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9. The Loadlin way

Those who intend to use Loadlin however cannot use Disk Druid, they will have to use Linux Fdisk which may have an intimidating reputation but is actually pretty simple. When presented with the installation type screen select custom and with fdisk (you will find a small button with fdisk on it at the top of the screen). For some reason Disk Druid doesn't let you proceed with the installation if your /boot partition is above the 1024 cylinder limit so if you try to use it to create the partitions the install program will refuse to proceed. Fdisk is a pretty straight forward program and easy to use too. First you have to delete the partition you just created using Fips. Many people don't understand why they have to delete the partition they just created at considerable risk. This new partition is actually a FAT32 partiton which Linux cannot use and when you delete it it doesn't revert to being a part of C but is actually UNPARTITIONED FREE SPACE which you can use to create new partitions.

You have to understand a few Fdisk operations, typing m lists all the options, typing p at the prompt shows you the current partition table, d deletes a partiton, n creates a partition, q quits without saving changes so if you make any mistakes there is nothing to worry about just type q and start all over again, w writes changes to the partition table use only after you are sure and L shows you the hex numbers for different partition types but you only need to know 2, Linux native is hex number 83 and Linux swap is hex number 82. So why do you need the Hex numbers? While Disk Druid allows you to mount a swap partition without going into the hex numbers in Fdisk the only way to make a swap partiton is to give it its correct hex number which is 82.

Let's start, in Fdisk type p at the prompt and you will see the current partition table. Type d and select the partition you want to delete which in this case would be /dev/hda2 (just type 2) type p again and you will see the change reflected in the partition table. There will now be a single FAT32 partition /dev/hda1 (which is actually C). Type n to create a new partition and for type of partition the choices being primary or extended select e. There is no hard and fast rule about this for instance you could have a primary partition for /boot and an extended partition holding two logical partitions / and swap. I recommend an extended partition that holds three logical partitions. Now you have to size your extended partition properly since it's a container for the three logical partitions. From now on you just have to respond to Fdisk. It will ask you to set the size of the extended partition that you want to create. This partition will start where your Windows partition ends and ends at the end of the disk. You can either give the size in M (megabytes) in cylinder numbers or in K (kilobytes). Just accept the default for the start of the partition and select the end cylinder number for the end – Fdisk will give you the end cylinder number.

Repeat the operation for the three logical partitions, only this time you would have to select logical instead of extended and the appropriate sizes which are 16 Mb for the boot partition, 127 Mb for the swap partition (the size of the swap partition is variable depending on installed RAM, double your RAM is recommended) and the rest of the free space for the root ( / ) partition. Find your way – it's simple, really! After creating the three partitions type p and you will see the partitions you just created. There will be /dev/hda2 (extended) /dev/hda5 (logical) /dev/hda6 (logical) and /dev/hda7 (logical). There is just one thing left to do, set the hex number for the swap partition. Type t and select the 127 Mb partition you created which would be /dev/hda6 enter 6 for the partition number and 82 for the hex number (you will be prompted) and you have just finished with partitioning. Type w after making sure and Fdisk will write the new partition table and exit. The next screen will be the Disk Druid screen our Lilo friends have already seen and you just have to mount the partitions with Disk Druid. Select /dev/hda5 (the 16 Mb partition) and mount it as /boot. Select /dev/hda7 and mount it as / (the root partition)