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Re: Partitioning

On Sat, Dec 13, 1997 at 01:39:05AM +0100, Gertjan Klein wrote:
> adrian.bridgett@poboxes.com wrote:
[snip - BIOS and large HDs]

>   Take your pick.  What many people seem to be confused about is that
> many, if not most, decisions concerning this stuff are driven by
> market forces requiring backward compatibility.  Let me state _again_
> that the BIOS is nothing but a piece of software in a PROM - it can
> easily be altered should the market so request.  The design of the PC
> is flexible enough here.

I'm not sure that replacing a chip is entirely flexible, althought modern
Flash BIOS overcome this (yes, I saw the P in PROM).

>  > As I understand it, (at least with DOS/windows/OS2), you can only "see" one
>  > primary partition _per disk_. This was also what various HOWTO's seemed to
>  > say.
>   No, no, NO!  How many times do I have to say this: I HAVE MULTIPLE
> What does it take to convince you that I'm not lying?!  Do I need to
> mail an output of DOS fdisk perhaps?  Or would you then think I forged
> that?  <Taking a deep breath>  The only problem with multiple primary
> DOS partitions that both DOS and W95 have, is that their fdisk refuses
> to create more than one.  For a workaround, and more details, see the
> docs of my boot manager (see sig).  Once created, they are seen and
> accesible.

I stand corrected, I thought maybe you had one primary parition on one disk
and one on another - I never meant to imply you were lying. MS fdisk is
badly broken - I've some very strange results from it.

>  > The fact that windows (95 and NT) cannot use partitions properly - they
>  > *require* that they are on the first primary partition on a disk - means
>  > that partitioning is _alot_ of hard work (trust me - I've spent a week
>  > reinstalling things and messing around).
>   I doubt if you've spend as much time partitioning as I have developing
> my boot manager ;-)  I have very little experience with NT, but I know
> for a fact that Windows '95 does _not_ require to be installed to the
> first primary partition of a harddisk - on my harddisk, it is installed
> on the fourth. The requirements are:
>  - It must be installed on the first harddisk.  This requirement goes
> for both DOS and W95; for DOS 6.22 and 7.0 (the DOS part of W95) there
> is a workaround if there are no primary DOS partitions on the first
> harddisk.
>  - The active flag must be set to the booted partition.  If W95 is
> booted from the fourth partition, but the active flag is set to the
> first, it will hang.

Is it possible to boot 95 from a logical partition? On a seperate note, is
it possible to *install* (from CD) 95 onto a logical HD.

One thing that I'll mention, HPFS (OS/2) and NTFS (NT) both use the same ID
for their paritions. If you try to install NT onto a disk where there is an
HPFS partition "before" the one that you are going to install NT on, it gets
confused ("it's an NT ID, but I can't read it - aaarrgh")? I'm sure of this,
but it seemed to be what happened on someone's machine at work (I didn't
have this problem and did have OS/2 installed).

>  > One feature I look for in a design is easy modification in the future
>  > (which is normally always needed for one reason or another).
>   The PC having come this far, I'd say it apparently was modifyable
> enough to give us Pentium PCs without losing the ability to run DOS.
> Your list of things you object to is not exhaustive, and some of it I
> agree with; I am not defending everything to do with PCs, I just hate to
> see misinformation - especially on a list otherwise so helpful and
> accurate.

I can run a spectrum emulator on my PC, but that certainly wasn't designed
to be easily modifiable. In a similar way, if the PC was better designed in
the first place, they would be much faster now as the backwards
compatibility would come at a much lower cost than we are currently paying.

>  >   - allowing spaces in filename - *completely* *braindead*
> kilu:~$ > "Filename with spaces"
> kilu:~$ ls
> Filename with spaces
>   I assume you are now going to tell me that the Linux "design" is
> completely braindead too?  Or perhaps different rules apply to operating
> systems you like than to operating systems you don't like?

Oops - I knew this too! More anti-MS than anti-PC, but at least most people
using unix don't actually use any strange characters in filenames; unlike 95
which has "Program Files", the default short form of this is progra~1.
Unfortunately MS has seen fit to hard-code "progra~1" into their installation
for other programs (excel and word IIRC) which b*****s things up if you've
changed the registry to give better short names like "programf".

Backwards-compatibility is a pet hate of mine. If we all used DEC alphas, we
would have far faster machines capable of running legacy applications faster
than "modern" PCs (e.g. Alphas can emulate Pentiums *very quickly*).


email: adrian.bridgett@poboxes.com       | Debian Linux - www.debian.org
http://www.poboxes.com/adrian.bridgett   | Because bloated, unstable 
PGP key available on public key servers  | operating systems are from MS

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