How Linux can cause you windows problems....

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How Linux can cause you windows problems....

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:36 pm

Well, it's time to upgrade my laptop hard disk 40 Gb is just too small, and 5400rpm too slow...

I assumed it would be easy.....

Except its an IBM laptop which came with no recovery disk, it has a hidden backup partition.......

First step:copy my SuSe /home partition to an external HDD.

Then....try and find out how I can transfer WindozeXP to the new HDD....

Some time later, finally manage to download rescue and recovery application to create backup OMG! 487Mb!!! for a backup program!!!
oh well, 2 hours later...start installation....told to defrag the disk before continuing!!! oh well....2 more hours!

This made me realise how spoilt I am by my Linux distro.

I never have to defrag SuSe.
Because I increasingly use Linux, I have neglected to do this on a regular basis with XP.
If I want to upgrade, I just take a copy of /home then reinstall, and copy it back. If I need to, I can copy /etc, or even the whole filesystem. If I`m not replacing the HDD, I just don't format the /home partition.

If I tried to unravel XP, where would I find all the various bits?
My emails, documents, etc are stored on offline folders on the server, but there are files that are stored in application folders, files in other folders (mainly database files, OF won't back them up). And most home users don't have that option.

My XP add/remove software pane shows loads of updates, none of which (except for the most notorious ones) I know anything much about, whereas Suse just installs the latest Deltas after giving me a concise explanation as to why...

And often these days, I click once on an icon, and sit there wondering why it hasn't launched....

Now it's 11:30 PM, I started this when I got home at 5:00, and the defrag is still running, it's at 10%....I'm going to leave it running, and go to bed.
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RE: How Linux can cause you windows problems....

Postby ollie » Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:54 am

After running Windows Defrag (overnight usually) I have found it easier to use Norton's Ghost to copy the Windows XP partition on the old drive to a partition on the new drive and then either use the XP tools to "rebuild" the MBR so it boots to Windows XP and then start my new Linux build. A cheap tool is the USB 3.5"/2.5" IDE adapter that doesn't require a HDD to be installed in a system - just run it on the bench. 8)

The really essential part is having /home on a separate partition so it is either backed up or remounted as /home during the re-installation of Linux. However make sure that any MySQL databases, mailboxes, etc are backed up from /var. Debian based systems may also have web and FTP servers data in /var.

Good luck with the upgrade - my last one was at Christmas - so I understand teh pain you're going through.
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RE: How Linux can cause you windows problems....

Postby Nigel » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:25 am

It will be interesting to see if Windows complains about your hardware change and forces you to re-authenticate...
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RE: How Linux can cause you windows problems....

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:25 pm

Well, eventually I gave up and restored the old hdd to factory defaults, from the hidden partition, installed the 487 mb download app.
This allowed me to make a set of recovery disks (6 cds for a basic windows and drivers only system)
Then I installed the new hdd and recovered the windows install.

Not asked me to activate (yet)

Interesting that even on a fresh factory install, windows was fragmented, and needed defragging before I could back up!
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Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows problems....

Postby Ram » Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:11 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:
Interesting that even on a fresh factory install, windows was fragmented, and needed defragging before I could back up!


Not really, windows copies all the files it requires to the hard drive then deletes them once it finished with them. Leaving you with a fragmented hard drive again.

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RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows problems....

Postby jjmac » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:24 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:
>>
Some time later, finally manage to download rescue and recovery application to create backup OMG! 487Mb!!! for a backup program!!!
>>

Just to display one of my gaps i guess. As i figure you would have likely considered it ...

But, couldn't dd have been used to do a raw transfer (@28588 bs) ?

Aside from the benefit of having a recovery set, that is.


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Re: RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows problems....

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:12 pm

jjmac wrote:Just to display one of my gaps i guess. As i figure you would have likely considered it ...

But, couldn't dd have been used to do a raw transfer (@28588 bs) ?

Aside from the benefit of having a recovery set, that is.


jm


This is a laptop, with no floppy, and only space for 1 drive.
I can't access the new HDD without an OS installed, (the BIOS might boot from a firewire disk, but I doubt it, Ghost couldn't see firewire or USB).

I perhaps could have used a live distro, etc, but that would not have copied the "hidden" partition, anyway.

The windows recovery was weird, it installed windows on a 40G partition, then set up an extended partition with 3 partitions in it, and then the hidden partition.

I had to delete the spurious partitions in windows before SuSe would install.

Anyway, it's all done now, except for updating windoze, updating drivers, installing windows applications....oh, and running update on SuSe, I'm doing that now, windows will have to wait until tomorrow at work, and another half a day of reboots and installs to get everything back to fully usable.

ADDENDUM:
It was about time that I reinstalled windoze anyway, after 2 years, it was getting slower and slower, there was an extra wifi icon in the system tray, and I still couldn't uninstall Norton completely....
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows problems

Postby jjmac » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:45 am

Sounds like laptops could do with a facility to plug in an extra drive. Some external socket that a carragied drive could be connected by. ide not usb.


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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows problems

Postby Rhakios » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:19 pm

Well, there are external SATA drives available, that would do nicely.
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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows prob

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:01 pm

jjmac wrote:Sounds like laptops could do with a facility to plug in an extra drive. Some external socket that a carragied drive could be connected by. ide not usb.


jm


This has Firewire and USB ( it can't seem to decide whether it's USB1 or USB2, Linux runs the back port as USB2, windows runs both front and back as USB1), but they are not available at boot, or from dos,etc,etc.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:19 pm

I just sat down and did a rough estimate of the reinstall:
Total time including downloading:about 25 hours!
Total time excluding downloading: about 9.5 hours
of which windoze: 5.5 hours
of which waiting for windoze to reboot:0.5 hours ( conservative estimate)
of which Linux: 1.5 hours
others: (faffing about with the IBM maintenance partiton): 1 hour

Which is pretty lopsided, and when you consider that I had to tell SuSe to update, and it did it, whereas I had to tell windoze several times, reboot, install more crap, reboot, etc, I think that in general Linux wins:-)

P.S. I still have problems with Windows:
The Seimens USB ISDN PBX port won't work.
UniVerse ODBC won't connect
I can't access the FTP server in our DMZ.
It thinks that my PDA is an alien.

But what the hell, I'm on holiday until a week on monday-what do I care
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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows prob

Postby nelz » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:29 pm

jjmac wrote:Sounds like laptops could do with a facility to plug in an extra drive. Some external socket that a carragied drive could be connected by. ide not usb.


There's external SATA as already mentioned, and Firewire. Apple computers have a nice facility where you can connect two computers together with Firewide and have one appear as an external drive to the other. A really easy way of backing up without needing a disc enclosure.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows

Postby jjmac » Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:34 am

>>
There's external SATA as already mentioned,
>>

True, though mentioned post ... but at least thats good. As long as there's a spare sata available. I have noticed though from various posts that sata can still at times be problematic. But those posts seem to be rare. At least ide is well tested, and it probably would be more likely to find one sitting in the back of a draw some where, ripe for an emergency.

I wrote:
>>
Some external socket that a carragied drive could be connected by. ide not usb.
>>

I did mentioned carraged. I was thinking of these containers i saw once where a drive was just inserted into it then it could be connected to a controller socked via flat cable. Seemed neat enough, i guess it was designed to give it some stability. But not ultimately neccessary. Just something to plug into as a temporary measure, would do.

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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows

Postby e_james » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:10 am

Just an observation in passing.
Windows XP is capable of editing the partition table of an external usb drive. (I have done it.)
Gparted appears to have the capability to copy a partition from drive to drive, including external usb. (I haven't tried it yet.)
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How Linux can cause you windows

Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:12 pm

Windows XP can't even see the IBM service partition, let alone edit it.
The biggest problem is the 4 part boot sector that IBM Laptops come with.
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