Install Suse Linux next to Windows XP Pro

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Joel Mayer, Jun 9, 2009.

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  1. Joel Mayer

    Joel Mayer Registered Member

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    I created a 100 GB partition on my hard drive using Acronis Disk Director. The partition appears in the Disc Director My Computer window as:

    None 0xBB (Acronis hidden) File System: None Total Size: 100.1 GB.

    When I try to install a copy of Suse Linux 11.1 off a bootable DVD all goes well until I get to the step where Suse wants to assign partitions. Suse seems not to recognize the 100 GB partition I created for it. Instead it offers me the option of shrinking down my XP Pro partition and installing Suse next to it. What do I do? There is nothing in the Acronis Operator's manual which covers this situation.

    My lap top is a HP Compaq 6730s KS079UT with a 250 GB Hard Drive.
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Joel:

    Welcome to the forum. Suse doesn't recognize the Acronis hidden (0xbb) partition type as a valid target. There are a couple of approaches for proceeding from here:

    A. Delete the partition that you created and just leave it as unallocated free space. Then point the Suse installer to the free space and let it go from there. Most Linux distros will need to create at least two partitions -- root and swap -- and some may offer to create a separate home partition.
    B. Decide in advance how you want to partition for Suse. Set up the partitions using Disk Director (DD) and then tell the Suse installer to use the partitions that you have created for it.

    If you go this route (B), here are some recommendations, but modify to suit your own needs. If you're new at this, then you should set up a root partition, a home partition for your user files and a swap partition. Proceed as follows:

    1. In DD (use manual mode), right-click on the 100 GB partition that you set up and choose "Delete". Click on the checkered flag to commit the operation.
    2. Right-click on the unallocated free space and choose "New" and create a new primary partition formatted as ext3. Give it the name "root". 10 GB should be more than enough. Commit the operation.
    3. Right-click on the remaining unallocated free space and create a new logical partition formatted as Linux Swap. Make it equal in size to the amount of RAM in your PC. Commit.
    4. Right-click on the remaining unallocated free space and create a new logical partition formatted as ext3. Choose a size to use up the remaining free space. Give it the name "home". Commit.

    Now when you start the installation of Suse, point the installer to the existing partitions. You do not need to have the installer format any of these partitions; you only need to tell it to use or "mount" them. Have it mount the root partition as "/", the home partition as "/home" and the swap partition as "/swap". Doing it this way will allow you to continue to use Disk Director to do partition operations. The reason for this is that if Suse is like most of the other recent Linux distros, its installer will want to format partitions with inode-256, which is not yet supported by DD. It may even want to use the newer ext4 file system, which is also not supported by DD. But Suse will happily install to existing partitions and maintain compatibility with existing tools.
     
  3. Joel Mayer

    Joel Mayer Registered Member

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    Dear Sir-

    What if I just use Disk Director to format the partition as ext3 and then designate it as an active partition? Will the SuSe 11.1 installer be happy with that configuration?
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Joel:

    Leaving the partition formatted as ext3 will probably work also. Whether you make the partition active or not will depend on where you want the Linux boot manger, GRUB, to be installed. The default is to install GRUB to the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the disk and let it manage booting of both Windows and Suse. In that case you can leave the Windows partition as active. Grub ignores the active flag so it's a don't care.

    If instead you install GRUB to the Linux root partition then you would set the Linux root partition as active. The standard Microsoft MBR will then be in charge of booting. It will search for the active partition and boot it. If the Linux partition is the one marked active it will find GRUB and start it.

    An advantage of the second method is that if you ever decide to remove Suse from your machine you will only need to delete its partitions and set the Windows partition as Active. If you use the first method and delete the Suse partitions you will end up with an unbootable machine until you fix the MBR with a Windows CD.
     
  5. Joel Mayer

    Joel Mayer Registered Member

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    Mark-

    Thanks for the advice and suggestions. What I ended up doing was hunting around until I found a Suse 11.1 install screen offering me the install option of deleting the 100 GB Acronis partition and replacing it with a Suse installer created 100 GB partition. I know this is one of the correct ways of handling the issue as the gigabytes add up correctly in device manager.

    Seems to me Acronis needs to work over their manuals in depth. I strongly suspect a great many people have un-knowingly installed a Linux OS on top of a Windows OS (in the same partition) and ended up living with the sad consequences. OS conflcts and a lot of disk space gone to waste.
     
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