Dual-boot XP & Suse on a Vaio laptop

By outlando
May 30, 2006
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  1. Hey

    I'm considering setting up a dual-boot with Suse linux on my Vaio laptop. I've come across a couple of very vague suggestions that Sony's hardware and linux don't play very nice together... does anyone have anything a little more substantial?

    Or should I just give it a whirl and see what happens??
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    It should mostly work, only more exotic hardware like MS devices and all kinds of power management features may not be supported.
    Just throw in the latest (version 10.1) SuSE CD/DVD and install away. All partitioning is done inside the Linux installer, so you don't even have to mess around with special tools.
  3. outlando

    outlando Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Cheers, I'll give it a whirl

    The two partitions on my HDD are both NTFS - should I delete my D:\ partition and then set it up again as FAT32, or will Suse do that for me?
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    Yes, you can use SuSE to delete/create partitions no problem.

    Mind you, you need to have one partition formatted with some Linux native filesystem (SuSE will do this for you too).
  5. outlando

    outlando Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Cheers. I suppose you already told me that anyway

    :eek:

    Thanks again, I'll give it a go and post how I get on.
  6. outlando

    outlando Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Um. OK, I booted up with the SuSe 10.1 dvd, got to the partitioning bit and got stuck. It showed me the following proposal, which I don't think I want to agree to - but I don't know exactly what to tell it in order to get it to do what I want! Make sense?
    Anyway, here's the proposal:

    Shrink Windows partition /dev/sda5 to 12.9GB
    Create swap partition /dev/sda6 (1.4GB)
    Create root partition /dev/sda7 (8.3GB)
    Create partition /dev/sda8 (12.1GB) for /home with reiserfs
    Set mount point of /dev/sda2 to windows/C

    My limited understanding of this is that it's going to resize my C:\ partition and install SuSe on the space it makes.

    However, what I want to do is to install SuSe on my D:\ partition - can anyone please point me in the right direction?
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    At the beginning of the partitioning phase, choose the custom partitioning for "experts". Here you can specify all the steps yourself. Select your D: partition, choose to format it as reiserfs and set the mount point to /
  8. outlando

    outlando Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Thanks very much! I'll try it now
    Thanks for helping me out by the way, it's very kind of you
  9. outlando

    outlando Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Right. Now I'm confused.

    SuSe installer is recognising four partitions:

    /dev/sda1 6.9GB Vendor diag
    /dev/sda2 32.6GB HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 34.9GB Extended
    /dev/sda5 34.9GB HPFS/NTFS

    I'm guessing that /dev/sda3 & /dev/sda5 are my D:\ partition, due to the start/end points listed in the installer (they both start at 5168 and end at 9728) - but I don't want to delete this in case it's actually my C:\ partition!

    I've seen suggestions elsewhere that I should delete the D:\ partition with Windows disk management and then use the SuSe installer to repartition and format the remaining space in reiserfs. Is that a sensible thing to do?
  10. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    sda5 is a logical partition (drive D: ) in an extended partition sda3.

    Maybe - it should be the same which tool you use to format.
  11. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    /dev/sda1 6.9GB Vendor diag - This is an "invisible" Sony partition. Among other thintgs it lets you restore the contents of your hard drive to factory settings.
    /dev/sda2 32.6GB HPFS/NTFS - This is your C:
    /dev/sda3 34.9GB Extended - This is a container partition that can house many other partitions.
    /dev/sda5 34.9GB HPFS/NTFS - This is your D: inside that container partition.



    It shouldn't matter what you edit your partitions with. To make sure that the partition table stays in the shape Windows likes, don't delete or create any partitions at all - just tell SuSE to format sda5 as reiserfs and mount it to /
  12. outlando

    outlando Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Nice! This is exactly what I needed to know.
    I was vaguely aware that I can't set up more than four partitions on a single drive - presumably the 34.9GB Extended partition allows me to set up all the necessary Linux partitions (root, swap etc).

    Unfortunately I'm now at work and can't play with my lappy until I get home - I'll post my findings later on.

    Thanks again :D
  13. outlando

    outlando Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 19

    OK, so I sorted out how to partition the drives properly, started the installation and then it hung.

    It successfully resized the windows\d partition, set up the swap partition and started the 8GB root partition - and got stuck :(

    I had to restart the machine and boot to windows.

    Gonna try and find some answers and give it another try.
     
  14. outlando

    outlando Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 19

    OK sorry for the triple-post

    I've tried three times now and each time it successfully formats my 1.4Gb swap, and then starts to format my 8.3Gb /root - at this point the progress bar jumps straight to 100% immediately. The timer still runs and the mouse-pointer still moves, for a few minutes. Then it totally freezes and I have to pull the plug on the whole thing and restart the machine.

    Anyone have any idea what could be causing this??
  15. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    Try pressing Ctrl+Alt+Fx keys (F1 to F7) to switch between consoles and see if any show some kinds of error messages.

    There should be a function in the installer to check your DVD for errors too.
  16. outlando

    outlando Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 19

    :mad:
    Tried it another three times, selecting ACPI disabled etc. I also tried installing Ubuntu 6.06 and that got stuck too!
    Seriously tempted not to bother now. It's a shame though, cos I'd really like to give it a try :(
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