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Partitioning Your Hard Disk Before Installing SUSE

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 21 Dec 2006
 

Scott Morris shares a solution he provided for a user on how to partition a hard disk before installing SUSE.

Problem:

I've found an interesting bug during installation of SuSE 10.2 on a machine which has previously run 9.3 perfectly well.

I'm using an HDD which has previously had Windows on it, but has subsequently been formatted.

During the installation process, I get the error "Your computer does not have enough memory to run YaST. To continue, activate some swap space" and then invites me to enter partition details on the HDD for a swap partition.

Problem is, it hasn't yet initialised the HDD for Linux use.

I'm sure that all other versions of Linux which I've used (SuSE 9.1 and 9.3, and RH (various versions from about 7.1 onwards) have gone thru a disk initialisation phase before demanding swap space! The HDD is definitely visible in System Info -> Hard disks with its correct size and everything.

(How) can I get 10.2 to format the disk first?

Solution:

When you first insert the disc and boot from it, you are taken to the beginning of the installation process where you select a language.

When you get here, press CTRL+ALT+F2, and you are taken to a virtual terminal.

Once there, run this command:

cat /proc/partitions

I'm guessing you will see something like this:

major minor  #blocks  name

   3     0  195360984 hda
   3     1      40131 hda1
   3     2    1959930 hda2
   3     3   29302560 hda3
   3     4  164055780 hda4

You would then become 'su' and run fdisk:

su
Password: [enter root password here]
fdisk /dev/hda

This takes you to the fdisk app which you can use to wipe your partition table. You'll see something like this:

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 24321.
There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
and could in certain setups cause problems with:
1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs
   (e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)

Command (m for help):

Press 'p' to print out your partition table:

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hda: 200.0 GB, 200049647616 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 24321 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1           5       40131   83  Linux
/dev/hda2               6         249     1959930   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda3             250        3897    29302560   83  Linux
/dev/hda4            3898       24321   164055780   83  Linux

Command (m for help):

Yours will *VERY* likely look different.

press 'd' to delete each partition.

When you are done, press 'w' to write the partitioning table to the HDD.

Then, reboot the computer, and try installing openSUSE again.

Hope this works out for you.

Scott Morris
http://www.suseblog.com/


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