Installing Linux on a W95 machine

Installing Linux on a W95 machine

Post by Edward W. Beatti » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



I would be grateful if any readers with more knowledge than me could offer
assistance on this problem.

I have a PC running Win95, and have a lot of documents on disk that I have
created in Word, Excel, etc. I want to install Linux, but I have the problem
that I MUST not lose the documents created under Win95. I have developed a
strategy that I *think* will guarantee this, but I would like to hear other
users' comments before proceeding.

I bought the PC with floppy drive A: and 4.3 Gb drive C: , which I'll call
Drive #1. I added a CD-ROM, which was then designated D: In order to install
Linux, I have added a MAXtor 4.3Gb drive, (Drive #2) which I partitioned
with Maxtor's installation software. Thus the letters above C: were
reallocated, so Drive #2 is D:/E:, and the CD-ROM is F:

My strategy is to physically disconnect Drive #1 from the Primary Master
slot, and replace it in this slot with Drive #2. Thus Drive #2 will be C:
and the CD-ROM will revert to D: I may need to change the BIOS to reflect
this.

Thus if I boot from a DOS 6.22 boot disk, and partition using FDISK, I will
end up with a DOS machine with a single hard drive. I would be quite happy
to install Linux on this, working from the manual (I've got SuSE Linux).

I propose then to reverse the physical changes, and reinstall Drive #1 as
Primary Master (which will be allocated as C: and Drive #2 as Secondary
master, as before. If I do this, I believe that when I boot up again, Win95
will be booted and I will have access to my documents again.

As for as accessing Linux on Drive #2, I believe I could boot to DOS on
Drive #1, or exit to DOS from W95 to get the C: prompt of DOS for W95, and
then change drives to Drive #2 (D: or E: or whatever it is) and boot Linux
from there, or I could boot from a Linux boot floppy. I don't think  there
is any other method which  would not involve amending the MBR with the
attendant risk that I lose access to my W95 documents. Am I correct in this?

I would be grateful for the benefit of your experience.

Thanks in advance,

Edward W. Beattie

 
 
 

Installing Linux on a W95 machine

Post by Jeffrey Smit » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


Wow, Ed, this is a mouthful.....

Problems with your stratagy:

1) If you disconnect Drive #1 and place Drive #2 in the primary master, then
install linux on this drive, then the linux OS will be configured to run on
hda, so all of your partitions will be identified as /dev/hda1, /dev/hda2, etc.

Linux identifies IDE drives like so...

IDE #1 Primary ->  /dev/hda
IDE #1 Slave     -> /dev/hdb
IDE #2 Primary  -> /dev/hdc
IDE #2 Slave      -> /dev/hdd

(Partitions on each disk are identified with a numeric suffix, e.g. /dev/hda1)

When you move this linux drive (Drive #2) back to the slave slot and place
your windows drive as the primary (Drive #1), then the linux OS will associate
hdb with the linux drive on bootup.  Now  your partitions that contain the
linux "stuff" you just installed will be on partitions  /dev/hdb1, /dev/hdb2,
etc.
This is bad because the fstab file in your /etc directory (which is the file
that is used to instruct linux as to which partitions to mount), will attempt
to mount partitions /dev/hda1, /dev/hda2, etc.  which is NOT linux anymore
it is windows junk.  There may be other configuration files that are effected
by this change of drive, but  fstab is the only one I can think of right now.

So if you  intend to install linux on Drive #2 and this drive will always be
the
slave, you should install linux with Drive#1 in place.  Do not move Drive #2
after the installation.

2) There should be no need to boot from a DOS 6.22 disk and run the
microsoft version of Fdisk to create the partitions on Drive#2.  The Suse
installation should contain a step that will allow you to partition the
drive using the Fdisk program that is geared towards Linux.  This fdisk
program should be used because it will allow you to label your
partitions as "Linux native" and you swap space as "Linux Swap".
The Dos version of fdisk doesn't do this.

3) The Suse installation should give you the option to create a boot disk
and a Lilo disk.  The boot disk will contain a compressed copy of your
linux kernel - simply place the floppy in the drive and reboot.  The
kernel will uncompress, load into memory run mounting  /dev/hdb1
as your root filesystem.  For a beginner this is a very honorable way
to go, just make sure you make a shit-load of boot floppies just Incas
one of them fails.   So, to boot windows remove the floppy; to boot
Linux insert the floppy.  I ran for years like this.

The installation may also give you the option of creating a Lilo floppy disk.
Lilo will allow you to select between your Linux or your Windows OS.
Lilo can be installed on a floppy or the master boot record of your primary
drive.  I have found that installing Lilo on the master boot record of the
primary drive does not effect Windows 95 when Windows 95 is installed
on the primary drive (NT is a different matter).

The Suse installation SHOULD give the the ability to do both of these.
If it doesn't, get a different package (slackware ?)

4) None of these suggestions will help you preserve your windows disk
in the event that you make a big mistake.  If Suse is anything like Slackware
then there will be only two places where you can mess up  1)  If Suse
runs the Fdisk program as part of the installation, make sure to specify
/dev/hdb, assuming you windows drive is Drive#1 and the new Linux
drive is Drive#2,  2) The installation will probably ask you to select a
root partition (sometime after Fdisk is run) on which to install Linux.
Make sure to say /dev/hdb1.

You can always backup your Word and Excel documents by investing
in a tape drive.  I have an Iomega Ditto which sets up easy in Windows
and can be setup in Linux also.

5) The other nice thing about installing Linux with your windows drive
installed is that the Suse installation will probably give you the option
of configuring the system so that the Windows drive can be mounted within
the Linux file system.  This means that your Windows files are accessible
from linux simply by performing a "cd" to the right directory.



> I would be grateful if any readers with more knowledge than me could offer
> assistance on this problem.

> I have a PC running Win95, and have a lot of documents on disk that I have
> created in Word, Excel, etc. I want to install Linux, but I have the problem
> that I MUST not lose the documents created under Win95. I have developed a
> strategy that I *think* will guarantee this, but I would like to hear other
> users' comments before proceeding.

> I bought the PC with floppy drive A: and 4.3 Gb drive C: , which I'll call
> Drive #1. I added a CD-ROM, which was then designated D: In order to install
> Linux, I have added a MAXtor 4.3Gb drive, (Drive #2) which I partitioned
> with Maxtor's installation software. Thus the letters above C: were
> reallocated, so Drive #2 is D:/E:, and the CD-ROM is F:

> My strategy is to physically disconnect Drive #1 from the Primary Master
> slot, and replace it in this slot with Drive #2. Thus Drive #2 will be C:
> and the CD-ROM will revert to D: I may need to change the BIOS to reflect
> this.

> Thus if I boot from a DOS 6.22 boot disk, and partition using FDISK, I will
> end up with a DOS machine with a single hard drive. I would be quite happy
> to install Linux on this, working from the manual (I've got SuSE Linux).

> I propose then to reverse the physical changes, and reinstall Drive #1 as
> Primary Master (which will be allocated as C: and Drive #2 as Secondary
> master, as before. If I do this, I believe that when I boot up again, Win95
> will be booted and I will have access to my documents again.

> As for as accessing Linux on Drive #2, I believe I could boot to DOS on
> Drive #1, or exit to DOS from W95 to get the C: prompt of DOS for W95, and
> then change drives to Drive #2 (D: or E: or whatever it is) and boot Linux
> from there, or I could boot from a Linux boot floppy. I don't think  there
> is any other method which  would not involve amending the MBR with the
> attendant risk that I lose access to my W95 documents. Am I correct in this?

> I would be grateful for the benefit of your experience.

> Thanks in advance,

> Edward W. Beattie

--
Jeffrey Smith

This Machine Runs on LINUX
--

 
 
 

1. Using My Linux Machine as an Internet Gateway for my W95/NT Machines

Hello,
My name is Dave and i am VERY new to the Linux scene. At home i have an NT
server running with SP5, DNS service (specifying an internal domain called
internal), DHCP server, Proxy Server, Exchange Server and a few other
irrelevant bits and peices such as a third party ftp server. Up to date i
have enjoyed the Microsoft products as they are easy to use, even easier to
learn, and i guess when coming into the computer scene, the first OS one is
probably introduced to.Anyway, my NT server is the domain controller of the
'internal' domain and i have it sucessfully giving my two other win95
clients access to all internet services (using proxy server on the server
and proxy client on the clients) via my cat5 connections with 5 port hub.
OK......the dhcp server on the NT machine uses the ip range 192.168.0.1
through to 192.168.0.255. (obviously not all of these being used).......NT
is very pretty....but i cant believe that such an expensive 'networking???'
product will not even forward packets without having another expensive peice
of software installed on both it...and the clients first.
I have installed Red Hat 6.1 on a spare machine i have at home and it has
sucessfully leased an ip address of 192.168.0.4 from the dhcp server. I can
ping the Red Hat machine (which i have named 'router') from the NT Server
(which is called 'server') and vise versa. I can also telnet from one to the
other and vise versa.
What i want to achieve is this.....continue to have the win95 clients
logging into the NT domain controller.....but get rid of the proxy server
software off it and the client machines and just use 'router' as the gateway
to the internet.
I have so far printed off about 1 rheem of a4 paper containing information
on IP masquerading and firewall setup, but I either find myself reading
repeated information.....or not understanding what has been documented.

My question to you is simple.....can you please point me in the right
direction in regards to the configuration of my linux machine?? As i said i
am very new to linux and somewhat embarrased that all i have to offer at the
moment is Microsoft experience. This is why i am trying to learn about
linux, and that is the point of this email.
I did find one article in my searches...."Setting up Your Network LG Issue
26" which is at http://www.redhat.com/mirrors/LDP/LDP/LG/issue26/kunz.html.
This provided a massive amount of information for me and was at about the
level that i understand however, i would love to read an article that has
the same topic of content, but goes a little further into detail.
I hope my email has included all the information required to possibly
provide me with a very springy like board to help launch me into the linux
cirlce. Thankyou for your time and i look forward to any assisntace or
direction you may be able to provide.

One more question....which is probably the most idiodic of them all. Do i
need to visit a particular place on the web site to view any repsonse??? or
will i recieve a direct reply to my email?? Sorry to sound like such a
stoooooopid fool.....but i dont often submit email of this nature asking for
help like this.

Once again....thankyou for your time.

Regards

Dave Faulkner

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