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Old 07-09-2010, 05:53 AM
Sthu Deus
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

Good day.


Is there a way to:

. boot from internal HDD then

. chroot or whatever to externel HDD (with the same Debian clone
copy)

. format the internal HDD,

. move the OS back from external to internal HDD?

I have to do so because it is impossible for now to boot from CD/USB.
And I want to move from ext3 to ext4.


Thank You for Your time.


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Old 07-09-2010, 06:23 AM
Andrei Popescu
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

On Vi, 09 iul 10, 12:53:55, Sthu Deus wrote:
> Good day.
>
>
> Is there a way to:
>
> . boot from internal HDD then
>
> . chroot or whatever to externel HDD (with the same Debian clone
> copy)
>
> . format the internal HDD,
>
> . move the OS back from external to internal HDD?

No. You have to find a way to unmount the partition you want to format.

> I have to do so because it is impossible for now to boot from CD/USB.
> And I want to move from ext3 to ext4.

Make a minimal installation in some space that you can spare temporarily
(ex. swap partion). Make sure that you can access both the old partition
and the external clone. Reformat as needed and clone back your system.

If this suggestion doesn't work for some reason you might want to post
more details about the disks and partitions, so we don't have to guess.

Regards,
Andrei
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:31 AM
"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr."
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

On Friday 09 July 2010 00:53:55 Sthu Deus wrote:
> Is there a way to:
>
> . boot from internal HDD then
>
> . chroot or whatever to externel HDD (with the same Debian clone
> copy)
>
> . format the internal HDD,

pivot_root is supposed to do this in a way that allows you to umount the old
'/' cleanly. It is used in modern initramfs.

> . move the OS back from external to internal HDD?
>
> I have to do so because it is impossible for now to boot from CD/USB.
> And I want to move from ext3 to ext4.

You can use some of the ext4 features on a existing file system by using
tune2fs to turn them on. That would eliminate the need for a "format" and re-
install.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:41 PM
Tom H
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

On Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 2:31 AM, Boyd Stephen Smith Jr.
<bss@iguanasuicide.net> wrote:
> On Friday 09 July 2010 00:53:55 Sthu Deus wrote:
>> Is there a way to:
>>
>> . boot from internal HDD then
>>
>> . chroot or whatever to externel HDD (with the same Debian clone
>> copy)
>>
>> . format the internal HDD,
>
> pivot_root is supposed to do this in a way that allows you to umount the old
> '/' cleanly. *It is used in modern initramfs.
>
>> . move the OS back from external to internal HDD?
>>
>> I have to do so because it is impossible for now to boot from CD/USB.
>> And I want to move from ext3 to ext4.
>
> You can use some of the ext4 features on a existing file system by using
> tune2fs to turn them on. *That would eliminate the need for a "format" and re-
> install.

You can use all of an ext4's features on an ext2/ext3 system / upgrade
an ext2/ext3 filesystem to ext4 with tune2fs.

For example for / (assuming that it is sda1)

init 1
mount -o remount,ro /
fsck.ext2 -pf /dev/sda1
tune2fs -O [has_journal,]large_file,huge_file,extents,dir_index,uninit_bg
/dev/sda1
fsck.ext2 -fD /dev/sda1
init 6


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Old 07-09-2010, 03:12 PM
Osamu Aoki
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

Hi,

Your objective is:

> I have to do so because it is impossible for now to boot from CD/USB.
> And I want to move from ext3 to ext4.

Although pivot_root etc. may be used but that is too fancy...

If I were you, I do the following:

1. boot from internal HDD
2. mount externel HDD and copy your local system there.
3. adjust few parameters in thet copied system so it is bootable and
usable.
4. make your boot loader like grub to boot externel HDD.
5. reboot to externel HDD.
6. partition and format internal HDD.
7. install fresh system to internal HDD using debootstrap etc.
...

But I really think you have independent way to boot system. You may
make mistake and then you need to have ways to recover.

Anyway, save your personal data first.

Osamu


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Old 07-10-2010, 07:26 AM
Sthu Deus
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

Thank You for Your time and answer, Andrei:

> No. You have to find a way to unmount the partition you want to
> format.

And no way to make such may virtual unmounting - may something like
kernels are now updated on the fly?

> Make a minimal installation in some space that you can spare
> temporarily (ex. swap partion). Make sure that you can access both
> the old partition and the external clone. Reformat as needed and
> clone back your system.

I have thought about this too, but the problem is that I have - on the
targeted for formatting drive - single partition, and though I can
make out of single - two - through some hard work - finally, I will get
my reduced partition formatted as needed (w/ ext4 FS) but that small
partition will remain - that I have no idea how to use latter nor I
want it at all...

I can not boot from the USB - I do see the exact option in it menu
and dmidecode tells me the same:

Boot from CD is supported
Selectable boot is supported
LS-120 boot is supported
ATAPI Zip drive boot is supported
BIOS boot specification is supported
Boot-up State: Safe

I tried all the options in the menu, connecting IDE CD-ROM w/ bootable
Debian through IDE-to-USB adapter. - No any effect.


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Old 07-10-2010, 07:43 AM
Sthu Deus
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

Thank You for Your time and answer, Boyd:

> pivot_root is supposed to do this in a way that allows you to umount
> the old '/' cleanly. It is used in modern initramfs.

I think I this is what I was looking for.
But did You have any experience w/ it? - Works "stably"?

> You can use some of the ext4 features on a existing file system by
> using tune2fs to turn them on. That would eliminate the need for a
> "format" and re- install.

OK. Point taken.


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Old 07-10-2010, 07:45 AM
Sthu Deus
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

Thank You for Your time and answer, Tom:

> You can use all of an ext4's features on an ext2/ext3 system / upgrade
> an ext2/ext3 filesystem to ext4 with tune2fs.

And there is no any disadvantages comparing it was made w/ the
mkfs.ext4 help or tune2fs?


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Old 07-10-2010, 01:34 PM
Tom H
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

On Sat, Jul 10, 2010 at 3:45 AM, Sthu Deus <sthu.deus@gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank You for Your time and answer, Tom:
>
>> You can use all of an ext4's features on an ext2/ext3 system / upgrade
>> an ext2/ext3 filesystem to ext4 with tune2fs.
>
> And there is no any disadvantages comparing it was made w/ the
> mkfs.ext4 help or tune2fs?

You're welcome.

None that I know of. A "tune2fs -l" returns the same data.


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Old 07-11-2010, 03:42 AM
"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr."
 
Default A "magical" HDD formatting question.

On Saturday 10 July 2010 02:43:28 Sthu Deus wrote:
> Thank You for Your time and answer, Boyd:
> > pivot_root is supposed to do this in a way that allows you to umount
> > the old '/' cleanly. It is used in modern initramfs.
>
> I think I this is what I was looking for.
> But did You have any experience w/ it? - Works "stably"?

No. At least not running it manually.

I'm pretty sure my initramfs uses it each time I cold boot, so it is stable.
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