Ubuntu partitions, newb

Discussion in 'Linux Compatibility and Software' started by TJK, Sep 4, 2006.

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  1. TJK

    TJK Newbie

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    Hi there,

    I got a Dell Inspiron 6400 a few months ago with WinXP home edition on it. Since I got my laptop I wanted to try Ubuntu, cause I've always had curiosity for Linux. Anyway, I got my Ubuntu Cd today (Ubuntu 6.06 LTS), and I have a few questions.

    1) I know I must do a partition. Do I need extra software, like Partition Magic or other, or does the Ubuntu install partition my HD automatically? Keep in mind I don't wan't to loose all my data and I'd rather not have to install win all over again.

    2)Reading in the forums, I saw you can use the Live Cd and try linux without installing it. I did that, but I couldn't connect to the internet. Is this normal? Does this mean that I'm going to have trouble when I install Ubuntu?

    3)I only have 512 Meg on RAM, and tipically my ram usage is about 55-70%, without having much programms running (just msn messenger, firefox and avast antivirus). I don't know if this is because all the little programms Dell puts on their PC's and maybe I've missed something when I uninstalled them all, or maybe there is something else I'm not seeing. Anyway, I'd like to know how much resources does Ubuntu use, will my RAM usage get better?


    Thank y'all

    TJK
     
  2. TedJ

    TedJ Asus fan in a can!

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    Hi TJK, and welcome to NBR! I can't profess to being an expert on Ubuntu, but I should be able to help you nonetheless.

    I believe that the Ubuntu installer will allow you to repartition your drive, including resizing your existing Windows partition to make room. However, you'll want to defrag your Windows partition beforehand and back up any important data, just in case.

    You didn't mention how you were trying to connect to the internet (WiFi or Ethernet), so I'm not too sure about this. I do know that the Intel 3945 wireless chipset should be supported by the default kernel.

    512MB should be fine for general desktop use under linux, my home machine (an aging PIII desktop) runs fine on 256MB. Please remember that not all the memory allocated as being "in use" is actually being used by applications, it's also often used for disk R/W caching etc. This memory will immediately be released if it's actually needed by an application.

    If you have any other questions, you may want to look into the Ubuntu user forums and Dell's Linux knowledge base for more specific information. I can highly recommend the guys over at UF, they're a friendly bunch.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. TJK

    TJK Newbie

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    Thanks a lot!

    I have a wireless connection...

    well, anyway, thanks for your help, I'm going to read A LOT (in the different threads, it's always said that if you want to use and understand linux, you should read A LOT, so, that what I'm doing now).
     
  4. TJK

    TJK Newbie

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    Hi

    sorry to bother again, but I have a little question about defragging and partitioning...

    I started defragging my C: drive, but there's one sector that won't move. I've already drefragged about a dozen times, but it just doesn't get any better. And its right at the second half of the disk. Should I keep trying? Will GParted fix it for me? What can/should I do?

    Thanks.

    TJK

    (I attached a pic of the last defrag, so if anyone could tell me, I would appreciate it. My OS language is spanish, but I guess colors are the same in all Win languages)
     

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  5. Paul

    Paul Mom! Hot Pockets! NBR Reviewer

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    Well, I can't say much about defragging your hard drive, but if you have the OS installation CD, I would still recommend reinstalling Windows. it's just a big help on Dell's computers. And yeah, you're experiencing slow-down and everything due to the crap that Dell puts on there. It's just part of it. That's what makes them inexpensive.

    1) GParted (I see you've already looked into it) is a fantastic solution. The Ubuntu CD allows you to resize and partition your hard drive, but I've found its usage to be a little... sub-par. And if you do decide to reformat, make sure you set a disklabel. I reformatted my C640s hard drive with the Ubuntu CD and it didn't set a disklabel, so now I can't partition or format it without losing all the information on the drive.
    2) This could be a problem with your wireless setup and Ubuntu. My wireless card is recognized by Ubuntu and works. It sees wireless signals, but for some reason I just can't connect to my home network. I haven't troubleshooted it yet, but you may experience similar problems.
    3) See earlier comments.

    Ubuntu is a great distro and can read a lot of things right out of the box. But if you have the x1400 or x1300, that's not exactly the best option for Linux. Sadly, the less powerful GF 7300 would be better to work with. But you can get it to work. A good idea is to google "Inspiron 6400 Ubuntu" and see what you come up with. Also check out www.tuxmobile.com. It's a great resource.
     
  6. TJK

    TJK Newbie

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    Hi again

    After spending the whole day reading about installing ubuntu and making partitions, I was ready to make the next move... creating my 3 new partitions (one for ubuntu, one for the swap and one fat32 for file sharing).

    Tried to use GParted from the Live CD, but as it turns out, you can't have more than 4 primary partitions. Well, my Dell has already 3 primary partitions, the "main" one and 2 more that I guess are for system restore. I only got the option of creating one partition, so I went back to windows and tried Partition magic, but it was the same. I did read somewhere, that as you can't have more than 4 primary partitions, you should do the swap and the fat32 as an extended partition, but neither GParted nor Partition Magic allowed to do so.

    Does anyone know how to fix this... I googled for answers, but got nothing so far.

    I saw on a tutorial that Ubuntu can automatically "resize IDE1 master, partition #1 (hda1) and use freed space". It this the way to go? Will it detect automacally wich partition should it resize (main xp partition is actually partition number 2).


    Thanks.
     
  7. gusto5

    gusto5 Notebook Deity

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    try taking your space meant for ubuntu (ext3 and swap) and make an extended partition. or....
    if you can get free space, then tell ubuntu to use the most continous free space.
     
  8. Paul

    Paul Mom! Hot Pockets! NBR Reviewer

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    I don't know how Ubuntu works with this because I just wiped my hard drive for Ubuntu so I didn't have to worry about anything. But I just installed SUSE on my M90 yesterday. It already had Windows XP and Windows Vista on primary partitions, and you cannot have more than 4 as stated. But SUSE automatically dealt with this and created all the partitions it needed. If I were you I would go ahead and add the partition, format it to ext3, then pop in the Ubuntu disc and see what it tells you it can do. Linux distros are getting pretty good at taking care of their own installations these days.

    Of course you could just reformat and take out one of Dell's junk partitions...
     
  9. TJK

    TJK Newbie

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    What are this partitions for anyway?
     
  10. jaydee

    jaydee Notebook Geek

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    it's not so much "fixing" it because there's nothing wrong, it's just the way it works. you can have (at the most) 4 primary or 3 primary + 1 extended partitions.

    so all you have to do is create some free space (however much you want to use for Linux - as in all Linux partitions combined) and turn that into the extended partition. then you can divide that ext. part. into the necessary logical drives
     
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