Redhat 6.1/Win98 unwanted HD mirroring

Posted on 2000-03-09
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I've got a P3/600 with a single 20Gb drive.  It's partitioned as a single primary for Win98 of 5Gb (using Win98 fdisk) and a 15Gb Extended partition (using Linux fdisk) containing 2 * 5Gb Win98 partions with the remaining 5Gb in 6 partitions for Redhat 6.1.  I made sure to zero out the first 512 bytes of the 2 Win98 logical drives with dd prior to formatting them under Win98.

Linux runs fine.  Redhat runs fine.  But the 2 * 5Gb Win98 logical drives (D: & E:) appear to be mirroring each other.  None of the diagnostics see anything wrong...

W'sup w/dat?  I'd really like to stop the mirroring and have use of both 5Gb partitions!

I can afford to re-install everything except the main Win98 primary partition if need-be, but would prefer an easier solution.
Question by:joetho

Accepted Solution

friebele earned 100 total points
ID: 2602553
Windows has a bad habit of being inconpatable with other operating systems. Using fdisk from windows produces an extended partition of a windows type and not a general extention type. I have a 20 GB HD and I had the same problem. Windows thought that my d and e drives were the same. This is because with the linux partition in between, windows cannot read the partition headers properly and thinks it is the same partition. After many hours of stuffing around, I worked it out. Here is what I did.

I wanted to set up windows with 15 GB and Linux with 5 GB. As you know root must be within the first 1024. Your HD should be set to LBA mode. I had 4GB for my first windows partition. I backed up all other programs on my other partitions onto C so that I would not loose the data. Now boot redhat CD and us fdisk. Delete all partitions except your windows boot partition (should be hda1) also remove the extended partition. Save changes. Now insert a windows rescue disk which has fdisk on it and reboot your computer. Windows fdisk should now operate properly because there is no linux partitions. Run fdisk and create an extended partition filling the rest of your HD. Then create logical drives, 1 for the 5 GB of space for linux, and 2 x 5 GB for windows D and E drive. Save changes and reboot (use windows rescue disk). After boot in DOS, format dirves E and F (which will become D and E after linux is installed). Don't worry about D as this will be removed. After this is done, remove rescue disk and boot to windows to check if all OK. You should have C,D,E and F drives (D not assessable). If all OK, Shutdown and reboot redhat CD. Proceed with install and use fdisk.

This is where things start to get hairy. In fdisk, output the partitions (press p) and write down on paper all of the details, especially your windows partitions start and end cylinders (you will see why). Now change type of hda2 (windows extended LBA) to extended (type t to change type). Next delete the partition set aside for linux (hda5). Now add new partitions. Remember that root needs to be fully below 1024 cylinders and you need a swap partition (Not linux does not use any more than 128MB for swap so that is the size you should make it). Print p to see handywork. Your linux partitions should be hda8 onwards and within the cylinder range of the partition you deleted. (Make sure you have windows partition written down). Save changes and exit. You should be back to linux setup. DO NOT say OK. Open fdisk up again for your HD and press p. You will notice that your windows partitions after your linux partitions have been deleted. Now, create two new partitions, with the exact same cylinder range as what you had written down for the windows partions which were deleted. Change these types to type "b" (Win95 Fat32). Save changes and exit. If you want to confirm, open fdisk again and check. If all OK continue on with Redhat installation. When finish boot windows and check if you have drives C,D and E there and formated. If OK you can copy your backed up files back to their respective drives and windows would not have known any difference (ie. registered files will still run as normal).

Author Comment

ID: 2617071
Excellent answer -- worked like a charm -- thanks much.  Makes perfect sense in an imperfect Windows98 kinda way!

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