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After spending the entire morning just getting a live boot of ubuntu to work (my fauly really, the last blank cd i had burned with an error, and i had to configure a flash drive to do it instead), i was finally able to use linux for the first time. I had a good experience too, especially the very pleasant surprise i found in driver support, which should make Vista flush in embarassment (I'm not kidding...all my devices were up and running, except for my graphics card, and even then i was offered the driver without having to go hunt for it...i still used the default one since the boot was a live one)

Now, the problem arose when i decided to add ubuntu to my list of OSes that i use. My drive partitions are ntfs. I went so far as to free some space from my main drive to unallocated space (about 20 Gigs) with the partition mager, but it told me i cant have more than four partitions(there was an adjective i can't remember).

My partitions are as follows:
Acer (C):
MediaStorage (I):
PQSERVICE (hidden partition used for recovery by acer software)
WinXP (L): (contains boot record for my vista and xp)

I guess I should have mentioned that i dual boot xp and vista currently (XP for games, vista for productivity)

since ACER and MediaStorage are both larger than 32MB, the only possible solution i can think of is to convert WinXP to FAT32 and install linux there. However, searches seem to say that this can't be done without data loss. This is a no no because my windows boot record is on there, and additionally, my XP cd is old and scratched badly and tends to do erratic installations most of the time, so i cant afford to have XP erased (well i CAN do without it, but I dont really want to...i like my games).

SO does anybody have any suggestions about what to do about this problem at all? I would really hate to let this just pass...because i would definitely have to wipe that flash drive off by tomorrow (its my mom's--mine is only 512MB) and restore its original data...

Please help me...ill give you a cow and marry your wife

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Last Post by John A
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Although the MBR only allows up to 4 primary (the adjective you were trying to remember?) partitions, there is a way to get around this limitation by creating what is called an extended partition -- it's basically a partition that can hold other partitions inside of it, which are called logical partitions.

The only problem is that you've used up all your 4 partitions. What you have to do now would be temporarily delete one of those partitions, create an extended partition in its place, and then recreate the partition you deleted as a logical partition inside of the extended partition, as well as add your Linux partitions inside of there. Unfortunately, this requires wiping out the data on one of your partitions. I don't recommend doing this with your recovery partition, as moving it around might make it inaccessible if you should ever need it.

There isn't really a way of doing this without wiping out something -- hopefully you have enough space on your backup medium to hold the files on the partition that is going to be temporarily deleted while you redo your partition table.

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Ok...i will wipe the media storage partition because no operating system depends on any of its files. How do I go about the procedure you just described?

Thanks for you reply

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Ok never mind, im going through the GParted documentation and i think i'm having an idea of this. First, I delete the Media Storage Partition, then create back as extended, then I add back the media storage as logical, and one for linux as logical also under it?

Right now I'm in XP and copying the media storage files to acer. I'll log back into linux when it's done and tell you how it goes. Hopefully none of what i have planned is dangerous?

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Ok never mind, im going through the GParted documentation and i think i'm having an idea of this. First, I delete the Media Storage Partition, then create back as extended, then I add back the media storage as logical, and one for linux as logical also under it?

Almost. You'll want to create at least 2 Linux partitions, the first holding your root filesystem, and the second being a swap partition (type should be Linux-swap), and basically gives Linux some temporary room to move stuff around if it has to. The swap partition should be around 512 MB, more if you've got tons of RAM.

Then when you're in the Ubuntu installer, you'll have to be sure to specify that the main Linux partition (your root filesystem) has the mountpoint of [B]/[/B] , and that you format it to ext3. Everything else should be OK.

Right now I'm in XP and copying the media storage files to acer. I'll log back into linux when it's done and tell you how it goes. Hopefully none of what i have planned is dangerous?

Not really. Just be careful which partition you delete in GParted! ;-)

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Ok....another problem. Gparted only allows me to create a primary partition (extended and logical are greyed out) even after i deleted the MediaStorage partition.

And suddenly it seems I am unable to connect to the internet from within linux (even though that was fine just today), so i had to swicth back to XP to post this.

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Don't know what's up with that, you may want to try the command line utility cfdisk instead. It's pretty simple, here's what you do:

Open up Terminal. It should be under the Gnome (Utilities?) menu, I'm having difficulty remembering. At the prompt, type

sudo cfdisk /dev/hda

And hit return. You should enter into a menu-based partitioning program, displaying your partition table. Use the up and down arrow keys to select a partition (select the empty space to create a new partition), use the right and left arrow keys to select an option, and hit "enter" to hit the button. Just follow the prompts for creating an extended partition, and then create your other logical partitions inside of it. Keep in mind that cfdisk doesn't offer you the choice of partition type when creating it; you will have to switch the type after you've created the partition. Hopefully you can figure it out, because it's getting pretty late here, and I'm going to have to log off. Sorry.

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Well i did get it to work, but then XP got messed up (it loaded the Acer recovery partition instead). So I removed linux altogether, and decided that it would be much much easier to just put in another hard drive (I should have a 18GB one somewhere about O.o) and partition that solely for ubuntu.

I've meant to ask also if you knew anything of the 64 bit ubuntu distro. My comp is an Athlon 64 X2 so its compatible, but my concern is driver support. Will i need to be hunting like mad for 64 bit drivers? Or should I just stick to the 32bit distro?

Thanks for all your assistance as I struggled a bit there. Don't be surprised if you wake up one morning and meet a cow tied to your doorstep, but your wife gone (jk).
peace

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Well if GRUB got the partition detection messed up, it could have been chainloading the wrong partition in an attempt to boot Windows. Whatever, if you're going to install it on a second hard drive you should try to install GRUB to the MBR of the first hard drive -- otherwise it will probably boot automatically into Windows. What I recommend doing is writing down the current state of your partition table, ie. which order they're in, and then if something in GRUB gets messed up, you can always edit the menu.lst file afterwards to fix everything up.

Regarding 64 bit Linux, I haven't really had the hardware to experiment with it, but I've seen a lot more problems come about by using a 64 bit version. Your computer being an Acer, however, will probably mean that driver support will be good, and Ubuntu always has a pretty decent built-in supply of drivers.

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hey guy,if you get the response you can send me the reply via
my problem right now is that i sue a RedHat version of linux after i had created a logical partition in my hard disk that had Xp.
My XP crashed and after a successful re-installation,i dont have the redHat option to select from when the system boots.Somebody has Recommended a Linux rescue,but how do i start it?what commands are used?how do i locate my redHat Linux's boot sector?
any help is much appreciated.

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When you install Windows, it automatically wipes the Master Boot Record, which is most likely where your boot loader was installed. Just boot off your Red Hat install CD, and type "linux rescue" to get into rescue mode. Installing GRUB should be as simple as entering this at the Linux prompt:

grub-install /dev/hda

For more details on reinstalling GRUB with the Linux rescue prompt, see this:
http://www.sorgonet.com/linux/grubrestore/

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