Partitioning problem

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Partitioning problem

Postby guy13 » Sun May 08, 2005 4:30 pm

Hello all,

Can anyone tell me how to go about installing a third OS on my laptop? I've got two windows partitions, one of which I don't really need and I was thinking of using that to try some different Linux (and BSD) distributions but I have no idea how to do it.

This is the content of /etc/fstab:

/dev/hda3 / reiserfs defaults 1 1
/dev/hda9 /home reiserfs defaults 1 2
/dev/hda6 /usr reiserfs defaults 1 2
/dev/hda8 /usr/lib reiserfs defaults 1 2
/dev/hda7 /var reiserfs defaults 1 2
/dev/hda1 /windows/C vfat users,gid=users,umask=0002,iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=437 0 0
/dev/hda5 /windows/E vfat defaults 0 0
/dev/hda2 swap swap pri=42 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts mode=0620,gid=5 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
usbdevfs /proc/bus/usb usbfs noauto 0 0
/dev/cdrecorder /media/cdrecorder subfs fs=cdfss,ro,procuid,nosuid,nodev,exec 0 0
/dev/cdrom /media/cdrom subfs fs=cdfss,ro,procuid,nosuid,nodev,exec 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy subfs fs=floppyfss,procuid,nodev,nosuid,sync 0 0

/dev/hda5 through /dev/hda9 are on an extended partition /dev/hda4. /dev/hda5 (4,5 GB) is the one I want to turn into an extra OS. I'm currently running SuSE 9.2 and I don't want to cripple that (given that I've gone through 3 or 4 installations over the past two months).

When I use the partitioning tool in Yast I get the following options for /dev/hda5 :
-no formatting : file system ID :
0x83 Linux
0x0C Win 95 FAT32
0x8E Linux LVM
0xFD Linux RAID
0x82 Linux swap
0xA0 Hibernation

-formatting : file system :
Ext2
Ext3
FAT
JFS
Reiser
XFS
Swap

-mount point :
/windows/E
/boot
/opt
/srv
/tmp
/local

The main problem – as far as I can tell – is where to mount the partition: none of the shown options seems to be an obvious one so I'm hoping one of you can enlighten me. (Don't really want to experiment since I once tried to move /usr to a seperate partition and thereby f*cked up the whole system which cost me another day of installation.)

As for formatting or not, my guess is yes, since /dev/hda5 is currently 0x0c Win 95 FAT32, but which file system should I go for ? (Obviously not FAT and probably not Swap ?)

Finally, how and where do I make this partition bootable ?

Many thanks in advance for helping me out,

Guy
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RE: Partitioning problem

Postby fingers99 » Sun May 08, 2005 5:05 pm

That's wierd. The obvious option is / for a mount point, but SuSE doesn't seem to want to see this as a fresh install.
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RE: Partitioning problem

Postby Nigel » Sun May 08, 2005 7:37 pm

Are you doing this from your existing installation or have you booted from the install CD ?
If the former, that explains the problem - you already have a partition mounted on /, so can't mount another one.
Hope this helps,

Nigel.
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RE: Partitioning problem

Postby towy71 » Sun May 08, 2005 7:39 pm

the fstab is basically irrelevant because you should not be using your existing system if you are installing a different one.

If you have nothing that you want to preserve then allow the new distro to take over hda5 marking it as / and it will use the existing swap partition.

BE sure to install the boot loader in the root partition of the new distro and then boot into SuSE to edit the grub/lilo menu to point hda5 in the same way that it points to hda1, this is of course if you are using the Linux bootloader! I can no longer advise about windows bootloader cos I don't use them ;-)
HTH
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It is a shame that we can no longer get the handy stuff that was on the old forum motub had a massive multiboot which she described in fine detail.
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RE: Partitioning problem

Postby nelz » Sun May 08, 2005 9:06 pm

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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RE: Partitioning problem

Postby towy71 » Sun May 08, 2005 9:27 pm

did you take a memory pill or something? ;-)
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RE: Partitioning problem

Postby nelz » Sun May 08, 2005 10:03 pm

Who needs memory when you've got Google ;-)
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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RE: Partitioning problem

Postby guy13 » Sun May 08, 2005 10:20 pm

Thanks everyone for the help. Towy71, are you saying I can have two partitions that are called "/", one for my SuSE and one for another distro or do I misunderstand? Anyway, I followed the link to motub's multiboot instructions. Seems like heeps of info there. I'll try to struggle through it and let you know how it worked (if I can get it to work...).
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RE: Partitioning problem

Postby fingers99 » Sun May 08, 2005 10:55 pm

>are you saying I can have two partitions that are called "/"

Yes. In fact every Linux install must have its own / (aka root). But as said above, do the partitioning from the CD/DVD, not from a running installation.
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RE: Partitioning problem

Postby towy71 » Mon May 09, 2005 6:15 am

I have Debian testing, Mandrivel, Kubuntu and Mepis on this computer because I haven't got round to cleaning up after testing them all.
I will eventually clean them all off except for Debian testing which, now I've got it working , is almost exactly what I want ;-)
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