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Question about formatting a hard drive? (and DSL)

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#1 Thecovester


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Posted 22 November 2010 - 12:01 AM

Hello all,
The first thing I want to say is I'm sorry if this forum isn't in the right place; it seems like the best place for it though.
Secondly, I have a question. I have one computer that runs Win98 and another with Windows XP. I want to install DSL onto the old computer but the CDROM drive won't work; I can't even boot a cd from a grub4dos prompt. I'm going to unplug the old hard drive from the old computer and plug it in to my newer computer and install Damn Small Linux onto it. I want to format (erase) the whole hard drive of the old computer; I don't care about Windows 98 any more. But a long time ago, the one hard drive of the old computer was partitioned into two sections and make it look like there are two hard drives. Is there any way to "undo" this partitioning?
Second question: After I "undo" the partitioning I now need to actually install the OS. I have downloaded the newest embeddable version of DSL and I run it in windows. I open a terminal and type:
sudo -s
DSL install then asks me what hard drive I want to install it to. My computer with windows XP normally only has one hard drive, so what would I type in? DSL gives "hda2" as an example; what is the "a" for? How do I know which hard drive is which? I'm guessing that my newer hard drive is hd0, so the older hard drive would be hd1. Am I correct? After I answer dsl-hdinstall's question, what do I do next? Do I need to setup a boot manager, or anything else?
Lastly, the old computer can barely access the internet, so I won't have the opportunity to install any packages. Would I be able to download and install any packages I want when the old hard drive is still connected to Windows XP? How would I do this?

Thanks in advance for all the help.

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#2 cryptodan


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Posted 29 November 2010 - 05:14 PM

The a is for the first device on the IDE connector:

/dev/hda would be your master hard drive
/dev/hda* The * represents the partition number.
/dev/hdb would be your secondary hard drive on the IDE connector or CD-ROM
/dev/hdb* same as /dev/hda*.

/dev/sda Would be for Serial and SCSI Connections

I am sure you get the pattern now.

So in your example /dev/hda1 would be your Windows Partition and /dev/hda2 would be another partition.

#3 Ramchu


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Posted 29 November 2010 - 08:04 PM

Here is a good Freeware Disk Partitioning program
that is usable from within windows :

Here is a link to Parted Magic - it can be burned to
Disc as an ISO (.iso) image file and run as a Live CD

Here is a link to Infrarecorder
It is a good CD burning tool for burning ISO's

Tutorial to use Infrarecorder:

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