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Hi all, Having recently installed Fedora Core 3 on a spare HD I've been won over to Linux big time. Now I want to set up a system which has ...
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  1. #1
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    How safe are my unmounted partitions?


    Hi all,

    Having recently installed Fedora Core 3 on a spare HD I've been won over to Linux big time.

    Now I want to set up a system which has three partitions - one for win98SE (need it for a few programs I need to have), one for Fedora Core 3 (which will be my main working OS), and a third for "experimenting"

    On the third partition I intend to do an install from scratch as a learning exercise.

    My question is how much risk would there be in this approach? I'm thinking that if only my "experimental" partition is mounted when I'm working there, then the other partitions should be safe from harm? Or would it still be possible to do some harm to my win98SE or Core 3 partitions?

    Any advice on what to do (or not to do) would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
    MH.

  2. #2
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    Well, that is a Q which best could be answered like:
    If you don't use any software that interacts with your partition tables you will be pretty safe. As long as you don't mount them, your OS will not either have access to the filesystems on them.
    However, if you are afraid of hackers would gain access to your other partitions, then there will allways be a possibility to gain access, since they are in your system, and you as "root" will have the possibility to mount unmounted partitions to your system if you wish to, so will a hacked system also have the possibility.

    But as far as I could read from your post, you are more conserned whether you will ruin your current configs with a new fresh installation next to your other installed instances. No it wont, other than it might crash your MBR table, where you have LiLo/Grub startups. Just make sure you have a good knowledeg on your current partition tables, and how your current Lilo/Grub is configured and installed.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by swemic
    But as far as I could read from your post, you are more conserned whether you will ruin your current configs with a new fresh installation next to your other installed instances. No it wont, other than it might crash your MBR table, where you have LiLo/Grub startups. Just make sure you have a good knowledeg on your current partition tables, and how your current Lilo/Grub is configured and installed.
    Hi Swemic,

    Yes, ruining my current configs with a fresh install next to other instances is exactly my concern.

    From your reply I think the only way I can loose data in my other partitions is by doing something careless with the boot partition? In which case I wouldn't actually damage the other partitions but I would loose any ability to access them? So if I (say) deleted the MBR then my win98SE would be on the system but not readable. Is that basically the situation?

    If so, keeping the other partitions unmounted and having good records of the boot partition contents (along with, perhaps, a seperate boot disk on floppy) would keep me out of trouble?

    Thanks again,
    MH.

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