Mandriva

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Mandriva

Postby BillBones » Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:43 pm

Hi all, made my first steps in moving to linux. I have installed Mandriva which came on a special Linux Format Mag.

It's all installed and looks like its working have managed to setup my email accounts and can send and receive mail. can also bowse the web.

Need a bit of help. Installed Mandriva on its own HD as I have Windows XP installed on one of the others, I have Windows XP on Primary master and Linus on Primary slave. I change the boot order in BIOS when I want to switch OS. Did try a install along side XP but it trashed my XP and could only run Linux. I have 3 other drives with data on all NTFS partitions. Have looked and looked but can not fine the drives let alone the data. Do I need to have a FAT partition on one of these drives before I can detect and read the data :roll:
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Re: Mandriva

Postby bigjohn » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:24 am

BillBones wrote:Need a bit of help. Installed Mandriva on its own HD as I have Windows XP installed on one of the others, I have Windows XP on Primary master and Linus on Primary slave. I change the boot order in BIOS when I want to switch OS. Did try a install along side XP but it trashed my XP and could only run Linux. I have 3 other drives with data on all NTFS partitions. Have looked and looked but can not fine the drives let alone the data. Do I need to have a FAT partition on one of these drives before I can detect and read the data :roll:


AFAIK, the only issue is normally writing to NTFS partitions - it's often easier to have a FAT32 partition if you want to do read/write in both OS's.

I'm guessing here, but it sounds very much like the Mandriva has only found the hdd with the main XP on it.

The Mandriva won't trash the XP per se, it only installs where you tell it, but what it will do, is normally overwrite the Main Boot Record (MBR) with whichever bootloader you select - mandrivas default is usually "lilo". The file with the info on it is normally (from memory) called /etc/lilo.conf (which if you make any changes too, means that after you've done the changes, you then need to be in a konsole/termial and run /sbin/lilo for the system to write the changes to the bootloader).

Normally it detects the other OS during install and then includes an entry that allows you to boot either.

I'm not sure where you'll find the docs, there usually an icon for "help" or documentation, if you told it to install them (I think it does that by default anyway - sorry it's a while since I binned Mandriva and went for Gentoo so my heads full of gentoo stuff).

the instructions for having the entry for booting windows look like this -
# The next two lines are only if you dualboot with a Windows system.
# In this case, Windows is hosted on /dev/hda6.
other=/dev/hda6
label=windows
(yes that quote is taken from the gentoo install docs, but the entry for windows it the same whatever, except you'd need to change it from /dev/hda6 to /dev/hd(a, b or c - or wherever you have the windows) and the number.

You said that you've got the windows on the first hdd??? well that would normally be /dev/hda (possibley suffixed with number1).

As for seeing the other data hard drives, you'd have to have them listed in the fstab file (look for /etc/fstab) though you may have to be logged in as root to see it, if you checked konqueror (again presuming that you used the Mandriva default desktop environment of KDE) and it shows either a padlock on the file or just says **** and won't let you open it, then you need to be logged in as root.

Again, a little safety thing of Mandriva is that it hides the root graphic login - to see that (IMO it's easier because otherwise I'd be typing all day to explain how to make any changes via CLI) you have to log in as user, open the kde control centre and click System Administration>login manager>administrator mode (on a box at the bottom), then in the users tab, uncheck root in the hidden users box.

The fstab will look something like (different though, as I wrote mine manually - a little "perk" of using a manually config'd distro like gentoo :wink: )
# This file is edited by fstab-sync - see 'man fstab-sync' for details
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo-src/rc-scripts/etc/fstab,v 1.18.4.1 2005/01/31 23:05:14 vapier Exp $
#
# noatime turns off atimes for increased performance (atimes normally aren't
# needed; notail increases performance of ReiserFS (at the expense of storage
# efficiency). It's safe to drop the noatime options if you want and to
# switch between notail / tail freely.
#
# See the manpage fstab(5) for more information.

# <fs> <mountpoint> <type> <opts> <dump/pass>

# NOTE: If your BOOT partition is ReiserFS, add the notail option to opts.
/dev/hda1 /boot ext2 noatime 1 2
/dev/hda3 / ext3 noatime 0 1
/dev/hda2 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hda4 /home ext3 noatime 0 1
/dev/cdroms/cdrom0 /mnt/cdrom iso9660 auto,users 0 0
#/dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy auto noauto 0 0

# NOTE: The next line is critical for boot!
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0

# glibc 2.2 and above expects tmpfs to be mounted at /dev/shm for
# POSIX shared memory (shm_open, shm_unlink).
# (tmpfs is a dynamically expandable/shrinkable ramdisk, and will
# use almost no memory if not populated with files)
shm /dev/shm tmpfs nodev,nosuid,noexec 0 0
/dev/hdc /media/cdrecorder auto user,exec,noauto,managed 0 0
/dev/hdb /media/cdrecorder1 auto user,exec,noauto,managed 0 0


The bit I've emboldened is the bit that matters. You can see that my system is all on one hard drive (and no I don't have windows any more otherwise you'd see a line for the windows partition/disc as well) i.e. /dev/hda1, 2, 3, 4 etc.

Sure yours will be different, but that's because you've got multiple hard drives (oh and I always found that it's handy to have a seperate /home partition, so that if you want to change distros, you can normally just install the new distro to the / (rootfs) partition and as long as the /home partition is listed in the fstab you can log in and don't loose any data etc, that you might have/want to save).

Two places that I'd suggest you have a look are http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/index.php, which has a mandriva forum (plus all the other usuals i.e. newbie etc etc) and http://mandrivausers.org/index.php which is very much distro specific.

You'll usually get the quickest answer from LQ though - just because it's a much bigger forum!

Hope that helps some

regards

John


p.s. Oh, just remembered, during install you're normally asked where you want to install the mandriva, at that point you normally can see any discs/hdd that the system has detected in a list so you should be able to see if the installer has seen them. They wouldn't need to be formatted, as you don't want to loose any data, but to read them, the instructions/info above plus it's usually better it they mount at boot.

Oh and if you have a crack at modifying your install (though you'd have to re-input the email address and net connections etc) you can do that without worry - if it doesn't, for any reason, give you an option to boot windows as well as mandriva/linux, mandriva include a handy option, whereby, you boot the install CD/DVD, when it asks if you want to continue install or check the other options/advanced, hit whichever key for the later, and you can then "rescue" - which will give you the option of re-installing the windows bootloader (you then won't be able to boot the linux untill you do the same again, but tell it to re-install the linux bootloader).

Oh and finally you should normally accept the option for the installer to put the bootloader on the first section of the first hard drive, then it should offer you the option of windows or linux - it sounds like you put the bootloader on the linux hdd so it doesnt' know to offer you the option of windows or linux.
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby BillBones » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:53 pm

Thanks for the info. As I have install linux on to its own drive it can not see XP. I will create a FAT partition and put a copy some data there to see if I can read and write to it. I might even have a second go at installing now you have mentioned some things to look for. Last time I tried a install linux with a boot loader (lilo) I did not see the boot options it would only boot into linux. I have to remove the bootloader from the MBR and reinstall XP. Don't want to do that again. Could not even get the ghost image to load.

Thanks for your help

Bill
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby nelz » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:19 pm

Did you remove the XP drive when installing Mandriva? Otherwise, it should have picked up your XP partitions and set up mounting for them.

Incidentally, you don't need to reinstall XP when a Linux installer fails to add it to the boot menu. Just boot from a Windows rescue disc and type "fixmbr" or boot fro the Mandriva disc, type "rescue" at the boot prompt and you'll see a menu, including an option to restore the Windows bootloader.
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby BillBones » Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:40 am

Well you live and learn. The first time I left the drive with XP on connected and install linux then the system would only boot into linux. I tried to restore the MBR using fdisk /MBR but that did not work even tried to restore XP using a ghost image but that also failed. Ended up reinstalling XP. I then install Linux again but this time removing all other drives.

Do I dare try it again????? many thanks for the info. Formated My USB drive to FAT can now see that, have trouble at first getting the OS to see the USB drive, Ihave to keep going into the system configuration setting and then it pops up, but forgets it when I reboot.

Thanks
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby nelz » Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:50 am

fdisk /mbr is for Win9x/WinME. With XP you use fixmbr.
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby BillBones » Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:14 am

Thanks Nelz, Thats explains why it did not work then, feel like a right plonker now, I will reinstall XP on the existing Linux drive and then reinstall linux and see what happens. If that works I will do the same on my main XP drive.

Thanks
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby bigjohn » Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:48 pm

You shouldn't feel bad in anyway BillBones, it just happens that that is why mandrake/mandriva (with maybe SuSE and a couple of other distros) is one that is often recommended for the "uninitiated".

"They" have made it pretty damn clever, inasfaras, for dual boot, if you have one of your available drives blanked so that windows just see's it as unallocated space, mandriva/mandrake will often check the system and find the empty space and recommend that thats the best place for it, or I believe it's also capable of making some space in windows systems as well if theres no previously setup space.

If you just put the first CD in, while booted into windows, you should get a nice info screen (well you used to get that, so I can only presume that you still do) that tells you about it, and what possible preparations you may or may not need to make.

Personally, as far as using your USB drive for FAT, it's quite feasible to do that, though given the history of USB in linux, I try not to use it too much if I can get away with it. I've heard from many places about USB sub-systems playing up or causing some quite confusing errors.

It'd be my suggestion, that you just put your main XP hdd back in the system, blank the one that you intend to use for linux, then if you have a copy of partition magic or similar, use that to chop the linux drive up and then run the install again (I use the gentoo default of /boot, /swap, / and an additional one of /home, because that way, if I want to, I can easily just install a different distro into the / partition, and it doesn't touch anything in my /home which is where all my bits of personal data live - address book, customisations, etc etc). If you don't have a partitioning utility, I understand that mandrake can do that during install as well - though I've never had to use that.

then (theoretically) it should see the linux formatted partitions on the intended linux drive and ask if that's where you want to install it - you would still have to put the bootloader onto the first section of the first hdd - but it will see the XP drive and offer you the option of either windows or NT or XP to boot the XP drive (whatever it decided to call the XP drive, you can always change the label(s) later).

nelz knows a ton of stuff more than me, but the above is just how I'd accomplish this - having previously had XP on my hdd as well, I appreciate how much of a drag it can be to install and get patched/updated!

good luck

regards

John
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby nelz » Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:57 pm

I wouldn't let PM partition the drive. Leave it blank and let the installer handle the partitioning.
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Postby hyweljones » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:10 pm

After a disaster I had with PM where it corrupted my Linux partiton,I agree with the above. Stick with the linux partitoner .
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Re: RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby Marrea » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:14 pm

nelz wrote:I wouldn't let PM partition the drive. Leave it blank and let the installer handle the partitioning.


I'd second this. The method I always follow with PM is to use it just to shrink the Windows partition but leave the newly acquired free space unpartitioned and unformatted. And then, as nelz says, let the Linux installer sort out its own partitioning and formatting. Seems to work quite well for me.

Although it seems a bit daft to have a program you only use for one small task like this I have been able to save my system more than once by using the PM rescue floppies to get back in and sort various things out, and quite honestly I wouldn't be without it.
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby BillBones » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:18 pm

Thanks Guys. I will give your Suggestions some thought this evening, current train of thought is to make an image of the existing XP installation on the 120GB drive and make sure it passed the Integrity checks and let Linux install it's self on the 120GB drive and create a dual boot. Now I know how to remove restore the MBR if it all goes wrong I can always re-image the XP drive. Question As I have a couple of IDE data drives on the system as well as the USB drive would it be better to convert one of those to FAT rather than NTFS for the shared data?
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby BillBones » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:23 pm

How much space should I let PM create for Linux. I have a 120GB drive with XP on it? Normaly XP only takes up about 50GB once I have loaded all my software.

Thanks
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RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby nelz » Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:09 pm

I wouldn't even use PM to shrink the Windows partition. The Mandriva installer is perfectly capable of doing that for itself. NTFS resizing has been in libparted for years and has proven itself to be both safe and stable.
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Re: RE: Re: Mandriva

Postby bigjohn » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:57 pm

nelz wrote:I wouldn't let PM partition the drive. Leave it blank and let the installer handle the partitioning.

Hum! I bow to your superior knowledge nelz - though in my defence, I never had any problems using it to shrink/change ntfs partitions or create ext2/3 partitions to put linux onto, hence I've never had to put the mandrakes partitioning facility to the test - though I've heard good things of it.

PM is now irrelevant anyway, as I no longer have a windows install on my main PC and I haven't had to change anything partition wise (I suspect that the gentoo docs would direct me towards fdisk).

Well I just had a quick look to see, and currently my single 120 gig disc is set out like thist
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 123 987966 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 124 306 1469947+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda3 307 3346 24418800 83 Linux
/dev/hda4 3347 8210 39070080 83 Linux


and if my maths is even close, that means that I have nearly 55 gigs to play with if necessary.

So as BillBones feels that his XP only takes up 50 gigs, plus he has his other data stuff on other discs, it looks to me, like he has plenty of room on the XP disc for a single disc dual-boot (which is about the same as I used to have mine set up). I've also been quite generous in the space that I've allowed myself i.e. I have the room so why not. I could easily get away with much less - but as I don't know how much crap I'll generate it seemed like a good idea at the time.

It's fair to say, that the guys from my LUG recommend that if possible, to keep the OS's on different hdd's. I don't recall the in's and out's of why they felt that the most appropriate method, but ????

So the choice is yours BillBones, and whether you want too ghost/mirror the XP? Well your previous snag was the bootloader, not the OS(s) wasn't it.

Mandrake/Mandriva won't do anything to the XP _UNLESS_ you specifically tell it too. So you'd just need to tell the mandrake installer to put it (the mandrake/mandriva) on the second disc.

You can always work out about adding the ntfs formatted data discs later i.e. add them to the fstab so they can be mounted by the linux install (either on demand or at boot).

regards

John
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