[SOLVED] Partition help needed!

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[SOLVED] Partition help needed!

Postby Hepburn on Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:46 pm

Hey, I'm a Linux Mint newbie, and I'm having some partitioning issues trying to install it. I currently have Windows XP, and ultimately would like to be rid of it :D , but for now I'd like to keep it just in case. This is how my drive is currently partitioned (and how it was when I got it):

/dev/sda
/dev/sda1 ntfs 106.05 GB boot
unallocated 8MB
/dev/sda2 fat32 5.73 GB lba (recovery partition)

So, I'm going for the dual-booting option, and decided how to do it after reading lots of posts on this forum (so a big thank-you already to those who have replied to other people's problems/posted how-tos!):

swap= 2B (I have 960 MB RAM)
/ = 10gb
/home = rest (approx 50GB)

Using the install on the Live USB, I have the following options for partitioning:

-Guided - use entire disk
-SCSI4 (0,0,0) (sda) 120 GB ATA ST9120821AS
SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sdb) 8.2 GB GENERIC STORAGE DEVICE (which I presume is the Live USB)

-Guided - use the largest continuous free space (which is about 7MB)

-Manual


It won't resize doing it manually, so I tried gparted. But whilst it's resizing the main Windows partition, it comes up with an error (regardless of how much I try to shrink it by). Originally it had a warning triangle next to this partition and wouldn't do anything, so I ran chkdsk /f and rebooted twice, which seemed to solve that.

So now I'm a bit stressed :P

Can anyone offer any help/advice? I can post more information if needed.

Thanks in advance!
TTFN

Hepburn
Last edited by Hepburn on Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Partition help needed!

Postby OnlyMe on Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:03 pm

I am not a partition guru and hopefully someone else will come along for you. I haven't ever had a problem shrinking the XP partition so the only thought I have is to ask you if you defragged XP first :?: I don't know if that is the solution but perhaps it is a start.

I've never used a usb drive for installing so I don't know if your problem indicates an issue with your chosen method.

If nothing else, at least I've given you a bump :D .

Good luck!
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Re: Partition help needed!

Postby AK Dave on Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:39 pm

Boot XP. Disable caching entirely. Delete everything you possible can from XP. Clear your temp files. Reboot XP. Defrag two, three, maybe four times. This may take hours or days to accomplish depending on speed of your computer, speed of your drive, and degree of fragmentation. The absolute worse defrag software is what comes stock with XP, so download/use/torrent something else if you can. At this point you've minimized the file system usage of the XP partition as much as you can short of a cold reinstall of XP.

Now you can shrink the partition.

Get a LiveCD of gparted. Use it to repartition your drive instead of the older gparted in the installer.

Once you do so and before you install linux, reboot again to XP and allow chkdsk to run to completion, re-enable XP's caching (only AFTER the partition is re-sized), and then go about your business with the linux install as normal.

Installing a dual-boot of linux with XP is simple. The HARD part is resizing a used, fragmented, and "full" XP partition in the first place.
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Re: Partition help needed!

Postby Hepburn on Sat Jul 12, 2008 5:52 am

Thanks for your help! :D

@OnlyMe
It's actually an 8GB MicroSD card in a USB converter - I have't got any blank CDs at the moment, so I was just trying to get around that.

@AK Dave
I've already cleared out most stuff from XP (it's not even using half the space on the drive), and have defragmented it once, although the program said it didn't need doing. There are some files in the middle of the free space though, which have never moved each time I've ever fragmented the drive, so maybe that's part of the problem. Didn't realise that the Windows defrag was that rubbish, though it's no suprise :P I'll find a decent defrag program and run it a few times.

I'll let you know if I have any joy. Thanks again!

TTFN
Hepburn
Last edited by Hepburn on Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Partition help needed!

Postby Hepburn on Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:13 am

Slight hitch - I can't disable caching (the whole area is greyed out). How can I get around this?

Also, I've used JkDefrag several times (including in Safe Mode), but I just can't get a lot some stuff to move, even when forcing everything together. Red dots all over the place! I've increased the free space to 85GB though. :D

TTFN
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Re: Partition help needed!

Postby Hepburn on Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:41 am

Phew! Despite the above problems, I've now got Linux Mint installed. Woohoo! :D

This is what I ended up doing partition-wise:

/dev/sda1 ntfs 39.06 GB
/dev/sda3 linux-swap 1.95 GB
/dev/sda4 extended 65.04 GB
/dev/sda5 ext3 10.26 GB
/dev/sda6 ext3 54.79 GB
/dev/sda2 fat32 5.73 GB

Hopefully everything will work fine now, and I can go back to stressing about my 5,000 word essay instead :P

Thanks again for your help AK Dave!

TTFN
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Re: [SOLVED] Partition help needed!

Postby AK Dave on Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:46 pm

Congratulations! You did very very well to shrink a used XP partition to a mere 40gigs. Treat yourself to a cold beverage for that accomplishment.
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Re: [SOLVED] Partition help needed!

Postby BryanM6 on Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:59 am

I am trying to install Linux Mint onto a windows XP machine on a dual boot basis. The install DVD is the one supplied with the LinuxFormat magazine number 109 (the latest issue).
The live distro works OK and the install process starts OK but when I set it to partition the drive roughly 50/50 (40Gb/40Gb) it starts to partition and then stops with an error message "An error occurred while writing the changes............the resize operation has been aborted."
The drive has recently been fully reformatted NTFS and Windows XP Home loaded. As yet no programs have been loaded and Windows only takes up 5% of the 80 Gigabytes. Could this be a faulty disk? I've never had this
problem with a Ubuntu disk and the partioning method is the same as Ubuntu. LinuxFormat think it unlikely that the disk is faulty and I would be grateful for some comments.
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Re: [SOLVED] Partition help needed!

Postby rbanavara on Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:27 pm

This is not a solution, but a stop gap fix...: you can try ubuntu CD to resize / partition the disk & then use mint CD to use the pre created parttion & install mint.
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it -Husse
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Re: [SOLVED] Partition help needed!

Postby BryanM6 on Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:06 pm

Thanks to rbanavara for the suggestion which led to a solution. The Ubuntu cd stopped at exactly the same point in the partitioning process so I knew that the problem was on my hard drive in spite of XP having recently completed a full format. I went into Windows and ran chkdsk which reported an error. Next I ran chkdsk /F to fix the error. After that the Mint DVD ran perfectly.
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