently, have had a problem
    in the past that taught me the hard way..BACKUP...
    mgm

  7. #7
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    in the past that taught me the hard way..BACKUP... Embarassed
    your not the only one... *looks down and suffles feet*

  8. #8
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    Code:
    Hi westcparts,
    
    Just a couple of things ...
    
    You didn't mention the kind of box you use ... or its' type of usage.
    
    1Gb of ram should run with out swap normally. I wouldn't know personally as my systems ram is somewhat limited (been meaning to update for heaps). But lots of people post no problems for standard desktop usage. 1g of swap wouldn't hurt though, a lot depends on how much torture you apply to your ram, how many things you run etc. You could always turn it into something else eventually if desired though. Like a fat32 fs transfer parition if you were ever to have a 'ntfs' win install and wanted to move files back and forth between win and Linux.
    
    Also, Linux installers sux imo. They would be the single most needed piece of s/w, thats just crying out for some cleaning up.
    
    They will suggest to dump the Linux loader on your mbr, wiping the existing win generic bootstrap.
    
    You can place it on the first sector of __any__ partition, including the main primary extended. But not any of the subsequent extended logicals.
    
    As long as it's in range of the bioses ability to initially reference, and there is no none Linux distro using that partition. They will have there own first-stage loader there.
    
    It's a toss up ... If it's put on the mbr, the install may seem more straight forward, but it does make the initial bootstrap dependent on the Linux install always being excessable. For the secondary boot files.
    
    If it's placed off the mbr, then you just need to set where ever it is "active" from fdisk/cfdisk for it to work. If you want to change the Linux install or remove it, it just requires going into cfdisk and setting the win partition active, as it was originally. On the next re-boot you go back to the way things were. The partitions are still there of course. If Linux stuffs up ... just use your win "startup disk", invoke fdisk, and reset the "active" partition and carry on in windows. Or do it from a LiveCD. It saves having to bugger about reinstalling wins bootstrap, then reinstalling Linuxes loader, but ... it is a toss up.
    
    
    A very out side thing:
    
    If you have a box that uses a hidden file for booting, or a "Disk Overlay" system, don't touch your mbr with out finding out about it first. Getting a restorable copy of it on floppy (OEM), or at least backing up the whole first head, 63 sectors, to floppy. Not sure if that would work though :), possibly the whole first cylinder would need copying out to some place on the hdd ("dd") for keeping. Restorable via "dd" from a LiveCD boot.
    
    I think some "Del" boxes use a technique like that, to allow older win fat systems to address large disks. Unlikely to be an issue, but i though it wouldn't hurt to mention. I have noticed one or two posts over the last year where someone had that situation.
    
    
    jm
    
              If your happy,
             and you know it !
         then, clank those chains.

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