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Old 08-17-2012, 11:34 PM
Bill Stanley
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

On 08/17/2012 06:54 PM, Liam Proven wrote:

On 17 August 2012 23:38, Doug<dmcgarrett@optonline.net> wrote:


Perhaps if you use a Linux disk and boot into the Live system, you will be
able to see the files on the Windows partition. If that's the case, you
could then copy your data to an external hard drive or a thumb drive,
and then you could reinstall Windows.


This is true, but didn't the OP say he had a backup?


Altho it is reported to be possible
to install Linux first, you will have much less trouble if you install
Windows first!


Strongly agree!


The partitioning problems you saw were probably a
symptom of HP putting some repair information on a partition that might have
been hidden. Probably that's gone, now, or not recoverable, but with luck
you don't need it.


Concur.


Assuming you have saved your files,
I would then wipe the disk altogether, using one of the various freebies
that writes all zeroes or all ones,


He could indeed do that but it seems a bit overkill to me. Just
writing 1k of zeros to the boot sector would do it, and frankly, even
that is probably more than strictly necessary - just writing a new
empty partition table is probably enough.

[Thinks]

Although that might not get rid of the bit of GRUB in the MBR... blast.

OK, here is how to completely nuke the Master Boot Record:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda1 bs=512 count=1

Best to do logged in as root (via `sudo -s`) or simply:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda1 bs=512 count=1

BEWARE. THIS WILL ERASE EVERYTHING ON THE DISK& YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE
TO GET IT BACK.

Hint from here:
http://www.unixmen.com/how-to-erase-mbr-in-linux/


and then partition the disk with GParted
or something similar and install Windows and then Linux. Then copy
the Windows data files back and you're good to go.


That is probably what I'd do myself, yes, but the snag is that Win7
likes to create a hidden system-recovery partition& AFAIK you can't
do that manually.


That sounds good to me. One small point. Since I boot to a USB flash
drive, do I have to specify the haard drive (/dev/sda) and not the USB
flash drive? If so, how should the command be modified?


Bill Stanley

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:55 PM
Liam Proven
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

On 18 August 2012 00:28, Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net> wrote:
> On 2012/08/17 23:04 (GMT+0100) Liam Proven composed:
>
>
>> [2c] An sda7 "swap" partition right on the end of 2xRAM in size. The
>> type is "Linux swap".
>
> I've never did a comprehensive HD I/O test where the end wasn't far and away
> the slowest bunch of sectors on the device. I always put swap near the
> front, typically ahead of the first / and not on a primary.

This is true, but not important. Let me explain... :¬)

I started advising this tactic in about 1995, when the standard size
hard disk for a PC was 1.2GB. That's before FAT32 was invented and a
single 1.2GB partition leads to /horrendously/ inefficient 32KB
clusters on FAT16.

So what I recommended was this: partition the drive into a
just-under-1GB C: drive, for Windows, and a 200MB D: drive dedicated
to the swapfile. This means you can actually get more on the C: drive
with 8K clusters than you can with 16K clusters /and/ you get a "free"
200MB drive for the paging file. The 200MB would be wasted in slack
space anyway with a single partition, and what's more, having the
paging file on a dedicated empty drive reduces fragmentation on the
system drive. It's win/win.

One PC manufacturer came into the testing labs I ran for a major UK PC
magazine in those days and complained about this. He pointed out how
the end tracks are the slowest and that putting something
performance-critical there would reduce system performance.

So, to humour him, I set up the same PC with 3 different partitioning schemas.

[1] Monolithic C: drive
[2] 0.99GB C:, 200MB D:
[3] 200MB C: with just DOS & the pagefile, 0.99GB C: with Windows and
all the other parts of the OS.

#3 is what he wanted to use the fastest part of the disk for the paging.

I benchmarked each config right there for him, multiple runs until a
stable average value was achieved.

There was *no difference whatsoever*.

This is in 1995, with an EIDE hard disk, Windows 95A and not a lot of
RAM - 16MB or 32MB, I forget now. Our benchmark suite comprised Word,
Excel, Photoshop & various other big, memory-intensive apps - Win95
swapped pretty hard on such a config.

I also tried it with Windows NT 3.51 for completeness. Same result.

Yes, the difference is there. It is tiny, though. In actual practice,
back in the days when swapping was heavy, it made no measurable
difference down to the *second decimal place of a percentage.*

Now, on a modern PC with lots of RAM that barely touches swap at all,
and superfast bus-mastering DMA hard disks, there really is no point
at all in worrying about it.

Now I confess I have not benchmarked it on modern kit, but I stand by
my tests of 17Y ago. The difference is too small to measure. So don't
worry about it and stick swap right at the end of the disk where it's
out of the way.

In fact if you're really worried, think about this: it keeps your OS
files right there on the fast early part of the disk. The effect of
/this/ apparently offsets any slowdown through slow swapping - but
really, I don't think it's measurable.


--
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:57 PM
Liam Proven
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

On 18 August 2012 00:34, Bill Stanley <bstanle@wowway.com> wrote:
> On 08/17/2012 06:54 PM, Liam Proven wrote:
>>
>> On 17 August 2012 23:38, Doug<dmcgarrett@optonline.net> wrote:
>>
>>> Perhaps if you use a Linux disk and boot into the Live system, you will
>>> be
>>> able to see the files on the Windows partition. If that's the case, you
>>> could then copy your data to an external hard drive or a thumb drive,
>>> and then you could reinstall Windows.
>>
>>
>> This is true, but didn't the OP say he had a backup?
>>
>>> Altho it is reported to be possible
>>> to install Linux first, you will have much less trouble if you install
>>> Windows first!
>>
>>
>> Strongly agree!
>>
>>> The partitioning problems you saw were probably a
>>> symptom of HP putting some repair information on a partition that might
>>> have
>>> been hidden. Probably that's gone, now, or not recoverable, but with luck
>>> you don't need it.
>>
>>
>> Concur.
>>
>>> Assuming you have saved your files,
>>> I would then wipe the disk altogether, using one of the various freebies
>>> that writes all zeroes or all ones,
>>
>>
>> He could indeed do that but it seems a bit overkill to me. Just
>> writing 1k of zeros to the boot sector would do it, and frankly, even
>> that is probably more than strictly necessary - just writing a new
>> empty partition table is probably enough.
>>
>> [Thinks]
>>
>> Although that might not get rid of the bit of GRUB in the MBR... blast.
>>
>> OK, here is how to completely nuke the Master Boot Record:
>>
>> dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda1 bs=512 count=1
>>
>> Best to do logged in as root (via `sudo -s`) or simply:
>>
>> sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda1 bs=512 count=1
>>
>> BEWARE. THIS WILL ERASE EVERYTHING ON THE DISK& YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE
>>
>> TO GET IT BACK.
>>
>> Hint from here:
>> http://www.unixmen.com/how-to-erase-mbr-in-linux/
>>
>>> and then partition the disk with GParted
>>> or something similar and install Windows and then Linux. Then copy
>>> the Windows data files back and you're good to go.
>>
>>
>> That is probably what I'd do myself, yes, but the snag is that Win7
>> likes to create a hidden system-recovery partition& AFAIK you can't
>> do that manually.
>
>
> That sounds good to me. One small point. Since I boot to a USB flash
> drive, do I have to specify the haard drive (/dev/sda) and not the USB flash
> drive? If so, how should the command be modified?

It depends on your system, I think - some machines will call the boot
drive /dev/sda so if you're booting off USB it might be sda and the
hard disk sdb. However, in my experience, this is rare, and using
GParted you'll be able to see which disk is which readily.

>
> Bill Stanley
>
>
> --
> ubuntu-users mailing list
> ubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users



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Old 08-18-2012, 12:43 AM
Felix Miata
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

On 2012/08/17 23:54 (GMT+0100) Liam Proven composed:


Doug wrote:



Altho it is reported to be possible
to install Linux first, you will have much less trouble if you install
Windows first!



Strongly agree!


Depends on when you measure the trouble, and how. Most people have to
re-install Windows at some point, but there's no reason that should force
reinstallation of Linux in order to install Windows first.
http://fm.no-ip.com/PC/install-doz-after.html


I rarely install Windows first, but I always do all partitioning before
installing anything anywhere. Windows is perfectly happy to use whatever
compatible partitioning you've chosen to do in advance.


The best way to avoid the most trouble in Multiboot with Windows is to *not*
put Grub on the MBR, and do make at least one primary partition Linux native
to put Grub on. Don't put Grub on the extended on a Windows system if you can
avoid it.

--
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata *** http://fm.no-ip.com/

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:53 AM
Bill Stanley
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

< snip >



That sounds good to me. One small point. Since I boot to a USB flash
drive, do I have to specify the haard drive (/dev/sda) and not the USB flash
drive? If so, how should the command be modified?


It depends on your system, I think - some machines will call the boot
drive /dev/sda so if you're booting off USB it might be sda and the
hard disk sdb. However, in my experience, this is rare, and using
GParted you'll be able to see which disk is which readily.



Thanks for all the good information. I'll let you know how it goes in a
day or two. (Windows installation is such a time consuming pain.)



As for your discussion about the location of swap space. You are
probably right when only one HD is involved. Where there are two HD's,
I found that the computer was significantly faster when the swap space
was located on one HD and the data files and Operating system were
located on the other HD. The thinking went as follows...


With the swap space, data and OS located on the same HD, the read/write
heads have to move from where the data & OS are located to where the
swap area is. With the swap space located on the other HD the
read/write heads on the primary HD stay over the data or OS. The r/w
heads on the secondary HD stay over the swap area. With modern
computers, with plenty of RAM, there is not much swapping so this effect
is probably negligible.


Bill Stanley

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Old 08-18-2012, 01:13 AM
Felix Miata
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

On 2012/08/18 00:55 (GMT+0100) Liam Proven composed:


Now, on a modern PC with lots of RAM that barely touches swap at all,
and superfast bus-mastering DMA hard disks, there really is no point
at all in worrying about it.


There still may be with multiboot, but for reasons unrelated to speed. Linux
installers all seem to think they have an unconditional right to format the
swap partition. As soon as the second Linux installer formats swap, the
volume label if present and the UUID are changed, causing first boot of the
elder Linux to choke on init due to any of different device ID, UUID or label
for mounting swap. At least when put near the front the device ID is unlikely
to change when partitioning is extended to accommodate additional Linux
installation(s).



Now I confess I have not benchmarked it on modern kit, but I stand by
my tests of 17Y ago. The difference is too small to measure. So don't
worry about it and stick swap right at the end of the disk where it's
out of the way.


It may be prudent to revisit with modern hardware speeds and software sizes.
CPU and RAM speeds have advanced considerably more than disk I/O speed in the
past 17 years, while software bloat is infamous.

--
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata *** http://fm.no-ip.com/

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Old 08-18-2012, 01:43 AM
Liam Proven
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

On 18 August 2012 02:13, Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net> wrote:
> On 2012/08/18 00:55 (GMT+0100) Liam Proven composed:
>
>
>> Now, on a modern PC with lots of RAM that barely touches swap at all,
>> and superfast bus-mastering DMA hard disks, there really is no point
>> at all in worrying about it.
>
> There still may be with multiboot, but for reasons unrelated to speed. Linux
> installers all seem to think they have an unconditional right to format the
> swap partition. As soon as the second Linux installer formats swap, the
> volume label if present and the UUID are changed, causing first boot of the
> elder Linux to choke on init due to any of different device ID, UUID or
> label for mounting swap. At least when put near the front the device ID is
> unlikely to change when partitioning is extended to accommodate additional
> Linux installation(s).

I routinely multiboot most of my machines - the one I'm typing on has
DOS, XP, Win7, 11.10 and 12.04. (And a copy of PC-BSD.)

I've never once had a problem with multiple distros sharing a single
swap partition, & I've been installing multiple Linuxes onto single
machines since about 1997.

If one has hibernated and you boot a different one, that might cause a
problem, but if so, the saved state is discarded and the next time it
boots up from scratch, I believe.

> It may be prudent to revisit with modern hardware speeds and software sizes.
> CPU and RAM speeds have advanced considerably more than disk I/O speed in
> the past 17 years, while software bloat is infamous.

Point taken, but with lots of RAM, swap is fading in importance. I
actually run some installs without any swap at all and it works fine.
You can use zRam for a bit of breathing space if needed, but with
512MB-1GB of RAM, I find you don't really need any swap space at all
in typical usage.

--
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:53 AM
NoOp
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

On 08/17/2012 11:03 AM, Bill Stanley wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I have installed Linux on many computers but this is the first time I
> had any problems. The computer is a new HP Pavilion Model dV6 laptop, I
> assume the HD is ATA Hitachi HTS54505. I used the Windows partitioning
> utility to resize the Windows partition so I would have some unused
> space (100 GB) where I could install Linux. This went smoothly and

They you should have noticed 'HP_TOOLS (E, 103 MB FAT32 Healthy
(Primary Partition)' or similar.


> Windows ran smoothly with the reduced partition size. I used Windows
> about a month without any problems.

Of course it would - it still has all 4 primary partitions in place:
System/C:/Recovery (D/HP_TOOLS (E.

HP have configured their PC's with 4 primary partitions (check the
archives here). You'll need to copy all of the data from 'E:' to a
backup directory in 'C:', delete 'E:' and then install.

>
> Yesterday, I had some free time so I decided to install Xubuntu (12.04 -
> 64 bit) and all seemed to go smoothly. The steps I followed were...
...

>
> " ERROR!
> Error informing the kernel about modifications to partition 4 - Device
> or resource busy. This means Linux won't know about any changes made to
> /dev/sda4 until you reboot - so you shouldn't use it before rebooting"

See above.

>
>
> I thought this was insignificant since sda4 wasn't listed in the
> proposed partition scheme. I chose "ignore".
>
> Then I got the same message about sda5, sda6, and sda7. I knew
> something was amiss so I aborted the installation.
...

Load up a live CD, run the standard 'sudo fdisk -l' etc., post here.
Open gparted and note the primary partitions, post here.

Don't panic, don't follow any other dd this or dd that advise, don't
reformat, don't reinstall. Just post the standard info that you've seen
requested in many, many other threads there.




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Old 08-18-2012, 01:56 AM
NoOp
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

On 08/17/2012 01:14 PM, Bill Stanley wrote:
> < snip >
>
>> I ran into similar hiccups with my - also new - Pavillon, until I
>> realized that it had this new thingy called UEFI rather than the good
>> old BIOS. If yours suffer from the same malady, the solution is to use
>> grub-efi during the install and tell it to install grub-efi on sda1
>> (something like 100 MB).
>
> I was afraid I might run into this. There is no indication that UEFA is
> the problem. I looked into the BIOS etc. Does anybody know more about
> this? Where, other than HP tech support, can I find if it is on my
> laptop, (it was purchased in late May). By the way, the Windows
> version is Windows 7, so presumably the OS does not support UEFI. It
> still could be in the hardware, just unused.
>
>
HP bios and Win7 have supported UEFI for quite a few years.
<https://duckduckgo.com/?q=windows+7+%2B+uefi+%2B+hp+dv6>




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Old 08-18-2012, 05:47 PM
Bill Stanley
 
Default Problems with repartitioning a HP Pavilion Laptop

On 08/17/2012 09:56 PM, NoOp wrote:

On 08/17/2012 01:14 PM, Bill Stanley wrote:

< snip>


I ran into similar hiccups with my - also new - Pavillon, until I
realized that it had this new thingy called UEFI rather than the good
old BIOS. If yours suffer from the same malady, the solution is to use
grub-efi during the install and tell it to install grub-efi on sda1
(something like 100 MB).


I was afraid I might run into this. There is no indication that UEFA is
the problem. I looked into the BIOS etc. Does anybody know more about
this? Where, other than HP tech support, can I find if it is on my
laptop, (it was purchased in late May). By the way, the Windows
version is Windows 7, so presumably the OS does not support UEFI. It
still could be in the hardware, just unused.



HP bios and Win7 have supported UEFI for quite a few years.
<https://duckduckgo.com/?q=windows+7+%2B+uefi+%2B+hp+dv6>


So, if you are correct, UEFI might be on my computer. I've looked in
the BIOS and saw nothing that suggests that UEFI is present. Of course,
it just might mean that there is no BIOS setting or information about
UEFI. Is there any way I can find if UEFI is present and can it be
disabled if present.



Bill Stanley

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