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Ubuntu on Dell Recovery Partition?

Discussion in 'Linux Compatibility and Software' started by pixelot, Jan 30, 2008.

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  1. pixelot

    pixelot Notebook Acolyte

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    Sorry to keep troubling the Linux thread, but I now have Windows back under my thumb, and having used the Recovery Partition, am now ready to remove it and free up 10GB. :rolleyes:

    Now, I read somewhere that I can use Windows to delete the Recovery Partition, but to use the disk space, I have to use a third-party app like gparted. Now bear with me here. ;) I was thinking of deleting the partition and merging it with the Windows partition, then resizing it so that the 10GB are available for Ubuntu.

    Then I realized that I might be able to just spare myself the trouble. Could I boot Ubuntu, and choose to install it in the space left by the removed Recovery Partition? This way I wouldn't be endangering my Windows partition, would I? Has anyone else done this before? PLEASE HELP ME! :(
     
  2. Gautam

    Gautam election 2008 NBR Reviewer

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    If you have your Windows discs, then you don't really need the recovery partition. You could install Ubuntu on it, but make a smaller swap (not the default size). If you are serious about Ubuntu, 10GB may be just far too small.
     
  3. pixelot

    pixelot Notebook Acolyte

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    What do you mean by "a smaller swap?" I don't know that term. :confused:
    For now, I think 10GB will suffice. I won't be using it as a main OS for now. :rolleyes:

    But it will work? That's good. Do I delete the partition in Windows first, or can I do it all with gparted?

    Thanks for your reply!
     
  4. John B

    John B Notebook Prophet

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  5. pixelot

    pixelot Notebook Acolyte

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    Thanks, John B! I still think 10GB will be fine for the present. I really just need to familiarize myself with Ubuntu. And that way, by the time I need more space, I'll be comfortable with the process of messing with partitions and whatnot. :D
     
  6. Enunes

    Enunes Notebook Consultant

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  7. pixelot

    pixelot Notebook Acolyte

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    Thanks, Enunes, but I am positive I will still be using Windows after installing Linux. This is my learning period with Linux. :p
     
  8. NotebookYoozer

    NotebookYoozer Notebook Evangelist

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    you will have full access to your Vista partition if you need more space for data.
     
  9. theZoid

    theZoid Notebook Savant

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    I went thru a learning phase also (well, I've used it years ago, then quit), but this time around it has taken over my life :D Keep us posted.
     
  10. pixelot

    pixelot Notebook Acolyte

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    Alright. I am now staring at a box that is title "Install." Underneath that, it says "Prepare partitions." Under that we have four "Devices." Above them all, it says "/dev/sda." I want to install on the Dell Recovery Partition (10GB). Which one is it? We have:

    /dev/sda1 fat16 /media/sda1 82MB 33MB
    /dev/sda2 ntfs /media/sda2 10737MB 3200MB
    /dev/sda3 ntfs /media/sda3 66520MB 21500MB
    /dev/sda5 fat32 /media/sda5 2683MB 1900MB

    I think the one I'm after is the second one. Am I right?
    Also, why no sda4?

    Alright, assuming that it is the second one, do I need to format it to fat32 or something other than ntfs?

    Anyway, if I go "Forward," having selected the second one, I get the error "No root file system is defined. Please correct this from the partitioning menu."

    I go to edit the partition, and there are three boxes. The first one has the new partition size, which is atm the whole thing. The second one is entitled "Use as:" and is set at ntfs. (Do I need to change this?) And the third is the "Mount point:" which is set at /media/sda2.

    Obviously, this configuration is not working, because of the aforementioned error message.
    Down below, there is a helpful blurb about a mount point and swap file. Does that mean I need to set that partition in the edit menu to a swap file size, and that will create two partitions: one swap file and one for installing Ubuntu? Again, does this all need to be FAT32, or part of it, or what? :mad:

    And do I need to change the mount point any?

    PLEASE HELP ME!
     
  11. Telkwa

    Telkwa Notebook Consultant

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    pixelot -

    "Alright, assuming that it is the second one, do I need to format it to fat32 or something other than ntfs?"

    We can't have any assuming!

    There are lots of threads on the Ubuntu forums that talk about Dell partitioning. Also go into disk management or whatever it's called in vista and look at how Windows identifies the partitions. Windows is more likely to identify the recovery partition correctly.

    In your last post, what program were you using to look at the partitions? An Ubuntu LiveCD? If so, reboot with the LiveCD and let the desktop come up. Don't click on "Install".

    Plug in a thumb drive and watch it come up on the desktop. Go into System, and click on Gnome Partition Tool or Partitioner. I don't remember the name exactly. Let it bring up a picture of your partitions. Go to Applications, Screenshot. Take a screenshot and save the screenshot to the thumb drive. Take the thumbdrive to a Windows PC and post back with the screenshot attached. We should be able to help you with the sda identification at least.
    sda4 is always skipped AFAIK. Has to do with the four primary partition limitation.

    I'm pretty sure the recovery partition is either sda1 or sda5. That's because of the fat formatting.

    Mount points are confusing at first and almost impossible to explain in this context. I'd need an overhead projector :)

    It sounds like you went into "manual install". I'd suggest identifying beyond all doubt the recovery partition, unformatting it, re-formatting it as ext3, then try installing Ubuntu in the Guided mode. I'm not sure right off the top of my head if it'll recognize the small partition as the "largest free space" or not.
    For formatting you can use the Gnome Partitioner on the Ubuntu LiveCD but the GParted LiveCD is more reliable.
     
  12. pixelot

    pixelot Notebook Acolyte

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    In the first place, thanks! :D

    But I know that the Recovery Partition is ntfs, and that it is 10.00GB. That's why I think it's the second one. (The other ntfs partition is bigger).

    And when I tried the guided install, the partition I wanted was not an option.

    Outside of the installer, Ubuntu recognizes the partitions perfectly, with their size and name. (I named the desired partition "UBUNTU" when I formatted it in Windows, to remove the Dell recovery stuff).

    You say reformat it as ext3. Does that mean it's name, or format? If just its name, then what format?
     
  13. Telkwa

    Telkwa Notebook Consultant

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    pixelot -
    If you're going to install manually, and you're not going to delete any of the other three partitions, you're going to have to:
    1) delete the recovery partition
    2) create an extended partition out of the blank space. You'll just have to trust me on this. With three primaries it's simpler to just make an extended partition because you can build several logical partitions inside the extended.
    3) the minimal Ubuntu install needs (well, some people don't build a swap but let's not go there) one partition for the entire Linux OS and one swap partition. So you create a small (1GB or less) logical partition inside the extended partition, and format it as linuxswap. The linuxswap option will be in the menu when you go to format it.
    4) then, with the remaining space you make another logical partition, and format it as ext3.
    5) make a note of how these partitions are labeled - sda6 or sda7 or whatever.

    Then you get out of GParted, pop in the LiveCD, and when you get into the partitioner you'll have to mount / to the larger partition and make sure swap goes to the little partition. If you set up the extended partition first Ubuntu may recognize it and let you auto-install to it. You could try creating the extended partition, format the whole thing as ext3, then see if Ubuntu will auto-install. I think it will. I know I've done something very similar at least once.

    This is not easy or self-explanatory the first couple of times

    I'm writing this from memory, so it won't be perfect. If you have access to broadband go to YouTube and look at some of the GParted shows.

    We went hiking in Eagle Cap late last summer. You live in a nice area. It must be snowing like crazy there!

    If I get the time in the next couple of days I'll partition a spare drive and take a screenshot so you can at least see what it should look like when done.

    Just found this thread
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=685073&highlight=vostro 1400
    which indicates that you already have an extended partition. Need to find a couple of threads which specifically discuss how to set up your Vostro 1400.
     
  14. pixelot

    pixelot Notebook Acolyte

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    Actually, it's not snowing like crazy. All around us it is. :mad:

    Thanks. This is very helpful. I'll definitely work with it. Thanks again for all your help. :p
     
  15. Telkwa

    Telkwa Notebook Consultant

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    I haven't had time to build a HDD, or look thru my screenshot album. I've taken lots of partitioning screenshots and might be able to find a few that'll help you out. Meanwhile, it'd probly be helpful to search for threads regarding your lappy on the Ubuntu forums - something like "vostro 1400 partition" or similar.

    Oh, I forgot - there's also a Linux section on the Dell Forum. That might be a really good place to go and research.
    http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board?board.id=sw_linux

    For general Linux partitioning, the GParted website has some partitioning guides but they're not very comprehensive.
     
  16. pixelot

    pixelot Notebook Acolyte

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    Ok, I'm close to getting it, I think, but I have one question. How do you create an extended partition? :confused:

    That's not one of the options for formatting as far as I can see?
     
  17. Amol

    Amol APH! NBR Reviewer

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    IIRC, extended partition is part of a logical one - so you probably need to create a big logical partition and have extended ones inside it.

    I could be wrong though, someone correct me if I am (=
     
  18. pixelot

    pixelot Notebook Acolyte

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    Ok. You guys are going to laugh so hard, but here it goes. I deleted the partition I had formatted as ext3, and so I had my nice 10.00GB chunk of unallocated space.

    I then tried to create a new extended partition within it, but the option was grayed out. I read somewhere that this may be a result of the MediaDirect partition being extended, and not being able to have two at the same time. :confused:

    At any rate, when I couldn't get it to work, I tried to boot back into Windows, but I got two beeps from the comptuter and an error message that no bootable device was found. OH SNAP!!! :mad:
    I was beyond furious. ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

    So I booted back into Ubuntu on the CD, and opened up GParted, where I changed the label on the Windows partition to 'Boot'. IT WORKED!!!! I'm a genius, I thought. :rolleyes:

    So I think what happened is the first time when I formatted my partition as ext3 for Ubuntu, it was a primary partition by default, which somehow disabled Windows partition from boot....or something. Who knows? At least it's working now (Windows is, not Ubuntu :mad:).
     
  19. AJTx0

    AJTx0 Notebook Geek

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    Lolololol.

    Linux got owned.
     
  20. Amol

    Amol APH! NBR Reviewer

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    How does your hard drive look like? With partition tables and all? Maybe if you posted a screenshot or something we could be able to help you better :p.
     
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