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A question concerning the "RPM partition"

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  • Billy
    I am unclear as to how to create and boot from what I read as the RPM Partition . I am fully up to speed on creating the 4 partition MBR as follows: Ranish
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 5, 2005
      I am unclear as to how to create and boot from
      what I read as the "RPM Partition". I am fully
      up to speed on creating the 4 partition MBR as follows:

      Ranish Partition Manager Version 2.43 (beta) by Muthu Apr 09,
      2002


      File Starting Ending
      Partition

       # Type Row System Type Cyl Head Sect Cyl Head Sect
      Size [KB]



      0 MBR Master Boot Record 0 0 1 0 0 1
      0

      1 Pri Unused 0 0 2 0 0 63
      31

      2 Pri 1 Linux ext2fs 0 1 1 2,500 254 63
      20,089,251

      3 Pri 2 Linux ext2fs 2,501 0 1 3,750 254 63
      10,040,625

      4 >Pri 3 Linux ext2fs 3,751 0 1 5,000 254 63
      10,040,625

      5 Pri 4 Linux ext2fs 5,001 0 1 6,250 225 63
      10,039,711

      6 Pri Unused 6,250 226 1 14,946 225 63
      69,850,620

      I can boot from any of the Primary partitions ( 1 -> 4 ) copy them
      from one place to another, erase them and replace the content with
      another OS. Reading the FAQ in order to go beyond 4 primary
      partitions I have to create an "RPM Partition".

      I can find no specific text on how to do that nor anything in the F1
      Help or reference to it in the various types of partition file
      systems that can be created. At this point I am only interested in
      creating partitions ( more then 4 ) for Linux OS's.

      How do you create an RPM Partition then get the MBR located at sector
      1 to go to that RPM Partition to get the more then 4 partition table?
      I think I have to start with a completely empty disk ( I use
      killdisk) then create the MBR as above then create the RPM Partition.
      But how to do that I don't know or how to install part243 to that
      RPM Partition?

      Thanks
    • Antoine Leca
      ... Yes. ... Just create a partition of type 0xf0. It appears as second option when you create a fresh partition. ... The idea is that the MBR code (the
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 7, 2005
        > Reading the FAQ in order to go beyond 4 primary partitions I have
        > to create an "RPM Partition".

        Yes.

        > I can find no specific text on how to do that nor anything in the
        > F1 Help or reference to it in the various types of partition file
        > systems that can be created.

        Just create a partition of type 0xf0. It appears as second option when you
        create a fresh partition.

        > How do you create an RPM Partition then get the MBR located at
        > sector 1 to go to that RPM Partition to get the more then 4
        > partition table?

        The idea is that the MBR code (the special one that comes with RPM, not
        anyone you may install) will load the RPM special partition (which position
        is really located in slot "-1", that is starting at offset 0x19e), which in
        turn have a number of options, like loading an extended partition table with
        more positions, fiddling with partitions using the UI or even some GUI like
        xosl, replacing the one you want to boot from into one of the MBR official
        slot (to make other programs that it is normal boot from this partition),
        and finally boot it really by loading first sector of partition into 0:7C00
        and jumping to it.



        Antoine


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Billy
        I spent some considerable time last evening going through the installation process of part243.exe. I was finally able to document as best I could on the
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 7, 2005
          I spent some considerable time last evening going
          through the installation process of part243.exe.
          I was finally able to document as best I could on
          the process of creating what is called the Boot
          Manager Partition. Below is the process I followed.
          Do note that I was not interested in any other
          OS other then Linux. The intent was to create
          10 discrete and independent partitions on a 120GB
          Drive. Read this process several times end to end
          before doing it for yourself. Your computer may
          react differently then mine. Here's my process:

          1) Create a bootable floppy using Windows XP
          2) Copy to that disk all the files found on part243.zip
          3) Remove XP drive and replace with a completely zero'd
          out 120GB SATA Maxtor drive. Use www.killdisk.com to
          zero the drive. I use removable rack mounted drives
          in the computer under test.
          4) Warm boot the system, primary boot device floppy,
          secondary boot CD-ROM, third is the HD.
          5) Execute part243.exe ( A: part243 (cr) )
          (cr) = return
          6) When part is running move highlighted section to
          the Master Boot Record (MBR) then (cr)
          7) The highlighted section will move to the MBR frame
          first line MBR Executable Code change to Boot Manager
          using the space bar
          8) Down arrow to Boot Interface Type. Space Bar to
          Text 25x80
          9) Down arrow to Checking for Virus: Space bar to no
          10) Boot Prompt Time: clear and fill in 10 seconds
          11) Default Boot Choice: left at not set
          12) (cr) back to Master Boot Record. A line will appear
          instructing "ins(ert) to create Boot Manager Partition"
          13) key insert
          14) down arrow though file system type to Boot Manager
          (cr) to select. The Boot Manager partition will now
          be placed in the table on the screen. Move to the Boot
          Manager line and modify the Starting Cyl Head Sect number
          such that you define a Partition all the way at the
          end of the disk. There will be quite an amount of
          trial and error with error messages until you get a
          satisfactory partition size. Especially finding a
          combination that is fully at the end of the disk with
          no unused space after it. Also you will likely find
          that the Boot Partition size is hard to keep below the
          many megabytes size. The smallest workable size I
          was able to create was 7MB on a 120GB drive.
          15)After finishing creating the Boot Partition Part will
          ask if you want to save, I selected later.
          16) Then positioning the highlighted section between
          the Master Boot Record and the Boot Manager Partitions
          I keyed insert and created a single Linux partition
          of 20GB. Then created a second of 10GB.
          17) At this point you can designate both of these
          partitions as "Primary" and the 20GB as 1 and bootable.
          Number them 1 and 2. I fiddled with the locations of
          these partitions such that the 20GB partition was at
          the far end of the disk and the 10GB partition just
          in front of it. The reason for this is below.
          18) It is at this point I keyed F2 to install the
          Ranish Partition in the MBR and the Boot Manager
          Partition.
          19) Leaving the bootable floppy in the drive I then
          keyed esc and forced the system back to the A: prompt.
          20) Remove the floppy and warm boot the system.
          21) The system rebooted and displayed the Boot Manager
          text box in the upper right side of the terminal.
          Three partitions were offered for Boot one of which
          was the Boot Manager. There are disappearing dots
          indicating that within 10 seconds the active primary
          will boot in 10 seconds. If you let things time out
          at this point, and nothing is installed in the
          primary partition, what you get on the screen is
          unpredictable gibberish.

          22) During the count down process if you key "0",
          the number key zero, you will be taken directly
          to part243 that is now installed in the Boot Mananger
          partition. At that point you can create additional
          partitions up to 30. I created 10. 9 10GB and one
          20GB. Remember there is the one additional partition,
          the Boot Manager partition. The numbering system
          is a little confusing so trail and error is the
          best teacher. Keep pencil and paper close at hand.

          23) Installing OS's. I have found that filling in
          partitions from the furthest out partition in
          works best. The single 20GB last partition is where
          I installed Mandriva LE 2005. That is the working
          partition for this 120GB drive. In there are the
          ISO's (image files) for all the other Linux OS's
          that I keep stored in the other partitions on this
          drive. The 9th partition contains Mandriva 2006 Beta 3.
          The 8th Ubuntu and so on and so forth.

          24) Installation of an OS can be tricky. Some
          of them are very smart ( Mandriva 2005/2006 )
          some of them want to walk all over your MBR and first
          sectors of your drive. Or insist on installing
          into the first partition. Let'm do it.

          25) The postions and sizes of the partitions on this
          drive (120Gb) will never change. So booting from
          floppy again to the A: prompt I keyed the following

          A: part243 -p > part120.txt

          that created a text file part120.txt on the floppy
          that tells me the beginning and ending and file
          system for all the partitions on this drive. And
          this is my printable table for restoring things
          back after a misbehaving OS stomps all over the
          MBR and first sectors of the drive. Because the
          needed drive partitions are loaded from the end
          first OS load is not likely to effect them.

          26) As you edit the partitions using Part243 you
          will find that you can only make active 4 at a
          time 1 -> 4. You can have 30 partitions but only
          4 at once active and only one auto bootable. This is
          a good thing as some OS's get really confused when
          they see multiple drives (partitions). I found myself
          designation only one active partition at a time.
          The number 1 was assigned to one of the partitions
          and that partition designated bootable even before
          I installed an OS's to it. That made things a
          lot simpler during the install process. Mandriva
          2005/2006 flat out thought that the other 100GB of
          drive space was "unused". And that is exactly what
          I wanted it to think. Don't touch whatever you do.

          (end procedure)

          I am sure I will find more interesting things to
          do with the Ranish Partition Manager. If you are
          only intending on having no more the 4 bootable
          partitions then you need only install the MBR
          from floppy. No Boot Manager Partition need be
          created. But, if you want to change something
          you will have to boot from floppy again. Not all
          that of a problem but in my case I would have
          an associated floppy with a specific set of
          removable drives. No big deal.

          On boot the Boot Manager Text Box will appear
          in the upper right hand quandrant of your
          computer screen. If you have designated a
          auto boot partition at the end of the time
          out that partition will boot. If you key
          either the up or down arrow the timeout
          will cease and you can up down arrow through
          the various partitions, active or not, and a
          (cr) will select and boot that partition.
          Remember keep that paper and pencil close
          as lots of partitions and OS's can get
          pretty confusing and fun to play with.

          I hate having to use Windows XP to create
          a bootable floppy but there are alternatives
          at http://www.bootdisk.com/

          wilcal
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