[Solved] Partition problem for dual boot using GParted

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david_d
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[Solved] Partition problem for dual boot using GParted

Postby david_d » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:41 am

I want to install LMDE (64 bit) on a HP G62 laptop running Windows 7. I am having some issues with partitions that I cleaarly need to sort out before doing this.

I actually had 5 partitions on my Windows 7 machine (not sure how this was possible). The factory install came with 4 and I added one: Data. After making recovery DVD's, I deleted the Recover partitions. I also changed the HP_TOOLS partition from FAT32 to NTFS, because I was not seeing it at all in GParted. This was mistake as I have since learned that this partition needs to be in FAT32.

Presently my Windows partitions look like this:
partitions.png
Partition information from Windows 7
partitions.png (41.71 KiB) Viewed 1596 times


However, if I look at the disk using Gparted (v. 0.7.0 - on the LMDE Live CD) I get this:
gparted.png
Partition information from GParted 0.7.0
gparted.png (11.68 KiB) Viewed 1596 times


GParted does not appear to see any unallocated space. There are numerous other differences. It appears to be labelling the Windows C: drive as Data. What is calling "SYSTEM" is not shown - is this the MBR? The HP_TOOLS partition seems to correspond to the amount used in the Windows "Data" partition.

Any help that would permit me to sort this out would be appreciated. And any ideas on how to to further reduce the number of Windows partitions would be appreciated. Would the use of logical partitions help here and how?

Can I get by with one partition for Linux? I know at least three would be best. Any thoughts on a strategy for a dual boot system here?

Thanks in advance. I will also be posting this on the GParted forum.
Last edited by david_d on Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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seeley
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Re: Partition problem for dual boot using GParted

Postby seeley » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:07 am

Hi!
You don't have the latest version of GParted - maybe v. 0.7.1 shows another table.
I would download PartedMagic (see link below) which contains the latest one or GP:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gparted/files/gparted-live-stable/
seeley

Edit:
Don't look at your Windows table (I once had a similar problem - to prepare partitions you should use GP).
seeley @ Linux multiboot

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seeley
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Re: Partition problem for dual boot using GParted

Postby seeley » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:22 am

Hi!
In addition some remarks: (names differ Windows - Linux)
On your hard disk you can have 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition (as a container for about 12 logical partitions - depends on your hardware) - numbering sda1, 2, 3, 4.
If you want "/" and swap (and maybe "/home") as own partition (sda5, 6,..) you need an extended partition, within you can create those root and swap partition (and maybe home).
seeley

Edit:
1. MBR is not shown.
2. You should boot from your LMDE live to desktop and open a terminal and type:

Code: Select all

sudo fdisk -l
l like list
and

Code: Select all

sudo parted -l print
seeley @ Linux multiboot

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terdon
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Re: Partition problem for dual boot using GParted

Postby terdon » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:27 am

Hi, well I think the first problem here is window's dynamic disks. I don't really use windows so I did not even know that these exist but apparently they are some sort of virtual partition. Have a look at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa363785(v=vs.85).aspx

So, the "true" situation is probably what gparted reports. It appears you have 4 primary partitions. If you want to make more, you will need to delete one of them and create an extended partition. You can then create multiple logical partitions within that extended one. Just pick a partition you don't mind loosing (probably DATA, I wouldn't touch the win system partitions) and delete it using gparted. Then create a new extended partition using the space you just freed up. In this extended partition,create the following logical partitions:

/ : somewhere between 10 and 30 GB should be fine. this is where you will install your linux system, format it to any linux filesystem you like (eg ext4) but NOT NTFS or VFAT
/home : As large as you want. this is where your personal files will be. Having a separate /home partitions allows you to reinstall. upgrade, change linux distribution etc without losing your data and settings (Filesystem: see /) .
swap : linux swap space. There is a bit of a controversy over the recommended size but as a rule of thumb 2xRAM sixe is a good idea.


Now, some people also recommend creating a separate /boot partition but that is not strictly necessary.

However, if you are not comfortable with partitions and the like you may want to try a different linux distribution... LMDE is still a bit rough around the edges. Personally I love it but then again I have been partitioning my disks manually for the last decade...

david_d
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Re: Partition problem for dual boot using GParted

Postby david_d » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:07 pm

seeley wrote:Hi!
In addition some remarks: (names differ Windows - Linux)
On your hard disk you can have 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition (as a container for about 12 logical partitions - depends on your hardware) - numbering sda1, 2, 3, 4.
If you want "/" and swap (and maybe "/home") as own partition (sda5, 6,..) you need an extended partition, within you can create those root and swap partition (and maybe home).
seeley

Edit:
1. MBR is not shown.
2. You should boot from your LMDE live to desktop and open a terminal and type:

Code: Select all

sudo fdisk -l
l like list
and

Code: Select all

sudo parted -l print


Here is the output from fdisk:

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x8924b343

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 63 2047 992+ 42 SFS
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 * 2048 409599 203776 42 SFS
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3 409600 488534015 244062208 42 SFS
/dev/sda4 488534016 976771119 244118552 42 SFS

When I try to run Parted I am told it is not installed. I am not sure how to install as I am running on the LMDE Live CD,

Thanks for your assistance.

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seeley
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Re: Partition problem for dual boot using GParted

Postby seeley » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:43 am

Hi!
Even on a live CD you can install GP: type

Code: Select all

sudo gparted

afterwards you get a hint:
... if not installed, you can install it by ...xyz...

You then can install it by copying ...xyz... in your terminal.
One request: Please format your output to better read it:
Copy your output into your POST A REPLY by choosing Code and pasting it between the two pairs of brackets.
seeley
seeley @ Linux multiboot

wayne128
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Re: Partition problem for dual boot using GParted

Postby wayne128 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:55 am

I actually had 5 partitions on my Windows 7 machine (not sure how this was possible).

This came about when you add 1 on top of already 4 primary partition by win7 Disk management utility.
During this adding I believe there is a warning on disk management utility about converting to Dynamic and would post problem on booting..

The factory install came with 4 and I added one: Data.

This type of laptop would make it difficult to install Linux because of limit of 4 reached.

After making recovery DVD's,
this is very good. If this recovery DVD is working, then you have total control of your coming actions. Hopefully during backup of recovery DVD you did get get any errors.

I deleted the Recover partitions. I also changed the HP_TOOLS partition from FAT32 to NTFS,
because I was not seeing it at all in GParted. This was mistake as I have since learned that this partition needs to be in FAT32.
I think this was the hidden partition. Hear lots of these elsewhere, some people called HP and get ...anyway irrelevant here.

Now your fdisk -l confirm that your partition are in SFS format. This is for windows only
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 63 2047 992+ 42 SFS
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 * 2048 409599 203776 42 SFS
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3 409600 488534015 244062208 42 SFS
/dev/sda4 488534016 976771119 244118552 42 SFS


I want to install LMDE (64 bit) on a HP G62 laptop running Windows 7. I am having some issues with partitions that I cleaarly need to sort out before doing this.

My analysis of your situation is, since you already have backup DVD on the win7, assuming those DVD are working, then you are no longer worried, it will be much easier for you to start installing win7 from beginning and deal with a 'better partition scheme'.
You need just to be sure all your important data is saved first before attempt to start fresh.

david_d
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Re: [Solved] Partition problem for dual boot using GParted

Postby david_d » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:27 pm

The problem was Windows 7 Dynamic disk. When I added that 5th (my data) partition on Window 7, without any warning, Windows went ahead and changed my disk from Basic to Dynamic. Gparted was unable to recognize the dynamic partition information.

So, in order to reduce the number of partitions further and create a disk that could be worked on by Gparted, I had to convert from dynamic disk back to basic. Although Microsoft says that in order to do this you have to delete the partitions, there are various recipes out there for doing this without losing data. I tried TestDisk, but ultimately sprung for a shareware solution ($29) called Dynamic Disk Converter Professional. This tool worked in no time at all. Everything worked smoothly.

Once back to a basic disk, I backed up and then deleted the HP_TOOLS partition. I had already deleted the Recovery partition (having created the factory install dvds). Now I was down to 3 partitions (Including my data partition). I then used Gparted to create an extended partitions with the various logical partitions for LMDE, which I am now running with no problem. Dual boot works fine.

Too bad that HP on their laptops takes up 4 partitions. This is not reasonable. And too bad that Windows 7 does not properly warn when creating a dynamic disk (or did I ignore a warning? - I wonder). But all is well. Thanks for your help, all of you.


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