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4 live CD’s with gparted

August 28, 2007

I’ve been working on reformatting my old Toshiba ‘laptop’ (a Satellite 1900… replaced HD, replaced motherboard, dead battery, always overheats even with the fan on 100%, and sigh no USB 2.0 and what a hog! it weighs like 12 pounds.) I think it might have new life as a media player for the TV using the svideo out… So I begin the long arduous process of what to delete in the 5 different partitions… and what to copy off the unit. I want Ubuntu feisty on it with only one main partition.

At one point in this self-imposed challenge I find myself messing with Gparted on the Ubuntu Feisty 7.04 live CD. 99.9% of the time I’m telling myself and everyone this linux distro is the creme-de-la-creme. And while I’m trying to resize the ext3 partition /dev/sda3 (the one with the Ubuntu system installed on it)… I find that gparted won’t let me expand to use the empty space in front of the partition. What? My amazing Ubuntu Feisty live CD has got some limits after all?! Most of the time Ubuntu’s perfection is enough to convince anyone to join the cult.

So I try a ‘work around’ of resizing the partition down enough so that I can copy paste it into the empty space in front….. All seems to be going alright until Ubuntu automatically remounts the new partition in mid process and the copying process stops a half hour later without being verified ok. Sigh… I try a second time.. same problem… So a little reading online and I learn it’s only got gparted v .25 and now theres a new gparted v.33 …

Bring on Gparted live cdv 0.34-8 …and it won’t even boot beyond loading some Adaptec RAID driver where it freezes over…. wow.. at least Ubuntu Feisty loaded!

Bring on System RescueCD v 0.37 … and it doesn’t even boot beyond loading some generic CDRom driver.. .where it freezes…. wow some rescue attempt that is…. at least this distro has boot codes to try and work around the problem…. I try them all…

I check the forums… at the top of each a users post of same problem I have, with no solution found yet… (except try the latest version.. ohh ohh have you tried a boot code?)

Now folks this is not some 64 bit computing project where I need some latest greatest super liqui-cool fiber optic shnazzy dazzy distro… this laptop was made almost eight years ago! The hours are draining away with little progress being made.

And then I find partedmagic v1.8, something I’d never even heard of before … at it actually boots (the audience gasps in awe). It has gparted v 0.34… which allows me to resize the Ubuntu system partition to use the free space in front (where that slimy NTFS partition used to be a few years ago).

I have to say I likes the looks of this one…I could load it into ram, eject the CD, and (I haven’t tried it yet) but use the burner?! This is a whole new level of linux ‘live’ distro… the RAMdisk…

It has a light weight (but attractive) GUI, and useful set of utility programs. Among others it has; dd, dcfldd, dd_rescue, testdisk, shred, xfburn, partimage, rsync, ntfs3g, and of course gparted. I’m certainly adding this sucker to my tool kit… (maybe install it on a USB key for true ninja power?

EDIT:  I found the critical flaw  with partedmagic 1.8 it doesn’t appear to work for me with USB 2.0 drives at a full speed… it’s agonizingly slow like theres something really wrong with it.  Until this is fixed I’d avoid trying to do anything over an external USB hardrive.  It sure looked promising.. so hopefully this gets fixed soon to be more ‘plug n play’ userfriendly.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim H. permalink
    October 2, 2007 9:57 pm

    Greetz
    You simply MUST try Puppy Linux whether on USB thumbdrive or CD (it’s less than 100MB) and is especially designed with laptops and older and/or resource constrained PCs. It is very fast, especially for a CD based OpSys. The latest version is 3.0 and comes with the very latest GParted as well as a UI that is ultra friendly. For example 3.0 did not try to load ethernet drivers behind my back and auto-setup and in the process risk hanging up before it even gets to the desktop, the basic problem with many LiveCDs. However it correctly detected 3 NICs on my system where the active one happened to be a USB-to-ethernet dongle. The Control Panel “Setup” wizard tested and confirmed it was “live” allowed me to choose between DHCP and Static and upon choosing DHCP (and with no further intervention such as Gateway address requirements) quickly and correctly had internet working perfectly and even had a built in firewall setup wizard on the very next line. Highly recommended
    Jimmy

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  1. GParted video failure; substituted with Parted Magic « Tech Scratchpad

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