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Adventurs in learning Linux.

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
March 12, 2002 2:37:15 PM

I have a system with two drives. In the first drive I have two installs of WinMe and I'm useing partition commander to switch between them.

I installed Mandrake Linux on a 6 gig partition on the second. Works fine looks good love it. Partition commander saw it and added it to my boot list.

I took it off and tried to install RedHat. Well first I had to put on three partitions just to get it installed. What up with that? It works fine but killed my partition commander. Boots directly into Linux and I can't get to my WinMe installs. Why is it booting to my second hard drive? Well no problem I boot with a WinMe boot floppy and reactivate partition commander. Partition commander and the WinMe installs work fine. But RedHat will not boot.

I assume RedHat is messing with the MBR on the first drive. But why would it and how do I tell it to stop?

Also a problem with partition commander is that I can't delete the partition created by redhat. The volume label is "/" and partition commander requires me to type it in to delete the partition. But it will not let me type in that character. Whats the deal? Not a problem really I got rid of it by other means and reinstalled Mandrake. Butam I missing something?

Man, all this just from learning the installation.
March 12, 2002 7:02:34 PM

First of all, WinME... yuck! two installs of WinMe... disgusting! Plain vile! don't look at me when I'm talking to you!

OK, heres the deal. First read redzealot's dual booting instructions. Theres a thread in this forum pointing to it.

Now, I don't know about Partition commander, but can't you just add another os, like redhat in its boot list or something?

What redhat did is place its boot stuff (probably lilo) on the MBR of the first drive, as this is the only harddrive that can boot the system (as most BIOSes are concerned). I think you could've put your two WinMe installs in Lilo which should've been able to boot them.

Also the / partition is the linux root partition, a bit like c:\ but different. This is because, In windows different drives are seperated into c:\, d:\ etc., as are different partitions. linux doesn't seperate the drives in its logical structure, but has different mounting points with directories attached to them. For example, if you make a partition in drive 1 and mount / there, while you make a partition in you're second hard drive and mount /usr there, then, any file or directory will make in /usr will go on the second drive, anything you put in any directory outside of /usr will go in that partition of the first drive.

If the / partition was on your first harddrive, it most likely means the whole of linux was installed there, unless you have more partitions with different mounting points in those.

Redhat gives you an option during installation to choose a place to store lilo. It wouldn't place it in the MBR unless you choose to do so. (This is in custom installation mode, I haven't tried the other "premade" installation modes). SuSE linux is more helpful here. If it detects other operating systems during installation, it will automatically let you resize those partitions or make new ones and choose where to place lilo.

<font color=red><i>I refugee from Guatanamo Bay,
dance around the border like I'm Cassius Clay
</i></font color=red>
March 13, 2002 5:26:56 PM

Yes well I have two WinMe installes because they crater on me so often. Makes moveing over faster.

I've never done a full manual install of linux. I guess I need to try that next. But I was wondering why RedHat needed three partitions. Mandrake does fine with one.
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March 13, 2002 7:14:31 PM

One Partition works if you have a Swap file, however, it is generally accepted that swap partitions work better than swap files, and since Linux users are usually more "l33t" than windozers, swap partitions are ubiquitous.

What is the third partition? /home or /boot?
The third partition is not really necessary, unless you're on a mac, whereby you need a bootstrap partition.

"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
March 15, 2002 12:40:33 PM

I never saw an option to set up a swap file. Will have to play aroun some more. I know partition commander can set up a swap partition for windows but I have never done it.

The third partition /boot. I could not even get past the manual partitioning page without giveing it these three partitions. No I'm not useing a mac so I dunno what gives.