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#1 OFFLINE   thecdn

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:14 PM

I have a 1TB drive that is currently partitioned as follows:

/dev/sda1       250g   NTFS   Win7

/dev/sda2
   /dev/sda5     25g    Ext4    Pclos /root   (use the grub from this to boot)
   /dev/sda6     54g    Ext4    Pclos /home
   /dev/sda7       4g    Swap  Swap
   /dev/sda8     48g    Ext4    Sabayon
   /dev/sda9     48g    Ext4    Arch 64 (testing)
   /dev/sda10   48g    Ext4    Arch 64 (default boot)
   /dev/sda11   48g    Ext4    Vector
   /dev/sda12   48g    Ext4    Pclos 64
   /dev/sda13   48g    Ext4    Dream
   /dev/sda14   48g    Ext4    Mint 12
   /dev/sda15   48g    Ext4    Chakra
   /dev/sda16  215g   NTFS   storage/backup

I've had this setup for awhile as I used to very keen on trying different distros all the time. Lately I've found I haven't been as interested in that - I've been playing with my android phone and Nook Color  laugh.gif
Plus, I found I've been running out of room on my Win7 partition as I've been looking at different windows games. I'm tired of deleting things there before I can install something new.

So, I want to redo my hard disk in the most painless way possible. I haven't done something like this for a few years so I just thought I'd talk it out here and see if others see any problems/better ideas.

The only partitions I care about are the Win7, Arch 64 (sda10), and Chakra (sda15).  

I want to expand the Win7 partition considerably, probably the current partions 5-9.

I think I'll delete the current sda11 and allot the space to the current sda10 - Arch 64 is and will likely continue to be my primary boot.

I'd leave sda12-16 as they are for the most part so I have some partitions for distros.

Do I need a separate swap partition these days? My machine has 4gb of ram on it. I don't do anything that intensive on linux.

I'll probably reinstall pclos as I've been using it's grub for years and always have had great luck with it even after catastrophes with wayward distros installing their grub on the mbr. Pclos's redo-mbr tool from the cd has saved me on a number of occasions. The last time I looked at grub2 it seemed like a pain in the butt to edit when you changed distros so I decided I didn't want to play with it.

So, after all this I'm thinking I'll have roughly the following layout:

dev/sda1       430g   NTFS   Win7

/dev/sda2
   /dev/sda5     96g    Ext4    Arch 64 (default boot)
   /dev/sda6       4g    swap  swap  (???)
   /dev/sda7     48g    Ext4    Pclos
   /dev/sda8     48g    Ext4    xxxx    
   /dev/sda9     43g    Ext4    xxxx
   /dev/sda10   48g    Ext4    Chakra
   /dev/sda11  215g   NTFS   storage/backup

Does this seem reasonable? In the short term as long as I can boot into win7 and Arch 64 I'll be ok and worry about the other stuff later. I'll do clonezilla backups of the win7 and Arch 64 partitions before I start this process.

#2 OFFLINE   lewmur

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:05 PM

QUOTE (thecdn @ Mar 31 2012, 11:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have a 1TB drive that is currently partitioned as follows:

/dev/sda1       250g   NTFS   Win7

/dev/sda2
   /dev/sda5     25g    Ext4    Pclos /root   (use the grub from this to boot)
   /dev/sda6     54g    Ext4    Pclos /home
   /dev/sda7       4g    Swap  Swap
   /dev/sda8     48g    Ext4    Sabayon
   /dev/sda9     48g    Ext4    Arch 64 (testing)
   /dev/sda10   48g    Ext4    Arch 64 (default boot)
   /dev/sda11   48g    Ext4    Vector
   /dev/sda12   48g    Ext4    Pclos 64
   /dev/sda13   48g    Ext4    Dream
   /dev/sda14   48g    Ext4    Mint 12
   /dev/sda15   48g    Ext4    Chakra
   /dev/sda16  215g   NTFS   storage/backup

I've had this setup for awhile as I used to very keen on trying different distros all the time. Lately I've found I haven't been as interested in that - I've been playing with my android phone and Nook Color  laugh.gif
Plus, I found I've been running out of room on my Win7 partition as I've been looking at different windows games. I'm tired of deleting things there before I can install something new.

So, I want to redo my hard disk in the most painless way possible. I haven't done something like this for a few years so I just thought I'd talk it out here and see if others see any problems/better ideas.

The only partitions I care about are the Win7, Arch 64 (sda10), and Chakra (sda15).  

I want to expand the Win7 partition considerably, probably the current partions 5-9.

I think I'll delete the current sda11 and allot the space to the current sda10 - Arch 64 is and will likely continue to be my primary boot.

I'd leave sda12-16 as they are for the most part so I have some partitions for distros.

Do I need a separate swap partition these days? My machine has 4gb of ram on it. I don't do anything that intensive on linux.

I'll probably reinstall pclos as I've been using it's grub for years and always have had great luck with it even after catastrophes with wayward distros installing their grub on the mbr. Pclos's redo-mbr tool from the cd has saved me on a number of occasions. The last time I looked at grub2 it seemed like a pain in the butt to edit when you changed distros so I decided I didn't want to play with it.

So, after all this I'm thinking I'll have roughly the following layout:

dev/sda1       430g   NTFS   Win7

/dev/sda2
   /dev/sda5     96g    Ext4    Arch 64 (default boot)
   /dev/sda6       4g    swap  swap  (???)
   /dev/sda7     48g    Ext4    Pclos
   /dev/sda8     48g    Ext4    xxxx    
   /dev/sda9     43g    Ext4    xxxx
   /dev/sda10   48g    Ext4    Chakra
   /dev/sda11  215g   NTFS   storage/backup

Does this seem reasonable? In the short term as long as I can boot into win7 and Arch 64 I'll be ok and worry about the other stuff later. I'll do clonezilla backups of the win7 and Arch 64 partitions before I start this process.

You have a problem.  You can't expand the Win7 partition without wiping out everything else on the drive because everything else is, in effect, all stored in one extended partition, sda2.  Unless you are willing to lose all of the backups and data on your "storage/backup" partition, don't do it.  Even if you delete logical partitions from the extended partition, you can't resize it without grave danger of losing the remaining logical partitions.  You can delete and resize logical partitions within the extended partition but NOT the extended partition itself.

Edited by lewmur, 31 March 2012 - 02:12 PM.


#3 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:23 PM

QUOTE (thecdn @ Mar 31 2012, 11:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does this seem reasonable? In the short term as long as I can boot into win7 and Arch 64 I'll be ok and worry about the other stuff later. I'll do clonezilla backups of the win7 and Arch 64 partitions before I start this process.

If you do not mind losing your other distros, your best method would be to clone both Archlinux and Win7(just in case). Then boot up a livecd with gparted and delete all partitions except for you first windows partition. Then resize your windows partition using Gparted.

Afterwards, make a partition for Archlinux and when you are done, restore you arch clone. Then you will have a larger windows partition and have a new Arch partition to restore to.
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#4 OFFLINE   thecdn

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:13 PM

QUOTE (securitybreach @ Mar 31 2012, 02:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you do not mind losing your other distros, your best method would be to clone both Archlinux and Win7(just in case). Then boot up a livecd with gparted and delete all partitions except for you first windows partition. Then resize your windows partition using Gparted.

Afterwards, make a partition for Archlinux and when you are done, restore you arch clone. Then you will have a larger windows partition and have a new Arch partition to restore to.


After reading lewmurs reply I figured it was going to come to something like this. I'm cloning win7 now (takes a looooong time when you verify the backup), then I'll clone arch and copy the backup partition to a usb drive.

It won't matter if I restore the arch backup to a partition that is larger than the one it was cloned from will it?

How is the arch grub to work with? Does it use grub2 now?


Thanks for the info guys....

#5 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:42 PM

QUOTE (thecdn @ Mar 31 2012, 04:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It won't matter if I restore the arch backup to a partition that is larger than the one it was cloned from will it?

How is the arch grub to work with? Does it use grub2 now?


Thanks for the info guys....

I am not for sure as I have never ran clonezilla.

As far as grub, Archlinux still uses grub-legacy so it is simple to edit. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GRUB
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#6 OFFLINE   burninbush

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 03:43 AM

QUOTE (securitybreach @ Mar 31 2012, 08:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As far as grub, Archlinux still uses grub-legacy so it is simple to edit. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GRUB


Uhmmm ... couple personal anecdotes here; if your linux partition [arch?] uses an initrd file, then restoring it to a partition with a different name than the one it was originally installed to will probably not work.   Other distros [e.g., Slackware] that don't use an initrd can seemingly be restored to any available partition and will boot fine after fixing the booter's config file.  

Seems certain that the grub you were using before won't work either, when things are moved around; sector offsets to stage2 files will be wrong.  But grub is easy to reinstall after the restores are done.  

Can Win7 be restored to a different partition than the one it was installed to?  I haven't tried that, but did not have much luck with win2k which I imagine would present similar problems.  

I would expect both restores to work if you can contrive to restore them to parts with the same name they had before the cloning operation.  



#7 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:25 AM

Do Not fear the GRUB2. It actually makes some things easier. I installed 2 new Linuxes on my box, booted back into aptosid (which owns GRUB2), ran update-grub and they were instantly added to the boot menu.  cool.gif
As for swap, you got me interested so I did a little research. The general consensus seems to be that swap can actually help speed things up a little even if you have lots of RAM, so it is better to have at least a small swap partition.
Interestingly it also led to me finding out that my aptosid install has no swap. I can't recall if I did this on purpose due to using an SSD for boot disk, or not. System has been running for over a year and I didn't notice, although it rarely gets close to using it's 2GB RAM.
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#8 OFFLINE   thecdn

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:16 AM

If I restore the win7 and arch backups, can I easily install the arch grub from the install disk? Haven't tried that one before.

#9 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE (thecdn @ Apr 1 2012, 08:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I restore the win7 and arch backups, can I easily install the arch grub from the install disk? Haven't tried that one before.

Try this: http://awayand.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/re...hlinux-boot-cd/

It is a couple of years old but it works beautifully to restore grub using the boot cd.
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#10 ONLINE   onederer

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:31 AM

Why not simplify things, and give Windows it's own drive, and use an external USB hard drive for all your Linux's?  You only need to modify your Bios so that Linux boots up first, and Grub will offer which OS you want to activate.

Cheers!  smile.gif
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#11 OFFLINE   lewmur

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:16 AM

QUOTE (thecdn @ Apr 1 2012, 08:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I restore the win7 and arch backups, can I easily install the arch grub from the install disk? Haven't tried that one before.
Before doing anything else, download and burn a SuperGrub CD.  Then after you restore your Arch and Windows images, you can use that to boot into either one.  Then you can either perform a grub-install from Arch, or, my preference, install EasyBCD in Windows and use that as your bootloader.  Having a SuperGrub CD is a handy tool to have anyway.


#12 OFFLINE   thecdn

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:55 PM

Thanks for the ideas guys. I probably won't go with the external usb drive as the 1TB internal should do the job if partitioned correctly. Plus I don't have a lot of space on my desk.

I had forgotten about EasyBCD. I used it once on my wifes laptop. Does it handle multiple distros well? Is it easy to edit/modify if you change installed distros?

Will look at SuperGrub tonight and will do the partitioning/reorganizing this Friday, when I have a long weekend to recover if things go wrong.......

#13 OFFLINE   burninbush

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:44 PM

QUOTE (thecdn @ Apr 2 2012, 09:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the ideas guys. I probably won't go with the external usb drive as the 1TB internal should do the job if partitioned correctly. Plus I don't have a lot of space on my desk.

I had forgotten about EasyBCD. I used it once on my wifes laptop. Does it handle multiple distros well? Is it easy to edit/modify if you change installed distros?

Will look at SuperGrub tonight and will do the partitioning/reorganizing this Friday, when I have a long weekend to recover if things go wrong.......


Something I wonder -- is it fundamentally required to have your game stuff inside the windows partition?  What if you were to reformat the first couple linux partitions to ntfs -- could they be used that way for windows apps?  That would avoid disturbing all those other installs, which it appears you must do to directly enlarge the windows part.

I'm also curious why your linux partitions need to be so big?  I settled on 10gb parts for linux long ago for my machines, and I have yet to ever fill one completely.  
  


#14 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:51 PM

QUOTE (burninbush @ Apr 2 2012, 02:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm also curious why your linux partitions need to be so big?  I settled on 10gb parts for linux long ago for my machines, and I have yet to ever fill one completely.

Well if you install a lot of applications and such, then you will use up quite a bit of / :
CODE
╔═ comhack@Cerberus 02:52 PM
╚═══ ~-> df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs           47G   23G   22G  51% /

/dev            7.9G     0  7.9G   0% /dev
run             7.9G  348K  7.9G   1% /run
/dev/sda2        47G   23G   22G  51% /
shm             7.9G   39M  7.8G   1% /dev/shm
/dev/sdb1       833G  694G   98G  88% /backup
/dev/sda3       812G  481G  292G  63% /home
/dev/sdc1       1.9T  1.3T  446G  75% /MEDIA
/dev/sda1        69G   54G   15G  79% /windows

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#15 ONLINE   onederer

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:42 PM

QUOTE (thecdn @ Apr 2 2012, 11:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the ideas guys. I probably won't go with the external usb drive as the 1TB internal should do the job if partitioned correctly. Plus I don't have a lot of space on my desk.

I had forgotten about EasyBCD. I used it once on my wifes laptop. Does it handle multiple distros well? Is it easy to edit/modify if you change installed distros?

Will look at SuperGrub tonight and will do the partitioning/reorganizing this Friday, when I have a long weekend to recover if things go wrong.......


I have a 1TB USB hard drive that fits into my breast shirt pocket.  With different lengths of USB cable, it can be placed just about anywhere, including your shirt's pocket as you are using it! An if that's too big, there's always a USB Flash Drive, as an option. That takes very little space. The difference is that you won't be able to store as many OS's on that drive. The largest Flash Drive that I've seen thus far, is 64GB. I'd just hate to see you running out of space if you should decide to install some long programs like Libre Office, and HPLip. A few of those, and they killed my >400GB "/home" directory--No more space. The USB hard drive is 1TB. And this was for only one OS.

smile.gif

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#16 OFFLINE   ichase

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 11:57 AM

As sunrat mentioned, do not fear Grub2.  Arch still comes with legacy grub but I only started using Linux less than 2 years ago so I started with Grub2 and learned how to use it.  A nice tool that grub2 has is the ability to find all OSs installed on all partitions INCLUDING those like onederer on a external HDD.

Most distros have the ability to do this native.  With Arch linux ( I replaced legacy with Grub2) you had to install a seperate program called OS-Prober.  A simple command line command finds all of your partitions and writes your grub.cfg for you
CODE
# grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg


Now it has been awhile since I have installed another distro on my multiboot machines.  Actually I can remember the last time I booted into any other distro but Arch on either my desktop or laptop.  wink.gif

Good luck with the partitioning.  In looking at SBs recommendation, I feel that is the best one to go with.

I use Clonezilla practically weekly.  In the past I have attempted to re-image Arch on a partition that was larger then the one I cloned from with little success.  Also, I'm pretty sure that if you clone lets say sda4 then you can't re-image sda3 with that clone.  At least I have not been able to do that but there might be a way.
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#17 OFFLINE   burninbush

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 01:09 PM


I use Clonezilla practically weekly. In the past I have attempted to re-image Arch on a partition that was larger then the one I cloned from with little success. Also, I'm pretty sure that if you clone lets say sda4 then you can't re-image sda3 with that clone. At least I have not been able to do that but there might be a way.  >ichase

+++++++++++++

I think the failure to work on a different partition hinges on whether or not the distro uses an initrd -- I've had zero success at moving those, but good luck with Slackware [and derivatives] which don't use an initrd.  It appears that the original partition number is embedded somehow inside the initrd.  Slack is completely friendly in this regard, though.  

If you just want an image that you can use to restore to the same partition a distro came from, even with an initrd file, tar is all that is needed.  Just boot with some other distro [e.g., pmagic or puppy] and then ...

#cd /mnt/distro
#tar -czf /mnt/partition-with-room/distro.tarback .  

and then after reformatting the original partition, you just reverse it to restore.  Note, you may have to reinstall grub/lilo if their stage2 files were on the distro you restored, they will no longer be at the same sector offset as before.  

I've used this recently to avoid having to reload a distro when I'm having trouble getting some new app to install without ruining the distro -- much quicker to un-tar the backup than to reload the distro from scratch, or to try to figure out how to back out of the install.  The tar backup will restore at about the same speed as your disk can read through the tar file.  


#18 OFFLINE   ichase

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:51 AM

Thanks for clearing that up bb great tip with using tar.  I have added that to my notes for future use.  Though with using clonezilla, if grub is set to that distro, you will not have to reinstall grub.  Always nice to have alternatives thumbsup.gif
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