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2002 Jan 15 12:58

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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[vox] To Re-install or not to Re-install...That is the Question
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[vox] To Re-install or not to Re-install...That is the Question



THE SETUP

Old system:
        "cracked" several-year-old 4Mb P-90 running Mandrake (no CD-ROM)
        (All ISA inside, if that gives you a clue...)
New[er] system:
        Pentium-166, 128Mb machine, using Red Hat 7.2, HDDs: 7.2G, 4.3Gb
        Award BIOS is updated as far as it can be.

Re-using original disk in new system (supposedly formatted upon install), and I'm having a disk size problem. I'm trying to decide whether to reinstall or not.

                                * * *
Medium Problem #1.
/dev/hda (Maxtor 90720D5) is supposed to be 7.2Gb

Using AUTO and LBA, it shows on boot:
        LBA Mode 4, 7203Mb
or, in the BIOS IDE auto-detect:
        7197Mb.

So, 7Gb, give or take, right?.

But fdisk and Disk Druid reported it at 2.008Gb.
Now that RH's installed, parted says 2.014Gb.

Since I had an extra 4.3Gb disk as /dev/hdc, I installed anyway.

Minor Problem #2.
After the install and reboot, an EZ-BIOS (!) config screen appears before the GRUB menu.
Whaaa..? Where did EZ-BIOS come from? RedHat didn't add this, did it? Naaaa. It must be left over from the previous MBR (old BIOS needed it, perhaps).

I had thought the MBR would have been re-written by GRUB.

Medium Problem #3.
If I just leave it alone, it boots into Linux fine, except there's something missing:

        the /home partition!!!

Dang. In all the commotion, with the other custom RAID partitions they wanted, I forgot to add in /home. Well, it's currently under /, but with /'s 300Mb partition total (at 33% use, no user files), it doesn't look good for the home dir expanding all that much.


OPTIONS, ANYONE?

Given that there's no user data on the system yet, would you:

1. leave it alone, and hope 184Mb is enough for the
    4-5 students doing software development in /home?

2. reformat all and re-do it, hoping the true size will appear
    in fdisk/Disk Druid?

3. add a new partition for /home with mkfs, etc., fix /etc/fstab,
    and ignore the EZ-BIOS apparition?

4. Re-write the MBR and hopefully trash EZ-BIOS, reclaiming the space?
(this sounds like a recipe for disaster, actually, given disk geometry mechanics)

Thanks, and sorry for the long-winded description.

--john

------------------------------------------------------------
John C. Alden, jcalden@ucdavis.edu      530-754-7210
Programmer-Analyst III                  530-304-7443 cell
Department of Applied Science   530-752-0360 (front desk)
University of California, Davis 530-752-2444 fax
http://www.das.ucdavis.edu/
------------------------------------------------------------


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