Installation says existing partitions will be deleted

I’m trying to install openSUSE 12.1 on a computer that already has Windows 7. During the installation, I get the screen:

YaST2

Confirm Installation

If you continue now, existing partitions on your hard disk will be deleted or formatted (erasing any existing data in those partitions) according to the installation settings in the previous dialogs. Go back and check the settings if you are unsure.

I want to keep the data that is already on the hard disk. Did I miss something during the installation process?

The computer is an HP Pavilion dv5030us Notebook PC.
It came with Windows XP, but Windows 7 Ultimate was installed after a disk crash.

Are you wanting to keep the Windows 7 installation, and dual-boot the laptop? Or, are you wanting to delete Windows 7 all together and run OpenSUSE 12.1 only? Did you manually edit the partition layout during the install, or did you let the installer “make” the decisions for you and create a default layout?

Chances are that the Windows7 installation is taking up the entire hard drive, and that’s why you are getting the above message (the installer is trying to make some space on the hard drive, and since Windows 7 takes up the entire drive, the installer is going to either delete windows 7, re-size windows 7, or something like that).

HTH…

Here is some info on disk partitioning …

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, 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)

Thank You,

I don’t suppose that I would have much use for Windows, but I’m not ready for a clean break. There are also some software settings I’d like to keep (for example, Opera bookmarks), although I suppose I could get those from a backup in the worst case. I also have some old Outlook 2003 files.

I went with the installer defaults, as (so far) I lack the knowledge to make my own decisions on this matter.

The installer did mention something about resizing (shrinking) the Windows partition. But when one message says “shrink” and another says “deleted or formatted,” I’m not sure what to think.

I have only a vague, abstract notion of what partitions are. How do I find out my existing partitions?

@jdmcdaniel3 - Your message is way beyond me.

Boot to a Linux CD (any flavor) and open a console window then type

fdisk -l

note that is a lower case L not a one

post results here

Windows often does not show you all that is there.

None the less, you are about to take a big plunge into partitioning. The openSUSE install will make recommendations and may provide a workable solution, but its time to understand about partitions. I suggest that you re-read what I have posted and look up some help on the net before your press that final installation button. Good Luck.

Thank You,

I don’t have Linux. I’m trying to install it.

You can down load a Linux CD and you can boot and run from that so you can see what is really on the drive and let use know so we can advise you.

On 12/20/2011 02:06 AM, CousinRicky wrote:
> I have only a vague, abstract notion of what partitions are. How do I
> find out my existing partitions?

-=WELCOME=- new poster…

i think you are wise to ask now…and, fortunately for you you are not
the first to wonder how to install openSUSE Linux and keep your
Windows…in fact most of the stuff you really need to know/understand
is already laid out for you in these references:

http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/how-faq-forums/advanced-how-faq-read-only/451831-install-opensuse-alongside-win7-vista-guide.html

http://doc.opensuse.org/documentation/html/openSUSE/opensuse-startup/art.osuse.installquick.html

http://forums.opensuse.org/how-faq-read-only/unreviewed-how-faq/389511-partitioning-install-guide.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_partitioning

http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/how-faq-forums/new-user-how-faq-read-only/424611-new-users-opensuse-pre-install-general-please-read.html

http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/how-faq-forums/new-user-how-faq-read-only/467087-new-users-opensuse-12-1-pre-installation-please-read.html

suggest you read some, and then ask questions on those parts that are
not clear to you…


DD http://tinyurl.com/DD-Caveat http://tinyurl.com/DD-Hardware
http://tinyurl.com/DD-Software
openSUSE®, the “German Engineered Automobiles” of operating systems!

You can even use the install DVD for that. Choose Rescue system or something like that.

And yes, ypu can see Exeactly what the installer is going to do with your partitions on the screen that summarises everything. The RED lines there are the most important because they will point to destructive actions. When you thenm click for the next step, you will gaet a general warning that this is the last opportunity to bail out. I guess that that is where you talk about now. Thus one screen earlier is the one to study carefully with all the knowledge you have on your present set-up and what you want to keep from it.

And, apart from James tutorial above, all basic information about partitioning (which is also true for MS systems from MS-DOS to the present day): SDB:Basics of partitions, filesystems, mount points - openSUSE

I’ve had to Google about every other word in your response, but it’s beginning to make sense. Thanks for your assistance.

Thanks also to DenverD for the links.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Looked at the memory requirements and decided that neither my internal HD nor my external backup HD were big enough.]Bought a new external HD.]Converted the new HD from FAT32 to NTFS using a tool that came with the HD, after deciding that if I ever got a Mac, I would cross that bridge at that time.]Backed up data that had been recovered from the disk crash. Theoretically, I shouldn’t need it, but it’s been handy to have around.]Did a full backup of the internal HD.]Deleted the recovered data from the internal HD, giving myself 53GB of unused space.]Defragged the internal HD.]Following advice from various sources, tried to shrink the partition using Windows. Due to immovable blocks, that offered only 11GB of free space.]More Googling returned advice to shut off virtual memory, system restore, system volume information, and hibernation. Tried to learn how to disable VM, but all I got back was reams of Web pages saying, "DON’T DO IT!"
    —except for one YouTube video which wasted four minutes explaining why getting rid of VM would usher in world peace, before revealing that the technique was for Windows XP. (Then why did it show up for a Windows 7 search?)]Disabling system restore didn’t work. At this point I was getting really nervous about dicking around with the HD. Said screw it and…]…downloaded EaseUS. Worked like a charm.*]Booted from the Linux DVD, and did the recommended fdisk -l:
Disk /dev/sda: 100.0 GB, 100030242816 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 12161 cylinders, total 195371568 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x16351635

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *          63    88052264    44026101    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2       194948775   195366464      208845   88  Linux plaintext

Disk /dev/sdc: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x52d94fc8

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1            2048  1953521663   976759808    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

How do I specify where to load grub?

How do I mark the openSUSE partition as active for booting?

How do I load generic booting code into the MBR?

What do you think of having a separate /boot partition (and using a logical partition for root), as described in this article?

It appears that making a clean break from Windows might have been simpler. A lot more work, but simpler. Still, I’m not ready for a clean break yet.

*How do I specify where to load grub?

How do I mark the openSUSE partition as active for booting?

How do I load generic booting code into the MBR?*

All of these options are in the Booting section of the installation. On the front page of the installation summary booting section, is a status indication of where grub will be loaded. If you load grub into the root partition and the root is in partitions 1, 2, 3 or 4, the openSUSE root will become marked as active for booting. Loading generic booting code into the MBR, after you have elected to load grub into the root partition, is a boot option you can find when you open up the booting options page.

What do you think of having a separate /boot partition (and using a logical partition for root), as described in this article?

I have not found using a separate boot section is normally required and doing so complicates your setup when you are so new to installing openSUSE and Linux. If you really want to place the openSUSE root partition into Logical ones 5 or higher, then just load grub into the MBR and openSUSE can be “booted” from any logical partition.

So lots of people have decided they no longer need Windows, but if you have a copy, you never know when it might be required. I would hang on to if it where me.

Thank You,

On 2012-01-14 23:16, CousinRicky wrote:

> How do I specify where to load grub?
>
> How do I mark the openSUSE partition as active for booting?
>
> How do I load generic booting code into the MBR?

All three are options you can change in the installer. Boot section.

> What do you think of having a separate /boot partition (and using a
> logical partition for root), as described in ‘this article’

Normally not necessary. If you were going to use LVM, some types of raid,
or install in XFS or Reiserfs and use hybernation, then I would recommend it.

> It appears that making a clean break from Windows might have been
> simpler. A lot more work, but simpler. Still, I’m not ready for a clean
> break yet.

Yes, it is easier. It is also easier if Windows is installed with Linux in
mind: like leaving enough unpartitioned space.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4 x86_64 “Celadon” at Telcontar)

If I may weigh in here. Go through the install and let OpenSuse pick the defaults. Now, in the summary page, check and see that it says to shrink the windows partition and not delete it. If it does, thrn click accept, then yes. All this assumes you have made solid back ups. Worse comes to worse, restore and start over.

Allvthe advice given here is for advanced users, and kind of ignores a basic fact: OpenSuse’s installer is one of the smartest on the net. It knows what it is doing and really shouldnt be monkeyed with till you know more of what you’re doing. Trust me, every new user has to make this first journey and it is nerve wracking. But the feeling of accomplishment and amazement is well, well worth it.

I hope this helps,

Konthra7

Hate to offer a me-too post, but Konthra7 is really right. I’ve been dual-booting openSUSE and Windows on all sorts of machines for over a decade, and never had my Windows partition go bad as a result of an openSUSE install/update. The SUSE partitioner tool is that good.

It is important for first-time installers to read everything that appears during the installation screens, and I’ll put in a plug for the Help buttons on the install screens, which can clarify any questions you may have. You can certainly walk away once the install begins, but don’t just blow by the information included. While there’s almost never any problem keeping the defaults, you should pay attention to the summary screens and make any changes that will make you feel more comfortable.

Everyone else has offered excellent information on how to understand partitioning and dual-booting, so this post is not offered as criticism. But since the OP already has everything backed up, it’s OK to make the leap of faith and install openSUSE. There shouldn’t be any regrets.

I absolutely agree with MMcCallister & konthra7 in that openSUSE will make the best possible installation for you automatically. There are a few things that are assumed:

  1. You are not trying to over write over any existing OS installation.
  2. Enough Free space exists for openSUSE to install in or it can reduce the size of Windows to get enough space to install in.
  3. That you are installing openSUSE onto your primary boot hard drive.

Further, just as suggested, you need to read and understand just what is being shown in the pre-installation summary screen, before you allow the install to begin. And, if there is anything you don’t understand, just abort the installation before you go any further. That is, BEFORE you allow the install to begin, abort the install. Never abort an installation you have allowed to begin. Make note of anything you want to question and come here online and ask a question about your concern or need before you proceed with the install. Also, you may need to modify the default installation if any of the following items are true.

  1. You wish to replace or remove a previous Windows or Linux installation.
  2. You wish to install openSUSE onto a second or external hard drive.
  3. You wish to dual boot with another OS that does not work or use grub Legacy, as comes with openSUSE through version 12.1 such as Ubuntu (install openSUSE first and Ubuntu Last).

Final notes concern Video. In many cases you need to add the kernel load option called nomodeset. nomodeset is not the default but is often required with nVIDIA and AMD/ATI chipsets. You normally want to type in this command before you press the enter key in the grub OS selection menu. You may also find the need to change the default video setup to vesa during the install. Often times high speed video chipsets do require such settings.

So, don’t be afraid of the default openSUSE installation and don’t be afraid to come to the openSUSE forum and ask for help at any time.

Thank You,

On 2012-01-15 05:26, jdmcdaniel3 wrote:
>
> I absolutely agree with MMcCallister & konthra7 in that openSUSE will
> make the best possible installation for you automatically.

But not always. You have to use your judgment and accept or refuse the
proposal.

Better ask in advance than after the fact.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4 x86_64 “Celadon” at Telcontar)

But the openSUSE installation suggestion is to create the root volume in partition 6!

  • Create extended partition /dev/sda3 (50.97 GB)]Create swap volume /dev/sda5 (1.47 GB)]Create root volume /dev/sda6 (19.64 GB) with ext4*]Create volume /dev/sda7 (29.86 GB) for /home with ext4*]Set mount point of /dev/sda1 to /windows/C*]Set mount point of /dev/sdc1 to /windows/D

(I had to type that, but I think I copied it correctly.)

In addition, the Edit Partition Setup screen showed /dev/sda2 with 203.95 MB and unknown type. Where does that fit in? (fdisk reports it as Linux plaintext with ID 88. Windows reports it with no volume, no file system, healthy status, and 100% free space.)

I do have AMD/ATI—specifically, AMD Turion 64 and ATI Radeon Xpress 200M. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to get information about my setup since Windows 7 was installed.

If you refer back to my partition information, you will see that if you place grub into the MBR, you can “boot” the root / openSUSE partition from anywhere, including a Logical one at sda6.

As for “/dev/sda2 with 203.95 MB” I would want to see a sudo /sbin/fdisk -l run to see what it is for sure, but Windows 7 does use a small boot partition, but most often its first and not after the main Windows partition. Sometimes there is a restore partition, but it seems kind of small for that purpose.

As for “I do have AMD/ATI—specifically, AMD Turion 64 and ATI Radeon Xpress 200M.” it just means you will need to follow my advice and use nomodeset, after the install and press F3 and pick Vesa in the boot menu before you start the install. At least, if the first install goes blank, its certain you need it. And picking Vesa before the install really hurts nothing and nomodeset can be omitted at first and then added second if the screen goes blank after the first restart takes place.

Consider that the more partitions you have, the more detailed and complex the solution must be. And at some point, you may have to take over the controls and do it manually, but often in such a situation, the user is experienced at that point in such matters.

Thank You,

I’m up and running. Thanks, all!