Dual Boot Win 7 with Suse 11.4 Partitioning Problem Lenovo Y570

Starting with a new Lenovo Y570 laptop (Intel i7, 4 core/8 thread, x86_64, nominal 750 GB HD):
Suse 11.4 live disk looks/works great.

But, running the Suse 11.4 64-bit dvd installation procedure, doesn’t suggest good
partition sizes. I’d like to reduce windows to about 60 GB total, with the rest, ~690GB
as linux.

Factory partitions are:
/dev/sda 698.64 GB
/dev/sda1 200 MB HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 654.69 GB HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 29.01 GB Extended (it says)
/dev/sda4 14.75 GV Vendor diag (LENOVO_PART)
/dev/sda5 29.00 GB HPFS/NTFS

The Suse installer suggests -reducing /dev/sda2 to 237.78 GB (but nothing done with freed space?)
-reducing /dev/sda5 to 11.51 GB
-creating new partitions sda6 2.01 GB swap
sda7 5.55 GB Linux native
sda8 9.94 GB Linux native
That is, Linux restricted to the 17.5 GB of factory /dev/sda5.
It continues to designate /dev/sda3 as extended but assigns only the 29.01 GB to it.

I had thought that the /dev/sda3 extended partition should span the entire
remaining cylinder range, but here it doesn’t?

It appears that the Suse installer has a problem moving around the LENOVO
partitions.

Also, the Lenovo UserGuide describes a hidden partition, which
holds results of a OneKey Rescue system to store the system
image file and the OneKey program files, and says this accounts
for available space being less than nominal disk space.

If someone can tell me how to scrunch the factory partitions into
about 60 GB, leaving the rest for Suse, I will greatly appreciate it.

Another question: No Windows media was provided. Not sure how
I’d reinstall Windows if I happen to mangle it? Can I copy everything,
as a direct image, to a USB HD?

Thanks for you help,

Bob

I feel that you will need to manually remove these partitions to have any luck here:

/dev/sda3 29.01 GB  Extended (it says)
/dev/sda4 14.75 GV  Vendor diag  (LENOVO_PART)
/dev/sda5 29.00 GB HPFS/NTFS

At which point a reduction in the Windows partition can be used. I suggest getting a thumb drive and doing a full copy of /dev/sda4 14.75 GV. Using a LiveCD, a thumb drive, GParted (to create an exact same size partition) and then use the DD command to copy all of the data, which can preserve this partition for future usage. Here is what I suggest to most users first, who do not have such a complicated setup.

Each hard drive can have up to four PRIMARY partitions, any of which could be marked active and bootable. No matter what you might hear, only one of the first four primary partitions can be booted from. That means you can boot from Primary partitions 1, 2, 3 or 4 and that is all. In order to boot openSUSE, you must load openSUSE and the grub boot loader into one of the first four partitions. Or, your second choice is to load the grub boot loader into the MBR (Master Boot Record) at the start of the disk. The MBR can be blank, like a new disk, it can contain a Windows partition booting code or generic booting code to boot the active partition 1, 2, 3, or 4. Or, as stated before, it can contain the grub boot loader. Why load grub into the MBR then? You do this so that you can “boot” openSUSE from a logical partition, numbered 5 or higher, which is not normally possible. In order to have more than four partitions, one of them (and only one can be assigned as extended) must be a extended partition. It is called an Extended Primary Partition, a container partition, it can be any one of the first four and it can contain one or more logical partitions within. Anytime you see partition numbers 5, 6 or higher for instance, they can only occur inside of the one and only Extended Primary partition you could have.

What does openSUSE want as far as partitions? It needs at minimum a SWAP partition and a “/” partition where all of your software is loaded. Further, it is recommended you create a separate /home partition, which makes it easier to upgrade or reload openSUSE without losing all of your settings. So, that is three more partitions you must add to what you have now. What must you do to load and boot openSUSE from an external hard drive? Number one, you must be able to select your external hard drive as the boot drive in your BIOS setup. Number two, you need to make sure that the external hard drive, perhaps /dev/sdb, is listed as the first hard drive in your grub device.map file and listed as drive hd0. I always suggest that you do not load grub into the MBR, but rather into the openSUSE “/” root primary partition which means a primary number of 1, 2, 3 or 4. If number one is used, then that will be out. You will mark the openSUSE partition as active for booting and finally you must load generic booting code into the MBR so that it will boot the openSUSE partition. I suggest a partition like this:

  1. /dev/sda, Load MBR with generic booting code
  2. /dev/sda1, Primary NTFS Partition for Windows
  3. /dev/sda2, Primary SWAP (4 GB)
  4. /dev/sda3, Primary EXT4 “/” openSUSE Partition Marked Active for booting (80-120 GB)
  5. /dev/sda4, Primary EXT4 “/home” Your main home directory (Rest of the disk)

<OR>

  1. /dev/sda, Load MBR with generic booting code
  2. /dev/sda1, Primary, booting NTFS Partition for Windows (small < 500 mb)
  3. /dev/sda2, Primary, NTFS Partition for Windows (Main / Large Partition)
  4. /dev/sda3, Primary EXT4 “/” openSUSE Partition Marked Active for booting (80-120 GB)
  5. /dev/sda4, Primary Extended Partition (Rest of Disk)
  6. /dev/sda5, Logical SWAP partition(4 GB, inside Extended)
  7. /dev/sda6, Logical EXT4 “/home” Your main home directory (Rest of the Extended partition)

Now, I have another thread, which is kind of long, on how to create or setup openSUSE on an external hard drive. If this is something you can do, you could leave your internal setup alone. As you will see there are things one must understand, which becomes simple afterwords on how to make this setup work:

Installing SUSE 11.4 64 bit on External Hard Disk to Replace 11.2 64 bit on Internal Hard Disk

I would like to add that it is not your fault you have such a crazy setup to deal with AND it is not impossible to fix, but you could decide it is more than you want to deal with and that is an OK choice. Using the LiveCD is still a way to get your feet wet with Linux. Programs like Oracle’s VirtualBox is another method to go with.

Thank You,

Thanks JDMcDaniel3.

As I understand, you suggest that I make an exact copy of factory /dev/sda4.
I am familiar enough with gparted and dd to feel comfortable with this.
How would I use it in the future, presumably with the OneKey Recovery?

Is there some way you know of to make a copy of all factory files for
recovery if/when I have a future system meltdown? Alternatively, perhaps
this is solved by producing a OneKey backup HD from windows? That
being the case, I could recover or move to a new disk, as I understand,
from the backup HD for Windows, then reinstall Suse and restore (saved)
linux /home directory.

Thanks very much for the suggestions.

Thanks JDMcDaniel3.

As I understand, you suggest that I make an exact copy of factory /dev/sda4.
I am familiar enough with gparted and dd to feel comfortable with this.
How would I use it in the future, presumably with the OneKey Recovery?

Is there some way you know of to make a copy of all factory files for
recovery if/when I have a future system meltdown? Alternatively, perhaps
this is solved by producing a OneKey backup HD from windows? That
being the case, I could recover or move to a new disk, as I understand,
from the backup HD for Windows, then reinstall Suse and restore (saved)
linux /home directory.

Thanks very much for the suggestions.

I think I would make an exact copy of all “recovery” partitions. You could even place them on a USB thumb drive or burn them to a dvd, though keeping the file structure might be tuff with a DVD. In my position, I am more than able to recreate any disk setup, but that was not always so and you could change your mind or who knows what else might come up. So, depending on your knowledge level of disks and desire to run openSUSE, you have to decide what to do with your present setup. The thought of creating a seperate setup on an external hard drive can preserve your entire setup, but there are issues in understanding how to make that work. Or, I might make a backup copy of some potential important partition such as the /dev/sda4 appears to be, just in case. And, really, to use the internal drive, you got to remove everything after the main Windows partition and to reduce its size to use the internal disk to install openSUSE. Now when you talk about ALL files, you might want to do a full backup of Windows and make sure you have a Windows boot disk. I have used the original Windows install disk to commence a full Windows install from a backup. But, you have to have a Windows boot disk of some sort to reinstall a Windows made from a Windows backup. A great alternative is Norton Ghost for backing up Windows and it includes a boot disk. For partition copies, another good commercial product is called HDCLONE. Of course, if you know what you are doing, Linux can do anything. I have used the dd command and it works just fine. However, I have found it is best to create a target partition identical to the source in size and partition type and then dd will do the trick for you. I can only say that you can avoid future regret (as they call it) by doing a good backup of your present setup, at least anything that matters or just get an external hard drive. And I have had some be put off on using an external hard drive with laptops, but these days you can get small, large capacity, fast and low power units that do not require a separate power supply for under $100 US. I use a iomega helium 500 GB USB 2.0 model I found for under $80 US plus tax. I use it with my work laptop where I am not allowed to copy any personnel files to the internal hard drive. I loaded openSUSE on to my external hard drive along with my multimedia files and just plug it in and boot from it when I want to run openSUSE from anywhere. Anyway it is a thought to keep in mind.

Thank You,

Hi JDMcDaniel3,

Using the Suse 11.4 Live disk, fdisk gives me specifically:

/dev/sda 750.2 GB
1465149168 sectors
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 2048 411647 204800 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2 411648 411647 1373394943 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3 1373394944 1434206207 30405632 f W95 Ext’d (LBA)
/dev/sda4 1434206208 1465149167 15471480 12 Compaq disgnostics
/dev/sda5 1373396992 1434206207 30404608 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Mounting /dev/sda4 shows 10.122 GB files (using du):
Several .exe files OKR/backup/ OneKey/ boot/, etc.
Mounting /dev/sda5 shows 2.858 GB files (using du):
Bunch of drivers/WLAN VGA etc., Lenovo/ System Vol info/

So, I guess both are important.

Since linux recognized /dev/sda4 and 5 types, would it be possible, to
reduce size of /dev/sda2/ and move the higher partitions down next
to it? the sda4 and 5 files both look important. Alternatively, I
could dd both file sets to a thumb disk or DVD, the move down
/dev/sda3, then reconstitute /dev/sda4 and 5. I presume it is
necessary for the Win system that these directories retain their
/dev/sda4 and 5 designations?

I hope not to go to an external. Alternatively, I could buy
another Win 7 distribution and try to install it. Maybe
Lenovo has special tweeks?

Thanks very much, again,

Bob

On my Lenovo I formatted the whole HD and re-installed win7 in One partition

But for most - you will have to live with the fact that the Onekey is trashed as are recovery of any kind IMO.

Here is what I would for you:

/dev/sda 750.2 GB
1465149168 sectors
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 2048 411647 204800 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2 411648 411647 1373394943 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3 1373394944 1434206207 30405632 f W95 Ext’d (LBA)
/dev/sda4 1434206208 1465149167 15471480 12 Compaq disgnostics
/dev/sda5 1373396992 1434206207 30404608 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Delete sda5, sda4, sda3
Having already made sure you defraged windows, Shrink sda2 to give yourself say 100GB free space
With all that free space, lets say it’s 100GB, create an extended partition with all of it.
Then create 3 logical partitions inside the extended
Like this
swap 4GB
ext4 20GB
ext4 76GB

See this:
Install openSUSE alongside Win7/Vista - A Guide

Thanks caf4926,

That sounds the simplest. I was worried that
some of the files in sda4-5 were essential for the
regular running of Windows? From what you say,
I surmise they must be backup files. I had already
followed some Win 7/Lenovo backup procedure.
Do I understand this correctly?

Thanks, Bob

Sounds OK to me

Just to confirm:
Deleted sda3,sda4,sda5 partitions, shrunk sda2 to desired size,
installed Suse 11.4, and the Windows 7 OS still boots up fine.

Thank you jdmcdaniel3 and caf4926 for the advise, and for
you patience.

Bob

                 Just to confirm:

Deleted sda3,sda4,sda5 partitions, shrunk sda2 to desired size,
installed Suse 11.4, and the Windows 7 OS still boots up fine.

Thank you jdmcdaniel3 and caf4926 for the advise, and for
you patience.

Bob

So happy to hear of your success and as always very happy to help. Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.

Thank You,