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Time to blow Windows away!

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:31 am
by G. Traynor
I'd like to go ahead and take the plunge and do away with Windows on this machine. I've already made a Ghost image of it should anything happen.

I already have Linux Mint Bianca (Gnome version) mounted (hda2) and I'd like to use the NTFS partition (hda1) to install Bianca KDE edition. I have an .ISO of Linux Mint KDE all ready

I don't have a lot of space to play with since the HD is only 11.24GB so my partitions are as follows:


/dev/hda1 ntfs /media/hda1 6.05GB
/dev/hda2 ext3 /,/dev/.static/dev 4.93GB
/dev/hda3 extended 258.86MB
/dev/hda5 linux-swap 258.86MB


So can anybody help how to go about doing this without damaging my ext3 partiton?

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:19 am
by telic
I've been using a HDD that has Windows (hda1), swap (hda2), and two ext3 partitions (hda3 and hda4). GNOME Bianca has remained on hda4 while I've (re)installed numerous distros on hda3. Each new install modified the GRUB boot manager for the change on hda3, while leaving Windows and Bianca intact as options on the boot menu.

Replacing an existing Windows installation with Linux shouldn't be any more eventful than installing over any other operating system.

To install KDE Bianca from its live CD, I'd choose to manually partition the HDD, which requires only a few steps. Within the partition program, right-clicking on a partition name will pop up a menu which lets you do stuff to that partition (Delete, New, etc).

You can delete the hda1 (Windows) partition, then select New to set hda1 as an ext3 primary. When you proceed, you'll be asked to confirm/set the mount points (the defaults should be okay), and you'll see checkmarks which indicate that the partition program will format hda1 and your swap partitions -- but not format hda2. Make sure that selection box is unchecked for hda2, as reformatting it will zap your existing Mint install.

Proceeding, KDE Bianca should then install itself on hda1 and update the GRUB boot manager. Your existing GNOME Bianca should remain as an option on the boot menu. MS Windows will be gone.


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Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:53 am
by G. Traynor
telic wrote:I've been using a HDD that has Windows (hda1), swap (hda2), and two ext3 partitions (hda3 and hda4). GNOME Bianca has remained on hda4 while I've (re)installed numerous distros on hda3. Each new install modified the GRUB boot manager for the change on hda3, while leaving Windows and Bianca intact as options on the boot menu.

Replacing an existing Windows installation with Linux shouldn't be any more eventful than installing over any other operating system.

To install KDE Bianca from its live CD, I'd choose to manually partition the HDD, which requires only a few steps. Within the partition program, right-clicking on a partition name will pop up a menu which lets you do stuff to that partition (Delete, New, etc).

You can delete the hda1 (Windows) partition, then select New to set hda1 as an ext3 primary. When you proceed, you'll be asked to confirm/set the mount points (the defaults should be okay), and you'll see checkmarks which indicate that the partition program will format hda1 and your swap partitions -- but not format hda2. Make sure that selection box is unchecked for hda2, as reformatting it will zap your existing Mint install.

Proceeding, KDE Bianca should then install itself on hda1 and update the GRUB boot manager. Your existing GNOME Bianca should remain as an option on the boot menu. MS Windows will be gone.------
Hey, thanks for the response.

So would it just be easier (or better) to go into the Gnome partition manager through Gnome Bianca and delete the Windows partition first?

Then do an install of KDE through the live CD and have the KDE partition manager auto-detect whatever space is available?

Look forward to hearing from ya. :)

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:26 am
by telic
I believe that your assessment is a valid alternative to my pattern behavior, and I'd trust Bianca to do no harm in such an approach.

Go for it**.

(Though do lay full blame on Clem for any subsequent tragedy.)

;-)

**Note that your suggested way would leave hda1 in a "faulty" (one unbootable condition) state, until a valid GRUB boot was installed by KDE Bianca. How might this effect the GRUB update?

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Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:48 pm
by G. Traynor
telic wrote:I believe that your assessment is a valid alternative to my pattern behavior, and I'd trust Bianca to do no harm in such an approach.

Go for it**.

(Though do lay full blame on Clem for any subsequent tragedy.)

;-)

**Note that your suggested way would leave hda1 in a "faulty" (one unbootable condition) state, until a valid GRUB boot was installed by KDE Bianca. How might this effect the GRUB update?------
Hey thanks, telic.

Actually what I think I'm going to do for the time being is stick with Gnome. I can try KDE at a later date.

Since I've already blown away the Windows partition, how do I resize it so Gnome can take advantage off all my drive space?

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:32 pm
by telic
Since I've already blown away the Windows partition, how do I resize it so Gnome can take advantage off all my drive space?
It's better to let Linux take advantage of having multiple partitions.

Moving your /home directory onto its own partition is a good thing to do, especially if you might upgrade to Cassandra (Mint 3.0), or even switch to some other Linux distro in the future (with either GNOME or KDE). Virtually every flavor of Linux uses /home for things like application configuration and your personal preferences and storage. You could replace the distro on hda2 while your data remains intact on hda1.

The GParted utility (sudo gparted) can prepare hda1 as an ext3 format partition, as I described earlier.

The Mint Wiki has a HOWTO on moving /home to its own partition. I haven't done this yet, but the HOWTO steps look okay to me --

Create a folder to mount hda1...

Code: Select all

sudo mkdir /mnt/newhome
Mount hda1...

Code: Select all

sudo mount -t ext3 /dev/hda1 /mnt/newhome
Copy existing /home to the hda1 mount...

Code: Select all

sudo cp -a -v -u /home/* /mnt/newhome/
Rename your current home...

Code: Select all

sudo mv /home /old_home
Then make a new home directory...

Code: Select all

sudo mkdir /home
Temporarily unmount hda1...

Code: Select all

sudo umount /mnt/newhome
Mount hda1 as your new home folder...

Code: Select all

sudo mount /dev/hda1 /home
To make the change persist, edit fstab...

Code: Select all

sudo gedit /etc/fstab
...to add this line of text...

Code: Select all

/dev/hda1 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2
Done. Now, to be safe, use your PC as is for a day or so, making sure that your personal data and configurations are intact and behave as usual. When you're confident that the move was a success, remove your old /home directory to free up the space on your hda2 partition...

Code: Select all

sudo rm -r /old_home
You can always try KDE just using a LiveCD. It's a tad slow, but fully functional.

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Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:09 pm
by G. Traynor
Tell ya what I did, telic. Since I really didn't have anything saved in my Gnome partition that I wanted to keep, I just FDISKed the whole C:/ and reinstalled Gnome in one new primary, formatted FAT32 partition.

However I am going to need to know how to do backups when I start putting .jpgs, mp3s, documents, movies & txt files on here. And yeah, if I ever change distros, I will need to know how to move my profile over to it.

Which one of those links do you think I should look at for this?

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:47 am
by telic
I just FDISKed the whole C:/ and reinstalled Gnome in one new primary, formatted FAT32 partition.
You installed Linux onto a FAT32 partition?

Surely any nervousness about GParted became irrelevant once you decided to blow your partitions to smithereens anyway! Much can be learned from inconsequential carnage, ya know. ;-)

One advantage of ext3 is that it uses a "journaling" process which gives the file system good survivability during a crash or unexpected reboot. And FAT32 might cause you grief if you ever download a huge file (e.g. DVD ISO).

You probably have a better sense of systematic HDD backups than I do, as I just manually burn my keeper files onto DVD-R.

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Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:54 am
by G. Traynor
telic wrote:
I just FDISKed the whole C:/ and reinstalled Gnome in one new primary, formatted FAT32 partition.
You installed Linux onto a FAT32 partition?

Surely any nervousness about GParted became irrelevant once you decided to blow your partitions to smithereens anyway! Much can be learned from inconsequential carnage, ya know. ;-)
Ah well. Such is life. :D I wanted to make a clean break, ya know what I mean?

I made backups of what I wanted to keep, anyway. The only Windows program I miss so far is Irfanview, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's some Linux equlivent of it out there.
telic wrote:[One advantage of ext3 is that it uses a "journaling" process which gives the file system good survivability during a crash or unexpected reboot. And FAT32 might cause you grief if you ever download a huge file (e.g. DVD ISO).
I'm not worried about that. This machine doesn't have a DVD burner on it, anyway. I have other machines I can use to download .ISO images and burn them with. After all, the HD on this one is only 12GB, so I can't put a whole lot on there. Anything larger and I probably would've have used NTFS.
telic wrote:[You probably have a better sense of systematic HDD backups than I do, as I just manually burn my keeper files onto DVD-R.
DVD-Rs, flashdrives, yahoo briefcase, Gmail storage, Ghost, all of 'em come in handy. What I'd like to do is be able to transfer my profile from one distro to the next without too much of a hassle.

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:39 pm
by G. Traynor
Oops,

I should clarify myself by saying that I formated C:/ under FDISK using FAT32, but when it came time to go through the Linux installer, I selected the ext3 format in partitioning. So technically, it's running under ext3 and not FAT32.

I mispoke. Again, sorry.