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January 20, 2001
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Article Index

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Page 1

Partitioning Operations

Results & Problem

Page 2

A Solution

Analysis and Conclusions

Editor's Note

Warning! PartitionMagic and/or BootMagic Might Not Mix with Linux

Mike Angelo -- 20 January 2001(c)

In our January 1, 2001 article, Dual-Boot Linux & Windows to Get the Best of Both Operating System Worlds, we recommended using PartitionMagic and BootMagic from PowerQuest for partition and boot management in a Linux-Windows dual-boot system. Unfortunately however, we now must withdraw that recommendation. Here is why.

Partition Magic 6.0 was used to do some additional partition re-sizing, moving, and creating operations to the system described in the Dual-Boot article -- subsequent to publication of that article.

Prior to these subsequent partition management operations, both the Linux and Windows boots worked fine. However, after these additional partition management operations, the Linux boot no longer worked. That strongly suggests that the partition management operations did something that messed up the Linux boot.

The PartitionMagic people have been notified of this problem. However, so far they have not explained satisfactorily what happened or how to fix it -- or why they have not been able to explain what happened or how to fix it. Therefore, we withdraw our recommendation to use PartitionMagic and BootMagic

Here are the details .

Partitioning Operations

Prior to the problem partitioning operations, the subject hard drive had a primary partition with Windows 98 SE installed on it, a primary partition with OpenLinux 2.4 installed on it, about 750-MB of free (unallocated) disk space, and an extended partition. (Please see Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Partial Partition Magic screen shot showing the Windows FAT32 C: partition (dark green), the Linux Ext2 partition (maroon), the 750-MB unallocated space (gray), and the extended partition which includes the Linux Swap file partition (maroon).

A second primary Linux (Ext2) partition and a swap partition had to be created to prepare the system for installation of Red Hat Linux as a third boot option, in the dual-boot system described in the Dual-Boot article. The objective is to upgrade the dual-boot system to a triple-boot system. A triple-boot PC with Caldera OpenLinux, Red Hat Linux, and Windows should be pretty darn slick.

The new Linux primary partition needs to be more than 2,200-MB. However, there was only about 750-MB of unallocated disk space available.

In order to create a 2,200-MB+ primary, Linux Ext2 partition, some partition re-sizing, moving, and creating operations were conducted. So, the following partitioning chores were conducted while in the Windows 98 SE boot:

1) Reduced the size of several FAT32 logical drives in the extended partition.

2) Moved the free spaces created to the left of the extended partition.

3) Created a (second) Linux swap partition between the free space within the extended partition and the first logical drive in the extended partition.

4) Moved the free space from the extended partition to join with existing free space between the existing Linux root primary partition (Caldera OpenLinux) and the extended partition.

5). Reduced the size of the existing Windows 98 SE primary partition and moved that free space to add it to the free space between the OpenLinux root drive and the extended partition.

6) Created a Linux Ext2 primary partition using all the free space between the OpenLinux partition and the extended partition.

Figure 2 shows the partition layout after completion of these partitioning operations.

Figure 2. Partial Partition Magic screen after partitioning operations

Results & Problem

After those partitioning operations were completed, when the machine was booted the BootMagic screen came up as before these partitioning operations. If the Windows 98 boot option was selected, the machine successfully booted into Windows 98.

However, if the Linux boot was selected (which should be a boot into the existing OpenLinux boot), the preparing to load Linux monochrome text messages appeared. Next the Stage 1 message appeared. But then, the boot process hung.

Nevertheless, a Linux boot could be accomplished successfully by using a rescue diskette to bypass BootMagic.


Copyright 2000, 2001 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved

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