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Thread: An abundance of Caution

  1. #1
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    Default An abundance of Caution

    I set up my new computer a few months ago with the "plan" of installing XP - which I own, Win 7 beta (to have some fun as a beta tester) and a Linux Distro. I used a boot from CD program to partition the disk with 3 partitions for OS's - one for data and one extra.
    XP installed fine, Win 7 Installed fine, Linux installed fine.
    But, when I shut down and re-booted (months ago) the only options "windows" shows is the XP and Win 7. Sigh. I've been using Win 7 ever since. I did not have the time/patience to correct the issue. (I'd been without a machine at home)
    Having taken some time to evaluate what I actually use this machine for, and what I want to use if for in the future, (and what Win 7 will cost me) I've decided to try for a SUSE 11.1 install.
    Used Pmagic 4.4 to get the following facts:
    Mount Point File Sys Size Label
    Unallocated 7.84MB
    /media/sda1 NTFS 341.8GB C_XP
    /media/sda2 NTFS 341.8GB Win7
    /media/sda3 NTFS 195.3GB
    /media/sda4 Exteneded 518.35GB
    unallocated 1.31MB
    media/sda5 NTFS 515.8GB Data
    unallocated 6.16MB
    /media/sda6 ex3 2.32
    /media/sda7 linux swap 172.5MB

    The sda1, sda2 and sda5 partions have 'stuff' I want to preserve.

    From what I've read - I can specify durring the install to use the /sda3 partition to load the OS. I'm assuming that it will either allow me to specify /sda6 for ex3 partition and the swap file on sda7. I don't like to assume

    Additionaly - I'm puzzeled that durring the boot process I don't "see" my original Linux installation - any hints or ideas about this are appreciated.
    Are there any other facts or todo's that I should know about before proceeding?

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: An abundance of Caution

    That info really makes no sense except for sda 1,2 and 3.

    By what you quote Linux is not installed. You really need to boot a live cd, Parted Magic will do and either post a screen of the partitioner or a terminal output of: fdisk -l

    That will mean more to us. And give us real info!
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: An abundance of Caution

    Thanks for the prompt reply. My appolgies that the information wasn't clear.
    I did not install SUSE the first time - can't remember if it was Ubuntu or Fedora. I want to replace whatever is there with SUSE.
    Device Boot Start End ID System
    /dev/sda1 * 2 44620 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 44621 89239 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 89240 114735 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda4 114736 182401 f w95 ext'd lba
    /dev/sda5 114736 182076 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda6 182077 182379 83 LINUX
    /dev/sda7 182380 182401 83 LINUX SWAP/Solaris

    I've done a preview of this and my whitespace alignment of the 'table' goes away (sigh). The heading line "Device Boot..." is correct. the only entry under "Boot" is the asterick for the /dev/sda1 line.
    As I'm booting with the pmagic 4.4 ram version, I don't know how to get std output or screen captures to this forum. (Frustrating to be this inept. Thanks for your patience)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: An abundance of Caution

    Quote Originally Posted by eastbay2359 View Post
    Thanks for the prompt reply. My appolgies that the information wasn't clear.
    I did not install SUSE the first time - can't remember if it was Ubuntu or Fedora. I want to replace whatever is there with SUSE.
    Device Boot Start End ID System
    /dev/sda1 * 2 44620 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 44621 89239 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 89240 114735 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda4 114736 182401 f w95 ext'd lba
    /dev/sda5 114736 182076 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda6 182077 182379 83 LINUX
    /dev/sda7 182380 182401 83 LINUX SWAP/Solaris

    I've done a preview of this and my whitespace alignment of the 'table' goes away (sigh). The heading line "Device Boot..." is correct. the only entry under "Boot" is the asterick for the /dev/sda1 line.
    As I'm booting with the pmagic 4.4 ram version, I don't know how to get std output or screen captures to this forum. (Frustrating to be this inept. Thanks for your patience)
    Thank you. Much better. But you need to put whatever data you have on sda5 somewhere else. Can you boot to windows and move it over? Otherwise you have no room for install! Unless you can use sda3?
    If you can use sda3, you still need to tidy up sda6 and sda7. Delete them both and use all the space they create to create 1 new swap partition.

    so you should end up like this

    /dev/sda1 * 2 44620 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 44621 89239 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 89240 114735 7 Linux ext3
    /dev/sda4 114736 182401 f w95 ext'd lba
    /dev/sda5 114736 182076 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda6 182077 182401 83 LINUX SWAP/Solaris

    You should be able to do all that in Parted Magic

    Now a note about grub and booting. Currently you are using sda1 to boot from see the *
    If you install grub to the MBR it will corrupt the Windows code, but you know that right. It's OK, grub will chainload booting of windows. BUT, Vista and W7 have issues installing service packs, so if and when you have that happen, you will need to use the windows dvd to fix the MBR and boot record - install the service pack and then repair grub.
    Read more here:
    All About Grub - openSUSE

    Once you have your partitions as above, boot the install dvd and use custom partitioning so you can manually select your partitions. Remember to enter mount points for your ntfs partitions but do not format.
    Watch a SUSE 11.1 install Slideshow - openSUSE Forums

    carl4926 - openSUSE 11.1 Install - Step by Step Photo Progression + Video

    see how you get on
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: An abundance of Caution

    Thanks for the guidance.
    sd3 6 and 7 are all available.
    Regarding the Multi-boot issues - Thats THE issue I have to have clear in my head, so I'll do the reading you suggest.
    Again - thanks for the informative response.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: An abundance of Caution

    I've deleted the sda6 and 7 as they were not 'in use'.
    Given the reading about the issues with dual boot from the same drive and problems with what Windows does to the MBR I'm thinking that a seperate drive would be a clean way to accomplish my goal of keeping my current functioning system alive while I transition to SUSE.
    From the threads I've read, it seems that using the BIOS BOOT ORDER as the point that I choose which OS I want will work clean as long as I have the SUSE drive on the first channel.

    Does my plan have any flaws?
    Thanks, again, for your time and efforts.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: An abundance of Caution

    If you can add a HD, great. Clean things up with your existing HD and when you add a HD, set it to First in Boot order in BIOS. If you are using SATA drives, then maybe make sure it's using the first SATA socket too, or it may not be seen as you expect.
    When that is set OK Install SUSE. Double check how the installer is seeing things, so you know how to set grub to the MBR of the SUSE HD
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: An abundance of Caution

    Thanks for the encouraging reply.
    These are SATA drives - I'll verify cable/channel order.
    I'll work the plan over the weekend and post my results.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: An abundance of Caution

    Its late here so I might have made a stupid error. I doubt it, but its possible.
    I changed the cabels so that my original HD was on Sata chanel 2, DVD on chanel 3. Rebooted to windows, ran for awhile all is well.
    Pluged the brand new hd in on chanel 1 (aka
    /dev/sda) and powered up to windows. Went to Control panel - computer mgmt - storage - it was grumpy that the new drive wasn't formated - wanted me to allow it to set it up. I did not allow that action.
    Powered down, put in the SUSE 11.1 64bit ISO and powered up. Booted to the CD -
    Durring System Analysis YasT2 had a problem with 'cd:///?devices=dev/sro,/ev/sr1' Valid meta data not found - clicked on try again, error was not re-displayed and the install proceeded.
    My HD's were id'd as /dev/sda (which it took all of - which it fine with me)
    and /dev/sdb - which it displayed the size and lables that matched what I've posted previously.
    Got all the way thru the install process - booted got an error ( I had left the cd in the drive - removed it and cycled power) Booted up 'into' suse - got a message box to load smpppd - clicked on ok - no joy.
    Clicked on Firefox - could not find.
    Clicked on shut down, powered back up. and here I am in windows with no option to get into suse.

    Hints and suggestions most welcome.
    Thanks for your time and efforts.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: An abundance of Caution

    Have you used this install dvd before? Did you run the media check from the menu when you boot it?
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