View Full Version : partitioning for linux

10-04-2003, 03:02 PM
I have a 202t Acer laptop with a 5gb HD Had W98 installed and wiped it so i could install Linux RH 9.0.The Linux disc will not autorun and it is a partitioning or formatting problem.Fdisk will not recognize my E cd drive
and i have 50% of my HD partitioned as "d" which is taken up with a tiny bit of Diagnostics (a max of 1.44).How can i get my HD back as 1 partition that will load my linux OS?I know $140 worth of Partition Magic would do it but is there another way??

Graham L
10-04-2003, 03:50 PM
The problem is that the BIOS either can't be set to boot from a CD or it has been set not to. FDISK won't recognise a CD. It can't do anything with a CD drive. Try using the BIOS setup first.

If that can't be done, and you still have a W98 boot floppy, you could use that to access the RH CDs, and make the Linux boot floppies. (there will be a directory called "dosutils", and another called "images" ... look at the README and INSTALL files on the first RH CD.) If you haven't got the W98 floppy, you can get one from www.bootdisks.? (.com or .org?).

The W98 should be able to run FDISK to delete the D and C partitions. Otherwise you'll be able to use the RH fdisk to do it. (Try using Expert mode install if it doesn't want to do it in the other modes). You can Ctrl/C out of the RH install and reboot after partitioning the disk if you don't want to use the Expert mode for the whole install.

Graham L
10-04-2003, 03:51 PM
Oops... just make sure that you don't need the diagnostics ... some laptops need them ... if it's only one floppy's worth, copy them first.

10-04-2003, 06:55 PM
Bios is set to Auto and the disc starts up and when i push "ENTER"
to install or upgrade Linux i get a couple of pages of text which i guess is loading the kernel then a stop and a very brief blip on the CD action light then a blank screen and nothing more.

Graham L
11-04-2003, 04:26 PM

While it's in the blank screen, try Alt/F2 to see if you can get a text terminal. I think Alt/F2 and Alt/F3 are active. Or try Ctrl/Alt/Fx, if it's trying to use X Window. "dmesg" gives the boot time messages.

Otherwise, all I can say is that some laptops have problems with Linux. "acer 202t linux" to google finds some people who have done it ... with Debian, and RH 7.3 ... there seems to be some problems with PCMCIA. Have a look at the Laptop HOWTO, and there is a laptop site (http://www.linux-laptop.net/) which is certainly worth a look.

12-04-2003, 06:50 AM
It is not a linux problem as i can not reload Windows either.Also i have had RH 8.0 on in the past.Will try your suggestions but it looks like a visit to the Dr.

12-04-2003, 09:11 AM
I wonder if i should go back to the start.
What sort of partition should i create???
I have in the past ended up with a logical Dos 2048 MB and i don't know what else as i have a 5GB HD but when i try partition details that is all i get .When i try to load windows it says something like some compressed thing found and it has to be got rid of.
Also if i go for a big disk setup i get a Fat 32 whole disk can the disk not be formatted for Linux?
When the CD does its thing after i push enter i get
loading umlinuz........
And then the text screen scrolls by then a blank screen and a short burst when trying to read something else then blank.The press F2 F3 things did not work.I have had weird suggestions from local gurus who are not at all helpful.I thought on a scale of 1-10 i was about a 6 with RH but i have revised my rating downwards but still resisting a trip to the DR

Graham L
12-04-2003, 01:51 PM
Ok, it looks as if the disk has been "partitioned" too well. :D

IBM give away a programme which makes a disk look like one just out of the factory. It clears the whole of the first track or so. It's called zap.exe. If you use the PressF1 search for "zap.exe" you'll find a link to it.

The Linux fdisk should happily take a blank disk and partition it. I usually tell people to use the MS FDISK to remove partitions to make a space for Linux, but that's based that's on the (unspoken) assumption that all disks have had MS OSs on them. ;-) FDISK takes a totally blank disk and partitions it, the first time it is used on a disk. fdisk will do the same.

However. It might be some other problem. initrd.img is a compressed Linux kernel which is uncompressed into a RAM-disk to be run as the OS for the installation. If that doesn't start running, that might indicate a memory problem. So it might not be the disk after all. If it's just hanging after putting in the initrd, it might not even be looking at the disk. But it might be a good idea to zap the disk, anyway, if it's been behaving oddly.

13-04-2003, 05:40 AM
Hi again,
I got a small excellent app called KillDisk which is freeware and it cleaned the HD but still no Joy so it is off to the Dr.
But first i am goin to try Knoppix which a friend is sending me.If that works i will get the loadable one and go from there.
Thanks for you help

14-04-2003, 10:41 AM
FINALLY CRACKED IT:KillDisk(which even kills the floppy it is written on)/W98 boot/fdisk,Dos partition/format/setup W98:Back in business BUT linux
CD still does the same thing so it must be the disk!!!!!!!
Thanks again.