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Hello! I am getting ready to install the latest PCLOS onto an already existing factory installed Windows 7 installation on this Dell Inspiron 14. I don't want to bork the ...
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  1. #1
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    Unhappy [SOLVED] PCLOS dual boot install question on top of Windows 7 Dell Ins


    Hello!

    I am getting ready to install the latest PCLOS onto an already existing factory installed Windows 7 installation on this Dell Inspiron 14. I don't want to bork the system. I have three questions:

    1. Can I run the live CD directly off of the CD drive without borking the system? Sounds like a silly question, but it seems to me that I have run the PCLOS 2009 Live CD on past systems and have noticed that it changes things on the hard disk drive - I may be wrong about this but I have at least notice that it accesses the HD - and does so even when the HD is totally trashed and has lots and lots of access errors (I have had to work off a live CD for some time on another old computer with a totally dead HD -- all I have to say is thank God for Linux's ability to do LiveCD or I would have been without a computer at all. Wish Windows had LiveCDs ).

    I also had it happen when I ran another distro live CD (Puppy Dingo) that it did overwrite stuff having to do with the bootup of the HD. I refuse to stick this CD in the drive and reboot till I know it is safe for this Windows 7 since it is my only option for having a computer at this point.

    2. What are things to look out for when installing PCLOS to dual boot on a Windows 7 System, besides of course making sure all the data is backed up? I intend to shrink this Win7 partition to about half its size on this 236GB HD, and install PCLOS on a new partition. Should the Win7 partition be first on the HD, or second? Will I have to move the Win7 partition so it is second, and install PCLOS on the first part of the HD?

    3. Is there a stable 64-bit distro for PCLOS that'll run on this machine? I couldn't seem to find any indication that the distro I intend to install (below) is 64-bits and Googling et. al., doesn't turn up any clear indication of this either. I want to be able to take full advantage of this Inspiron's 64-bit capability with gui features at least as pretty as Windows 7.

    And finally I have to get this off my chest -- Windows 7 is smooth and sexy and useful for me for a few things -- but damn I miss the multiple desktops, multiple users and being able to tweak the system to do what I want with bash, python, DCOP not to mention all the free programs that I don't have to worry about expiring after 30 days, freedom from "security" worries (aka viruses) or paying money that I don't have for. Man I cannot wait to hop on GIMP and Inkscape and have 16 desktops (etc etc) on this machine!! So any help would be appreciated - thanks!

    Dell Inspiron 14 off-the-box specs:
    Factory-installed Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64 bit
    Intel Pentium Dual Core P6200 2.13GHz 3MB cache
    4 GB RAM
    320 GB HD
    Integrated Wireless N Card
    Integrated Intel HD Graphics
    Integrated Webcam


    Distro to be installed:
    PCLOS 2010.12 KDE ??64 bit??

  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Hi and Welcome !

    1. Can I run the live CD directly off of the CD drive without borking the system? Sounds like a silly question, but it seems to me that I have run the PCLOS 2009 Live CD on past systems and have noticed that it changes things on the hard disk drive - I may be wrong about this but I have at least notice that it accesses the HD - and does so even when the HD is totally trashed and has lots and lots of access errors (I have had to work off a live CD for some time on another old computer with a totally dead HD -- all I have to say is thank God for Linux's ability to do LiveCD or I would have been without a computer at all. Wish Windows had LiveCDs ).
    LiveCDs never access hard disk unless you command it to do so. A few LiveCDs just detect partition/filesystem information of attached hard disk for quick access but in any case, it doesn't write/change anything in disk.
    What are things to look out for when installing PCLOS to dual boot on a Windows 7 System, besides of course making sure all the data is backed up? I intend to shrink this Win7 partition to about half its size on this 236GB HD, and install PCLOS on a new partition. Should the Win7 partition be first on the HD, or second? Will I have to move the Win7 partition so it is second, and install PCLOS on the first part of the HD?
    Best way is, shrink Windows 7 Partition and install PCLOS in it. Do not move Windows 7 partition to another location. It will be easier for us to suggest you correct procedure if you post the output of sudo fdisk -l command.
    Boot up from LiveCD of any Linux distro and execute this in Terminal :
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    Post output here.


    I am not a PCLOS user and I have to check if it's available in 64bit or not. Most of 64bit OSes are as stable as 32bit.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

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    OK, I'll give it a shot. Thanks.

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    OK, sudo fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 320.0 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 13 102400 de Dell Utility
    Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
    /dev/sda2 * 13 1926 15360000 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 1926 38914 297106776 7 HPFS/NTFS

    Disk /dev/sdb: 16.0 GB, 16026435072 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1948 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Ick. "Dell Utility" ?? Especially from looking at this, the one thing that I fear is that these OEM - aka factory installed - installations have these weird partitions tucked away that don't like to be messed around with and will likely be toasted by installing another OS. I really don't have any data of my own on here on Windows and haven't installed any major software, so no real need to make a backup yet (all my PCLOS work is sitting away safely on the USB drive I have been working off of as I said before). I did use the Dell utility to create a Windows 7 Recovery CD, which I assume stored pretty much the whole system if anything happens (just looking at this CD it looks like it burned data onto about two thirds of it)

    So, awaiting your further advice

  6. #5
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Shrink /dev/sda3 and create a new Extended partition (/dev/sda4). Create 2 new Logical Partitions inside Extended Partition. Install PCLOS in Logical Partition only.
    You have 4GB RAM and there is no need to create SWAP partition. Just create / and /home and install PCLOS.


    Make sure to boot Windows 7 once after creating new partitions. You can use PartedMagic LiveCD to resize/create new partitions.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

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    OK, I will give it a try.

    OK, I will give it a try, let you know how I do.

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    Error on formatting last partition (the only error)

    Thanks. I used PartedMagic as per your instructions to shrink the Windows partition to 1/2, added the Extended Partition, and within that, created 2 ext4 Logical Partitions. Except for the 1 error below, all went well, and Windows rebooted, sensed the change in the partitions, did its disk check, rebooted again, and worked fine.

    There was an error when PartedMagic's partition editor tried to write the second Logical Partition. It comes up as filesystem 'unknown' now. Below is the dump from Save Details.

    GParted 0.8.0

    Libparted 2.3

    Shrink /dev/sda3 from 283.34 GiB to 132.61 GiB 00:07:53 ( SUCCESS )
    calibrate /dev/sda3 00:00:00 ( SUCCESS )
    path: /dev/sda3
    start: 30926848
    end: 625140399
    size: 594213552 (283.34 GiB)

    check file system on /dev/sda3 for errors and (if possible) fix them 00:00:03 ( SUCCESS )
    ntfsresize -P -i -f -v /dev/sda3
    ntfsresize v2.0.0 (libntfs 10:0:0)
    Device name : /dev/sda3
    NTFS volume version: 3.1
    Cluster size : 4096 bytes
    Current volume size: 304237335040 bytes (304238 MB)
    Current device size: 304237338624 bytes (304238 MB)
    Checking for bad sectors ...
    Checking filesystem consistency ...
    Accounting clusters ...
    Space in use : 41239 MB (13.6%)
    Collecting resizing constraints ...
    Estimating smallest shrunken size supported ...
    File feature Last used at By inode
    $MFT : 160193 MB 0
    Multi-Record : 160437 MB 82584
    $MFTMirr : 1 MB 1
    Compressed : 28151 MB 60398
    Sparse : 28866 MB 69909
    Ordinary : 166520 MB 58211
    You might resize at 41238151168 bytes or 41239 MB (freeing 262999 MB).
    Please make a test run using both the -n and -s options before real resizing!



    shrink file system 00:07:46 ( SUCCESS )
    run simulation 00:00:07 ( SUCCESS )
    ntfsresize -P --force /dev/sda3 -s 142386939903 --no-action
    ntfsresize v2.0.0 (libntfs 10:0:0)
    Device name : /dev/sda3
    NTFS volume version: 3.1
    Cluster size : 4096 bytes
    Current volume size: 304237335040 bytes (304238 MB)
    Current device size: 304237338624 bytes (304238 MB)
    New volume size : 142386934272 bytes (142387 MB)
    Checking filesystem consistency ...
    Accounting clusters ...
    Space in use : 41239 MB (13.6%)
    Collecting resizing constraints ...
    Needed relocations : 2978492 (12200 MB)
    Schedule chkdsk for NTFS consistency check at Windows boot time ...
    Resetting $LogFile ... (this might take a while)
    Relocating needed data ...
    Updating $BadClust file ...
    Updating $Bitmap file ...
    Updating Boot record ...
    The read-only test run ended successfully.



    real resize 00:07:39 ( SUCCESS )
    ntfsresize -P --force /dev/sda3 -s 142386939903
    ntfsresize v2.0.0 (libntfs 10:0:0)
    Device name : /dev/sda3
    NTFS volume version: 3.1
    Cluster size : 4096 bytes
    Current volume size: 304237335040 bytes (304238 MB)
    Current device size: 304237338624 bytes (304238 MB)
    New volume size : 142386934272 bytes (142387 MB)
    Checking filesystem consistency ...
    Accounting clusters ...
    Space in use : 41239 MB (13.6%)
    Collecting resizing constraints ...
    Needed relocations : 2978492 (12200 MB)
    Schedule chkdsk for NTFS consistency check at Windows boot time ...
    Resetting $LogFile ... (this might take a while)
    Relocating needed data ...
    Updating $BadClust file ...
    Updating $Bitmap file ...
    Updating Boot record ...
    Syncing device ...
    Successfully resized NTFS on device '/dev/sda3'.
    You can go on to shrink the device for example with Linux fdisk.
    IMPORTANT: When recreating the partition, make sure that you
    1) create it at the same disk sector (use sector as the unit!)
    2) create it with the same partition type (usually 7, HPFS/NTFS)
    3) do not make it smaller than the new NTFS filesystem size
    4) set the bootable flag for the partition if it existed before
    Otherwise you won't be able to access NTFS or can't boot from the disk!
    If you make a mistake and don't have a partition table backup then you
    can recover the partition table by TestDisk or Parted's rescue mode.




    shrink partition from 283.34 GiB to 132.61 GiB 00:00:01 ( SUCCESS )
    old start: 30926848
    old end: 625140399
    old size: 594213552 (283.34 GiB)
    new start: 30926848
    new end: 309026339
    new size: 278099492 (132.61 GiB)

    check file system on /dev/sda3 for errors and (if possible) fix them 00:00:03 ( SUCCESS )
    ntfsresize -P -i -f -v /dev/sda3
    ntfsresize v2.0.0 (libntfs 10:0:0)
    Device name : /dev/sda3
    NTFS volume version: 3.1
    Cluster size : 4096 bytes
    Current volume size: 142386934272 bytes (142387 MB)
    Current device size: 142386939904 bytes (142387 MB)
    Checking for bad sectors ...
    Checking filesystem consistency ...
    Accounting clusters ...
    Space in use : 41234 MB (29.0%)
    Collecting resizing constraints ...
    Estimating smallest shrunken size supported ...
    File feature Last used at By inode
    $MFT : 42302 MB 0
    Multi-Record : 40274 MB 82584
    $MFTMirr : 1 MB 1
    Compressed : 28151 MB 60398
    Sparse : 28866 MB 69909
    Ordinary : 42307 MB 6
    You might resize at 41233211392 bytes or 41234 MB (freeing 101153 MB).
    Please make a test run using both the -n and -s options before real resizing!



    grow file system to fill the partition 00:00:00 ( SUCCESS )
    run simulation 00:00:00 ( SUCCESS )
    ntfsresize -P --force /dev/sda3 --no-action
    ntfsresize v2.0.0 (libntfs 10:0:0)
    Device name : /dev/sda3
    NTFS volume version: 3.1
    Cluster size : 4096 bytes
    Current volume size: 142386934272 bytes (142387 MB)
    Current device size: 142386939904 bytes (142387 MB)
    New volume size : 142386934272 bytes (142387 MB)
    Nothing to do: NTFS volume size is already OK.



    real resize 00:00:00 ( SUCCESS )
    ntfsresize -P --force /dev/sda3
    ntfsresize v2.0.0 (libntfs 10:0:0)
    Device name : /dev/sda3
    NTFS volume version: 3.1
    Cluster size : 4096 bytes
    Current volume size: 142386934272 bytes (142387 MB)
    Current device size: 142386939904 bytes (142387 MB)
    New volume size : 142386934272 bytes (142387 MB)
    Nothing to do: NTFS volume size is already OK.






    ========================================

    Create Extended Partition #1 (extended, 150.74 GiB) on /dev/sda 00:00:01 ( SUCCESS )
    create empty partition 00:00:01 ( SUCCESS )
    path: /dev/sda4
    start: 309026816
    end: 625141759
    size: 316114944 (150.74 GiB)



    ========================================

    Create Logical Partition #2 (ext4, 72.35 GiB) on /dev/sda 00:00:06 ( SUCCESS )
    create empty partition 00:00:01 ( SUCCESS )
    path: /dev/sda5
    start: 309028864
    end: 460765183
    size: 151736320 (72.35 GiB)

    set partition type on /dev/sda5 00:00:01 ( SUCCESS )
    new partition type: ext4

    create new ext4 file system 00:00:04 ( SUCCESS )
    mkfs.ext4 -j -O extent -L "" /dev/sda5
    Filesystem label=
    OS type: Linux
    Block size=4096 (log=2)
    Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
    Stride=0 blocks, Stripe width=0 blocks
    4743168 inodes, 18967040 blocks
    948352 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
    First data block=0
    Maximum filesystem blocks=0
    579 block groups
    32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
    8192 inodes per group
    Superblock backups stored on blocks:
    32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208,
    4096000, 7962624, 11239424

    Writing inode tables: done
    Creating journal (32768 blocks): done
    Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done

    This filesystem will be automatically checked every 31 mounts or
    180 days, whichever comes first. Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.

    mke2fs 1.41.14 (22-Dec-2010)





    ========================================

    Create Logical Partition #3 (ext4, 78.38 GiB) on /dev/sda 00:00:03 ( ERROR )
    create empty partition 00:00:02 ( SUCCESS )
    path: /dev/sda6
    start: 460767232
    end: 625141759
    size: 164374528 (78.38 GiB)

    set partition type on /dev/sda6 00:00:01 ( SUCCESS )
    new partition type: ext4

    create new ext4 file system 00:00:00 ( ERROR )
    mkfs.ext4 -j -O extent -L "" /dev/sda6
    mke2fs 1.41.14 (22-Dec-2010)
    Could not stat /dev/sda6 --- No such file or directory

    The device apparently does not exist; did you specify it correctly?





    ========================================

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    That issue SOLVED

    I went back into PartedMagic again and formatted that last partition as ext3 (not ext4), guessing this'd have something to do with the error. This would be my data partition anyway so I wouldn't mind this. gparted formatted it to ext3 successfully.

    So now I have all the partitions the way I need them. The next question I have is, are there any precautions I need to take when installing, to make sure PCLOS finds the boot blocks for Win7, doesn't overwrite them, and makes sure grub finds Win7?

    Forgive me for being ignorant on this -- although I have clean installed PCLOS and other distros before, this is the first time I have attempted a dual boot over an existing OS.

    Thanks again, DC!

  10. #9
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    GRUB, Linux boot loader, detects and configure Windows OSes correctly. You don't have to do anything special for dual boot setup. GRUB will setup dual boot at the last stage of installation process.

    Select Manual Partitioning in Partition section during installation. Assign / mount point to /dev/sda5 and /home mount point to /dev/sda6. Continue installation.
    Good Luck ! Do let us know how it goes.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

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    Installation OK but now wi-fi issues on PCLOS

    OK, I have PCLOS up and running, both OSs work. Now I have a strange wi-fi problem. The internal wifi card gets detected but shows up as eth1, not wlan0 as one would expect. Also, on system startup, I open Firefox and browse to one page and it loads fine. But subsequent page visits will not load; Firefox will hang as if there is no connection. It doesn't time out, it'll just hang forever.

    On first connect, I just chose the defaults in the dialogs, and connection manager reported no errors. But if I then go into connection manager and disconnect then connect, it reports "Connection failed", yet the network status bar indicator goes green with a check mark. But the connection is no good; browsing will either only work with the first page navigated to again, or it won't work at all.

    If I do (as root) at the shell: ifdown eth1;sleep 5;ifup eth1 ifup reports something like "Connection failed; check cable?", and the status bar indicator stays red "X".

    The connection manager seems to work normally, though ; it doesn't report any errors when you first open it, and it reports all available wifi connections.

    I also have some display effect issues which I can live with, for now, anyway; I am not going to take them up here; I'll start another thread for that when I get the time.

    These are the only issues I've discovered so far; sound, all devices, startup/shutdown, ACPI, all work as far as I can see.

    Thanks again for your help so far, it has been great!

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