A question concerning the "RPM partition"
- 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,
File Starting Ending
# Type Row System Type Cyl Head Sect Cyl Head Sect
0 MBR Master Boot Record 0 0 1 0 0 1
1 Pri Unused 0 0 2 0 0 63
2 Pri 1 Linux ext2fs 0 1 1 2,500 254 63
3 Pri 2 Linux ext2fs 2,501 0 1 3,750 254 63
4 >Pri 3 Linux ext2fs 3,751 0 1 5,000 254 63
5 Pri 4 Linux ext2fs 5,001 0 1 6,250 225 63
6 Pri Unused 6,250 226 1 14,946 225 63
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
> Reading the FAQ in order to go beyond 4 primary partitions I haveYes.
> to create an "RPM Partition".
> I can find no specific text on how to do that nor anything in theJust create a partition of type 0xf0. It appears as second option when you
> F1 Help or reference to it in the various types of partition file
> systems that can be created.
create a fresh partition.
> How do you create an RPM Partition then get the MBR located atThe idea is that the MBR code (the special one that comes with RPM, not
> sector 1 to go to that RPM Partition to get the more then 4
> partition table?
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.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- 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
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
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
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.
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