I seem to remember reading somewhere recently that boot.ini and the WinXP operating system do not necessarily have to be on the same partition. As long as boot.ini has the correct information, it will find XP on another partition. Although I'm not sure what the advantages are of having them on separate partitions.
The advantage would be if the bios was cylinder limited, and the install was further into the disk than what the bios could see. All the bios bootstrapper would have to do would be find the initial XP 1st stage, then everything would be handled by it from there, using logical sector mappings. In a way, similar to using a separate boot partition for Linux, and installing Lilo/Grub on its' first sector. I would expect that MS would be considering a dual boot scenario with an other MS flavour there. But ... as the other flavour would likely not have that facility ... it would have to steal the space to do it. Nice of them to actually provide the flexibility, but also a little strange for MS to do so (really strange) (grin).
I used pclinuxos to create my liux partitions and left xp where it was,but you can also use the distro (well you could with mandriva)if you can't make partitons when you install fd3 i would use pclinux or another live distro to make them first
Thats just what i was going to suggest
one thing i'd like to know is that when i try to create a partition out of the extended partition with Partition Magic 8, then it won't do so...
If your going to use tools like PM, try not to jump around using like tools if problems (scrambles) occur. Iv'e noticed that when people do that, they inevitably end up just digging them selves a bigger hole. I don't no scrap about those tools personally though, so i can't really give much info on any of their quirks, or hidden benefits. I do know that Windows generally isn't very keen on providing to much formatting flexibility with the extended-partition (grin). My OSR2 fdisk just blurts out, at the speed of light, "can't set an extended partition active" then exits, when ever iv'e tried to use it for that.
Yes, the LiveCD is a good idea, as Paul suggested. You really want a back-up of your existing MBR on a floppy first though. Then, you can use that to restore from if some error occurs. It will also allow you to boot into your existing XP as well. So, i would do that first, bring up a window manager, and have a sniff around its' menus to see what kind of copy tools/boot disk type tools it has. As a ... we might as well try and do it safely first ... type of thing, if that proves to drawn out. Then we can just use "dd" and kill it with one shot (grin).
In the LiveCD boot ... you should have access to a couple of very good boot-sector/partitioning tools.
fdisk and cfdisk.
could you post the output of ...
]# cfdisk -Pt /dev/hda
It will look something like,
- Code: Select all
[root:21:30]# cfdisk -Pt /dev/hdb
Partition Table for /dev/hdb
---Starting--- ----Ending---- Start Number of
# Flags Head Sect Cyl ID Head Sect Cyl Sector Sectors
-- ----- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----------- -----------
1 0x80 1 1 0 0x83 254 63 8 63 144522
2 0x00 0 1 9 0x82 254 63 60 144585 835380
3 0x00 0 1 61 0x05 254 63 1023 979965 59071005
4 0x00 0 0 0 0x00 0 0 0 0 0
5 0x00 1 1 61 0x83 254 63 589 63 8498322
6 0x00 1 1 590 0x83 254 63 1023 63 8498322
7 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 8498322
8 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 8498322
9 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 8498322
10 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 8498322
11 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 8080632
Just to get an idea on what things look like.
can i use pclinux in Windows to make a linux partition?
If thats a Linux LiveCD, then you just boot it from your cdrom drive, you don't go into windows. You will have to key "del" (usually, could be different for you) to get into your bios setup screens at boot time. Navigate through the screens until you find the page that lists the boot sequence, then change it so that the cdrom is first on the list. The same is true for a floppy boot.
Once that comes up, it may be slow, depending on how much ram you have and your processor, but basically, you will have an OS environment running completlt from a ram image, in conjunction with your cdrom
. You can mount partitions etc, and function as though it was a normal OS installed. It will pay to read over the docs on the cd first though, as you may need to supply various command line switches at boot to suite your particular hw setup. fiddly at first i guess, but the LiveCD has managed to turn into a complete gem of a recovery tool
]# cfdisk /dev/hda
Will give a very straight forward access to your existing partitions, and both the Linux fdisk and cfdisk will set the extended active.
The only thing they wont do is resize, or image.
Thats why the table dump would be handy, to see what space you do have, and how it's arranged.
There is a tool called "fips.exe" that goes on a windows start-up floppy, that will resize down fat partitions. Which should be on all Linux installation disks.
as far as imaging tools, and things like PM, other people will be much more suited to comment there. Hopefully someone will.
If you decide to mount your XP when the LiveCD is running, don't try writting to your NTFS partition. Write support is very scratchy in Linux on account of MS not being prepared to releas the specs on that filesystem fully.
post the dump )