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Partition shuffling

Up until a couple of days ago I still hadn’t tried out Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 which I downloaded a long time ago. Unfortunately, I discovered that the ethernet driver for VMware doesn’t work (and it used to in Beta 2), and so I was forced to wait until a convenient moment to install it on a physical machine (which wasn’t going to be my main desktop, funnily enough).

Windows Vista’s installer is still pathetically fussy about where it will allow you to install Vista. It requires installation to the first primary partition on a hard drive which is master.

Well, that’s really convenient, considering that my partition layout on the first hard drive on this machine was as follows:

Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40060403712 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4870 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1        1912    15358108+  83  Linux
/dev/hda2            1913        1988      610470   82  Linux swap
/dev/hda4            3009        4870    14956515    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5            4054        4870     6562521   83  Linux
/dev/hda6            3009        4053     8393899+  83  Linux

hda1 was my CentOS server installation, hda5 was a few gigs of data left over from somewhere else, and hda6 was my Ubuntu Dapper installation. Of course, the Windows install required the monopoly on hda1, which currently was occupied.

Well, thank goodness for the flexibility of Linux. I simply used the low level tool dd to make images of all the partitions (onto a spare 160 GB drive also in that machine), and then wiped off the disk.

One Vista install later, and the drive now had just one primary partition of rougly 17 GB with Vista on it.

I then created a partition to match the size of the CentOS install, and dd‘d the image back. After tweaking a few configuration files via the Ubuntu Live distro, I then rebooted with my GRUB bootloader CD in the drive, typed in the boot commands and CentOS booted like nothing had happened. 🙂

I then reinstalled GRUB to the hard drive (with a boot menu obviously, I don’t type boot commands every boot!) and added Vista to the list of OSs to boot.

The Ubuntu Dapper partition unfortunately would no longer fit (by about 2 GB), as Vista is now using a lot of the space, but instead I installed Edgy, and I’ll recover the important files off Dapper when I need them.

So after about half a day of partition shuffling, it now looks like:

Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40060403712 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4870 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1        2040    16384000    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2            2040        4870    22733220    5  Extended
/dev/hda5            2040        3952    15359384+  83  Linux
/dev/hda6            3953        3985      265041   82  Linux swap
/dev/hda7            3986        4870     7108731   83  Linux

hda1 is now Vista (NTFS), hda5 is CentOS, hda6 is Linux swap (for both) and hda7 is Ubuntu Edgy Eft.

The things I do to test Vista…

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  1. Chris wrote:

    Now the important question — is it worth it?

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 00:29 | Permalink |
  2. Peter wrote:

    Being honest – probably not if you’ve used Beta 2.

    But it means if I later want to install some Windows setup (Server 2K3 trial, Server 2K7 trial?) then I don’t have to go through this nasty process again.


    Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 19:53 | Permalink |

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. Upgrading to CentOS 5 :: Blog :: Peter Upfold on Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 10:44

    […] IDE 0 channel (rather than sharing with the DVD drive) and then wiped the primary 40 GB drive (bye, Vista RC1) and installed CentOS […]

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