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Need Help Partitioning Hard Drive...cannot Access The Rest Of Hd From Fedora...

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 02:57 AM

Ok so I am new to Linux but really like it..its can't replace Windows in all ways, mostly for internet and video things, but it is superb in many other ways. My XP is down right now as I need to reinstall so I decided to install Linux. At first I just had Kubuntu installed with a dual boot with my XP OS..but I decided to try out Fedora as well. Well things were just fine when I was running Kubuntu..I could access my entire hard drive...like as in my files from my xp partition...but now that I installed Fedora I can only access the partition that Fedora ITSELF is installed in....I hope its a minor problem, because I have a feeling that I just set up my multi boot system in the wrong way..like partition wise...Its no big deal to have to delete all my Linux distros and reinstall them if need be..but here's the scoop..here's a screen shot of my current partition set-up..
I'll explain this a bit as well incase the link doesn't work
I have many partitions and I'm not sure how many are correct or if I made my extended partition correctly so I need some help on this please:
Hard Drive
/Dev/Sda1 - This is my XP partition (NTFS)....along with all my personal, but not too important, files..this was created before I found linux which is why it's not 2 separate partitions..that's another thing that I would like to accomplish..I want to move all my files and such to one partition and just have a raw XP boot/run partition (i think this is what I want but am willing to take any recommendations if you catch my drift as to what I want to do)
/Dev/Sda2 - This is my Kubuntu partition (all I know is that it is just the "/" partition for this, not sure if the software updates and programs..such as drivers for amarok or other things..are being installed here or if its just the plain boot partition (ext3)
/Dev/Sda3 - This is my extended partition..created here because I had to delete my linux swap file to add more partitions..then added the swap file back into the ext. partition
/Dev/Sda5 - Linux SWAP (please inform me if this works with both Kubuntu and Fedora without creating two SWAPs)
/Dev/Sda6 - My Fedora partition...again the same as my description for my Kubuntu partition, not sure if its just the raw boot or what)
/Dev/Sda7 - an empty NTFS partition that I created which I was going to move all my personal files to from my XP partition, but HAVE NOT done so yet
/Dev/Sda4 - This is supposed to be my /Home partition which was setup when I installed Kubuntu..however, I do not believe that it is being shared with Fedora for whatever reason....

Ok...this is what knowledge I want from you great folks here....see if you can fill me in and help me out on this stuff...

1)After I installed Fedora
a)If won't let me access the rest of my HDD except for the Fedora partition (and in the explorer window it doesn't even name the fedora partition /Dev/sda6 like it should, it's something like /a1)
b)If won't let me boot Kubuntu from the GRUB loader thing...it errors out...not exactly sure what it says...maybe something about the run file or what not...but Kubuntu booted JUST FINE before I installed Fedora!....btw the GRUB loader will let me boot XP.....

2)I need to know if it is just easier to fix the partition layout or just delete all of them (except my XP partition!!) and just start over with a cleaner setup

2.5)I need to know how to set-up this multi-boot system to have:
a)one partition for a raw windows boot
b)one partition to put all my windows files in, but be able to share with all my OS'es (mostly music, word docs, movies)
c)one partition for raw Kubuntu boot
d)one partition for raw FedoraKDE/Foresight boot (not sure which..not liking Fedora too much right now...plus Kubuntu is already a KDE and I don't really need two..)
e)one partition (i think i've heard this be called the "home" partition) to be used to share Linux only files
d)one partition for SWAP..atleast I think you only need one....
f)one partition or free space left to partition at a later date to install vista raw boot

3)Is there any possible way to have more than 8 partitions without another HDD? because I've heard only 8....1(-3 Primary, then an Extended with 1-4 Logical..don't know if this info is correct however).....?

Thank you SO much for any response I get..it will be GREATLY appreciated!


Edited by PC GEEK, 04 August 2007 - 02:57 AM.

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#2 groovicus


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Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:31 AM

Holy cow.. bunches of of questions. You only need one swap file, Ubuntu and Fedora will share it.

The '/' partition is the root drive. It typically holds all of your applications, except the ones that are needed to boot the system. That is not to say that the boot directory can't be in the same partition though. On my system, sda1 is the boot drive, sda2 is the swap drive, and sda3 is the root drive.

You can not see your Windows partition from Fedora if you are using NTFS in Windows. You really shouldn't be able to see it from a fresh install of Ubuntu either since (as far as I know), it does not have native NTFS support. It is easy to add the capability though. http://www.fedorafaq.org/#ntfs

I can't really help with the grub error since I don't know what it says. The grub.conf file can be manually configured though. There are probably a few hundred thousand examples all over the web.

I can't really speak to your partition scheme though without knowing how big of a hard drive you have. 6 partitions on a 40 gig hard drive would be a bit ridiculous. From the standpoint of modern operating systems, you can have as many logical partitions as you want. The partition table is 512 bytes and can only hold information on 4 primary partitions. By using extended partitions, the partition table is no longer constrained. Again, it depends on the size of your hard drive if more than a few partitions even makes sense. I can't really see the need for more than a single linux install anyway, but that is just me. If one distribution has features that I want, I can add it to whatever version of linux I happen to be using.

#3 cybormoron


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Posted 04 August 2007 - 07:14 PM

hmmm? partition planning is always fun. it'll probably take a few tries to get something that suits you then you'll probably change your mind and have to redo the whole shootin' match. just make sure you have a windows back up disc or it'll cost a couple hundred bucks for a new windows xp. IMHO it gets complicated and confusing to have data on too many partitions. i would just do like groovicus says and just go with one distro. if you want to explore another distro then you can make a small testing partition or you can use an emulator to explore other distros.
it is recommended that you install windows first. windows will not add linux to your MBR so you will be unable to boot linux. there are ways to add linux to the MBR but i think it's easier to just do windows first. so here's what i would do with your current situation, this is just a suggestion;

sda1 = primary partition, windows xp, (ntfs), windows will call this c:\ 85gb? or smaller if you're going to use a seperate partition for data storage.

sda2 = primary partition, your windows data, (ntfs), windows will call this d:\ 20gb - 80gb?

sda3 = extended partition, here we put the logical partitions (sda5 up to sda20). make the size = the rest of your hard drive.

---sda5 = linux swap, 2 gb should be sufficient, all linux distros will recognize this and use it.

---sda6 = whatever distro you want. install this second after windows. the installer will see windows and add the boot option to your MBR. linux grub or lilo will become your default boot loader. this is good but you can change it later if you like. ext3 is probably the best format. you will mount / (root) here. for some of the current linux releases i think most of them recommend at least 8gb for your root partition. i would make it at least 12gb.

---sda7 = mount your /home partition here. make the size equal to the rest of your HDD or leave a few gb's for another partition. the smaller you make windows the bigger you can make this or vice-a-versa. this will be the /home for your sda6 above

---sda8 = if you left space for this then you can put a another distro here. if you're using this for testing i would just put root and home on the same partition.

like i say this is only a suggestion i'm no expert. i also don't have microsoft on any of my machines so i really don't know how best to work with it. the hard part is figuring out what sizes you want. if you're going to store windows data on a seperate partition then i don't think you need a big windows xp partition.

fedora uses different security procedures to keep prying eyes away from the rest of your data. if you need the extra security then fedora is good. if you don't need a moat, a drawbridge, a guntower, 12 dobermans and 12 bodygaurds then just use a different distro. it's easier, lol.

i think what may have happened about the grub error is some linux distro installers fail to see that other distros are installed on the machine and promptly fail to add them to the bootloader. after you install a distro you should immediately make a boot floppy disc. windows refuses to see linux at all and some distros simply fail to see each other. ubuntu is the best at seeing other operating systems. if you don't know how to edit your bootloader then install ubuntu last and you will have all operating systems listed in your MBR. if you are unsure whether a distro is going to wipe out your MBR then install grub or lilo to a floppy or you can install grub/lilo to the root partition and manually add the new distro to your MBR from your other distro.

so in a nutshell get out a pencil and some paper and divide up your 300gb HDD on paper then put your best plan into gparted.

maybe like this?
xp = 30gb ---minimum
xp data = 100gb ---plus or minus
linux swap = 2gb ---minimum
linux root = 15gb ---minimum
linux home = 100gb ---plus or minus
2nd linux distro = 30gb ---plus or minus
total = 277gb

p.s. a few distros i recommend
mandriva - kde
pclinuxos - kde
debian - gnome
ubuntu - gnome
dreamlinux - xfce
opensuse - kde

Edited by cybormoron, 04 August 2007 - 07:36 PM.

I can no longer sit back and allow Microsoft infiltration, Microsoft indoctrination, Microsoft subversion, and the international Microsoft conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious open source GNU/Linux operating systems. General Jack D. Ripper.


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Posted 05 August 2007 - 01:47 AM

wow...tons and tons of help..you have no idea....yes im thinking of a setup with just 1 linux distro now..and i'm not liking fedora's security b.s...i mean its good if you need it but i dont so i think ill stick with kubuntu because the kde desktop makes it more of a windows friendly operation..like I totally didn't know you could have more than 8 partitions...thats a ton of help right there in itself since I need to leave some space for a future vista install....when i say future i really do mean FUTURE cuz i don't have the money right now plus I'm gunna let that money hungry gates fix some more bugs before i empty my pockets...im looking to set-up like this but someone will have to chip in some info because i heard somewhere that all windows os'es have to be installed first from the oldest os to the newest (1st=98, 2nd=2000/ME, 3rd=XP, 4th=Vista)
so that would mean.....

SDA1 (just wondering on this tidbit as well...can't figure out why my linux distro calls is SDA instead of HDA....maybe Storage Drive?...not sure...not really important tho lol just like to learn new things!!)
so anyways

SDA1 - Primary (NTFS) XP 30GB

SDA2 - Primary (NTFS) Vista 40GB (now this wouldn't have to be installed yet but I would format and set this aside for vista system files since is has to be installed after xp and before linux correct?? also someone will have to cue me in if 40 gb is enough for the vista files....?)

SDA3 - Extended

SDA 5 - (NTFS) 50-100GB Windows data files for both xp and vista

SDA 6 - Linux Swap 3-4GB (I know they recommend 2x your ram but i have no idea if thats true so im thinking since i have 2gb ram maybe like 3-4gb to be safe)

SDA 6 - (EXT3) 15GB Probably Kubuntu "/" files

SDA 7 - (EXT3) 50GB SDA6 "/Home" files

SDA 8/Unused storage space

also...i will have to do these partitions in Fedora Live CD, once I uninstall the Fedora distro, with GParted because Kubuntu is always saying that my hdd is "busy" and won't let me edit or create or delete with QTParted...I do have a bit of a challenge though...hopefully I can figure this out..and i think i can just not going to right now because I'm too tired...but I have to move all my personal files to that data partition..oh wait nevermind because I'm just going to delete all of the partitions I have CURRENTLY with the Fedora Live CD and create the new partition table and move the files probably after I install Kubuntu since I can't move files with XP since it's down right now (long story having to do with letting a friend install my XP with cds from a comp that has xp already on it....lets just say that the trial ran out and i'm NOT giving good 'ol gates any money to buy a new key...)

THANKS SO MUCH!!!! you guys rock....seriously...this site saves people tons of money like everyday....someone should do a rough estimate!


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