Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1503 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Partitioning problem in installing oS v11.1
  • From: Stan Goodman <stan.goodman@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Oct 2009 10:25:05 +0200
  • Message-id: <200910031025.06039.stan.goodman@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
At 03:28:22 on Saturday Saturday 03 October 2009, Felix Miata
<mrmazda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 2009/10/02 23:05 (GMT+0200) Stan Goodman composed:
Now the installation is finished, and I can see what it did to the
partitioniing etc.

The order of partitions according to ID number (not ux) is as

1) Primary: Boot Manager
2) Logical: sda5 (LinuxV1 - Swapspace2)
3) Logical: sda6 (/) (GRUB)
4) Logical: sda7 (/home)

Right. The DFSee ux column nr matches the number appended to sda.

All the above have the sizes I requested.

5) Primary: sda3 (LinuxxT1 - Swap)
6) Primary: sda4 (Unknown)

What type filesystem is on sda4? What type byte Does DFSee show in
column 3 of its part tabling, 8e (Linux LVM)? If the installation
program put / on sda6, why did it create sda4?

The warning messages are now gone. The BM is Active, the extended
partition is no longer Bootable, and sda6 (the / partition, which is
labeled GRUB) is marked Bootable. The two superflous primary partitions
sda3 and sda4 have been deleted.

I have no idea why those two partitions were made. I have done nothing in
this installation that I have not done before in several oS
installations, and this behavior is entirely new to me. jdd has an
explanation, but I do not think it is correct; if it were, I would have
seen the same thing in four installation of oS on two seperate desktop
machines, and I didn't.

The DFSee display now looks exactly as it should. Unfotunately, the system
doesn't boot. Instead of Boot Manager, I see a persistent black screen.

Altogether, accounting for the entire disk.

Sounds like may be a gross overutilization that will have to be
discarded later, depending on how many distros you'd like to be able to
have on the 250G disk. I've put more than 10 at a time on a disk half
that size, and would be satisfied with no less than 3 in your
situation: 1-initial, ultimately becoming a maintenance version; 2-next
version upgrade; 3-room for trying installation of something else
altogether. I'd go back to where you started but switch installation
path to the one that obeys what you chose to do in DFSee, using what
you created for it rather than adding malorganized redundance.

I do not know the meaning of T1 and V1 for the two swaps.

I'm sure it's something irrelvant that Jan can answer.

I have a a support request to him already.

Here is the fdisk listing:

Device Boot Start End ID System
/dev/sda1 1 1 -- a OS/2 Boot Manager
/dev/sda2 2 8204 -- 5 Extended
/dev/sda3 8205 8466 -- 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda4 8467 30401 -- 83 Linux
/dev/sda5 2 271 -- 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6 272 2963 -- 82 Linux
/dev/sda7 2964 8204 -- 83 Linux

So the 'fictitious' particians are real, and overlap the ones I made.
I will try to delete tham, but don't know what effect that will have
on the 'real ones'. A real snakes nest.

They aren't fiction. They are the proposal converted to reality. And,
there's no overlapping beyond the fact that primaries are physically
straddling the extended.

That is true. I didn't know how to interpret the presence in the proposal
of partitions that I never requested.

Some other things have happened:

The Boot Manager, which I carefully made Active, is no longer so. No
partition is Active, so booting will be impossible. I think I can fix
that by deleting the Boot Manager and making a new one, which will
give me the option of making it Active.

You shouldn't have to do anything but 'startable 1' from a DFSee
command prompt, or choose 'Make THIS partition Active' from DFSee's
Mode= menu after first selecting the BM partition to work with.

That's what I did last night, and BM is marked Active.

It won't surprise me a lot if after doing this you wind up being unable
to boot Linux except from the DVD, but if the installer did put Grub on
/ correctly, and not on the MBR, no fix should be required if you've
added it to BM's menu.

Partition sda6 (/) is in the BM menu, and it shows as "GRUB". This is
where I specified it to be.

None of the partitions is Bootable, although I know that I had set
sda6 as Bootable.

In the context of boot loaders/boot managers, bootable/startable/active
are all ways to say the same thing: the selected partition's first
table entry byte is set to 80h, which has a special meaning to standard
MBR code, and is prominent on examination of DFSee's dump of the MBR
table. When set on a logical partition (e.g. sda6) it has no standard


On the desktop machine on which I am writing, the partitioning is done in
the same way, and all with logical partitions (three linuces and an OS/2
relic). They are all marked on the DFSee screen with the asterisk, and
they all boot.

DFSee gives another warning as well warning: The extended partition
is marked as Bootable.

That's what a Linux installer will sometimes do when given no native
primary to provide a home for its native boot loader. Had you specified
during installation for where to locate the boot loader only on the /
partition, I don't think it should have done that. For anything at all
to boot from an active-marked extended I believe requires non-standard
boot code in the MBR. To find out you might want to compare a DFSee
boot sector dump on your new laptop to one from your desktop, assuming
your desktop is still booting from IBM BM and its MBR contains either
OS/2 or more generic MBR code.

There is no way I could do that, even if I wanted to,
but I have fixed it with DFSee -- truly the Swiss Knife of

I'm fairly sure DFSee would not permit to directly mark the extended,
as it does not show an id you can select to act (set active) upon. You
could though by direct editing of the MBR table to move the active flag
(80h byte) from line 2 to line 1.

Yes, that is why I wrote that I couldn't have done that if I had wanted
to. When DFSee showed me the warning, it also indicated how to clear it:
Mode > Clean up partition table (approximate wording from memory). I did
that, and the warning about misplaced Bootable mark no longer appears.

Never have I had such a daunting installation experience. And the
only new element (thus probable culprit) in it was the Dell.

I think there are probably things from installing long ago you've
forgotten, while the awful touchpad was magnifying your frustration.
Don't you have an extra standard keyboard and mouse you can plug into
the laptop until you get finished with setup?

I initially had a USB trackball that I connected, but it was as erratic
than the touchpad. Then I discovered that removing the trackball made the
touchpad somewhat less erratic, so I left it out.

" A patriot without religion . . . is as great a
paradox, as an honest man without the fear of God. . . .
2nd U.S. President, John Adams
Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata ***

Stan Goodman
Qiryat Tiv'on
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