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Old 12-30-2006, 06:26 PM
KilBek KilBek is offline
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Default Help please with partitioning
I want to install PC-BSD, but I also want to keep xp on my comp for gaming. I 'd like to know a bit about partitioning, I'm a little confused.

Do I just partition a space for PCBSD, or do I have to partition a large space for it, then a bunch of other little partitions? I read over something about swap partitions and all, I dunno.

I also read something about making like a 15gb partition for XP, 15GB partition for PCBSD, then using the rest of my space to make a partition in FAT32 so both XP and PCBSD can use it. How would that work exactly? And would I have to start with a clean install of XP to do any of this or am I ok with my comp in its current condition?

Also one last thing, my laptop came with a recovery partition. But I happen to have my gateway disks. So could I use that partition instead of making space off my bigger drive? its about 10gb FAT32.

Thanks in advance, hope yall can help.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:07 PM
TerryP TerryP is offline
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Partitioning is very simple really, one hard drive can have up to four sections called 'primary partitions'. Each partition holds data like how in windows you might have a C: drive and R: drive for a windows xp partition and the recovery partition. Each is a primary partition. Some times BSD people call a primary partition a 'slice' which makes sense to them.

There is also a special kind of primary partition called an 'extended partition' that can hold a number of 'logical drives' (same as a partition really) inside of it to by pass the MS-DOS thing of only being able to have four primary partitions. When BSD makes a partition it is some what like an extended partition (see below). When an extended partition is reformated all the logical partitions in it get erased with it.

PC-BSD needs one primary partition, it will turn that primary partition into a BSD Slice which can hold several BSD partitions inside of it, a lot like the Extended Partition concept. So you only need one primary partition for PC-BSD and in that it can create partitions for it self to use without messing up your hard drive (very darn useful). Normally PC-BSD will create a 1GB swap partition and use the rest of the space for files. You can adjust the size if you want to, check the 'custom disk label' in the installer if you don't want the defaults.

I have Gateway computers as well, I stripped out their recovery partitions when I remasted the hard drives (after making the disks like you did). You should be able to use the recovery partition fine for PC-BSD, it'll show up as like FAT32 in the installer. With a 10GB partition and install default settings you should have about 4 or 5 GB free-space in the PC-BSD partition, if thats enough for ya use it.

Why you might want to have a 'FAT32' partition for sharing files and a PC-BSD and Windows XP partition is simple. Windows can not detect PC-BSDs file system (UFS) and PC-BSD can read but not write to (edit/save files) to a NTFS partition which is the normal for Windows XP. FAT32 is the only file system both can read and write, so people some times use a partition to share common files. Not necessary but useful


If you do want to redo your partitions this is what I suggest. Defragment the Windows partition, if its very fragmented you might want to defrag it 4 times. I've never lost any data but I don't like to take chances. (it's good if you can copy important stuff to a CD before repartitioning). You can download a LiveCD that will let you boot off the disk and repartition the computer. I'd suggest ether GParted or Knoppix. Gparted is made just for this, Knoppix is a Linux based Live Distro that has QTParted on it, both are bloody good at this.

You can shrink the Windows XP partition down if it has free space. Then you can format the freespace as ext2 just so you know exactly what partition it is in the installer (ext2 linux file system). Or you could enlarge the recovery partition. Then power down and boot the PC-BSD disk. With luck the next time you boot windows it would run disk integtry to make sure every thing is alright on the partition.


Since the computer needs to know what Operating System to boot, Windows or PC-BSD you need a boot manager or 'boot loader' as they are also called. PC-BSD has one that it can install for you just check the check box. Don't worry if it reads

F1: DOS
F2: FreeBSD

on reboot, thats just how it detects stuff, NTFS/FAT32 partitions get detected as DOS, ext2/ext3 as Linux, and UFS as FreeBSD. PRessing the Function key listed would boot that OS, if you go the way of making a FAT32 partition to share files between Windows/PC-BSD you'd see two DOS entries on the menu. Hit the one that corrisponds to your Windows partition (probably F1 or F2).

Sorry for the long winded'ness but I think it helps to have an explanation rather then just instructions :-) I've successfully had computers booting Windows XP, GNU/Linux, and BSD systems all off a single HDD and my own 500GB drives layout reflects that.
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:34 AM
KilBek KilBek is offline
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Man thanks for the reply, I read all of it. Too bad I'm an impatient bastard, cuz I just successfully wiped my whole system clean and not on purpose. I had downloaded that damned partition magic 8 made a partition( dunno why I didn't just use the recovery one). Then on the restart something very bad happened and windows was corrupted. When I went in to try to fix that I accidently deleted the MBF. Also one of the gateway disks was very baddly scratched (disk2). So I couldn't recover.

Anyway, on to good news. I loaded up an old SP1 disk from a dell, repartitioned everything with that, I have 14GB going to xp, I'll have 16GB going to PCBSD, and about 62 GB going for file saving. Now are you saying that if I format it to FAT32 that xp won't be able to see and write to it? And if I put it to NTFS PCBSD won't be able to write to it?

Also when I loaded up the PCBSD my intel 2200BG didn't work, I found the neccesary files for it on the net, but the Tar and .TGZ have me so confused right now.

by the way PCBSD is new years resolution. I've only been native to XP but always interested in Linux or unix.

And Gparted can resize and reformat my partitions after I get PCBSD up and running again right?
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:47 AM
KilBek KilBek is offline
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update and what I plan to do at work or before I get there, since the wireless is behind websense.

I installed PCBSD again, and lucky me( this would be sarcasm) it copied over the windows intallation I had just done. It was like the only formatted drive I geuss so its all it recognized, But thats cool. I just burned gparted to a live CD.

So right now I'm gonna repartition some space to Windows (My restore discs just may be working after a vigorous scrub) I couldn't use the other disk since its a dell and I run a gateway and NONE of the drivers installed, and I definitely need those wireless drivers. So I'm about to dl from gateway just in case my discs don't work and I do have to use the dell one, that way I can have the wireless connection to dl what I need.

but anyway, use Departed to repartition my drives to the aformentioned sizes then reinstall my windows. I hope it works because if it don't I may have a bored time at work. Or a good one exploring PCBSD I dunno.
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:12 AM
goatman goatman is offline
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I'm no GURU, so take anything I say with a grain of salt .... OK a pound of salt!

Do your partitioning as you were going to, following the directions in Terryp's post, but while you're at it, make a 1Gb swap partition. I have had several Linux partitions on one hard drive and all of them used the same swap partition, so if BSD needs a 1Gb swap partition, just create it and then create your 14Gb for NTFS (WNDOZ), 16Gb for UFS (BSD) and whatever you want for FAT32 (common file system that both WNDOZ and BSD can read and write as TerryP has said.). If you have anything left over, you can always resize later for something else if you wish.

If BSD is anything like Linux, you have to install XP first, because WNDOZ has to think it's the only OS in the Universe! Then, when you are installing BSD, you don't let it take over the entire drive, you tell it which partition/slice to put BSD onto. It will probably call that a "custom" or "Expert" install, which will allow you to manage the partitioning scheme. I have my BSD on a separate hard disk, so I didn't do any partitioning, I just wiped out the WNDOZ and let BSD do it's thing.

All of the rest is in TerryP's post, so I won't get into that .

I'm new to BSD too, so welcome!
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:21 PM
Apatewna Apatewna is offline
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Originally Posted by KilBek
Man thanks for the reply, I read all of it. Too bad I'm an impatient bastard, cuz I just successfully wiped my whole system clean and not on purpose. I had downloaded that damned partition magic 8 made a partition( dunno why I didn't just use the recovery one).
What the... So it is true. This f#@$% piece of crap-software had me almost loosing 20Gigs of data twice! The sucker froze mid-transferring data while resizing partitions.

The safest method I've found to partition a disk with precious data is this:

a) Using Norton Ghost, clone your disk (called diskA) to a blank disk (called diskB)

b) After successfull completion, ghost back the diskB to diskA.

At some point you select Source and Destination disks.
Be sure to select the correct ones! (but it doesn't matter since both disks have identical data).
After this step you get a screen that shows you how the target drive will look like AFTER being cloned.
There you can change the winxp partition size to a number you like (assuming winxp takes up the whole disk).
You'll see that the size of the second partition didn't adjust automatically.
Just select it and enter 99999999999999 (as many 9s you can type) as size.
It will round up to the remaining disk space.
Proceed with the clone and you're set, also having an extra complete cloned disk in case something goes wrong.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2006, 05:12 PM
TerryP TerryP is offline
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I'ma poor and stingy bastard so I've never used Partition Magic. GNU Parted (a command line program) is supposed to be the Open Source equaliulent and free for the full version too hehe. GParted and QTParted are graphical versions to make our lives easier. I wouldn't mind learning how hard drives work down to the bit level but, uh I don't think every one should need to care about that ^_^

With file systems on the partitions its some what of a mess in my humble opinion. Its basically caused by big busness not wanting to be compatible with other products.

Code:
Windows:
    Reads/Writes:
        FAT32 (MS-DOS / Win9x), NTFS (WinXP)
        Some times one can get a driver for ext2.
Linux Kernel:
    Reads/Writes:
        ext2, ext3 (both linux based), FAT32, ReiserFS
    Read Only:
        NTFS (write support is in testing)
PC-BSD:
    Reads/Writes:
        UFS (BSD standard fs), FAT32, ext2, ext3 (without the extra features)
    Read Only:
        NTFS, ReiserFS (up to v3)
So FAT32 is really the only file system that you can see, read files from, write data to, and share between Windows and another OS like PC-BSD. Thanks to MS imho.

What I'd do if your going to have a partition for Windows (NTFS), PC-BSD (UFS) and a FAT32 partition for sharing files. Is to make PC-BSD automatically mount (make ready for you to access) the FAT32 partition at startup and link (make a shortcut) it some where you can get to it quick and easy on both PC-BSD and Windows.

I'm some what paranoid when it comes to working with my partitions, my backup policy is sufficent but not perfect, if I destroy the recovery partition I setup for my self I erase half my most recent backups +S.


I've never lost an ounce of data but it pays to be careful with partitioning tools, the only one I trust are the *parted stuff. They can resize NTFS, FAT32, ext2, and ext3 file systems fine but they can't do any thing with PC-BSDs UFS partitions. In the installer you should get a note about what type of file system is on a partition and its size.

For example my hard drive layout is kinda crazy

Code:
partition 1 = Windows XP, 180GB NTFS.
    Shows up with a really long line in the installer, ends it "or advanced UNIX"

partition 2 = Ubuntu GNU/Linux, 80GB ext3
    Shows up as ext3 Linux file system in pc-bsd installer

partition 3 = BSD, 80.99GB UFS2
    Shows up has a Free/Net BSD partition in the installer

Partition 4 = Extended Partition, 120GB
    Shows up as DOS Extended Partition in PC-BSD installer.

Partition 4 Contains:
    4GB Linux swap logical drive
    20GB FAT32 Home logical drive (basically My Documents)
    80GB FAT32 Storage logical drive (misc files)
    16GB FAT32 Recovery logical drive (my backups)
Good luck getting a working install.

PS: .tar.gz .tar.bz2 .gz .bz2 and such are basically the same thing as .zip files in Windows, only its a different format, most software for such things will support zip, these funky formats and many more. PC-BSD even includes a program called ark for working with them all, Windows XP only has support built in for .zip.
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:37 PM
KilBek KilBek is offline
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Thanks for the information so far,

I had such trouble at work trying to get both windows and pcbsd on my comp last night. I eventually just decided fuck windows and unformatted my whole drive and let pcbsd format it how it liked. I really needed that file system info too because I didn't really know what to set pcbsd partition to with gparted.

I set up my pcbsd partition slices as so

15GB /
1500mb /swap (I read it should be 3 times your ram right?)
70gb /just free space

I dunno if seperating the 70GB out like that would actually do anything but I thought it'd be a good idea last night for some reason.. When I finally reinstall will I be able to pull some space off that 70gb for windows?

Ya know, now that I think about it, I really only want windows so I can play battlefield to, maybe I should be looking into an emu for it. Or would I be able to play the game just fine on this system?
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:56 PM
dracheflieger dracheflieger is offline
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Set them to FAT32 with GParted. PC-BSD will see that and use it to create the UFS file system.
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Old 12-31-2006, 11:13 PM
TerryP TerryP is offline
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I think the standad is 2x your memory, defaults about 1gb, my desktops got 2GB of RAM so I don't really have to worry about swap space but just in case of ever upgrading the RAM I gave her 4096MB of swap so if I topped out the system some day there would at least be as much swap as memory available.

Just an oddicity of mine whether or not its really useful I don't know, not a 'kernel hacker'.
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