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Re: Query about hard drive partitions maintenance

On Wed, 21 Mar 2012, Camaleón wrote:

On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 22:47:27 +0800, Bret Busby wrote:


The first is this; I have some empty partitions for storing data, and
they were created using the Ubuntu 10.04 installation (before I
installed Debian 6 on the system), and I need to know how to access them
as a user, to move and write data to them.


For static mount points, this is usually done/set in "/etc/fstab". You
basically need two things:

- Set the right permission options for the mount point so users can read/

- Create a mount point in your system with the right permissions

You can do these two things as you prefer, that is, by manually editing
the "/etc/fstab" file and set the mount point permissions using the
command line or using GUI tools. I prefer to do these things manually to
have more control over the steps :-)

The next problem may be a bit more difficult (or, unable to be solved).

In my primary partition, I have three partitions. I have a hardware
manufacturer's partition, a recovery partition, and, as the computer
came with MS Windows, a Windows partition, which is 84GB.

In addition to the explanation, show us the output of:

fdisk -l

So we can have an idea of the current state of your hard disk partitions.

:~# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 640.1 GB, 640135028736 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 77825 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xc0000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1           9       72261   de  Dell Utility
/dev/sda2              10        1134     9029632    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3            1134       11352    82082604    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4           11353       77825   533944342    5  Extended
/dev/sda5           11353       21733    83385351   83  Linux
/dev/sda6   *       21734       31931    81915403+  83  Linux
/dev/sda7 31932 37267 42860351+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda8           42131       52329    81923436   83  Linux
/dev/sda9           52330       62527    81915403+  83  Linux
/dev/sda10          62528       72726    81923436   83  Linux
/dev/sda11          72727       77825    40957686    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda12          37267       42130    39061504   83  Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Having inmstalled Ubuntu and Debian 6, I want to experiment with a
different operating system, which requires to be installed in a primary
partition (otherwise, I could instal it in one of the unused

What recent operating system needs to be installed still in a primary
partition? Can you tell what OS are you going to install?

I want to try PC-BSD 9 (see http://pcbsd.org/ ), which, unfortunately, apparently needs to be installed in a primary partition.


So, please advise whetehr I can now adjust the primary partition sda3,
to shrink it to 42Gb and create another primary partition; sda4, that I
could use to instal and run another operating system.

Operations with partitions are always dangerous and can lead to data loss
(always make a full backup before playing with this) and can be handled
by Gparted from a LiveCD (that is, from a non-running system) but your
options will depend on your current partition layout.



I think now that I may not be able to instal PCBSD on the computer, as, with one primary partition being taken up by the Dell (computer hardware manufacturer) Utility (74MB FAT) and one primary partition being Recovery (9.2GB NTFS) and one primary partition being OS (Windows 7) (84GB NTFS), and, as someone else had pointed out, the Extended partition actually constitutes a primary partition (that can be split into logical drives), and I had not been previously aware of this, but it is shown (I believe) by the above fdisk -l results showing sda4 to be the Extended patrtition, and the Debian Disk Utility (which appears to be an equivalent of Gparted) also shows, when I click on the section that is the Extended partition, that it is sda4. The previous information in this paragraph, relating to the other three primary partitions, is retrieved from the Debian Disk Utility.

So, it appears that, with one primary partition taken up by the DellUtility, one primary partition taken up by the Recover thing, and one taken up by Windows 7, with the Extended partition constituting a primary partition, I have run out of possible available primary partitions (I believe that a limit of four primary partitions, exists), so I believe that, in the circumstances, I have to abandon the prospect of installing PC-BSD 9 on this computer.

I can, more or less, use Debian (I am still learning it, after however many years), and PC-BSD would be a learning experience, and probably, a fair bit of hard work (I haven't used BSD, since before GUI's), so it appears that I will have to leave PC-BSD for a bit longer, or, get a computer that I can dedicate to (run only the one operating system on the computer) PC-BSD.

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
  Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
  A Trilogy In Four Parts",
  written by Douglas Adams,
  published by Pan Books, 1992

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