Fedora Linux Support Community & Resources Center
  #1  
Old 14th January 2008, 09:47 AM
securitylover Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 56
Dual-booting and related questions to it

Sorry about the longish text but I thought it might be interesting for you guys to know why and how I decided to dual-boot W2K and F8!

Here it goes - I was experiencing boredom during the weekend and decided to play around with my F7 machine. So I went for the potentially riskiest task for a newbie, and that is playing around with encryption applications without having a clue about how to set it up properly.
Installing dm-crypt was easy and of course without reading it up from source, I read some 'how-to's' from someone's blog and decided to encrypt my /home partition based on what the blogger wrote.

I can only conclude that it destroyed my F7. It failed to boot properly and spat out messages like, "can't access /home" or something like that.
Well, I didn't really lose any valuable data other than lots of fine-tuned configurations and installations of great stuff like Enlightenment and so on.
After several failed attempts to mount the partitions via the live cd, I decided to give it up and try out some other solutions. I've read praises about F8 and I still have some Windows specific software that I occasionally want to use, so yeah I attempted to give dual-booting a shot.

Harddrive specs: 320 gb Seagate Barracuda.

So I installed W2K on a 20-ish GB partition and then booted into the F8 DVD. F8 detected my W2K partition (sda) I chose the custom layout option where I sliced the disc up and made another primary partition for '/' and mounted it (here, I am pretty sure I did it right since I couldn't create an extended partition on the W2K one BUT the layout overview shows the W2K partition and F8 '/' under the same sda while other partitions such as swap, /home and unused space shows up under sda3, 4 etc, under different "threads" so to speak) I don't know how it could have been done in a different way.

There was an option where I could choose to force F8 partition to be the primary one, which opted for.
Next, configuring Grub went like a breeze - the installer simply inquired whether or not I wanted to add the ntfs partition to the grub, which I instructed it to do.
(I don't know if this option is available if one would choose the "simple grub install")
Also, I chose the option to write to the MBR.

---> F8 installation <---

Now, it was time for the dreaded reboot! I was feeling nervous since messing up the grub could potentially spoil both the W2K and F8 boot and I don't possess the knowledge on how to manually add appropriate lines for dual or triple bootings.
Re-installing Fedora isn't a big issue since it only takes 15-20 minutes but doing a clean W2K install demands couple of hours (including the service packs) which I didn't want to do again.
The reboot went fine and pressing any key simply let me have the option on which OS I wanted to boot into. Tested F8 - no problem. Tested W2K - no problem!

Perhaps I was lucky but I consider Fedora to be very easy on noobies whether it's about simple installations or when it comes to dual-bootings.
I've tried to dual boot with Zenwalk (which I find to be very snappy) but it failed.
Didn't encounter any problems dual-booting with CentOS, but CentOS felt ... pretty boring
considering I've had F7 for a while!

So the questions I have are:

1. What would have happened if I chose not to force the F8 partition to be primary?

2. W2K doesn't support discs larger than 137 GB, and there is a registry fix to overcome this problem (I have W2K, service pack 1 and 4 installed but it still requires the registry hack) but doing this, will this in any way mess up ... the system?

Some thoughts about F8 -

*There are more eye-candy in it than F7.
*Nvidia drivers (both 96XX and 169.XX) for my 7300 card work better in F7 than F8
*F8 demands over 300 MB of memory while F7 demanded about 50 MB less)
*Firewall in F8 is much nicer
*F8 is generally slower on my machine both in boot time and general responsiveness than F7
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 14th January 2008, 02:33 PM
markkuk Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Finland
Posts: 5,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by securitylover
1. What would have happened if I chose not to force the F8 partition to be primary?
You would have one more primary partition left for future use. GRUB can boot Linux from a logical partition without any problems.
Quote:
Originally Posted by securitylover
2. W2K doesn't support discs larger than 137 GB, and there is a registry fix to overcome this problem (I have W2K, service pack 1 and 4 installed but it still requires the registry hack) but doing this, will this in any way mess up ... the system?
Changes in Windows registry shouldn't do anything to Linux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by securitylover
*There are more eye-candy in it than F7.
*F8 is generally slower on my machine both in boot time and general responsiveness than F7
Cause and effect
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 14th January 2008, 05:48 PM
securitylover Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by markkuk
You would have one more primary partition left for future use. GRUB can boot Linux from a logical partition without any problems.

Changes in Windows registry shouldn't do anything to Linux.


Cause and effect
Adding the registry value didn't mess up anything.

Ok, I've done something stupid. By mistake I mounted the swap file and /home as primary partitions, not giving a second thought that the previous partitioning and mounting done via Zenwalk had to be re-configured. I could blame it on fatigue or plain stupidness. I of course prefer the former...

So it seems all four primary partitions are used up. Ntfs, /, Swap and /home.
I first noticed this via the Computer management in W2K - was unpleasantly surprised.
Also, while installing F8, I decided not to use the whole disk because I wanted to keep empty and handy space there for later use should the need occur (like testing out new distros) but since I can't make a fifth primary partition, I'm stuck. I can't resize the /home partition (the 48 GB one) without risking messing up the file system, so again I'm stuck.
Not that I have any urgent need of a large disk space but it's little annoying...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot-qtparted v0.4.5-cvs.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	66.5 KB
ID:	14744  

Last edited by securitylover; 14th January 2008 at 05:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 15th January 2008, 12:40 AM
stoat Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,550
Quote:
Originally Posted by securitylover

So it seems all four primary partitions are used up. Ntfs, /, Swap and /home.
Hello securitylover,

It would be more technically accurate to say that the hard drive's partition table, which can hold only four partitions, is completely filled with three primary partitions (NTFS, /, /home) and an extended partition. The exended partition is about 305 MB in size and is completely filled by the swap partition.

But you are not stuck. You can use a partition manager such as the GParted LiveCD and increase the size of the extended partition (sda4). In fact, you could make it take all of the remaining free space. Leave the swap alone at its 305 MB size, of course. After doing that, the free space would then be inside the extended partition, and you could make many more logical partitions in the now larger extended partition. The number of logical partitions is limited in Windows by the number of letters in the alphabet with which to letter them. In Fedora 8, the number of partitions is limited to a total of 15.

Quote:
Originally Posted by securitylover

Also, while installing F8, I decided not to use the whole disk because I wanted to keep empty and handy space there for later use should the need occur (like testing out new distros) but since I can't make a fifth primary partition, I'm stuck.
Linux systems work just fine in logical partitions. All of my Fedora partitions are logicals. So if you enlarge your extended partition, you can try as many other distributions as you like. Install them in logical partitions.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 15th January 2008, 07:25 AM
securitylover Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoat
Hello securitylover,

It would be more technically accurate to say that the hard drive's partition table, which can hold only four partitions, is completely filled with three primary partitions (NTFS, /, /home) and an extended partition. The exended partition is about 305 MB in size and is completely filled by the swap partition.

But you are not stuck. You can use a partition manager such as the GParted LiveCD and increase the size of the extended partition (sda4). In fact, you could make it take all of the remaining free space. Leave the swap alone at its 305 MB size, of course. After doing that, the free space would then be inside the extended partition, and you could make many more logical partitions in the now larger extended partition. The number of logical partitions is limited in Windows by the number of letters in the alphabet with which to letter them. In Fedora 8, the number of partitions is limited to a total of 15.

Linux systems work just fine in logical partitions. All of my Fedora partitions are logicals. So if you enlarge your extended partition, you can try as many other distributions as you like. Install them in logical partitions.

Hi Stoat, thanks for the good advice!

I also stumbled upon this:

http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=281492

Don't know if it would work though.

I was actually about to re-install Fedora 7 (my computer likes it better) and delete all linux partitions and start from scratch. Or keep the F8 and move /home to a new location (unallocated space).

I didn't know it was possible to increase the size of the extended partition, I thought it was fixed, but studying the partition layout more closely it seems to be doable. I assume this would be the safest bet without risking losing any data and more importantly, not messing up the partition tables only to render the computer unbootable.

I've glanced at the Gparted LiveCD but fail to see why it's any different from, say, Fedora 7 Live CD that also comes with Gparted?

If I most likely will only have two main operating systems (W2K and Fedora) and have plenty of empty space for future use, would this be an okay layout:

1. sda1 - Primary, ntfs (untouched)
2 sda2 - Extended, say 100 GB,
--> sda3 - Logical, F7 20 GB
--> sda 4 - Logical, say, 500 Mb swap,
-->sda 5 - Logical about 80 GB /home
3. sda 6, unused space

It means I can't force sda2 to be primary partition?

Last edited by securitylover; 15th January 2008 at 08:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 15th January 2008, 08:09 PM
securitylover Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 56
F7 on my machine again! :-D

Strange, it wasn't possible to resize the extended partition with Gparted from F7 LiveCD. Here's my current layout:


Also, in F7, it wasn't possible to create an extended partition. Only after creating '/', and swap I was able to create the extended partition with logical partitions.
It wasn't all that intiuitive to create logical partitions, for example, /home ended up before '/' when it was allocated less than total size. When choosing "use remaining size", I could make it smaller. Now I have a spare partition for linux and a NTFS partition for W2K backup files.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	GParted.jpg
Views:	68
Size:	70.6 KB
ID:	14748  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dualbooting, questions, related

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
User related questions npemb Using Fedora 0 20th November 2006 11:32 PM
Questions about dual booting using one physical hard drive Zseven Installation, Upgrades and Live Media 7 21st August 2006 03:25 AM
FC4 and Java related questions D@ Mick Using Fedora 8 9th October 2005 09:57 AM


Current GMT-time: 16:00 (Thursday, 21-08-2014)

TopSubscribe to XML RSS for all Threads in all ForumsFedoraForumDotOrg Archive
logo

All trademarks, and forum posts in this site are property of their respective owner(s).
FedoraForum.org is privately owned and is not directly sponsored by the Fedora Project or Red Hat, Inc.

Privacy Policy | Term of Use | Posting Guidelines | Archive | Contact Us | Founding Members

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2012, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

FedoraForum is Powered by RedHat