Jump to content
Compatible Support Forums
Sign in to follow this  

First time linux users has a couple of questions and problems

Recommended Posts

I recently downloaded FC4 and I must say that I love it generally. It was hard to initially install because I have 3 hard drives (SATA containing the Windows partition) and I wanted to place FC4 on the 3rd hard drive or the last hard drive in the boot order in the BIOS. I could get it installed but could not get GRUB to work correctly. This doesn't surprise me as I can't get Windows to install correctly unless I unplug both the PATA drives. For some reason it hates to put NTLDR on the SATA drive.


So... I just wiped windows and unplugged the PATA drives and installed FC4. Obviously, being my first time the road has been somewhat bumpy. Here are some things I would really appreciate some help with:


1. I wiped my 3rd drive of all partitions (it had linux partitions from the previous install attempts). I want to install Windows on this drive (I need it for specific applications for school ;)). When I run Windows installation it can see that drive and the space. However, when I attempt to install it says the drive cannot be formatted. I used the Western Digital diagnostic program and it says the drive is fine and I even wrote all zeroes to it. So then I tried to install Windows to my other PATA drive, that has all my backup on it, which is already formatted in NTFS. When I try to do this, Windows says the drive must be formatted. I cannot format this drive as it has all my important documents on it. Whenever I try to install Windows, it does something to GRUB causing me to have to do a linux rescue and then grub-install --recheck /dev/sda. I'm really getting frustrated with Windows. Any ideas what could be wrong or what I need to do to get windows installed and working? I hate to do it, but I have to run some apps that can only be used on Windows.


2. Is there any search function in XMMS analogous to the search function in Winamp? I kind of liked searching for my media. What is the best way to get my multimedia keyboard commands to function in XMMS? I miss hitting a button on the keyboard and having it control the music.


3. I installed realplayer10 and am using it to stream lectures for a class of mine. This usually works fine, but lately the program will just quit. No errors or warning, it just exits itself. Any idea what could be wrong here?


4. I need to compile some programs using Java5. I am of the understanding that FC4 comes with a Java 5.0 compiler. I'm pretty much a complete newb to this so I was wondering if anyone could give me or point me to the basics of how to get this running and what I need to do. I would really appreciate it.


5. Lots of times when I run yum I'll get an error message at the end saying "nothing to do." It looks like it's working and then it says it cannot find a match or something to that effect. I'm on a school computer right now so I don't have the exact error message. Any idea what is wrong?


6. I would like to use remote desktop to login to a few machines on campus. What program would you recommend for this?


I'm sorry for the long list but I really enjoy playing around in linux and seeing what it can do. I would really prefer to use linux all the time but I have quite a collection of windows games ;), plus I need to use verilog. I would sincerely appreciate any help wink.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You will get a lot of opinions on this, but basically Windows wants to be the first OS on the system. Unless you know what you are doing, it is best to install it on the primary master drive on the system.


Remember, sata is not designated as Primary master......like ide drives.


My system is as such;


Primary master ide drive - Windows

Primary slave - data drive and/or Linux installations

Sata drive - Many Linux distros


If the sata drive is the only one on the system, Windows should have no problem.


Any drive that you use for windows needs to have a filesystem (NTFS or fat32) on it. Writing zeros clears all formatting and windows can't see the drive effectively to do an installation. You need to have at least one active partition on the drive, say fat32 or NTFS. So, you also need to put a filesystem on the drive that you want Windows to see and install to. Since Windows will not be your main OS try the above and...


1. Install Windows on the Primary Master ide drive


2. Install Fedora on the sata drive, or if you have room, the Primary master, telling Fedora to use free space from the NTFS of fat32 system.


Otherwise, if you want, preformat the drive with space at the end for Linux on the ide drive, using some utility like PartitionMagic, to resize the NTFS volume or make an ext3 filesystem. Then tell Fedora to use this for root.


3. Install Grub during the Fedora installation to the MBR, or hda, your Primary Master drive.


You should get a dual boot environment that will boot both Windows and Fedora.


Again, each drive that you use to install an OS needs some sort of filesystem on it, at least one, for the OS to see the drive and use it. Windows or Linux will not recognize a blank, zeroed drive without at least one filesystem on it.


Say you only pre-formatted the primary master with NTFS and left some empty non-formatted space for Linux. This is fine. When you go to install Fedora (if you choose) on this drive, fedora will give you the option to install on the free space that it sees afyer the NTFS filesystem that Windows is installed on.


Do not re-format the data drive, as this will erase your data on the data drive. Leave this drive alone and your data will be intact.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, how about this. What if I use fdisk and put FAT32 or something on the drive, then remove all the other drives so Windows can't see the other linux partition on my other drive. This would force Windows to put NTLDR on my 3rd drive.


Couldn't I then setup windows and reconnect my other drives which would cause the SATA drive to move to the front of the line in the BIOS for boot order. GRUB would send me into linux. Couldn't I edit GRUB to do chainloading at this point? It should work.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. I tried what I said. I unplugged the SATA drive and the data PATA drive and Windows had no trouble formatting and installing itself like it did before. So I figured once it was up and running that I'd simply plug in the SATA drive and let GRUB do the rest. However, now that I have all the drives plugged in the computer goes right into Windows. The SATA should be the first drive in the boot order but instead it goes straight to NTLDR on the Windows PATA drive. Any ideas how to get this working that doesn't involve shutting the computer down and plugging in the drive I want to use and unplugging the other? wink



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The boot order is controlled by the bios, not the designation of the drives per se. By removing drives, the boot order does not change. You must change what drive to boot from in the bios, whether it be from sata or an ide drive.


What motherboard is in this system? Or, if this is a Dell or Gateway system, post the brand and model system.


I would avoid unplugging and plugging in drives, as this will confuse the issue, as well as each install that you do, which teels either grub or the Windows boot.ini what drive to boot the OS from.


Consult your motherboard's manual for bios settings. By default, most bios' are set to boot on the Primary Master drive, or hd0. You can change this in the bios itself.


With the bios set up this way, all ide drives are detected first, then the bios looks for any sata drives on the system. The sata drive is not moved up in the detection tree, but rather you tell the bios what drive to use to boot your system.


However, the point is that you want all the drives that you want to use connected, so Linux can detect all the drives and make the grub device.lst to offer you what drives to boot each OS from. If all the drives are not attached, then grub will not add these drives to the list as options to boot any given OS from.


You can always change grub to boot all you OS installations, once you decide what you want on each drive. there are various methods to do this.


Make a decision what configuration that you want, booting from an ide drive, or sata. Then you can move to install Windows and your Linux distro(s) on your system.


Generally, Windows should be the first boot device and installed as such. This makes things a bit easier.


I have not done a pure sata install of Windows yet, but may do so this weekend for the experience.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is an IS7-E. I changed the boot order in the bios leaving the SATA (raptor) as the first boot device. What I don't understand is that GRUB is installed and working in the boot sector of my SATA drive, yet Windows is the only OS booting but it is on the last drive of the boot sequence. This makes no sense to me at all. The computer should look at the SATA drive first as it does have priority in the BIOS. GRUB is installed and working (confirmed) on the SATA drive. If I unplug the PATA Windows drive, Linux will boot up by default. I think the SATA implementation of my Abit MB is defective or Windows is just that good at being the one and only. Right now, Linux should be the primary OS if my config was the only thing considered. I think my M/B is lying to me. BTW, in case you were wondering:


2.8C@ 3.5 Water cooled

IS7-E i865

Radeon 9800 Pro

VIA envy 24

37 GB raptor

160 GB seagate

80 GB WD 8MB cache


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just looked at your motherboard manual. Very interesting and completely different from my Asus board.


I also did a windows installation on my sata drive. I will post my results with a link to my web site and web page on the subject.


Your motherboard manual states the following on booting;


Hard Disk Boot Priority: This item selects the hard disks booting priority. By pressing <Enter> key, you can enter its submenu where the hard disks detected can be selected for the booting sequence to boot up system. This item functions only when there is the option of [Hard Disk] in any one of the First/Second/Third Boot Device items. Bootable Add-in Device: (For IS7-G and IS7 only) This item allows you to select the add-in device among the [PCI Slot Device], [OnChip SATA], and [Onboard SATA] channel to serve as the bootable device listed in the item “Hard Disk Boot Priority”.


If you don't mind booting from the ide drive (which windows is on right now), I probably have a solution. Give me a little while to settle this out. But, probably the following;


1. Is the current hard drive with Windows on it set as the primary master IDE hard drive?


2. If so, you can run the rescue mode of Fedora, chroot to the sata drive installation and run;


grub-install /dev/hda


Assuming that grub had the drive originally chainloaded as +1, windows will be a viable option, or you can add it to grub, once you are up and running with Fedora.


But let me re-read your posts more carefully, as this is getting a little complicated.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this