Can anyone help me get rid of a bunch of sloppy partitions so I can do a clean install?
Last week, I went to Tianlong books and bought a couple Knoppix CD’s (English and Chinese versions) on a whim. Knoppix works great, so I decided I wanted to actually install Linux on one of my computers (the new one – 1.6 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 40 GB HD, running Win2000). First I tried with a Mandrake 8.0 CD I had lying around. Because of what I consider somewhat poor explanations, it only installed the commandline interface – no GNOME, no KDE, no applications, nothing. This automatically comes up when I boot the computer now. It’s basically a waste of space. It’s also a waste of time, because the system only gives me two seconds to choose an OS other than Linux, so I have to wait and watch while it boots, instead of doing something useful.
I tried various ways, unsuccessfully, to get rid of this partition, but with no luck. Among other methods, I’ve tried: reinstalling Mandrake from the boot CD; reinstalling another distro (Redhat); trying to uninstall Mandrake from the boot CD; and trying to install System Commander and re-partition from within that. None of these methods have worked, and I now have two uselessly-small Linux partitions on my HD (plus swap partitions). I also have to be eagle-eyed when rebooting, or it goes into the useless Mandrake commandline. I’d really like to get rid of my Linux partitions and start from scratch.
I’ve done a bit of research and seen that maybe I need to use fdisk. I tried this through the Knoppix root shell, but it always tells me “no partition is defined yet!” (even though I told it which partition to work on with the fdisk command). What am I missing? Please, please help if you can!
I’m very reluctant to go out and buy Partition Magic or whatever because of my poor luck with System Commander 2000. I’ve used System Commander on my older computer (350 MHz/256 MB/6 & 30 GB), resulting in a lot of aggravation and a smaller usable hard drive. I tried to install Redhat there a couple years ago and got nothing but frustration.
There’s one more question I’d like to ask, too – is it possible to have OS’s boot from separate drives? Every time I try to install Mandrake onto my second (much larger) drive, it never gives me an option to install it there but instead tries to crowbar it into the first, much smaller drive. This results in less space for installing programs and inevitably results in terrible Windows performance due to discombobulated file locations.
I’m sure I’m missing many obvious points about all of this, but they aren’t obvious to me yet. I really want to use Linux, but am getting very frustrated! There are also many other details I could go on about, but I’m not sure what’s important to know, and this is already getting too long. Please help!