Partitioning Hard Drive for Win95 and RH 5.0 To Coexist

Partitioning Hard Drive for Win95 and RH 5.0 To Coexist

Post by Dan Geise » Tue, 21 Apr 1998 04:00:00



Hello, All,
I was wondering if someone with a similar setup as mine could give
some advice.  

On 4/4/98 I had a working i486 DX2-80 with 16MB RAM and a 721 MB
HD (Seagate).  At this time the whole HD was completely devoted to
Windows 95.  Using my Chrismas money and tax refund I bought an
additional 32 MB of RAM and a Western Digital 4.3 GB HD.  I wanted to
expand my available Win95 space and also install Linux.  I bought the
Red Hat 5.0 CD with manual for $40 from the local software retailer.

Because of limitations of my BIOS I'm supposed to use a Disk Manager
program called EZ-BIOS to access the full HD. I had no experience
with EZ-BIOS since i had just got the HD.  At first I didn't know how
this was going to work with LILO but it turned out OK.

I backed all my important files and basically FDISKED (DOS) the Hard
Drives so I could start from scratch.

Intially I tried an install using partitions for Win95 and Linux on
BOTH hard drives but that got too harry and I decided to simplify
things by using only the 4.3 GB HD.  Later when things were working I
could add the smaller HD into the mix.

After much trial and error I was able to get a working installation
with both Win95 and Linux by following these steps:

1. FDISK (DOS) the hard drive and erase all partitions.
2. Run EZ-BIOS and let it install the Large Hard Drive features and
also partition the whole hard drive into the following partitions, 1
500 MB, and 2 equal partitions using the rest of the space.
3. Run FDISK (DOS) again and erase the last 2 partitions.
4. Install a minimal DOS system on the 500 meg partition using 'sys
c:' or letting EZ-BIOS install the system files.  Either way worked
fine.
5. Start the Linux installation.
6. Use Disk Druid to repartition the remaining space.  

I found it crucial to create the root partition immediately after the
first 500 meg partition because of the 1023 cylinder limit.  In
addition to the necessary linux partitions I used Disk Druid to
create 2 dos partitions from whatever space remained after following
the guidelines in the Red Hat manual.

My final partition table looked like this

dosc    500 MB
/       80 MB
/usr    1000 MB
/home   1000 MB
/swap   48 MB
dosd    836 MB
dose    836 MB

7. Finish the install, tell LILO to make DOS default and use the
Linear option.

8. Reboot, install Windows95 which will recognize the 2 partitions
allocated for it.  After install format the D and E drive through
Win95.

When all of the above was said and done, when my machine booted it
would go the through the normal startup routines, memcory check,
etc., then it would display the starting EZ-BIOS message, then the
LILO prompt.  I could succesfully enter into either OS.  Both seemed
to be running as expected.

At this point if I ran FDISK (Linux) just to view the partition
table (out of curiosity) it would display a message about my first
partition not being on a cylinder boundary.  I don't know if that was
a problem or not.

I finished the above install on 4/9 and spent the last 10 days or so
getting my Win95 system back to how I had it before.   Since I had
done a minimal package install under Linux I decided last night to go
ahead and try and add a lot more packages.  I used the Linux boot
disk as before but this time told it I wanted to upgrade.  I selected
everything and let it install them.  Afterwards it rebooted as
usual, brought up the LILO prompt I went into my Win95 OS and both my
D and E drive were no longer there.

I rebooted went into the Linux side and it took a long time to start
up and when it finally did it flashed a lot of lines on the screen
about "cleaning up inodes" (?) and finally came up as normal.

So I had what was seemingly a working Linux system with all the
packages now installed which had somehow made affected 2 of my DOS
partitions.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to have start from scratch
again.  Good thing I saved my last backup.

Now for the questions, for those of you have opinions on this...

Is it a good idea to interwine the partitions for DOS and Linux as I
did in the above partition table?

If you had a new 4.3 G HD how exactly would you partition it?  Please
provide partition order, partition type and also sizes.

Is the message about "partition not ending on a cylinder boundary"
from FDISK (Linux) when looking at the first DOS partition important?
How can I get the partition to end on a cylinder boundary?

Here are the specs for the HD...

Western Digital
Caviar 34300
8896 CYL, 15 HEADS, 63 SPT, 4304.2 GB
MDL: AC34300-00LB

Can I install all Linux partitions on the first half of the Hard
Drive and then install my DOS partitions instead of intertwining
them?

What could the upgrade of packages have done to effect my DOS
partition?

Since Windows95 appears to support Large Hard Drives without EZ-BIOS
is EZ-BIOS even necessary?

If I install Linux first without any existing DOS partitions how can
I make LILO provide DOS as an option when I boot up?

After basically trashing my system last night I tried to do another
install from sratch before I went to bed.  This time I ignored the
EZ-BIOS install and worked through the same steps as above.  Only
this time after installing Windows 95 in step 8 LILO would no longer
come up.

Why would installing Windows 95 effect LILO if LILO could boot both
DOS and Linux?

I'm sorry for all the questions but I'm just exasperated and almost
ready to go back to having this machine being completely Win95 and
giving up on Linux until I can afford a separate system to install it
on.  I know that's not the fighting spirit I should have but after
installing Linux about a dozen times and losing what I though was a
good install...

I'm willing to try anything that anyone suggests.  There's got be a
right way or at least a reasonable right way to do this.

Thanks,

 
 
 

Partitioning Hard Drive for Win95 and RH 5.0 To Coexist

Post by Ezekiel Krahl » Fri, 24 Apr 1998 04:00:00




Quote:>5. Start the Linux installation.
>6. Use Disk Druid to repartition the remaining space.  

I am an absolute Linux newbie, and can't advise you on most of your
questions, but one: Disk Druid is a no-no, it's mangled, stay away
from it. This is the advice I have consistently received, when posting
my questions to any Linux newsgroup. Ergo, when re-doing your
partitions, stick with Linux's fdisk.exe.

(You mentioned something about cylinders...and my hunch is that Druid
may have messed something up there.)

---
My web site kicks (but never*s) butt!
http://www.veryComputer.com/


 
 
 

Partitioning Hard Drive for Win95 and RH 5.0 To Coexist

Post by j.. » Fri, 24 Apr 1998 04:00:00






>>5. Start the Linux installation.
>>6. Use Disk Druid to repartition the remaining space.  

>I am an absolute Linux newbie, and can't advise you on most of your
>questions, but one: Disk Druid is a no-no, it's mangled, stay away
>from it. This is the advice I have consistently received, when posting
>my questions to any Linux newsgroup. Ergo, when re-doing your
>partitions, stick with Linux's fdisk.exe.

I'm a Linux oldbie and I'd back this up.  Disk Druid is too heavily
bugged to be used for anything.  Forget about it and use fdisk.

John
--
John Winters.  Wallingford, Oxon, England.

The Linux Emporium - a source for Linux CDs in the UK
See <http://www.polo.demon.co.uk/emporium.html>

 
 
 

1. RH 5.0 install freaks out drive partition table...now can't fdisk the drive!

        Finally installing RH 5 in my journey to move into other OS's
besides OS/2 (getting off the train before it stops
rolling...)...but I've run into a problem.

        Initially, I tried to install RH on my #2 drive (hdb).  It
worked fine, but crashed in the middle of the install.  Now, I
can access the partitions on the disk, but whenever I fdisk the
drive (via OS/2 or DOS), it crashes fdisk (now THAT is something
I wasn't looking for...) and Partition Magic can't touch the disk
(says it's full, get a 'logical chains' partition error (#120)).

        I tried to re-install RH...crashed again--this time with the
following message:

                RPM of XFree86 failed.  Unpacking failed on file:
                                                        /usr/x11r6/man/man1/xrdb.1x:-1:
                no such file or directory.

        I've tried the rescue option off the install diskettes, but I'm
not well versed yet in *nix-ese and couldn't get fdisk to run so
I'm lost there.

        Any help is appreciated.  Vitals are:

        486DX120 (SP3 motherboard)
        2 HDisks--1 gig each, partitioned in the following:

        Disk 1

                Boot Manager
                C:  Win 95 (hidden)
                C:  DOS/win boot
                E:  OS/2 (under hpfs)
                F: and G: -- both hpfs

        Disk 2

                D:  FAT16
                --a 500 meg partition where I was going to put Linux
                --another hpfs
                --unused partition where the swap file was going to go
                --another FAT16 partition

        Thanx for any help in advance!

****************************************
*  Servant of El Elohim                *
*    OS/2 User, (hope to add linux)   *
*     Player of VGAP and SFB           *
*   A gentle easterly breeze           *
*         awaiting an omniscient       *
*             Sonrise...Zephyr Q       *
****************************************

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