I seek advice about partitioning & Linux & all that jazz

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by bellgamin, Jun 24, 2006.

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  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    SITUATION: I have 2 HDs - C & D. Drive C is unpartitioned & has the Windows OS systems stuff. Drive D is unpartitioned & has *other apps* that run on Windows, as well as data files .

    GOAL: My goal is to install Linux and have a dual-boot system between Windows & Linux.

    QUESTIONS:

    1) Which of the following is easier &/or better?

    Option 1- Partition Drive C, move the Drive D stuff onto the new partition on Drive C, & install Linux on Drive D

    Option 2- Partition Drive C, & install Linux onto the new partition on Drive C

    Option 3- Some other set-up I haven't thought of

    2) Can I partition Drive C safely so as to NOT screw up the Windows stuff that presently resides there?

    3) Which partitioning software is the safest & most foolproof for use by a full-fledged doofus (namely me)?

    4) Which program is good for setting up dual boot & is (again) foolproof for use by a full-fledged doofus (namely me)?

    5) If you recommend Option 1, will moving the Drive D apps to a partition on Drive C confuse all the registry entries in that those entries presently point to Drive D & the apps won't be there any more? If so, what is the fix?
     
  2. dog

    dog Guest

    The easiest and cheapest way would be to allow whatever distro you're going to use create the linux partition(S) from the available space on your drive. I would create 4 instead of the standard two (swap and /) ... swap /root /home /boot - it's easier to maintain and recover if needed - the process is a little more advanced but not to difficult ... some installers will walk you thru it a little better than others - take some time playing with it before you commit any changes and you'll figure it out. You can use either Lilo or Grub as the bootloader ... or a third party paid app - like Acronis Disk Director which includes OS Selector (which can do the partitioning before hand if you like also) - it's a great app very intuitive and newbie friendly. But in all reality you don't need to buy anything, you'll be able to do it all for free using tools in Linux - it'll do anything you can imagine from disk management to imaging ... on and on and on. :)
     
  3. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    @Bellgamin
    You a Doofus: I suspect not :)

    FWIW I am probably bigger doofus :D

    That is a great reply from Dog particularly the need for 4 partitions.

    I have been checking some Linux options too. The way vista is going and Apple seeming to implode, Linux may yet rule the Earth: get in Early! :cool:

    The Terabyte apps are IMHO the best bar none for setting up multi boot options and non destructive partition management. There are associated rock solid imaging apps IFW and IFD AND IFLinux! The apps will handle LInux booting. Can create bootable CD and DVD recovery images.

    Their web site FAQ is a serious mother lode of useful info and there is tremendous support available. Have a free trial. Cost is minimal compared to other options and mooted upgrades will be free to those who buy from now.

    You can create reliable images or clones of current set-up (allin one or partition by partition), reorder and resize your partitions set-up linux in multiboot environment test test test and reinstall your original if you need to.

    Fdisr may also be a great option to save current setup to Archive just in case.

    I cant really be of any help wrt to getting linux up and running yet as I am raw newbie to that.

    From this doofus to you
    Home page: http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/index.html
    KB search on "linux" : http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb...0ebf37e53654f4f8f535995&query=linux&submit=Go

    I know I spruik these apps a bit (!) but as a doofus these rock.
    Watch the videos to see how easy it can be.
    Good Luck.
    Lbd.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2006
  4. dog

    dog Guest

    Good luck to you both ... Linux will take a little work, but everything that means something takes an effort. It will be worth it. ;)

    GNU/Linux will see you through; It's time to breakout of those M$ shackles so you can finally enjoy freedom. :)
     
  5. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    :thumb:
    Dog and Bellgamin: for my sake what do you think is the site for the simplest set-up instructions and the most tolerant help pages?
    I can use all the help I can get!!

    How about a forum here for such?

    Lbd.
     
  6. dog

    dog Guest

    Many distros have detailed installation walkthroughs on their site ... once you decide which flavour you're gonna try, check the site, if they don't have one - google "installation +walkthrough +(Whatever distro)" and you find one. ;) Here's a sample of what you'll find - this walkthrough is for Mandriva - http://www.mandrake.tips.4.free.fr/installmdv2006.html

    There are tons of general resources out there ... probably the best place to start is DistroWatch - their full listings for each distro will listed the User Forums, Alternative User Forums and Related Web Sites ... you'll find everything you need. As I used Mandriva as an example above ... here's the listing for Mandriva @ DistroWatch.
     
  7. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    of course i think Ubuntu is the best distro, i think dog likes Mandriva lol
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2006
  8. dog

    dog Guest

    That would be right - Mandriva would be my favourite. ;) But there are lots of great distros ... I play with more than one ... but Mandriva is my main - Debian, SuSE, Ubuntu, Mepis, Fedora, Ark (just to name a few) are all good. :)

    As far as installers go ... Mandriva, SuSE and Fedora would be the easiest for a new user. ... and gentoo the hardest. :p
     
  9. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i just don't like KDE i don't know why; the odd KDE program i do use i really like, like K3B, but that's just me. i think Gnome and KDE are just about split 50/50 in terms of popularity.

    i also really like debian based distros too, so i'm struck with Ubuntu :eek: although i did try out SUSE the other day and quite liked it. when i get my act together i'll install Slackware and/or Arch, i think either one are perfect for really learning Linux once you've learned the basics.
     
  10. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    You do have partitions by the way, C and D are partitions.
    Did you mean you have 2 physical hard disks?
    And what about size and free space?
    Let me give you practical examples:
    If you have 2 HDs, let's say 100Gb each.
    One has a single bootable partition (C) with some Windows on it.
    The other HD also has a single 100Gb partition on it, which is also primary in this case, but non-bootable.
    The best thing you should do is work on the non-bootable partition, although the bootable partition can also be resized. But I suggest, if you have free space, to work on the non-bootable partition.
    I hope I'm talking right and to the point.
    Defrag your D so that all taken space is moved to the beginning of the partition. Then resize the partition so you have ~ 10Gb (or whatever you like) free space. Then, boot from Linux installation CD and install into the unpartitioned free space; let the distro choose the size of the primary and swap partitions for you.
    Furthermore, you can also partition the bootable C partition. Bear in mind that you need to leave 7.8Mb free space (used by the OS). Therefore, I warmly suggest you be careful. It's best if you install on the separate HD, and even if you have a single HD with 2 partitions, I suggest you change the non-bootable one. If you have 1 HD though, make sure you do not kill the 7.8Mb at the end of the partition. You will have to pay attention to this when you create the Linux partitions.
    I hope I was clear enough, if not ask again.
    Mrk
     
  11. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Bellgamin, sorry. Being greedy :oops:

    Dog and Ice; Thankyou
    As I am starting from absolute zero knowledge of linux, that is plenty of reading.
    Where do I go to find the "How to run LiveCD" advice.
    I assume that is what I should do first and try out whatever distros I can?
    (AFter 1st making salvage image I think !!)
     
  12. dog

    dog Guest

    There isn't any really - none needed ... download the iso file ... burn the iso file to disc ... boot your PC off the disc/CD-DVD Drive (tap F12 @ startup select the optical drive or change the boot order in bios (it may already be set to boot off the optical drives/floppy before the HD - in that case just start your PC with the Disc inserted and it'll boot the live CD/DVD.).
    No need to do an image ... a live CD/DVD won't write anything to your harddrive ... it runs completely in ram and off the CD. ;)

    As for trying all the live CDs you -> No it's not really necessary ... hardware support is very good in the top distros. It's a good way to get a taste of what linux is like. You won't go wrong with any of the top distros.
     
  13. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @Dog- Grrreat guidance! Many many thanks. I have cut&pasted your posts into my "Linux HowTo" folder, & will begin researching Mandriva as soon as I finish writing this post.

    Acronis Disk Director seems reasonably priced for what it does. I'll try the demo.

    @LBD- Will d/l Terabytes for trial. Thanx!

    {"Tera + bytes" = one who eats topsoil? :gack: }

    @Longboard- So far, my favorite friendly-to-doofii-site (doofii is the plural of doofus) is...
    Low Fat. Non-fattening & very digestible.

    @Mrkvonic-
    Yes, I have 2 physical HDs.

    Okay - I will work on drive d. LOTS of free space.

    You lost me here. HOW do I resize it?

    THIS I understand. I will install Linux to my HD d -- once I understand HOW to execute your suggestion to "resize the partition."
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2006
  14. helen321

    helen321 Registered Member

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    at least you're polite enough to say thanks.

    iceni60@Helens

    i disagree with dog about trying out livecds to check your hardware works, especially things like printers and other peripherals and if you have very new hardware, there's lots of things which one popular distro might not work well with like ATI cards and Dapper. Knoppix based distros don't even bootup on my hardware.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2006
  15. dog

    dog Guest

    Video cards in general are a problem - actually it's just the 3d acceleration that's in issue. The generic drivers will provide the essentials other than this. My main PC uses a an ATI card ... and it's been patched and has full 3D support. Printer drivers aren't an issue either there are PPD files all over the net. Some distros have better support than others; generally the more popular ones have better hardware support because of the larger user base ... Also IMO the larger commercial outfits have better support out of the box - Novell, Red Hat, Mandriva.

    But as always if there is a will, there is a way ... no matter the distro. :)
     
  16. dog

    dog Guest

    It isn't viable ... 1 there isn't a big enough member base using Linux ... 2 we don't have any experts ... and 3 there are several qualified general linux forums and dedicated support forums on the net. Software and Services is suitable for the questions that arise here ... they are of course more than welcomed. It's nice to see members expand their horizons. :)
     
  17. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    @ all

    Bellgamin
    From my reading, if you want to keep your windows boot MBR intact for running dual boot system then you need to be careful about the linux install as it may over write the MBR for Linux bootloader.
    Then again, I could have misread this part about installing into free space?
     
  18. dog

    dog Guest

    Yes this will need to happen unless you choose to use a third party app to pass off to the bootloader, if you use a third party app whether Acronis, Symantec/PowerQuest or Terabytes product - create a boot partition and install the bootloader only there - if you don't create a boot partition install it in the root partition. You find these choices in the advance menu for the bootloader of the installation process of whatever distro - except a few :(.
     
  19. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Hidden potholes!
     
  20. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    My problem is that I use Rollback. Rollback is extremely jealous of anything that tries to modify the MBR, which Rollback considers to be its exclusive property.

    This being the case, can I install a Linux distro without having it mess with the MBR?
     
  21. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    When I installed Linux I let it overwrite MBR. But then, I'm not using any software like Rollback, True Image or so. I have asked in the TI forum about this. Maybe you should watch this closely, because it could also give you an answer to your question.
    Mrk
     
  22. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    @Bellgamin
    Ah, that may be an issue.
    I not expert in this (!) but I seem to be getting the message that any multiboot system requires control of the MBR :doubt:

    This is from my reading at Terabyte only (dont know about other 3rd party apps or even Windows native options) Terabyte does give instructions about installing LInux into dedicated partitions, but depending on number of partitions, may have to actually install BING which then controls MBR and installs EMBR.

    Cant comment on other options, but, I suspect they are around.

    As per the previous threads re RB this seemed to be an issue for other apps that wanted the MBR also.

    There may be a work around in BING; not sure.

    There is an option in FDISR and I think ATI where the pre-boot MBR control can be turned off to give up control for other boot operations then re-enabled.

    Unfortunately that was one of the the stumbling blocks for me and RB. Which was a shame as I had really high hopes for RB :(

    :thumb: I am really glad you have started this thread.

    Lbd.
     
  23. dog

    dog Guest

    Yes, ... you can install the linux bootloader (lilo or grub) on a floppy and leave your MBR intact and untouched - again this option will be in the advanced options. From memory this option is most accessible (easy) in Fedora, Mandriva and SuSE ... but is possible with most distro's during install ... manipulation afterwards is always possible. There are a few distro that modify the MBR regardless these are generally the most newbie friendly for Microsoft cross-overs ... My recollection is both Xandros and Linspire do this. I also believe I've read the latest release of Ubuntu has an issue with this ... I don't know if it's been corrected yet.
     
  24. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Thanks again, Dog. As I understand it, I can make a Linux boot floppy so that changes to the MBR can be avoided. Thus, if I want Linux, I boot from the floppy, & if I want Windoze I boot from the HD. Right?

    I have SuSe on the way. I would have ordered Mandriva but I was tired when I visited their site so I couldn't figure out how to order. Duhhh. I shall try again another day.

    By the way, when anyone types the url for the Mandriva site, it's fairly important NOT to accidentally leave the "r" out of Mandriva. Otherwise...:eek:

    One more question -- can Linux load/edit .txt & .rtf files that I created using WinME (Fat32)?
     
  25. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    @ Bellgamin: did you stay long at Mandiva? LOL
     
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