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Antonia
18-06-2004, 02:12 PM
I think it was JenC who recently recommended the 101 Linux course for beginners.

I enrolled and am thoroughly enjoying the experience. Most of what we have dealt with so far is totally new to me. Linux, downloading the 3 ISO files for the installation (took about 90 hours by 56k dial up) burning the files to discs and finding out through the Linux media check that they are OK.

I now have to partition the C drive to accommodate the Linux system. I am using Partition Magic 8 to do this. The wizard suggests a primary drive, file system ext/2.

Here are my questions:
1.What is a reasonable size for Fedora ? Have to stay under 8 GB, something to do with the booting for Win XP ?
2. A partition for the swap file is suggested. Is that created at the same time? Will be twice the RAM , so 512 mb. Will that be on a logical drive?
3. Is it advisable to install Partition Bootmagic and have it enabled before and during the installation? Does it handle the Linux system OK?
4. Anything else I will have to watch for or check on?

I could probably find the answers myself if I did more background reading, but my brain is just about on breaking point and ready to short circuit with all the reading I have done since the course started.

Thanks JenC for suggesting the course.

dudess_on_a_mish
18-06-2004, 02:25 PM
> Here are my questions:
> 1.What is a reasonable size for Fedora ? Have to stay under 8 GB, something to do with the booting for Win XP ?

I allowed around 5GB for Core 1 and soon ran out of room when I started adding more apps and downloading the updates. For Core 2 I have allocated 10GB which should be plenty. If you can afford to give yours 8GB I would do so, otherwise as much as you can.

> 2. A partition for the swap file is suggested. Is that created at the same time? Will be twice the RAM, so 512 mb. Will that be on a logical drive?

I would suggest that you create 8GB of free space on your hard drive. By that, I mean use PM to shrink your Windows partition to allow 8GB (or whatever size you have decided upon) then leave the spare space empty - do not create another partition. In Windows it will show up in Disk Management as unallocated space.

When you go to install Fedora and it gets to the partitioning part, tell it to use the free space remaining on the hard drive. It will then do all its own partitioning for itself, creating its swap and boot partitions.

> 3. Is it advisable to install Partition Bootmagic and have it enabled before and during the installation? Does it handle the Linux system OK?

See above - create free space and don't worry about partitioning it.

> 4. Anything else I will have to watch for or check on?

Backup, backup and backup all the data and files you do not want to lose, just in case, then go for it. :-)

Jen C
18-06-2004, 05:35 PM
Hi Antonia :)

Dudess_on_a_mish has set you on the right track with installing Fedora. You don't want to use Partition Magic to format the new Linux partitions as it often causes problems, especially as Fedora uses ext3 and not ext2 file system. As already mentioned, leaving the new partition unformatted (unallocated) is the best thing to do. Anaconda, the Fedora installer program will make a beeline for the new partition (check your settings to confirm this first though). If Windows is on the first partition of your hard drive, this will be hda1. If you only have one other partition (the unallocated one) it will be referred to as hda2.

>A partition for the swap file is suggested.
Anaconda will automatically create a swap parition if you use the automatic partitioning wizard during the installation. It will suggest appropriate sized /boot / and swap partitons using the available free space. It normally sets aside double your installed RAM, so if you currently have 256 MB or RAM, a swap partition of 512 MB will be created.

>downloading the 3 ISO files for the installation (took about 90 hours by 56k dial up)
Ouch! Next time ask here on PF1 if anyone would send you the discs by mail - I myself would of been more than happy to burn you a copy which would of saved you that huge download :)

>Thanks JenC for suggesting the course.
You are very welcome. Don't hesitate to ask us if you have any problems or questions.

Enjoy your course and your introduction to Linux :)

Murray P
18-06-2004, 05:58 PM
For the basic set of kernel and app's required for the course you will need about 2GB of HDD space. I looks kike you have plenty of room so allow 4GB for later additions. You won't need to do a new core for a will so won't need the extra space upgrading requires.

Cheers Murray P

Antonia
19-06-2004, 02:14 AM
Oh dear!!

Thank you all for the help. The drive decreased in size without difficulty. Unused space was made available. Install went smoothly, but after that it was all bad news.
Grub did not function properly. Every boot went to WinXP, although Fedora flashed past.

During the install I had added WinXp to the bootloader and made WinXp the default. I put the bootloader on the boot drive, not the MBR. Seemed the best option when I was given the choice. That may have been wrong.

Eventually I managed to get to Fedora by Powerquest bootmanager from within windows. that first took me to the to the Main Menu - Service Tag, which does Express Test, Extended Test, Custom Test and symptom Tree. When I closed that window the Pc booted to Fedora and all seemed well. Tests were done, all OK apart from a questionmark about the CDR. And the screen display was not right. Did not fill the whole screen, the resolution seemed incorrect. I had a look at all the programs, created the user a/c. Closed the PC.down.

When I later rebooted, the Dell Logo flashed past and then the Grub selection came on screen, giving me the option of Fedora Core, WinXP and Dos, with WinXP highlighted as the default. But none of the options work.
When I select Fedora the bios starts to roll past and then the screen goes black with nothing to follow. The only way to shut down is by switching off at the wall. If I select WinXP I the Main Menu - Service Tag appears. When I close that I am back at grub with the boot options.Grub does give options to edit the bootloader, but I do not know or recognise the choice of the possible commands: background blocklist boot cat chainloader clear cmp, and more.

So what are my options? Can I try to boot with the installation disk and reinstall the program and how can I get the bootloader Grub correctly installed in the right place.

Or should I try to get a Bootimage for WinXp on a CD and format the Fedora drive, delete the drive and do a fresh install of Fedora?

Thank you in advance for a solution to the mess I am in.

mikebartnz
19-06-2004, 08:45 AM
Yes you should have put grub in the MBR. The easiest way for you is to do a fresh install doing that.
There is an issue with core 2 and also booting Windows

Chilling_Silence
19-06-2004, 08:51 AM
Grub wont get re-installed unless you're modifying kernel packages, and you wont be doing that during and install, so my advice:
Delete the Partitions with Partition Magic and start from scratch.

If you're using Fedora Core 1 then Grub will be fine, just let it install itself to the MBR. Make a Boot Floppy too so if you get stuck in Windows you can boot it from the floppy later on when you've got docs etc that you cant just simply format.

Either that or we can teach you how to hack up your grub.conf file, but that's probably for another day.... ;-)


Chill.

Jen C
19-06-2004, 08:54 AM
Hi Antonia

As mikebartnz suggests, the best way to is just reinstall Fedora. You do not need to wipe the drive, just reinstall over the top of the current Fedora installation. Boot from the installation CD again and it will automatically detect the Linux partitions that now exist. Say Yes, to re-use the current Linux partitions and use the "Upgrade" option to reinstall FC (it doesn't matter you are not really upgrading).

Jen C
19-06-2004, 08:57 AM
> Grub wont get re-installed unless you're modifying kernel packages, and you wont be doing that during and install, so my advice:
>Delete the Partitions with Partition Magic and start from scratch.

OK then, best go with what Chill says if Grub is not automatically reinstalled during a "upgrade". I didn't realise that. :)

Antonia
19-06-2004, 12:11 PM
Thanks to all. Trying all options and suggestions. Problem not solved as yet, but are working on it.We can at the moment run Fedora, but cannot get into Windows. Can get into Dos with floppy.
Will let you know what the final outcome is.

Bye for now
Antonia

Jen C
19-06-2004, 12:28 PM
You are getting a fast introduction to Linux here. :)

So on the Grub boot menu, it will no longer boot into Windows if you select "Other"? Log into Fedora as root, and then go to the / directory. Easiest way of doing this is to go into Root's Home directory in Konqueror or Nautilius (depending on whether you are using KDE or GNOME) and use the up arrow to up a directory level into /. Then go into /etc and look for the text file called grub.conf (it will be after all the folders down the page). Double click on it to open it and copy the contents here. Don't make any changes to this file yet.

Did you make a boot floppy for Fedora when asked to during the installation?

Antonia
19-06-2004, 08:38 PM
Thanks JenC.
Unfortunately we can't get to the full Fedora program at the moment. I did reinstall and tried to move GRUB to the MBR but it would not shift. Did manage to get the correct version of Monitor recognised so that was a bonus.

However I did manage to find the FedoraCore2 rescue disc on the internet, downloaded and burnt it to CD and that has been helpful. It gives a version of Windows DOS to work in. I wonder whether I can view the Grub conf file there. Will try.

Mike Bartz mentioned the Fedora2 dualboot bug and we have been looking into that. There is a very good article on the problem here
http://lwn.net/Articles/86835/

we were warned about the issue at the course; that's why I decided to stick to Core1. I have since learned that other versions have also had occasional problems with the bug.

Anyway, the rescue disc helped us to check what our HD looks like after the partioning by Linux. This is what it tells us:

Disk/dev/hda:4863 cylinders,255 heads,63 sectors/tracks
Old situation
Units=cylinders of 8225280 bytes,blocks of 1024 bytes, counting from 0

/dev/hda1 0+ 3 4- 32098+ 6 Fat 16
/dev/hda2 4 3677 3674 29511405 17 Hidden HPFS/NFTS
/dev/hda3 3678 3690 13 104422 83 Linux
/dev/hda4 3691 4862 1172 9414090 F W95 Ext'd LBA
/dev/hda5 3691+ 4797 1107 8891946 83 Linux
/dev/hda6 4798+ 4862 65 522081 82 Linux swap

This info came up after the command: sfdisk -d /dev/hda | sfdisk --no-reread -H255/dev/hda

After that the command prompt was :sh - 2,05 b#

Maybe you or one of the other experts can make sense of it. Has Linux changed the geometry of the volume information and is that why the booting to Windows does not work?
If so what do we do next?
Yes, I did make a bootfloppy.

Thanks all very much.

Jen C
20-06-2004, 11:22 AM
Hi Antoinia

What is the current situation with which OS is still bootable? You say you can can't boot into Windows and now you also say you cannot boot into Fedora. Is this correct?

If you use the boot floppy for Fedora and boot off that, you should be able to get into Fedora.

Looking at your sfdisk output, the number of heads reported (255) looks correct, the bug with FC2 was that this changed to 16 if I understand this properly.

My own hda which only has Fedora Core 2 installed (does not dual boot) gets reported as:
Disk /dev/hda: 41.1 GB, 41110142976 bytes
16 heads, 63 sectors/track, 79656 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 1008 * 512 = 516096 bytes

If I ran the same command you did, this is my error message (sfdisk didn't make any changes for me with this command as it didn't like what it saw):
[root@myth root]# sfdisk -d /dev/hda | sfdisk --no-reread -H255 /dev/hda
Warning: HDIO_GETGEO says that there are 16 heads

Disk /dev/hda: 79656 cylinders, 255 heads, 63 sectors/track
Warning: extended partition does not start at a cylinder boundary.
DOS and Linux will interpret the contents differently.
Old situation:
Warning: The partition table looks like it was made
for C/H/S=*/16/63 (instead of 79656/255/63).
For this listing I'll assume that geometry.
Yet my slave HDD (hdb) which only contains FAT32 partitions and no OS gets reported with the 255 heads:
Disk /dev/hdb: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

I am thinking that your problem is with the MBR and grub and not with the known Core 2 bug with disk geometry. My own disk geometry is up the whack compliments of this bug, but as I do not dual boot I don't have any problems with it. It would be nice if someone who understands disk geometry could confirm this has nothing to do with your current problem from your sfdisk output.
Reference to dual boot problem (http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-May/msg00908.html)

If others agree with the Grub and MBR being the actual problem, then the final option would be to start from scratch again, but first restore the original MBR for Windows by using the Windows installation disk and going into the recovery mode and running fdisk /mbr to overwrite the MBR back to the default Windows settings. When you then install Feodora, make sure you select that Grub goes into the MBR which should hopefully work this time.

Antonia
20-06-2004, 02:43 PM
Well, things are getting better and thinks are getting worse.

I could net get to windows. Even using the Winxp installation disk took me to Fedora (when I selected to boot from the CD).

I did a fresh install of Fedora. Grubs on the MBR which resides on hdA.
WinXP as default. Fedora now looks great, no problems.
But no way of reaching WinXP. The Logo comes up, then the blue screen with fatal error message:
C 000021a {Fatal system Error}
The session Manager initialisation system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0X000003a (0X00000000 0X00000000)


The Grub Conf reads:
all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg. root (hdo,2)
Kernel/vmlinuz - version ro root=/dev/hda 5
initrd/initrd - version.img
boot=dev/hda
default=1
timeout=10
Splashimage=(hdo,2)grub/splash.xpm.gz
TITLE FEDORA CORE
(2.4.22-1.2115.nptl)
root (hdo,2)
kernel/vmlinuz-2.4.22 - 1.2115.nptl ro root = label = hdc = ide-scsi rhgb
initrd/initrd - 2.422-1.2115.nptl.img
TITLE WINXP
root no verify (hdo,1)
chainloader +1

How do I get information on the Harddrive in Fedora as in windows
My computer> poperties. Just want to check the used space to find out whether XP is still there !

Thanks to anyone who can throw some more light on the matter.
Bye for now, Antonia. (will check out the error message on Google)

Jen C
20-06-2004, 03:29 PM
Before delving into the deep end with this new error, do you run Roxio GoBack?

GoBack Causes a Stop Error C000021a (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=316503)

>How do I get information on the Harddrive in Fedora as in windows
My computer> poperties. Just want to check the used space to find out whether XP is still there!

There will be a graphic tool which will show all your partitions and usage, but I imagine you are using GNOME and I am not sure what they call the program in that. Have a look under System Tools for programs with "disk" in it (I use KDE). Another option is to open up a Terminal Console (right click on desktop and select Terminal), then enter in df -hT. This will display all your partitions and usage (%) and the file system used.

Really hope you haven't been put off by this run-around you are unfortunately experiencing for your first introduction to Linux.

But you do sound determined - so don't give up yet :)

Antonia
20-06-2004, 04:11 PM
Hi JenC,

Thanks all very much for your help. Have decided to start from scratch.Deleted everything on C drive and formatted an 8 GB partition for
Windows XP which is reinstalling at the moment. Will still install Fedora on its own newly created partition and see what happens. Should have better luck next time now we know a bit more, so time and effort has not been wasted.

I may post a new topic asking for confirmation that XP and Fedora 1 can live happily together on one drive.

I will probably need you again for advise. (hopefully not for anything major)!!!!!

PS: No I don't use Roxio Goback

Jen C
20-06-2004, 04:18 PM
>I may post a new topic asking for confirmation that XP and Fedora 1 can live happily together on one drive.

Yes it can. The problem with Core 2 is a combination of some motherboards BIOS, the 2.6 kernel and the installer program using parted to make the partitions. Fedora Core 2 is getting the rap over this, but other distributions such as SuSE and Mandrake have also struck it.

It is unfortunate that you have to reinstall XP now, but when you install Fedora again, and put Grub into the MBR you shouldn't have any problems. Lots of people dual boot Fedora Core 1 with Windows XP with no such problems.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on. :)