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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Partitioning; cloning Puppy,
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11049
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug 2005, 17:05    Post subject:  

You are obviously thinking this through. Thank you.

> Just checked out savepart, looks promising. Along come other tools as diskinfo, fileinfo and partinfo which all would fit easily on the DOS-based puppy bootdisk. Fine so far.

Yeah, nice light yet powerful software and priced right also.

> Let's say you had an image of puppy on CDROM and that kind of bootdisk (modified with a menue of course for install purposes, that's the easy part)

Right not hard at all.

> then the question remains how would you create an ext2 and a linux swap partition from DOS?

I would make them with Power Quest Drive Image - but I'm wanting to work out a way to do this with free software.

You do not actually need to make an ext2 partition or linux swap partition.

You could use MS-DOS fdisk and create unformatted extended partitions of the size you wish them to be. This NOT a recommendation of messy fdisk. Just illustrating a point that it is easy to create unfomatted partitions and that's all you need.

> Savepart will format the ext 2 partition as a part of the image copy routine. All it needs is a partition.

Considering a low end low ram machine - the default would be to initially boot Linux but not the X for the first runs - this only takes about 8 MB RAM. Run cfdisk and format the swap partition, then edit rc.local and tell it to use the swap partition.

At this point the low end machine is ready to run X

> Maybe it'll be necessary to create a minimalist console based puppy bootdisk with just sh and fdisk? Or are there any tools out there to create linux partitions from DOS?

Yes the free AEFDISK can make type 82 and 83 partitions, but doesn't format them.

> Anyway I'm eager to get that going. Another point of course is: if you can't boot the puppy cd how will you be able to create the image that savepart is going to use?

Good question and the answer is you don't. You download it.

> As far as we got from here you would still need a running puppy type 2 install as well as at least the puppy cd and a cd writer in order to create that image. I have the slight feeling that a script to produce such an image from a(ny) puppy cd couldn't be that hard as all the filesystem is there ...

If you can download the image to your hard disk you would not even need a cdrom. Also if you could get it to your computer via the network.

Anyway I can see that you are really thinking through the logistics of this. Very good.

I'll call my ISP and see how much disk space the allow me on my account. It's an 80 MB file.

Also, I could host it on a P2P off my own computer.

I would suggest as the next step see if we can discover a free DOS disk partitioner for resizing and manipulating partitons. The only one I know of PQDI and it is not free.

Aefdisk is excellent, but will not resize a partition. Linux based System Rescue Disk can do this, it can handle all partition needs, even the formatting.

I think if you computer can use SRD that would be a good solution for the partitioning and resizing.
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Germanpup


Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 45
Location: Germany, in front of my puppypc

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 10:38    Post subject:  

thanks Bruce. Meantime I got savepart as well as partinfo, diskinfo and fileinfo onto the original puppy bootdisk (the one generated by HD-setup), renamed autoexec.bat into linux.bat. Well I also got fdisk on it.
next step would be of course to implement a cdrom driver which should be fairly easy as well. (just downloading the latest freedos release Wink
This is still assuming an image on a CDROM (from another computer of course) as i figure the low-end pc will neither have a CD recorder nor internet access.
So we could make /dev/hda1 and /dev/hda2 DOS extended using fdisk.
Then we could install the image using savepart. Fine so far. If the image were set not to boot into X but console, we could format and activate the swap partition from there, reboot (?) and go into X.
Back to the image itself. It kind of bugs me that one would first need to do a type 2 install on another PC to create the image. There must be a way to create such an image from a type1 install or even the original cdrom ...
then how about the boot sector? i don't think that's included in a partition backup ...
wouldn't it be easier after all to remaster the original CDROM to go directly into a type 2 install maybe with a menu "CD start / HD-install" before going into X?
BTW I think i know what i did wrong trying to install puppy on that old machine. I did create a swap partition (from DSL) but I didn't activate it ... otherwise the CD would probably have booted up. If that were so, one would only need a floppy based linux such as HAL91
http://chris.silmor.de/hal91/
to set up the partitions and you're there. Unfortunately I don't have that old machine here right now, but I'll try that ...

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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10654
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 13:35    Post subject:  

Germanpup wrote:
....then how about the boot sector? i don't think that's included in a partition backup...
I'm not familiar with any of the programs you mention, but I have used NTI's Drive Backup! 3. It copies everything including the first sector of the hard drive. I would expect other partition cloning programs to do the same.

Would this be any help?
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Germanpup


Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 45
Location: Germany, in front of my puppypc

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 14:34    Post subject:  

thanks Flash. What we're trying to do is to install puppy on a PC that won't boot the CD due to a lack of RAM. Bruce has proven he will run on 32 MB, probably less. A possible way to achieve this might be backupping an already (type 2) installed puppy (the whole ext2 partition) and copy it across to the low end PC ...

wake the unwakable !!!

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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10654
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 15:02    Post subject:  

O'Reilly's Linux Cookbook by Carla Schroder; chapter 16, "Backup and Recovery," page 298: 16.17 Using Mondo Rescue to Clone Linux Systems.

O'Reilly website.
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11049
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 15:33    Post subject:  

> thanks Bruce. Meantime I got savepart as well as partinfo, diskinfo and fileinfo onto the original puppy bootdisk (the one generated by HD-setup), renamed autoexec.bat into linux.bat. Well I also got fdisk on it.

Which FDISK? The freedos FDISK?

You can also use MS-FDISK and other Messy utilities borrowed form Windows 98, provided you live in an appropriate country, have proper licenses, receipts, security clearances and agree to Microsoft terms and conditions, as applicable in past, present and maybe future, consult your legal team first Crying or Very sad

In freedos config.sys do this:

VERSION=7.10

You should have FreeDOS HIMEM.EXE for the CD-ROM support freedos (and you are about of disk space if vmlinuz is on the floppy)

> next step would be of course to implement a cdrom driver which should be fairly easy as well. (just downloading the latest freedos release

The freedos cd-rom drive atapi.sys is NOT even recommended by freedos at its current stage of development.

The prefered driver is vide-ccd.sys find in on the internet

The freedos cd-rom extender is shsucdx and it is a class act so use it

Also ctmouse is super. Use it for mouse control in savepart

> This is still assuming an image on a CDROM (from another computer of course) as i figure the low-end pc will neither have a CD recorder nor internet access.

Okay

> So we could make /dev/hda1 and /dev/hda2 DOS extended using fdisk.

FDISK doesn't know about /dev/hda?

Typically MS FDISK's extended partition would correspond with /dev/hd?2, maybe not it might be hd?4, better test the defaults.

FreeDOS FDISK has ability to make multiple primary partitions


> Then we could install the image using savepart. Fine so far.

Maybe not. I did some testing last night - the preliminary results indicate to me that we might have to make an ext2 partition within the size range of the image FIRST

Aefdisk can do this, but more testing is in order which I can do before it is conclusive.


> If the image were set not to boot into X but console, we could format and activate the swap partition from there, reboot (?) and go into X.
Back to the image itself. It kind of bugs me that one would first need to do a type 2 install on another PC to create the image. There must be a way to create such an image from a type1 install or even the original cdrom ...
then how about the boot sector? i don't think that's included in a partition backup ...

The mbr is not included in a partition backup. The mbr cannot be transfered from machine to machine.

> Ultimately, you would not need to do a type 2 install on another machine. In the plan an already made image could be downloaded.

> wouldn't it be easier after all to remaster the original CDROM to go directly into a type 2 install maybe with a menu "CD start / HD-install" before going into X?

No, mostly because people do not generally have any problem doing an option 2 install. The idea of the image is for people who can't for some reason. Maybe you can't because you are under the system requirements which are roughtly 128 mb ram, lacking 128 mb ram, a swap file must be used. No, because I'm not Barry. No because if you can't run X - what is the problem?

The image procedure I propose would mostly be for people who can't any other way. Like no CD-ROM drive. Maybe something to be used by a few people. I'd only anticipate a few downloads a year.


BTW I think i know what i did wrong trying to install puppy on that old machine. I did create a swap partition (from DSL) but I didn't activate it ... otherwise the CD would probably have booted up. If that were so, one would only need a floppy based linux such as HAL91
http://chris.silmor.de/hal91/
to set up the partitions and you're there. Unfortunately I don't have that old machine here right now, but I'll try that ...

You know more than I on this.
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Germanpup


Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 45
Location: Germany, in front of my puppypc

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 16:00    Post subject:  

1st of all I don't think I know more on this than you do Wink

of course I meant FreeDOS fdisk just to create the partition (you stated earlier that savepart would convert it into ext2)

I think it's way simpler. In case the partitions were set before installing, meaning a swap partition being there already, puppy should be able to boot even with low RAM.

A way to achieve this is to first boot a floppy based linux such as HAL91 (just discovered that site Wink which has linux type fdisk, e2fsck, hdparm, dd, mke2fs, and of course mkswap.

check out http://chris.silmor.de/hal91/index.html

I have downloaded that disk and will check if it works this weekend. I do believe puppy will recognize such a swap partition and the cd will boot. After that a regular install can be performed.

As much as a PC without CDROM is concerned I don't know. Most likely It will not have network as well ...

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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11049
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 17:05    Post subject:  

> 1st of all I don't think I know more on this than you do Wink

Thank you, but in the end who knows? This is a work in progress!

> of course I meant FreeDOS fdisk just to create the partition you stated earlier that savepart would convert it into ext2)

You can't believe everything you read on the Internet. Sorry, I'm still doing R&D on SAVEPART's behavior.

> I think it's way simpler. In case the partitions were set before installing, meaning a swap partition being there already, puppy should be able to boot even with low RAM.


Agreed about the partitioning prior to restoring the image. It wouldn't work another way.

Yes Puppy (option 2) should be able to boot with low ram. Testing indicates about 8 MB without X and about 28 MB with X

> A way to achieve this is to first boot a floppy based linux such as HAL91 (just discovered that site Wink which has linux type fdisk, e2fsck, hdparm, dd, mke2fs, and of course mkswap.

> check out http://chris.silmor.de/hal91/index.html

I'm very anxious to check this out. Thanks for the link.

> I have downloaded that disk and will check if it works this weekend. I do believe puppy will recognize such a swap partition and the cd will boot. After that a regular install can be performed.

I think you are right. Puppy's CD looks for a swap partition and automatically uses. Having enough Memory between the RAM and swap partition, you should do fine. Once the install is made you will use about 28 to boot X and have some RAM space left before the swap file is needed.

You probably know the HD install you make will not automatically use a swap partition and needs to be told to use a specific swap partition or file. Some behavior is different between booting from CD-ROM and the option 2 install. Not much, but the automatic use of the swap file is one difference.

> As much as a PC without CDROM is concerned I don't know. Most likely It will not have network as well ...

Seems that way to me also.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10654
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 18:56    Post subject:  

Do you know about the Emergency Boot CD?
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11049
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 19:55    Post subject:  

Flash and all,

Hard drive copy would be a very fast and efficient one step process.

The primary problem is that all data on the destination drive would be lost. The destination drive would be a mirror image of the source drive from which the image file was created.

The software which writes and creates the image would have to have support for different drive geometry.

Suppose for example I set Puppy up on a 4 GB hard drive. The compressed image would not be near that size because most of the drive is empty and would compress to a very small file comparatively speaking. I suppose around 80 to 100 MB.

Typically, the destination drive would need to be same geometry.

But with good sofftware the geometry can differ and the drive would need to be bigger tnan 4 GB has the main criteria.

I suppose there are some sofware that could write to a smaller drive, but I don't know.

Depending on the software it would make a mirror on the bigger destination drive and you would have free space.

In any event it would be fast and simple, but the image must not be located on the destination drive. Perhaps on a CD-ROM would be fine.

The reason it is fast is because it doesn't need to look on the destination drive where to write. It just writes the sectors side by side.

Theoretically, a person could take an old computer and with drive copy procedure already setup and the bugs worked out you could have a fully self bootable and working Puppy in a matter of a several minutes.

Not meaning to be redundant but the problem is total data loss on the destination drive, which might on be a problem.

Partition copy can be done without data loss on the destination.

Thanks for the links.

-------------------

I just did some testing on the HAL91 bootable Linux floppy with the command line utils.

Pretty impressive. Linux fdisk doesn't have the features of QT_Parted or the ease of use.

I suppose at this point of my research and conclusions that System Rescue CD and the QT_Parted is the optimal 'free' method for doing the partition preparation.

If a person could not boot CD, but could boot floppy, then HAL91 could do the job, but without freespace it would have to destroy some partition in order to create the required partitions. If the only partition is hda1 as I would typically expect to find and I wanted to save something on it, well that would take some doing.

HAL91 uses kernel 2.0.39, I don't know if that kernel supports the 160GB drives we see today. That probably is not a problem because computers with that kind of hd are probably powerhouses and wouldn't have shortage of RAM or anything that would justify a work around procedure.
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11049
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug 2005, 20:47    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
Do you know about the Emergency Boot CD?


I didn't until now. I downloaded the lite version. It has an .exe extension which clued me that these people might be doing things only for Microsoft users. Who knows?

Nevertheless, I downloaded it and tried to bust in open in Linux and it wouldn't break. I tried to run it in DOS, no go. I tried to unpack it in DOS - no go.

Of all the available compression options, the people at this project choose to use a Win32 only compression.

If they choose not to support Linux users with their project that is fine with me.

As far as I'm concerned, the Internet is a buyer's market.
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Germanpup


Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 45
Location: Germany, in front of my puppypc

PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug 2005, 14:52    Post subject:  

I don't see a problem with the old kernel of HAL. Aren't we talking old systems here? Think a 160GB HD will not be of uttermost importance. Much better though would be a floppy puppy ...
btw the bootsector can easily be copied using dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/path/to/mybootsector bs=512 count=1 and installed vice versa. Still all we need is that image ...

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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11049
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug 2005, 15:29    Post subject:  

> I don't see a problem with the old kernel of HAL. Aren't we talking old systems here? Think a 160GB HD will not be of uttermost importance.

My thoughts also. Did you interpret it otherwise?

> Much better though would be a floppy puppy ...
btw the bootsector can easily be copied using dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/path/to/mybootsector bs=512 count=1 and installed vice versa. Still all we need is that image ...

I wonder if we are we on the same page?

boot sectors are automatically taken care of in the process of the partition copy.

the boot sector in your example is 512 bytes located on logical sector 0 of hda1

the master boot record is located on absolute sector 0 of hda

the mbr is not interchangable between different types of hard drives

it is not even interchangable on the exact same type of drive if the partitioning is different

grub would not be located on the boot sector, it would be located on the mbr
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Germanpup


Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 45
Location: Germany, in front of my puppypc

PostPosted: Fri 26 Aug 2005, 16:24    Post subject: SUCCESS notice: Puppy installed!  

I did it!
After prepering the partitions (hda1 ext2, hda2 linux swap) and activating the latter by doing

</bin/sh>
fdisk /dev/hda (then create 2 partitions type 82 and 83 respectively)
makeswap /dev/hda2
<//bin/sh>

Puppy booted reglarly from CDROM. That in a wonderful manner means that He is able to use a swap partition (given it's there) by even interagting it into the RAMDISK where / is at!
This is just great! Of course He is swapping a lot but from there I figure a type 2 install is easy to do (thus probably recomenndable in the case of 64 MB RAM or less). Mozilla was up in less than 10 secs though!

Anyway this doesn't help with cloning puppy but I think there's absolutely no need to. Any PC can boot off a floppy with a system like HAL, then prepare the partitions and you're there.

Somewhere in my basement there's this 486 w/ 8 MB of RAM still floating around, my next goal will definitely be to wake that as well!

Conclusion: Minimun system requirements could be set as low as 486 CPU w/ maybe 8 or 16 MB of RAM, HD w/ at least 64 MB for the install and another 128 MB for Swap saying that an old 512 MB HDD should do.

Wake the unwakeable!

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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
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Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Fri 26 Aug 2005, 19:05    Post subject:  

Well done!

Just talking shop here. If you anticipate a lot of swap partition activity, my idea is to put the swap partition on another drive of equal or greater speed, if you have one.

The reason why is the read write heads have to move all over the place when doing a lot of swapping and reading and writing on the operating system partition also.

If the swap partition is on another drive the heads (and the entire drive) can stay focused on the task at hand which is reading and writing the swap partition.

(I don't actually think with the option 2 and 64 MB RAM you will have all that much dependency on the swap partition.)

---------

If you look into Vector Linux archives, I think you will find they still have some archived releases designed for the 8 mb and 16 mb machines. Might be fun to play with on that old 486 you mentioned.
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