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Re: fdisk, parted, problems and questions.

On Mon, May 22, 2006 at 03:54:36PM +0300, David Baron wrote:
> > Two common sources of problem I have found are partition tables that
> > are not in the same order in the table as the partitions are on disk,
> > and the location and size of the extended partition in the primary
> > partition table (some systems require the extended partition to be
> > the last primary partition, others will create and use it anywhere)
> Yes, this one is out of order, but when first done, it read into both 
> partitionmagic from the window and parted from linux 100%. Somewhere along 
> the line, the problem was produced.

That is really a question for the partitionmagic and parted folks.
Without knowing the complete history of changes, and what change you
made between when they were happy and when they balked, I can't even
guess at what caused the change in behaviour.

All I can say is that looking at what you have now, it probably
violates many assumptions in various implementations of partitioning
software and drivers, and doesn't it doesn't surprise me that you have
experienced problems.
> >
> > Of course I would never advise doing such a procedure unless everything
> > valuable had been backed up first - just in case.
> This procedure (yes, back it all up!) is not for the faint of heart. The 
> "first" partition is my linux / so I would probably want to keep it that way. 
> The FAT is Cakewalk audio data, generally not used in Linux since WINE will 
> not run recent Cakewalk software. Rarely gets mounted.

The first entry in the table might be your Linux root, but the first
partition on the drive is your FAT. So if you want your partition table
to be in disk order, you either have to change the partition table to
match what you actually have, or you have to physically move the data
on the disk. For the latter, you are basically back to doing a beckup,
repartition, reformat and then restore.

For what it is worth, grub doesn't seem to mind having the root partition
on a logical partition - so you should be able to recover things without
touching the partition contents.

> I am a bit afraid to start with this but might get up the guts.

It might be a little dangerous if you are not sure of what you are

If I were you and the partitions were valuable, I would get a new disk,
partition it optimally, and then copy the partition data from your old
disk. Once you have the new drive booting and tested, then you can
either reformat your old one and redeploy it, or keep it as a backup.

That is usually how I manage upgrading to larger drives as technology

> > If all else fails, the save way of doing this would be to just create
> > identically sized partitions on another disk and dd stuff across.
> > Then repartition the old drive from scratch.
> > Regarding the swap partition - I think the main idea is to distribute
> > the load. If you do a lot of swapping, then put the swap partition
> > on the drive with the least accessed partitions. Alternatively,
> > allocate a swap partition on each drive, and let the system
> > spread the load.
> How does one use multiple swaps? Simply place two in fstab?

You can add entries to fstab, or add/remove swap partitions (or files)
dynmically as required. Look at 'man swapon' for the latter.

> I might just settle for making a new big home ext3 and a second swap on the 
> "Windows" drive for now.

Ok, but I would be careful making any future modification to your partition
table while it is in its current state. Especially with higher level,
graphical partitioners. If you are going to just leave it as it is, then
there is no reason for it to stop working..

Digby R. S. Tarvin                                          digbyt(at)digbyt.com

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