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Win2k Service Pack Advice Needed

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Mo Heat, May 2, 2007.

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  1. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I'm back online (actually a day or two now) after about a week, maybe two, or so it seems, of shopping for a new hard drive, rebuilding, rebuilding, rebuilding. Man, I didn't realize how much crap I had on this thing! I managed to harvest an additional 64MB (now have 320MB total) of PC100 SDRAM and a CD writer from an old machine (needed at least a CD reader, which was broke, to load Win2k), so my AMD 700 MHz is alive, but still on life support, with the PC surgeon still hacking away. I am reminded of the many reasons I hate MS. Partition utilities don't work at command line, but do work within windows. Disk drives appearing and disappearing for no good reason. And lots of other headaches too painful to remember.

    Luckily I had backups of most important stuff, but I did lose a week of email and 4 months of bookmarks. Could have been much worse, though. The disk that failed had all my digital photos and movies on it. The other disc that failed (weird, 2 failures, 4 total in the last 2 years, but the drives seem to be alive again after the reinstall, well, except the one I repartitioned and reformatted, thinking it was dead.) had the OS on it. Mrs. Mo Heat would have had a fit if there was no backup! Maybe I need to buy a DVD and start keeping some generational level, off-site backups.

    My Win2k CD is so old that I need to apply at least service pack 1 (maybe 2, 3, or 4) just to get WinZip to install (needs newer Windows installer) so I can install some other stuff.

    I need sp3 if I want to address more than 136GB of the 320GB on my "new" EIDE ATA / 100 disc drive. That is one service pack down from the latest sp4 for Win2k, so sp3 is the one I'm thinking of using. I hate being on the latest release of anything.

    Anybody out there still run Win2k? If so, any reco on a service pack?

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have been running SP4 every since it came out without any problems. I don't know how much stuff you keep on a machine but I have done full Win2K recoveries from a second disk used for full backups a couple of times on mine with no problem. You just reinstall Windows and bring the updates up to the level of the original and then do a full overwrite restore.

    I have even done it to move from an old machine to a new one.
  3. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Speak English BB! ;)

    What's a "full backup" and what's an "over write restore"?

    In my world, a "full backup" is a zero level fdump, but I didn't know win2k had such a thing.

    "Overwrite restore"? Don't know that one.

    ... and...

    When I install the service pack, is it going to screw up the hardware drivers I've struggled to install up to this point? My machine came with Win98, so all my hardware driver disks don't work for Win2k. I've had to dig them all up over the web, and my hardware is so old it's been tuff. Like my video card. An nVidia Riva TNT2 Model 64. The nVidia jumbo binary driver pack says it's in there, but when push comes to shove, it fell off the planet somehow. Luckily, there were some old archive files and it showed up in one of those. This is the kind of stuff I'm dealing with. I guess I can't bring myself to put another nickel in Bill's pocket. Call me hard headed, but buying another MS machine makes me want to puke... although it would have probably been easier than mickey mousing with this old thing.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    With 2K you can do a backup disk to disk to a second drive in your machine. Everything including the "system state". Then if the drive craters you can reinstall the operating system, bring it up to current revisions and then run the restore function to the replacement drive. Just like a full restore from tape. Same way we did it with the old IBM 360s.

    Except ya don't wake up/sober up the systems programmer to do it for ya. And you don't have to punch a special card deck.

    Backup and restore is under "Programs" "Accessories" "System Tools".
  5. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    I started with W2000 as a Beta. I have found it to be the most stable and reliable of the windows systems. My developing Desk top will have W2 on it, my laptop checks for updates every first Wednesday of the month. I can hunt and peck with the best, but I am not a techie. The desk top is a P4-2Gig with a memory problem. It won't recognize the 512Mg sticks, built for the 256's. Other than that, I have been so pleased, I am worried about service and am looking at converting to Linux. Going to do me Summer school in OS. I would not stop at SP3. Load the whole kahuna. There are no more problems in 4 than the first version.
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Well, I would advise upgrading to Linux, but that doesn't solve your key problem. (I'd note though that drivers for older hardware are MUCH less of an issue in the Linux world - especially the video stuff, where you might not get the latest "eye-candy" on really old cards, but there will be better support than MS offers. I think the Riva cards are specifcally mentioned on the open source Nvidia driver list)

    However if you can boot off a CD, there are several "LiveCD" distros that are very good at testing and in some cases repairing Windows machines.

    Gooserider
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Mo, W2K sp4 is anything but the latest release. I work daily and intensively in MS and Apple land. Win2K was good, XP is Mo betta, easier to work with , more current drivers, a ton less reboots for new drivers, auto recognition of USB, etc. etc. My 2 cents, if you are going to spend the money, get up to XP.
  8. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    BG, Who said I was opening my wallet? ;)

    I agree about XP. Mrs. Mo has it upstairs, I love the restore points, to me it is almost worth the price of admission, but I don't want to further contribute to the delinquency of the industry by putting another dollar in Dollar Bill's pocket. When I die, I may be buried with this AMD K2. There is no way I'd buy a copy of XP to put on this piece of crap PC, but I suspect I'll end up towing the line with an off the shelf WIntel machine when this one finally gives out. Unless...

    I may have a PIII 800 MHz HP machine I can get going with Ubuntu... if I don't burn out getting this Win2k machine back up to snuff. I've also got termites, carpenter ants, a rotted out window (a really big one), a sliding hill with my deck on it, a tree to plant, wood to chop, mosquitoes to fight, a garage and basement to clean, and Mrs. Mo is planning another vacation. Oh, no!

    BB, I used that backup tool a couple times and wasn't too impressed (no compression, cumbersome interface, etc.). But if you like it, I'll give it another look. For me, I had no trouble understanding IBM JCL GDG's, or Unix's cpio, dump, and dd, but the MS user friendly backup tool throws me into an infinite loop. I must have some type of mental block. I'm going to read your post again and see if I can make sense of your backup and recovery approach. I may have a couple more questions when I sober up... uh... I mean, when I look at things tomorrow. ;)
  9. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    BB, Some Backup tool questions for you.

    In preparation of my service pack install, I attempted a backup of my nearly reconstructed C: drive after wading through the terse and lame Backup tool docs.

    Lots of weirdness in the way it acted when I ran it, the same old song and dance as I vaguely remembered. Maybe you can shed some light on things.

    Drive to be backed up and target drive:

    1. C: drive with 5.01GB Used space and 60.1GB Free space.
    2. System State (according to the Help pages glossary, this is a few smallish files of critical, real-time, system data -- looks like about 125MB's on my machine).
    3. Target drive is 18GB, 6GB Used, 12GB Free. Seems like there is plenty of space for the backup of c: and System State files.

    My assumption:

    The Backup tool will back up ONLY the System State Files and the 5.01GB of data populated Used space (not the remaining formatted but unused and unpopulated space on the 60GB partition that also contains the backup source files).

    I then started the backup.

    The "Byte Estimation" showed just under 4.4GB to be backed up. That's good. T here's 12GB free on the target drive.
    Then the tool went on to the "Backup Progress" dialog and I was off and running.

    A few minutes into the run, a Backup tool dialog box with its title bar stating "Insert Media" popped up:

    The box's content said: "The fixed media is full. You cannot back up all the specified data to this disk device. The backup operation will stop."

    Hmmm. There was still plenty of space on the target disk... What's up?

    I click the dialog box's "OK" button to move along.
    The Backup tool's action: it continues the backup by moving on to the "System State" portion, which was successful, even though Backup tool had just told me that the target media was full. How can it continue the backup when it just told me (wrongly) that the media was full? It seems to be contradicting itself.

    The final backup status was: "Completed with errors".

    Here's the backup log. There is mention of the errors in the backup portion of the log, but the verify portion of the log file makes no mention of them.

    Questions:

    1. What's going on?

    2. Why did the backup fail since there was plenty of space on the target drive?

    3. Does the target partition need to be larger, or identical in size, to the source partition? (that would be weird)

    < clip >

    ----------------------

    Backup Status
    Operation: Backup
    Active backup destination: File
    Media name: "Media created 5/3/2007 at 2:34 PM"

    Backup of "C: 4-WIN2K-70G"
    Backup set #1 on media #1
    Backup description: "Set created 5/3/2007 at 2:34 PM"
    Backup Type: Normal

    Backup started on 5/3/2007 at 2:34 PM.

    < clip: Warnings for skipped "in use" files deleted for readability >

    Backup completed on 5/3/2007 at 2:40 PM.
    Directories: 2222
    Files: 20842
    Skipped: 21
    Bytes: 4,074,721,369
    Time: 5 minutes and 25 seconds
    Media name: "Media created 5/3/2007 at 2:34 PM"

    Backup of "System State"
    Backup set #2 on media #1
    Backup description: "Set created 5/3/2007 at 2:34 PM"
    Backup Type: Copy

    Backup started on 5/3/2007 at 2:40 PM.
    End of Media encountered while backing up to non-removable media.
    The operation was terminated by the user.
    Backup completed on 5/3/2007 at 2:41 PM.
    Directories: 77
    Files: 1577
    Bytes: 197,520,739
    Time: 20 seconds

    ----------------------

    Verify Status
    Operation: Verify After Backup
    Active backup destination: File
    Active backup destination: J:Bkup€7-05-02Win2K, Drv C, Sys State, Full.bkf

    Verify of "C:"
    Backup set #1 on media #1
    Backup description: "Set created 5/3/2007 at 2:34 PM"
    Verify started on 5/3/2007 at 2:41 PM.
    Verify completed on 5/3/2007 at 2:44 PM.
    Directories: 2222
    Files: 20842
    Different: 0
    Bytes: 4,074,721,369
    Time: 3 minutes and 44 seconds

    Verify of "System State"
    Backup set #2 on media #1
    Backup description: "Set created 5/3/2007 at 2:34 PM"
    Verify started on 5/3/2007 at 2:44 PM.
    The operation was terminated.
    Verify completed on 5/3/2007 at 2:45 PM.
    Directories: 77
    Files: 1578
    Different: 0
    Bytes: 197,455,203
    Time: 11 seconds

    ----------------------
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    You have the destination drive formated as either FAT or FAT32 which can only handle a file 4 gig in size or less. When the backup file grows to over four gig you are hitting the wall. A tape mark as it were.

    To hold the size file your backup is going to be, the partition on the destination drive is going to have to be converted to the NTFS file system.
  11. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Impressive, BB. I'll bet you're right.

    I've remained on FAT32 because I thought I might want to read and write FAT32 files if I ever got Linux running on a second partition. I think NTFS is still a mystery to Linux. At least when it comes to writing to it. Reading seems to work.

    Looks like MS has outsmarted me again if I want to do Backup tool backups, and I guess I do if I don't want to rebuild this thing from the ground up again.

    Unfortunately, I've never converted a FAT32 file system to NTFS. And I'd be doing it for the first time to my newly built Win2k OS. I found this command that looks like it would do the trick.

    convert [drive:] /fs:ntfs [/v]

    The Help says it won't convert the "current drive", which I think is MS-speak for the one containing the Win2k OS. Is that right, or is this command completely useless for converting the c: drive where the Win2k OS resides? It says it will offer to do the conversion on the next reboot if the drive cannot be locked, which I'm extrapolating is their inferred reference to the "current drive" mentioned. Such poor docs. And that will be a nervous boot, for sure.

    Ever use that convert command?
    Will it work for the c: drive at the next reboot?

    Thanks for the quality reply and the help.
  12. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    solve the problem once and for all.. Install Ubuntu and be done with it. If you REALLY want to get clever, install Xen and run both Win2k and Ubuntu at the same time.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I wouldn't convert the c: drive at this point. Convert the target drive for the backups, the second drive and then do the backup. It will work unless you have relocated the swap file to the second drive.

    This assumes that the second drive is an actual physical drive, not a partition on the same drive as the operating system.
  14. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I've never tried it, but my understanding is that Linux has no problem with reading NTFS partitions, and can write to them under some circumstances, but I'm not sure just what the restrictions are. I think the issue comes up with some of the fancier NTFS setups like logical volumes and their version of software RAID. It is worth noting that while not completely reccomended, (the general reccomendation is to use an O/S's native partition utilities) the Linux FDISK can create just about any partition type that has a defined partition type ID number, and there are also Linux utilities that can be used to repartition drives - they reccomend making backups, but usually this can be done without data loss. Many of these utilities are available from one of the many "liveCD" distro's. One that I have used (on my Linux box) is System Rescue CD which describes itself like this:
    Among other things it includes:
    I haven't tried it on an Micro$oft box but have seen reports from others who say it's a useful too to fix Bill's problems

    Gooserider
  15. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Update:

    BB, I converted a 20GB disk to ntfs to use for backups, I ran the backup again, and it succeeded. I then applied SP4 successfully. So far, so good. My only problem is an occasional freeze-up that I believe is related to my video drivers, card, monitor drivers, or BIOS settings. I turned off/down my card's video acceleration and it seems to be happen less often. Not sure what to do next there since I already reinstalled the latest available video card and video monitor drivers again, after the SP4 update.

    Warren, I downloaded ubuntu and have attempted to burn a CD using a freeware burner called imgburn. I can't read it with MS Explorer, but maybe that's ok since it's an ISO image. I'll try to boot with it after I post this.

    Goose, That sounds like an interesting Linux distro. When things settle down, I'll have to check it out.

    Thanks for the replies.
  16. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Update:

    The bad news? Installing ubuntu completely hosed my new Win2k install! On boot up I received a Grub error 18. Then things stopped. Completely. I guess the boot blocks got dinged somehow and the boot block loader freaked out. None of the Win2k repair tools could fix it.

    The good news? My recent Windows Backup utility backup worked like a champ getting things back together. It wasn't quite up to date, but was a good head start. I also formatted my Win2k resident partition as an NTFS to propel my disk setup into the current century.

    I should have know better than to try to repartition an existing Win2k drive in place, but I figured everyone was doing it, so why would I be the one to get burned? Next time I'll either use a separate drive or another computer to install ubuntu.

    My initial impression of umbuntu was incomplete since the "live CD" ran very slowly on my old 700MHz PC with circa 1999 CD reader, but it looked like it had promise. Like unix in a gui. Too bad things went bad on my first try. Kind of leaves a bad taste in my oral i/o port.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Don't ya just love sitting there with your heart in your throat during one of those full restores. Bible open in one hand. Re-learning prayers you forgot years ago. Glass of whiskey in the other hand.

    And then it reboots and starts identifying hardware and comes up to the login prompt and you faint.
  18. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Note that the repartition utilities usually do work but the documentation repeatedly also says NOT guaranteed, and to back up first. Glad you did have the backups and were able to restore OK.

    When did you run into the problem, after the repartition, or after trying the Ubuntu install? (I hope you did the repartition, then verified that Windows would still boot...)

    It is worth noting that MS products tend not to "play nice" with other operating systems, and it is necessary to follow certain exact procedures to do a shared install, with the exact process depending on just what combination of O/S's you are trying to make work together, you should look on the Ubuntu website, then possibly elsewhere on the net (also check the GRUB docs) for the reccomended install procedures, and follow them exactly. The official GRUB legacy version manual says an error 18 is
    Sounds like you tried to put something needed where GRUB can't find it. Partitioning is a bit tricky with big disks because the BIOS can only deal with stuff up to a certain size. Once it's booted, Linux doesn't care about this because it's drivers take over from the BIOS. (I beleive Winedows does as well, but I'm not positive) This means that you have to have all the boot partitions in the first 1024 cylinders because this is all the BIOS can deal with. The way GRUB works is to load just enough of itself up when booting to give you the menu, then pass the booting sequence onto the boot routine of whatever O/S options you chose from the menu prompt. However it is running off the BIOS driver in doing so, so everything that GRUB looks for on the disk MUST be located within that first 1024 cylinder BIOS limit.

    I choose to keep my drive partitioned quite a bit for a variety of reasons (there are religious arguments about drive partitioning...) and my partition table looks like this:

    Code:
    /etc/fstab for drive assignments
    
    /dev/hda1               /boot           ext3            
    /dev/hda2               none            swap            
    /dev/hda3               /dos            msdos           
    #/dev/hda4              EXTENDED
    /dev/hda5               /                  reiserfs        
    /dev/hda6               /usr             reiserfs        
    /dev/hda7               /opt             reiserfs        
    /dev/hda8               /tmp            reiserfs        
    /dev/hda9               /var             reiserfs       
    /dev/hda10              /home         reiserfs        
    /dev/hda11              /backups     reiserfs        
    
    fdisk to show partition sizes - blocks = 1K
    
     Device      Boot      Start       End      Blocks        Id   System
    /dev/hda1               1            12       96358+       83   Linux
    /dev/hda2               13          134      979965       82   Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/hda3   *          135        158      192780         6    FAT16
    /dev/hda4               159        9733    76911187+   5    Extended
    /dev/hda5               159        401      1951866      83   Linux
    /dev/hda6               402        1860    11719386     83   Linux
    /dev/hda7               1861      2103     1951866      83   Linux
    /dev/hda8               2104      2954     6835626      83   Linux
    /dev/hda9               2955      3805     6835626      83   Linux
    /dev/hda10             3806      5629     14651248+  83   Linux
    /dev/hda11             5630      7453     14651248+  83   Linux
    /dev/hda12             7454      9733     18314068+  83   Linux
    
    
    /dev/hda1 is my boot partition, where the kernel and GRUB live, note that it's very small, (~100mb) and could be much smaller.
    /dev/hda2 is my swap drive, ~1gb or twice my RAM - I keep it here because in theory low number partitions are faster to access.
    /dev/hda3 is a /DOS partition just for old time sake, it needs to stay low so that the BIOS can find it. When I boot into it, it shows up as the "C:" drive. If I needed more room, I could make this one very small, just put my DOS boot files on it, and have a "D:" drive anywhere in the extended partition. DOS is happier with the "boot" flag set, and Linux doesn't care, so I put that drive as the boot flag partition
    /dev/hda4 is an extended partition, as used by all PC BIOS machines / OS's since the hardware requires it, and I use the remaining logical partitions as Linux stuff of various sorts.

    This is on a Gentoo box, but partitioning doesn't matter much what distro you are running. Presumably you would want to have your /dev/hda3 partition for W2K, and maybe an additional logical partition above the 1024K cylinder boundary.

    Gooserider
  19. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Interesting. I didn't realize BIOS was limited to 1024 cylinders. Likely I put ubuntu beyond that since I had maxed out my fat32 addressing with the first partition (~160GB), although I'm not sure how many cylinders that is on this new 320MB drive, and was using the remaining newly partitioned space for ubuntu.

    Disk drives have gotten so big, and it's been so long since I worked with this stuff, that I never considered these limitations. I don't mean to be down on Linux, but this is just the kind of thing that will keep it on the fringe area. You can't expect your average joe to know all this. And average joes and josephenes buy most of the computers. This is really too bad since Linux has a lot to offer. For a while, Walmart was selling PC's with Linux pre-loaded. Not sure how well that went. How many people buy a computer from Walmart? Maybe a lot. They've certainly got enough stores.

    Well, I've learned a lot, been humbled once again by technology, and will lick my wounds before going back into battle again. Probably good to do some reading before I slap leather again. Thanks for the help. At least I'm very familiar with the Win2k install procedure now and have a great new backup tool as a fast friend that I plan on seeing a lot of in the future.
  20. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Me too.

    I forgot to answer this. It failed after the install, but I didn't bother checking win2k's health between repartitioning and installing ubuntu. It didn't occur to me. I'll do that in the future. Makes sense. Always better to prototype incrementally to ease debugging, I guess.

    That was driven home when I was considering a TiVo disk upgrade. You can only do those with Win98 or earlier because win2k and on "tag" the drive "as a Win drive" as soon as they see it. This corrupts TiVo's OS (linux based, BTW). It's as if Bill is saying, "Hey everybody, look at me, I'm the richest man in the world, and I own this disk, too. Bwa, ha,ha,ha,ha!

    Thanks for including your fstab. Looking at it tells me a lot.. that I don't know. ;) It's amazing how much unix file systems have changed in such a short amount of time (like 5 years). The B+Trees and journaling of ReiserFS and ex3 are interesting, but reading on the ubuntu forums, it seems there is quite a controversy regarding ReiserFS, especially v4. I think the ReiserFS you are using is v3, by default, since v4 isn't into the kernel yet. Is that right? Also, what was it that lured you into using it instead of the more tested ext3?

    Could be, but since most drive heads (at least they used to) come to idle in the middle of the disk after each write to minimize the next seek delay (gosh, I think that's right, man, it's amazing how much you can forget), I remember some performance freaks I worked with went to the trouble of arranging the heavily hit FS's (or partitions) in the middle of the drive(s) (system had about 150 concurrent users). Of course, if things are going well, the swap probably shouldn't be one of the heavy hitters. ;) Still, swap may get hit enough to make some effort pay off. Personally, I never saw much advantage on the systems they did that to. Even looking at performance specs and doing some seat of the pants transaction tests. I mean, what can you really gain? Only a few milliseconds of latency reduction, and most of the time when you hit swap, latency isn't the issue, it's throughput, trying to dump half the contents of memory. At least that's my spin on it.

    I'm not familiar with the extended partition on PC BIOS machines, but it sounds like the same thing Solaris uses that they call the Hog partition. Just sort of a phantom thing that states essentially how much space is left after you've done the required minimum partitioning. Do I have that right?

    Yes, I think that's how it will be. I'm starting on the other box, not sure how long it will stay at the top of the "honey do" list. :p
  21. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Its one of those subtle "gotchas" that is one of the legacies of the original IBM BIOS - it used to be worse because you had limits on how large each one of the three values (Cylinders, Heads, and Sectors) could be, which is what gave some of the earlier size limits. Once they started doing C/H/S translation you could have the maximum number of bits that would fit into each slot, and the disk drive would figure out the geometry, but it's still a limit as long as you are running off the BIOS driver, and it's unlikely to change because of the backwards compatibility issues.

    It isn't the worst thing that can happen - I had to install the box I'm running now about 4-5 times before I got it to work right (and with Gentoo that's PAINFUL) as I kept having odd boot issues - GRUB wouldn't work if I installed it on the hard drive, but would work fine from a floppy or CD :-S It turned out that I had to update the flash BIOS on the motherboard because there was a subtle incompatibility between the motherboard and the particular model of hard drive I was using - which wasn't explicitly documented by ANYONE, although the Linux docs often will have a reminder to make sure that you have upgraded all BIOS's to the latest versions.

    Remember this is NOT a "Linux issue" as such, it is something that Linux and every other PC operating system is stuck with because of the limitations of the original "more than anyone will ever need" IBM PC BIOS design. It is FAR better documented in most Linux distro's than in anything from MS - Bill doesn't even want to admit that it is possible to multi-boot a system, Linux tends to tell you in great detail if you look, but the problem is that every combination of setup is slightly different, so you have the battle between keeping the docs simple vs. complete... It sounds like either Ubuntu went to far in the keeping it simple direction, or you may have missed the part on "pro" level repartitioning. IIRC, Ubuntu's default install method uses a very simple partitioning utility that works great for simple "bare metal" installs, but to get a multi-boot setup to work you almost have to go to the "hard core" utilities and do some serious plugging on the command line. It just isn't an easy task, and can't really be made so.

    A Linux install onto bare hardware is arguably easier than a Windows install, and certainly is no worse, so the WalMart machines were not particular problems, though AFAIK they were only available through the website - I don't see them listed now, but I may not have looked in the right place. (They do still carry a lot of Linux books, many out of date...) The reviews I saw on the Wally boxes was that they weren't bad, but that you could get better elsewhere for the same money.

    Sounds like a plan.... Note to also verify that you are selecting the correct options in the CMOS setup for stuff like the drive address translation method, etc.

    Now for your next post...

    Exactly... Incremental debugging can be a very helpful step - at the very least it narrows down the challenge of figuring out what one did wrong...


    (To be continued)
  22. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    continued....

    Yes, well TIVO isn't exactly the best citizen in the Open Source world either, as they have some heavy duty DRM on their hardware that only allows you to run TIVO signed software - they provide the source, as required by the GPL, but it won't run if you modify it. Technically this is within the letter of the license, but most in the community consider it to be a violation of the "spirit" of the GPL. One of the big issues going on right now is that the FSF is in the process of coming out with a new version of the GPL that is intended to (among other things) close that loophole and prohibit "Tivoizing" GPL code.

    I won't own a Tivo because of this. I don't care about TV so I'm not real interested, but if I wanted a PVR, I'd build a "MythTV" box - a Linux "Tivo" equivalent, that does things that Tivo won't let you do because Tivo cares more about Hollywood than it's customers.

    Reiser4 is controversial, which is why it is NOT in the default (Kernel.org) kernel, Reiser 3 is stable and included in the default kernel, and there are no known issues with it. Both Reiser 3 and ext3 went into the kernel at about the same time, and have had a similar history. It is worth noting that Linus considers file-system to be a "mission critical" item, and won't allow any file system with known bugs into the kernel, and insists that data corruption or loss is unacceptable (if caused by a bug - if you do rm -rf at the root or equivalent, he'll laugh at you....) Gentoo has quite an extensive discussion of file systems, and they were of the opinion that Reiser 3 is slightly faster than ext3 on my type of file system.

    The idea of the speedup is that the sectors are more tightly packed on the lowest cylinders, thus you have less rotation lag after the seek waiting for the sector to get under the head. Seek time isn't a big issue on the swap drive because you are mostly working with big hunks of sequential data as pages get swapped in and out, so the advantage comes in reducing rotation lag time and time spent in the blank spaces between the sectors. I'll agree that I'm not sure just how much difference it makes (and even the people that express the theory say that it's debateable since modern disk address translation hardware means that low cylinder numbers don't have to correspond to particular areas on the disk... However I had to put the swap somehwere, so I saw no reason not to accept the reccomendation as to where to put it, and the suggested benefit.

    Sounds about right - I'm not sure just where it comes from historically but on a PC you can only have four "physical" partitions on a hard drive, that's all the partition table will allow. When hard drives first started, they wanted more so they created the idea of making "logical" partitions inside the last physical one... (to be continued)
  23. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Continued again...

    I forget the exact number of logical partitions, but it's pretty high. MS operating systems tend to push people towards one partition per disk, which is easy, but does have it's own issues. However you DO specify the partition when you are running FDISK - it is an option on the first three partitions, but is pretty much forced on you when you are doing the fourth one. You don't have to assign it all the remaining space on the drive, but if you don't, there is no way to access the remaining space. I'd suggest looking at the docs on Linux FDISK for more details.

    Linux (like other unices) allows and encourages to some degree, having more partitions, which has it's own advantages and protections, but mostly keeps them hidden from the user as the user just sees the hierarchal file system and has no easy way of telling what sort of hardware the file system is sitting on. I think there are enough advantages to having lots of partitions that I do it that way.

    I'm guessing on that file assignment, much depends on just how big you need your W2K partition to be, and how you want it set up. I don't know how universally valid the advice is, I don't do Windows so it isn't of great interest, but what I've seen suggested is that one can sometimes do interesting stuff with shared directories if you install the Windows O/S on one partition, and use a separate partition (which will show as D: drive) for your data storage (the My Documents folder?) You can then mount that data partition as a part of your /home hierarchy when you boot Linux - as long as you are careful to watch that the file formats you use in that directory can be openned by software in both O/S's it makes an easy way to share the data between them.

    Gooserider
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