How to install to particular partition?

I would like to install openSUSE 11.1 (KDE).

My current hard disk is partitioned as follows

sda1 - Windows XP
sda3 - Another linux
sda4 - Unformatted
sda5 - LinuxMint
sda6 - swap

(there is also a second internal hard disk /sdb)

The computer is, therefore, setup as triple boot (sda3, sda5, and sda1).

I would like to install openSUSE onto sda3, but am confused by the installation dialogue as which option I should choose

ie Partition based or LVM and then whether to chose “Create Partition Setup” or “Edit Partition Setup”.

If I chose “Edit Partition Setup” and select sda3 and choose to format it and set the mount point to “/” , the following indicated at the suggested partitioning:

Create root partition /dev/sdb1 (20.00 GB) with ext3
Create partition /dev/sdb3 (179.70 GB) for /home with ext3
Use /dev/sda6 as swap
Use /dev/sdb5 as swap
Use /dev/sdb7 as swap
Set mount point of /dev/sda1 to /windows/C

Which is appears to be not what I would like to happen.

Help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Victor Warner.

Do not use LVM if do you not know what it is.

In the partitioner (expert) remove all things to be done to sdb (remove all entries sdb1, sdb2, etc, and also sdb when that is possible)…

Then let sda3 to be the / partition (format it as ext3).
Let sda6 be used as swap.
Let sda1 be mounted, when you want this to be done, at a place of your choice (/windows/C is just a default) (the mounting of sda1 can also be added, changed or removed later at any time you want).

Check what the proposal is now.

This cannot be. Your table shows 5 primary partitions, which is technically impossible. I think this is what it should be:
sda1 - Windows XP
sda3 - Extended Partition, containing sda4, sda5, sda6 as logical partitions
sda4 - Unformatted
sda5 - LinuxMint
sda6 - swap

Thing is, I don’t see any partition for /home. Could you please post what the other hdd looks like as well?

I agree with Knurpht that you should give us the real partitions tables (both disks) and not what you think they are. Else our advise could be a disaster.

So boot in maintenance mode, do

fdisk -l

and write down the whole story (or take a picture).

Thank you for all the replies, here is the output for sudo fdisk -l

sudo fdisk -l
[sudo] password for victor:

Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xd42ad42a

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        2549    20474811    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3            2550        7648    40957717+  83  Linux
/dev/sda4           10199       15552    43006005    5  Extended
/dev/sda5           10199       15297    40957686   83  Linux
/dev/sda6           15298       15552     2048256   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x77f3de9d

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb2           26070       60801   278984790    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sdb5           60093       60801     5695011   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sdb6           26071       59383   267586641    b  W95 FAT32
/dev/sdb7           59384       60092     5694979+  82  Linux swap / Solaris

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Regarding the following

In the partitioner (expert) remove all things to be done to sdb (remove all entries sdb1, sdb2, etc, and also sdb when that is possible)

I cannot see where removing things is an option, just delete. Will deleting delete the partition or just remove (ignore) it from the installation ?

Here are relevant screen shots:

First Step
Second Step
Third Step
Fourth Step

Further help would be greatly appreciated

Victor Warner

Thans for al the details.

First look at the fdisk -l for sda.
As Knurpht already told you, there must be an extended partition somewhere. Now we see that sda4 is the extended partition. As you did not interprete this as such, I suppose you do not understand what it is and I will try to explain. In a partition table on a disk there can be a maximum of four (4) entries. To make it possible to have more then four partitions, one of them can be a so called ‘extended partition’. This extended partition holds the rest of the disk and can be partitioned again (with much more then four partitions inside btw). In this case sda4 is the extended partition and contains sda5 and sda6. Look at the start and end addresses: sda5 starts at the same point as sda4, sda6 starts after that and ends at the same end as sda4. What is important to you is that sda4 can not be used for anything else, it is not just an ‘unformated partition’ as you thought.
We also see a ‘hole’ from 7648 and 10198. You could still create sda2 there.

As for sdb, it has just four partitions. But it has a hole at the beginning (1 - 26069). Also sdb1 is not used, but do not try to create sdb1 in this hole. The partition table is full. I do not know how this strange schema was created, but as long as you leave it as it is, it is OK.

Now you question about Deleting from the partition table shown during installation. It only tells not to do anything, not to delete the partition during the following installation. In any case before anything is done the proposed things to do will again be shown to you (as in your first picture). In that proposal the disk must not be shown any more for any actions.
You can (in picture two) also try to check sda1 only and click Next and then see what is proposed. This could be a better starting point for some ‘expert’ editing.

Remember: as long as you loop around in these proposals nothing is done to the system until you realy say Go. You can also stop the installation before you say Go without any harm (as you already experienced).

And as a last tip: to make 1000% sure nothing will be done to the sdb, you can uncouple the cable to it during the installation.

Hope this helps. But please ask more when you are not sure. We do not want to destroy your current data. And as all people here always say: DID I TELL YOU TO MAKE BACKUPS BEFORE YOU START?

Thank you for the further reply. However, there is obviously some misunderstanding about terminology.

All I wish to do is install openSUSE to /sda3.

In the replies I received I am told to “remove” partitions I do not wish to have dealt with by the openSUSE installer.

After more experimentation I guess is meant that I have to for each partition, choose the edit button and (a) choose “do not format” and “do not mount”.

However although I have done this for each partition two of them for /sdb still show up at the point where the installer is ready to install.

Ofcourse, I can unplug the /sdb drive, but this seems bizarre. I have installed several different versions of linux recently all without problem onto /sda3 without problem.

I am obviously missing something here, I would be grateful to know what it is!

Victor Warner.

I repeat again, I hope in a different wording, removing those entries from the table the installer shows you (when you are in expert mode) removes them from any action done on them. They will NOT be deleted, they will be left alone.

BTW I suppose the two partitions the installer still wants to use are the two that are marked as Linux swap / Solaris. And on those partitions there will not be anything of any importance when no Linux system is running.


Thank you for the further reply. But the problem I am still having by the meaning of “remove” (Does this mean “delete”). I took some further screen shots:

When you refer to the table do you mean this?:

There is no option to remove, other than to edit or delete. For edit I end up with the following (do you mean by remove as shown?)

But if I do delete, eg /dev/sdb1 I get this showing

This seems to indicate that /dev/sdb1 etc will be deleted.

I would be very grateful if you give the specific steps to remove the partitions from the insllation, I am obviously very lost!

Victor Warner.

Important: as long as it shows those lines in RED about partitions you want to keep as they are, do not go further. You interprete this correct.

I think the “Do not format” and “Do not mount” set for all the sdb partitions is the right way to go for saving sdb

. Set sda3 to formatting as ext3 and mounting on / (using Edit).
. Set sda5 to "Do not format " and “Do not mount” to keep it as is. You may however mount it somewhere when you want to access it as a data disk e.g. for copying files from the othr system, from your openSUSE system, but that can also be done later.
. The same for sda1, it is already at “Do not format”. It is set to be mounted at /windows/C. You may like that or not. When not, set it also to “Do not mount”. You can always mount later. You could also mount it (now or later) at a different place of your liking.
. And sda6 will be used as Swap. That functionality can be shared with the other Linux system you have. (besides there are two more Swap partitions on sdb IIRC, but that is something different).

I may have made you uncertain by mixing the words delete and remove. Sorry for that.

Again, when you still have red llines (exept for sda3) please post back.