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Questions using PartitionMagic for dual-boot with WinXP-Pro - FreeBSD

Hi - I need help partitioning a laptop (using PartitionMagic) which already has WinXP-Pro on it, so it can dual-boot FreeBSD. SUMMARY ======= I'm thinking of doing the following layout (things I'm unsure about are in brackets [...]): - "boot" (Z:) - FAT [or FAT32?]- 2MB [less/more?] - primary - install Easy Boot [or LILO?] here - "winxp" (C:) - NTFS - 20GB - primary (I will move/resize this existing partition, using PMagic) - "winxp2" (X:) - FAT [or FAT32, NTFS?] - 15GB - logical [or primary?] - "linux" - ext2 - 24GB - primary - "swap" - ext2 [or ...

  1. #1

    Default Questions using PartitionMagic for dual-boot with WinXP-Pro


    Hi -

    I need help partitioning a laptop (using PartitionMagic) which already has WinXP-Pro on it, so it can dual-boot FreeBSD.

    SUMMARY
    =======
    I'm thinking of doing the following layout (things I'm unsure about are in brackets [...]):

    - "boot" (Z:) - FAT [or FAT32?]- 2MB [less/more?] - primary - install Easy Boot [or LILO?] here
    - "winxp" (C:) - NTFS - 20GB - primary (I will move/resize this existing partition, using PMagic)
    - "winxp2" (X:) - FAT [or FAT32, NTFS?] - 15GB - logical [or primary?]
    - "linux" - ext2 - 24GB - primary
    - "swap" - ext2 [or FAT, FAT32?] - 1MB - logical [or primary?]

    but I'm unsure about a lot of these parameters and I'm afraid of making the computer unbootable! The above layout sums up my questions - same questions in more detail below:

    DETAILS
    =======
    Specs: Compaq v3125us, Windows XP Professional (with Service Pack 2), 60GB hard disk, 512MB RAM, and NO floppy drive. (Also: Pioneer DVR-K14 Slimline (DVD+/-RW, CD-RW), Intel Extreme Graphics 2 video chipset, ACPI power management.) I have PartitionMagic 8.0.

    (Note: In the questions below, I use the word "partition" because that's what PartitionMagic uses. I understand that in FreeBSD this is called a "slice.")

    (1) PartitionMagic says that if an OS partition starts after the "boot boundary," that OS won't be bootable. It says I have boot boundaries at 2GB, and at 1024 cylinders.

    Does this mean I should create a small partition BEFORE my WinXP partition, to put Boot Easy or LILO there? (Apparently PartitionMagic has a command to MOVE an existing partition - so it looks like I can just move the existing WinXP partition slightly to open up some space in front of it.)

    If I do need to create a boot partition:

    ....(a) How big should it be?

    ....(b) What file system should it be - FAT, FAT32, ext2 or ext3?

    ....(c) Should it be a primary partition, or logical (extended)?

    Anybody have a preference on using LILO versus Boot Easy?

    Will there be a screen during the regular FreeBSD install that lets me install Boot Easy or LILO?

    (2) Should the file system for my Linux partition be ext2 or ext3?

    (3) Do I need a Linux swap partition? If so:

    ....(a) How big should the Linux swap partition be? (I heard it should be twice the size of my RAM. I have 512MB, so should my Linux swap partition be 1024MB?)

    ....(b) Should the Linux swap partition be FAT, FAT32, ext2 or ext3?

    ....(c) Should the Linux swap partition be a primary partition - or logical (extended)?

    (4) It would be nice (but not required) to create a second logical partition at this time for WinXP (a second logical drive, say X:), so I could keep my WinXP user or data file separate there. If I have a boot partition, a main WinXP partition, a Linux partition, and a Linux swap partition, then that makes 4 partitions. Is that the maximum (meaning I couldn't add a second WinXP partition)?

    If I make a second logical partition for WinXP, does it have to be NTFS? I heard that it could also be FAT or FAT32, and that way any OS could access it?

    (5) I would like to be able to see DOS files from FreeBSD. Is there anything I have to do at partition time to make this possible?

    (6) I'm confused about the whole "MaxCapacity = (sector size) x (sectors per track) x (cylinders) x (heads)" thing. Do I need to set sector size, sectors per track, cylinders and heads when I make a new partition? (I don't even seen much mention of cylinders, heads and sectors in PartitionMagic.)

    (7) (Off-topic:) I heard that FreeBSD is not compatible with ACPI power management. When and how do I disable this?

    Thanks for any help!

    Stefan Scott


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Questions using PartitionMagic for dual-boot with WinXP-Pro

    Maude User on 2005-03-27 19:47:30 -0800:
     

    FreeBSD uses disk slices as opposed to partitions; decide how much
    space you want FreeBSD to take up (including swap) and set that
    aside. When it comes time to install FreeBSD, you will be able to
    allocate the slice as you see fit from the installer, but it will all
    be on one partition. You should leave the partition on which you
    would like to install FreeBSD blank.

    You will not be installing FreeBSD onto an ext2 or ext3 partition.
    You probably ought to allocate more than 1MB of swap.
     

    You should not need a boot partition; the FreeBSD boot manager is
    installed in the MBR. I have no experience dual-booting FreeBSD and
    Windows; you ought to check with someone who has.
     

    I don't know anything about Boot Easy, but I suspect that the FreeBSD
    boot manager will be more than sufficient for your needs.
     

    At this point, you ought to make sure you understand that FreeBSD is
    not a Linux distribution.
     

    FAT32 is better supported than NTFS.
     

    There is an option during the install to disable it; the statement
    that FreeBSD is not compatible with ACPI is incorrect.

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    mxMS4sNF/2Dc01CMP6Kc=
    =oDYu
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

    Alec Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Questions using PartitionMagic for dual-boot with WinXP-Pro



    I kind of wonder why you are asking on this (FreeBSD questions) list.
    I don't see any FreeBSD installation in the plan you outline.
     

    Yes, FreeBSD recognizes the four primary divisions and calls them slices.
    Withing each slice, it can be divides in to up to 8 partitions.
     

    Most modern BIOS and boot loaders no longer have that problem. An older
    BIOS still might, but it is basically an obsolete thing.
     
    to put Boot Easy or LILO there? (Apparently PartitionMagic has a command 

    I have never tried moving anything to a higher address and squeezing
    anything in before it. Shrinking and putting in a major division above
    has worked well. I don't think you have to put in a slice for those
    MBR utilities. They use sector 0 and extra unused space.
     

    Where do you intend to put FreeBSD? It doesn't supply Lilo or
    Boot Easy. Those are either Linux or third party things, not related
    to FreeBSD. 

    Again, why would you ask about Linux swap on a FreeBSD list?
    I know some people feel that FreeBSD people are more generally informed
    than Lusers and MS slavies, but really, you should direct your
    questions to those involved with those things.
    etc, etc, etc.

    Now, if you really mean you are interested in installing FreeBSD and just
    said Linux by mistake, first ignore lilo, boot easy and other stuff. Just
    leave the MS xp installed as it is. Squeeze the MS slice down to whatever
    size you want it. Make the slice you create in the open space some FAT thing
    just to keep Partition Magic happy. Don't make it an EXT partition though.
    Which FAT doesn't matter because FreeBSD install will overwrite it with its
    own thing during installation. During FreeBSD installation, choose the
    standard FreeBSD MBR. If you later really must have Grub, Gag or something,
    then you can change it anytime.

    You don't want to make a separate slice for FreeBSD swap. That goes in
    to one of the FreeBSD partitions (the b partition). The rule of thumb is
    to make it 2 1/2 times the amount of memory, but nowdays with very large
    memories, some people choke on making it 2 1/2 GB or whatever. Anyway
    you want it at least some bigger than your memory like 1 1/4. But, I
    still shoot for 2 1/2 times.

    You can mount and read your MS slices from FreeBSD, but you cannot
    write to an NTFS slice from FreeBSD (the last I knew anyway, maybe
    you can now).
     

    Again, why are you talking about Linux. FreeBSD is not Linux. Probably
    first you had better go and read some of the doentation so you have
    a better understanding of what you are trying to do. The FreeBSD handbook
    is a good place to start. It is freely available on the FreeBSD web site
    See: http://www.freebsd.org/
     

    Study first and then you will see that you can forget about this stuff.
     

    No.
     

    Ignore this stuff unless you have a very unusual disk. Just
    look at the total sizes of the slices.

    ////jerry
     

    Jerry Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Questions using PartitionMagic for dual-boot with WinXP-Pro

    Jerry -

    Thank you for your email - that pretty much cleared everything up.

    I am quite definitely installing FreeBSD (5.3) - not Linux - sorry about the many misleading mentions of Linux. Those crept in because many of the tips I had googled seemed to mention Linux utilities (such as boot managers) in the same breath as FreeBSD-specific things, making me think that whenever the tools I was using (such as PartitionMagic) didn't mention FreeBSD, I should just pick the closest generic Linux thing and it would work.

    I think I'm clear now on the following:

    (1) I give the new FreeBSD slice any old file system - FreeBSD will overwrite it (with FFS I assume?).

    (2) The dreaded 1024-cylinder limit is a thing of the past, due to BIOS LBA. And even though BIOS LBA still has an 8GB limit, that's not a problem as long as my first slice is DOS (which it is) because it will actually start at Cylinder 0, Head 1, Sector 1, leaving space for FreeBSD's boot manager (or MBR?).

    I have read chapter 2 of the handbook several times, as well as another doent on freebsd.org about installing multiple OSes, but there are 2 issues which I don't think are made clear enough for newbies in the docs: (1) The docs should emphasize (as you did) that it doesn't matter what file system you set for FreeBSD's slice - FreeBSD will overwrite it anyays. (2) Several frightening warnings are given, saying that a slice needs to be within the "1024 cylinder limit" in order to be bootable. These warnings are obsolete because of BIOS LBA and because of the free space available if the first slice is for DOS.

    Your email cleared up both these issues.

    Thanks,
    Stefan



    Jerry McAllister <cl.msu.edu> wrote: 

    I kind of wonder why you are asking on this (FreeBSD questions) list.
    I don't see any FreeBSD installation in the plan you outline.
     

    Yes, FreeBSD recognizes the four primary divisions and calls them slices.
    Withing each slice, it can be divides in to up to 8 partitions.
     

    Most modern BIOS and boot loaders no longer have that problem. An older
    BIOS still might, but it is basically an obsolete thing.
     
    to put Boot Easy or LILO there? (Apparently PartitionMagic has a command 

    I have never tried moving anything to a higher address and squeezing
    anything in before it. Shrinking and putting in a major division above
    has worked well. I don't think you have to put in a slice for those
    MBR utilities. They use sector 0 and extra unused space.
     

    Where do you intend to put FreeBSD? It doesn't supply Lilo or
    Boot Easy. Those are either Linux or third party things, not related
    to FreeBSD. 

    Again, why would you ask about Linux swap on a FreeBSD list?
    I know some people feel that FreeBSD people are more generally informed
    than Lusers and MS slavies, but really, you should direct your
    questions to those involved with those things.
    etc, etc, etc.

    Now, if you really mean you are interested in installing FreeBSD and just
    said Linux by mistake, first ignore lilo, boot easy and other stuff. Just
    leave the MS xp installed as it is. Squeeze the MS slice down to whatever
    size you want it. Make the slice you create in the open space some FAT thing
    just to keep Partition Magic happy. Don't make it an EXT partition though.
    Which FAT doesn't matter because FreeBSD install will overwrite it with its
    own thing during installation. During FreeBSD installation, choose the
    standard FreeBSD MBR. If you later really must have Grub, Gag or something,
    then you can change it anytime.

    You don't want to make a separate slice for FreeBSD swap. That goes in
    to one of the FreeBSD partitions (the b partition). The rule of thumb is
    to make it 2 1/2 times the amount of memory, but nowdays with very large
    memories, some people choke on making it 2 1/2 GB or whatever. Anyway
    you want it at least some bigger than your memory like 1 1/4. But, I
    still shoot for 2 1/2 times.

    You can mount and read your MS slices from FreeBSD, but you cannot
    write to an NTFS slice from FreeBSD (the last I knew anyway, maybe
    you can now).
     

    Again, why are you talking about Linux. FreeBSD is not Linux. Probably
    first you had better go and read some of the doentation so you have
    a better understanding of what you are trying to do. The FreeBSD handbook
    is a good place to start. It is freely available on the FreeBSD web site
    See: http://www.freebsd.org/
     

    Study first and then you will see that you can forget about this stuff.
     

    No.
     

    Ignore this stuff unless you have a very unusual disk. Just
    look at the total sizes of the slices.

    ////jerry
     



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