GPT boot partition

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GPT boot partition

Postby kateto » Jun 9th, '21, 21:06

Hello all,
I'm having a lot of trouble installing Mageia 8 on an old Toshiba laptop (Satellite P105-S6024, released 2006) after upgrading the original harddrive to a Seagate Barracuda SSD (ZA250CM10002). The harddrive connection is SATA I. I tried to follow these instructions. Thinking that DrakX can't handle SSD's, I booted System Rescue CD, launched GParted, and created a 1 MiB boot partition in ext4 format, and then other partitions (40 GiB /, 4 GiB swap, 150 GiB /home, some unallocated space for overprovisioning).
Then I booted the classical 32-bit ISO, told it to use the partitions as found and when installing encountered an error while unpacking the kernel, twice, so thinking it was an error on the DVD, I burned and booted the NetInstall media, only to bump into the same error at the same package. I looked the log and it shows some cpio problem unpacking the kernel to the boot partition. Booting into GParted again shows that the partition is full. Was it too small?

I should add that the SSD already had an MBR, as I had first installed Toshiba's original Express Media Player, which is actually a sort of Linux media player that created its own 300 MiB sda4 primary partition at the end of the drive. This laptop has a special media key that, when pressed, boots this old stripped down Linux system to play CD's and DVD's without booting the main OS. I'd like to keep this partition.

So my questions are:
  • Can DrakX installer correctly handle SSDs by now? Is that page outdated?
  • What size should the boot partition be, and what format? Should it be mounted?
  • How can I repair it and finish the installation without repeating the whole process?
  • Is it possible to install Mageia 8 while keeping Express Media Player available?
kateto
 
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Re: GPT boot partition

Postby sturmvogel » Jun 9th, '21, 21:33

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Re: GPT boot partition

Postby morgano » Jun 9th, '21, 22:41

Maybe try a simpler install: boot the Live ISO and let it install itself (it more or less copies itself)
Mandriva since 2006, then Mageia since 2011 at home & work. Thinkpad T43 & T400, Dell M4400, Acer Aspire 7. Workstation using LVM, LUKS, VirtualBox, BOINC
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Re: GPT boot partition

Postby benmc » Jun 9th, '21, 22:52

kateto wrote:So my questions are:

1/ Can DrakX installer correctly handle SSDs by now? Is that page outdated?
2/ What size should the boot partition be, and what format? Should it be mounted?
3/ How can I repair it and finish the installation without repeating the whole process?
4/ Is it possible to install Mageia 8 while keeping Express Media Player available?
(slightly edited)

1/ yes, I have a number of systems installed onto SSD.

2/ no boot partition required if using MBR partition table, only required if legacy boot for GPT. 2MB is usually more than enough, it is just to contain the GRUB-2 overflow from the normal boot sector.

3/ best to give a screen-shot of how diskdrake sees the drive.

4/ this I cannot answer. if you have changed the drive and it still works, then (implied) the media player is stored on an "external to the drive" location. if so you would probably be best to reinstall and let the installer erase the whole drive and partition as it sees fit.(option: Erase and use entire disk)
as a general rule, the installer calculates the /swap size, then looks at the drive space available, and makes a determination based on the remainder. if more than 100GB available (based on your SSD), / will be about 50BG, with /home the remainder.
you can always boot up your rescue disk after install and trim the /home partition to a size you prefer.
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Re: GPT boot partition

Postby kateto » Jun 9th, '21, 23:14



Well, that's exactly what I did. And it only confounded me:
If you are using a Legacy (also known as BIOS) system with a GPT partitioned disk, you need to create a BIOS boot partition if it doesn't already exist. It should be about 1 MiB with no mount point. It can be created with the Installer, under Custom disk partitioning, like any other partition. Be sure to select “BIOS boot partition” for filesystem type.
kateto
 
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Re: GPT boot partition

Postby kateto » Jun 9th, '21, 23:26

benmc wrote:
kateto wrote:So my questions are:

1/ Can DrakX installer correctly handle SSDs by now? Is that page outdated?
2/ What size should the boot partition be, and what format? Should it be mounted?
3/ How can I repair it and finish the installation without repeating the whole process?
4/ Is it possible to install Mageia 8 while keeping Express Media Player available?
(slightly edited)

1/ yes, I have a number of systems installed onto SSD.

So the page IS outdated, it seems...

2/ no boot partition required if using MBR partition table, only required if legacy boot for GPT.

Well, that's what confounds me. Are "legacy boot" and "GPT" the same? Do you mean I don't need to use GPT on this old system?
2MB is usually more than enough, it is just to contain the GRUB-2 overflow from the normal boot sector.

If installing on a non-MBR partition table, I assume then?

3/ best to give a screen-shot of how diskdrake sees the drive.

How can I do this? Just pressing PrintScreen? Where will I find the files? I don't even know how to use System Rescue CD and GParted to do this, as it doesn't mount a USB drive when I insert it.

4/ this I cannot answer. if you have changed the drive and it still works, then (implied) the media player is stored on an "external to the drive" location. if so you would probably be best to reinstall and let the installer erase the whole drive and partition as it sees fit.(option: Erase and use entire disk)

I just tried and even after the botched installation the media key boots the Express Media Player as intended, so I guess the disk still has an MS-DOS style MBR table that points to that partition.
as a general rule, the installer calculates the /swap size, then looks at the drive space available, and makes a determination based on the remainder. if more than 100GB available (based on your SSD), / will be about 50BG, with /home the remainder.
you can always boot up your rescue disk after install and trim the /home partition to a size you prefer.

Could I solve the problem just erasing the boot partition, if this drive doesn't need GPT?
kateto
 
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Re: GPT boot partition

Postby benmc » Jun 9th, '21, 23:45

kateto wrote: 2/ no boot partition required if using MBR partition table, only required if legacy boot for GPT.
Well, that's what confounds me. Are "legacy boot" and "GPT" the same? Do you mean I don't need to use GPT on this old system?

No they are not the same.

when you run Gparted, it will advise if the partition table is MBR or GPT.
there are differences, the main one to be aware of it that MBR is limited to 4 real partitions, (or 3 real + 1 extended, with multiple "logical" partitions within that space. easy tell is if you have less that 4 partitions and one is labelled sda5), and GPT is limited to 128(IIRC).

you do not *need* GPT if you are only running a single system - 3 partitions.

kateto wrote:How can I do this? Just pressing PrintScreen? Where will I find the files? I don't even know how to use System Rescue CD and GParted to do this, as it doesn't mount a USB drive when I insert it.

camera?

kateto wrote:I just tried and even after the botched installation the media key boots the Express Media Player as intended, so I guess the disk still has an MS-DOS style MBR table that points to that partition.

so, you have put in the new drive and the media player still works! implies that it is not stored on the old or new harddrive

kateto wrote:Could I solve the problem just erasing the boot partition, if this drive doesn't need GPT?


yes, but you would have to change the partition table type back to MBR- Gparted can do this for you.
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