manual partitioning problems[solved]

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gunny
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manual partitioning problems[solved]

Post by gunny »

I purchased a laptop with Win7, and with 4 primary partitions pre-installed. When trying to install Mint9, my only options are full install, or manual partitioning (No slider option to put side-by-side).

I've done some research in the forums and experimenting, but really, I am a noob at this.

It is my priority to have Mint9 on the computer, but not to lose Win7, and the accompanying software that came with it. Setting up a dual boot is not a problem; I've done that before. The problem is manually partitioning.

I am assuming that I can't use the slider because there are already 4 primary partitions on the disk and that is the max. yes?

What I want to know is:

1. Can I make the main windows drive (C:), an extended partition to put Mint in, but then if so, is that equivalent to installing Mint within windows (at reduced speed?)

2. Where do I install the grub boot loader sda, the windows partition? In windows D:=Recovery partition E:=bios bin file

3. Is there a better place to look for info. User guides are too simple and forums are so haphazard, and the coding pages are beyond me. Is there a golden mean to learn this stuff?

4. /usr, /var, /srv, /opt,/ usr/local, what are they, used for what?

I have an external hard drive; is there a work around? I am very much DIY, but the time I've spent at the computer with no progress is ridiculous.
Last edited by gunny on Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

talsadus
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by talsadus »

For a safe work around, if you can find a machine that you can disconnect the harddisk (usually a desktop)
You can then install mint onto your external harddisk and you can use that to boot into mint
without disturbing your windows (assuming your bios support booting from USB devices)

Or you can try Virtual PC (Comes with Win7 Pro) or use virtual box, or wubi but that's putting mint inside windows

gunny
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by gunny »

talsadus wrote:For a safe work around, if you can find a machine that you can disconnect the harddisk (usually a desktop)
You can then install mint onto your external harddisk and you can use that to boot into mint
without disturbing your windows (assuming your bios support booting from USB devices)

Or you can try Virtual PC (Comes with Win7 Pro) or use virtual box, or wubi but that's putting mint inside windows
Ya, I thought about putting Mint, or rather trying to move win7 to the external, but I want everything on my laptop.

talsadus
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by talsadus »

Sorry, I just read up and you need one of the four partition to actually be extended partition
in order to create logical drives on it...

http://geodsoft.com/howto/dualboot/linux.htm

gunny
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by gunny »

talsadus wrote:Sorry, I just read up and you need one of the four partition to actually be extended partition
in order to create logical drives on it...

http://geodsoft.com/howto/dualboot/linux.htm
I really didn't find that link helpful, and I'm really losing my patience with these problems. Sorry to be so thick-headed, but I need the answers to be more straight-forward.

talsadus
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by talsadus »

Straight Forward is that if you want mint to be on the same harddisk without being inside windows,

You would have to at least get rid of one of your primary partition and make it an extended partition,

So that you can make logical drives for the swap partition and the main linux partition...

gunny
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by gunny »

talsadus wrote:Straight Forward is that if you want mint to be on the same harddisk without being inside windows,

You would have to at least get rid of one of your primary partition and make it an extended partition,

So that you can make logical drives for the swap partition and the main linux partition...
Ok, so then when I'm installing the boot loader manually, after clicking the "Advanced" tab I install in the first partition (sda)?

I found the following to be helpful, so I'm going to cut and paste it here for others:

Re: Dual Boot Problems with Win7: Reloc offset is...

Postby uilenspiegel on Sun May 02, 2010 4:13 pm
Just to add to Auld_Reekie's post with some further details from my experience ...

A friend with a Dell 1545 and Windows 7 / Mint 8 dual boot was prompted to run Dell's DataSafe utility and ran into the same problem. The simple solution was to reinstall grub2, an operation for which there are several sets of instructions given here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2 ... m%20LiveCD

For this case, the first of the approaches documented in the above doc worked perfectly. It was only necessary to boot using the LiveCD, bring up a terminal, figure out which of the /dev/sd** partitions was the Mint partition using

sudo fdisk -l

--- in this case, the Mint partition was /dev/sda5 --- and, given this information, run the following three commands:

sudo mount /dev/sda5 /mnt
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sda
sudo reboot

in order to get the grub menu working again on startup. Then, after booting into the Mint partition, a final

sudo update-grub

brought everything up to date. Very simple once you have the instructions. And I get the impression that if this approach doesn't work, one of the other two will.

talsadus
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by talsadus »

if your first partition is your C:\ that's where windows normally keeps it's system files

If you install on that you will loose your windows

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euthypro
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by euthypro »

Gunny,

I sympathize. I've just finished installing Mint on two laptops, and waiting for backups to be done on another, dual booting with WIn 7. Seems the PC makers are making it difficult by spreading WIn 7 all over the place. You say you have 4 partitions. You mention 3: C=WIndows, D=System Recovery, E=bios bin flie. What is the fourth one? How big is the recovery partition?

It may help if you can open your Disk Management tool in Windows, or open Gparted on mint live CD, and post a screen shot. What you can do with the partitions may depend on where they are located in relation to each other.

If Windows is only on "C," with no separate partition for data, you cannot change that partition to "extended" without deleting Windows. As it is, the only way I see would be to delete your recovery partition and then make it into an extended partition. You may be able to make it larger, if necessary, but that depends on where it is on the disk. Before doing any of that, I would make sure to have all data backed up, WIndows installation disks, recovery CD, and an image of the system backed up somewhere. Just in case.

If you decide not to mess with your installation of Win 7, it's still possible to carry Mint around with your laptop by installing it on a USB flash drive. I have a persistent install on an 8 gig little pen drive, and it runs as as fast as if it were on the hard drive.

Angel





.

gunny
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by gunny »

Thanks Angel, I needed a little sympathy.
The fourth primary partition is listed as "System," has no drive letter, and is placed before C: in the lineup that the computer management shows me. The hard drive proper is 500 GB with C: taking up 450, and the recovery D: at 13.5 GB. E: containing the bin file is 99 MB
I use Mint for music programs (trackers etc.), so I want Mint to be the largest partition.

I believe that I've got everything backed up sufficiently (External and to DVD.)
I've been living comfortably in the WinXP & Mint7 world for more than 2 years, So the computer knowledge that served me is out of date, and I'm wary of proceeding to make a mistake.

But, if I have to delete a partition, I believe I can do away with E:
Then resize C: using windows management program to about 20% original size
Then I believe I should be able to install Mint9 using the program within it.
But If I still have to partition it manually, where do I install the boot loader when I have the option at the end of the manual install program, and how large should I make the root partition?

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euthypro
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by euthypro »

Gunny,

I'm not too familiar with Windows 7, but the 100MB partition is usually shown as "System Reserved," and contains boot files. I don't think Windows will boot up without it. You might be better checking on a Windows forum as to what partition can be deleted.

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/For ... f9333ecb48

Here's what I have. I'm installing Mint on an EMachines netbook today. Three partitions (thankfully) : "C" for the system, "System Reserved." (100mb) and the Hidden partition, (13.2 gig, about the same as yours.) The hidden partition contains files needed to reinstall the system to original manufacturer defaults. No separate recovery partition on this laptop. Don't know why your laptop manufacturer put one there.

When I install WIndows 7 to a blank HDD , it only makes 2 partitions by default: "C" and the 100MB "System Reserved." Manufacturers usually include the hidden partition. I have removed that partition in XP without any ill effects other than losing the ability to reinstall to original specs. One benefit: I could reinstall without all the crap ware. :-)

You asked about Grub2. So far, dual booting with WIndows 7, I haven't had any problem letting it install as per default. If installing to external disks, then you need to make sure it goes to its proper place, but that's another subject which more knowledgeable people than me can answer.

Angel

vincent
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by vincent »

As many people have mentionned above, there is a maximum of 4 primary partitions on a hard drive; if you wish to create more partitions, you would have to change that to 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition (the extended partition will then be able to hold several logical partitions). That means you'll have to wipe out one of the primary partitions first, and this may be troublesome depending on how your manufacturer has partitioned your laptop (my laptop came with 3 partitions by default, luckily enough; it was a simple task for me to add an extended partition with GParted and create the setup I wanted for my Linux installation within that extended partition). I don't feel confident enough to give advice as to which primary partition to delete on your laptop...but if you can create a set of recovery discs (or if your manufacturer was kind enough to provide you some when you bought that laptop), you should be able to restore your laptop to factory defaults whenever you want, so if you end up deleting a partition that's needed, at least you'll have a backup plan.

Unless you know what you're doing, don't mess with the Ubiquity installer's default location for Grub. It should be installed to /dev/sda, i.e. the MBR of your primary hard drive, which is where Ubiquity places Grub by default. You can choose to install it to the / partition of your Linux installation, or even not install it at all (and thus use a different bootloader of your choice), but putting Grub in the MBR by default is a safe and recommended choice.

As for your question about /usr, /var, /srv, /opt,/ usr/local, etc., they are all directories that would be found in your Linux installation. Ubiquity lets you specify partitions manually, and thus you can choose to place any of the above in separate partitions if you want to; most people take advantage of this by placing /home on a separate partition. There are possible reasons for choosing to go with a more advanced setup, i.e. having /boot on a separate partition for easier configuration of a multi-distro booting setup, or having /var on a separate partition because you want your system logs on a separate partition, etc., but again, if you don't know what you're doing, stick with the basic / and /swap setup, or /, /home, and /swap. See here for more details: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=11872


If you don't want to worry about any of the above and just get on with your work, you could just use mint4win (Mint's rebranded version of Ubuntu's Wubi) and install Linux Mint as a program inside Windows...but I personally dislike this method. It's your laptop though, so it's up to you.
Debian Testing x64/LM9 Main x64/Windows 7 x64 - LG R580 laptop w/ Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 2.1 GHz, 4 GB DDR2 RAM, Nvidia Geforce G 105M, Ralink rt2860 802.11n, 300 GB WD HD 5400 rpm

gunny
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by gunny »

Actually, I have a system partition at 199MB (first partition, no drive letter), C:(windows) D: (recovery,) then the last partition E: (with .bin file which I believe is for D:
I have no problem deleting the last two if it'll help me set up mint better (even if it meant my only option to restore windows would be back to fresh install) I only want to keep windows because 1. I paid for it, and 2. If I come across a program that wine hasn't been able to work around.
I'm just waiting for more certainty (the perfect answer or stumbling across it.), but it hasn't been easy.

And installing directly is the way I want to go. It certainly made a considerable difference to my old AMD.

Thanks for the info, now I just need to know the best size for the root,
and the balls to toy with my new brick/laptop.

And thanks for the link Angel, http://social.answers.microsoft.com/For ... f9333ecb48

talsadus
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by talsadus »

Sorry if my post have been sounding too harsh.

Here is a link for explanation of linux file directory:
http://www.tuxfiles.org/linuxhelp/linuxdir.html

gunny
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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by gunny »

talsadus wrote:Sorry if my post have been sounding too harsh.
Not a problem.

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Re: manual partitioning problems

Post by euthypro »

GUnny,

I'll echo VIncent. I have done quite a few Linux installs, most dual boot, (Broken and recovered some) but I also am not comfortable telling anyone how to do what you are trying to do. That said, and with no guarantees, if I were given a laptop to do, with the 4 partitions you name, the only one I would be comfortable deleting would be the 13.2 gig recovery partition, assuming I am fully backed up, and have installation disks.

Here's what I would do: Defrag WIndows. After defrag is done, click on the "Start" button, right click on "Computer" and select "Manage." Try from the Disk Management tool to delete "D." If Windows will allow it, it's good to go. Then, I would try to shrink "C" using the same tool, to allow as much unallocated space as I want for Linux. Then say a few incantations, cross fingers, and reboot. If Windows comes up fine after doing the disk checks (It may want to reboot once more) then I would be ready to install Mint.

If Windows will not delete or shrink the partitions, then I would run Gparted from the Mint live CD, (Menu > Adminitration > Gparted) and do it, then reboot Windows before trying to install anything.

Once it's down to 3 partitions, there are tutorials here and in other places for the best way to do it for whatever purpose one may want. On a simple install, I create 3 logical partitions: Root, Swap and Home.

Repeat, no guarantees. Good luck, whatever you decide.

Angel

gunny
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Re: manual partitioning problems[Solved]

Post by gunny »

it's up and running fine, both OS's (save for a few function keys not functioning). Deleted last partition, shrank C: in win7 program to half, loaded Mint & placed in largest free space. Everything good there, but I loaded mint5 on my desktop since 9 was lagging, and it was running fine until I updated.
But that's another post and this issue is solved.

thanks folks,

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euthypro
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Re: manual partitioning problems[solved]

Post by euthypro »

Glad you got it sorted out, Gunny. And I learned something too. I get PCs from friends who want Linux installed with their WIndows, and now I know that partition can also be deleted, without having to guess.

As to Mint 5, it is no longer supported. Don't know why Mint 9 would "lag." I have the main edition installed in some poorer hardware than yours, and it runs fine. I'm writing this on Mint 9 Gonme, on a three year old Gateway laptop, AMD Turion 1600ghz with 2 gig memory. No problem with speed.

If you want more speed, a better choice might be Mint 9 XFCE. I have it on an old HP POS laptop, Pentium 4 with 512 meg of memory, and it runs fast enough as long as I don't enable visual effects.

Angel

gunny
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Re: manual partitioning problems[solved]

Post by gunny »

well, I don't know about anybody else's computer, but I had a good notion what the files were for. And I've got them backed up if I need them. Now I need my other computer in good condition to share a printer. That's all I want; is it so hard really? c'mon.

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