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First off, thanks for taking the time to read this, it is quite long. My problems: I visited many Linux forum web sites (incl. this one), read and printed off ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Help please, Newbie screwed up when installing Mandrake 10.1

    First off, thanks for taking the time to read this, it is quite long.
    My problems:

    I visited many Linux forum web sites (incl. this one), read and printed off any info I deemed useful for installing Linux. Since the majority of it was the same on various sites, I assumed it was useful/half-way accurate. I deemed the following info useful and tried to follow it when installing Linux:

    1. Since I need to also use Windows XP Pro and share documents b/w the OSes, I (tried to) installed it on the same HDD as Windows. I have 3 HDDs; 1 (C:) is internal, 2 (D:) is internal, and 3 (J:) is external. 2 and 3 are for storing files so I didn't want to risk losing any. Also, J: was not hooked up at the time of installation. It was not hooked up in Windows either since I just installed Windows 2 days before and knew I would be installing Linux.

    2. DID NOT use Partition Magic (on the Windows side of things) to partition C: first. Instead, let Manrake partition the drive. It was suggested that I do the partitioning this way; /, /home, /usr, /var, and /swap or just swap.

    I screwed up here. I have never partitioned any HDD in any OS and after being confused (I know, I'm an idiot) by Linux's partitioner, I chose to let it partition what I thought was the C: drive. However, it turned out to be my internal storage HDD (D:). On the positive side of things, all the folders(?)/partitions seem to be correct or at least good enough for me.

    3. Before installing Linux, shut down Windows, unplug any peripherals, and then intall Linux by inserting disc at startup. Once installed, update Linux, shut it down, attach peripherals and then Harddrake will recognize and allow you to install then when Linux starts up.

    4. Obviously, need a bootloader to chose which OS to boot from, I'm using what I believe is called LILO.

    So, as I said, the /, /home, /usr, etc., and whatever else Linux "auto-formatted/partitioned" are okay for me. But, I do need to know how to delete Linux off my D: drive so I can reinstall it on the same HDD as Win XP. Also, is C: listed as 'hda' and D: listed as 'hdb' in Linux? If so, does this sound like where I messed up in the partitioning?

    I booted into Win XP and the D: drive is no longer recognized, the system doesn't even see it. I'm assuming Linux has complete control over this drive now. So, is there a chance all those pics and movies of my kids will still be there when I remove Linux from D: drive and install it on the C: drive?

    Lastly, any specific info on partitioning off a HDD that Windows is already installed on would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    So, is there a chance all those pics and movies of my kids will still be there when I remove Linux from D: --------NO

    Also, is C: listed as 'hda' and D: listed as 'hdb' in Linux? -------yes

    you need to make another 2 or 3 partitions partition on hda / /swap /home
    they will be hda1 hda2 ........ hda0 will be the first partition on the first hard drive

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Also, is C: listed as 'hda' and D: listed as 'hdb' in Linux?
    I think the following is accurate for older computers and may or may not be completely applicable to new stuff:

    The motherboard has 2 IDE channels, each of which has capacity to support 2 IDE drives. Linux "names" the drives according to where they are connected in this scheme. hda is the "first" drive connected to channel 0, hdd is the "second" drive connected to channel 1. If nothing is connected to channel 0, that won't change how the drives on channel 1 are named. So the "naming" depends on the hardwiring in Linux, while Windows calls the first hard drive it finds "C" and the second "D", independant of how it's wired. When dealing with partitioning, I think it's important to be able to "recognize" your drives independantly of what their names are. That is, if you see a partition table or a bar chart that represents your drive, you should know by the types of partitions (fat, ntfs, ext3, ...) and perhaps by their approximate sizes, which drive is which. It's a good idea to write down your partition table for your future reference, as well.

    Linux doesn't really have "complete control" over your D drive, it's just that Linux has created a file system that the ignorant Windows does not recognize. You don't need to delete Linux from your D in order to install it to C, in fact you could have 2 independant copies. If you want to delete the D copy, you need only erase and/or re-partition. This can be accomplished while you install Linux on C. My personal opinion is to never allow auto-partitioning by the Linux installer. You can see one reason. The other is that Linux doesn't really know how you might need your partitions sized and arranged.

    Your Windows is apparently installed on a drive with a single partition. Re-partitioning without breaking Windows I understand is best accomplished with Partition Magic or something similar. Since you have a working Linux system, you might want to research parted to see if that can work for you. Note that Linux cannot yet write to ntfs. I don't know if that would be a factor of concern.
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  4. #4
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Hey there.

    Well First thing. Like you said, it is important to have dual boot capability so that you can use both oss'. It is important to install windows first and then linux afterward, because if not done in this order, windows WILL automatically overwrite the MBR (boot sector). When it comes to the partitioning, I think that it is better to have windows and linux on two different hard drives. In your case where you need the second drive to store things without haveing to delete it, I think it is best if you make a temp backup, reformat the drive and then install linux on it (if you don't use linux often 5 G should be fine for root, 1 G for a swap, and then format the rest of the disk as fat32) if the disk is formatted ntfs, you only have read access from linux. If it is fat32 you can read and write on that partition from linux and windows and then in case the 5 g is getting too little, you can use that partition to install files as well. Although, the partition that linux is installed on will not be recognized by windows. Never use the automatic format in linux setup. After all the partition programs from suse, mandrake and redhat are not that difficult to use. Although if you are a begginer, don't quite yet attempt something like debian. It is very interesting to use, but sometimes just a pain in the back (for setup reasons).

    As for windows and linux on the same drive, you could try it but I would not be too surprised if it screws up the whole partition in the end seeing that win uses ntfs and linux not.

    One way of running linux and win is to use something like vmware but that slows down your over all performance, although it is great for cross-platform developers.

    Hope you can figure out something.

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