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January 20, 2001
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Article Index

(click the )

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 --19 January 2001

page -2-

A Solution

Although the PowerQuest people were not able to provide a solution there is at least one, very easy solution. Red Hat engineer and Mozilla developer Chris Blizzard suggested simply logging-on the Linux boot as root. Then, simply type lilo. This causes LiLo to re-add the existing OpenLinux and Windows boots.

Tried Chris Blizzard's easy solution. It worked. Thanks Chris.

If you find yourself in this predicament, first you need to get a good Linux boot. In order to get logged on to the Linux boot, you need to use the Linux rescue disk to boot into Linux. Once you have done that, simply apply Chris Blizzard's easy solution and you are back in the dual-boot business.

However, there is a word of caution here, if you are using eDesktop 2.4. OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 ships with GRUB (Grand Unified Boot Loader), which is supposed to handle larger partitions. Older versions of LiLo have 1024th cylinder barrier issues. The above solution can overwrite GRUB, which could lead to 1024th cylinder problems. Look for more discussion of these LiLo, GRUB, and 1024th cylinder issues in a future MozillaQuest article.

Analysis and Conclusions

It appears the partitioning operations conducted with Partition Magic did not mess-up anything other than something involved in the actual Linux booting process

It also appears that using PartitionMagic and BootMagic work fine and do not affect a Linux boot -- if all the partitioning work, and installation of BootMagic, is conducted prior to the installation of a Linux boot. In the Dual-Boot article, all the partitioning work was done prior to installing OpenLinux.

However, it appears that using PartitionMagic to alter the partition layout after the installation of a Linux boot can mess-up the Linux booting process.

Therefore, we remove our prior recommendations of PartitionMagic and BootMagic pending a satisfactory explanation and solution from the PowerQuest people for the problem described. We do this in part because the problem is there. Also, we do this in part because the PowerQuest people failed to understand and explain the problem, and because the PowerQuest people failed to provide a solution to the problem apparently caused by using their software.

Further, it is suggested here that if you use PartitionMagic and/or BootMagic on a system where Linux is installed, you tread lightly and cautiously. Moreover, please make sure you have a full compliment of Linux, PartitionMagic, BootMagic, and Windows rescue and startup disks.

Stay tuned for further information and recommendations about this problem.

(Editor's Note: Withdrawing a recommendation of a product is a strong action and one not taken lightly. However, here with PartitionMagic, there is a somewhat unique and compelling situation.

PartitionMagic is software that, inter alia, moves, re-sizes, and modifies partitions that already have programs, files, and data on them. If PartitionMagic has a bug, that bug might destroy or damage existing files and data.

For most software, a bug at worst causes a program or system crash and/or loss of unsaved data. A problem in PartitionMagic can cause the loss of saved data and files well beyond PartitionMagic files and data.

The specific Partition Magic and/or Boot Magic problem reported here is not merely one of not being able to use some feature. Rather it is a problem in which the Linux OS boot gets lost. To us that is a serious problem, even though the Linux boot can be accomplished by using a Linux rescue diskette to boot into Linux. And even though we have found a fix for the damage caused by using PartitionMagic.

Additionally, this problem was encountered after publication of the Dual-Boot story, which highly recommends PartitionMagic and BootMagic. Therefore, we feel we have an important obligation to let you, our readers, know without unnecessary delay and as soon as possible that there is a problem using PartitionMagic and/or BootMagic. Moreover, in light of this problem and PowerQuest's inadequate response to it, we no longer are comfortable recommending PartitionMagic and/or BootMagic.)


Related Articles

Dual-Boot Linux & Windows to Get the Best of Both Operating System Worlds


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

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