[conspire] Partitioning

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Mar 30 17:44:03 PDT 2009

----- Forwarded message from Paul Zander <paulz at ieee.org> -----

X-Mailer: YahooMailWebService/
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 17:28:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: Paul Zander <paulz at ieee.org>
Reply-To: paulz at ieee.org
To: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
Subject: Re: Quick PC HW advice.


Thanks for advice. Now a more detailed question: how to set up disk
partitions on new machine. It will have 3 magnetic drives:

500 GB SATA  (new)
120 GB IDE  (has lotsa existing data files in several partitions)
200 GB IDE  (more existing data files)

The new drive will get a partition for installation of "closed source"
OS. Probably another partition for installation of programs on said
closed source OS.

Elsewhere assorted partitions for Linux install. Assorted partitions for
data and copies of data from other disk. Most of the data partitions
should be formatted so all OS's can read them. For example, I can
imagine having Thunderbird on both OS's and configured to assess same
mail and address files.

The final details will probably be worked out during the next
InstallFest, but I don't want to get things going in the wrong direction
and have to be undone.

BTW, I will miss most of the Wednesday meetings for the next many
months. My sailing season also starts on April 1st, no joke.


--- On Fri, 3/27/09, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
Subject: Re: Quick PC HW advice.
To: "Paul Zander" <paulz at ieee.org>
Date: Friday, March 27, 2009, 6:28 PM

Quoting Paul Zander (paulz at ieee.org):

 > A couple quick computer HW questions. PG&E had power outage. When
 > it was over a desktop PC would not turn on.

Just as a general comment, as I've heard this _sort_ of thing
frequently:  What very likely happened, there, was that the desktop PC
had a marginal power supply.  Under the stress of AC power variations,
it sent a huge spike of voltage to the motherboard and other components.
The motherboard got fried.  It's actually even _more_ common for the
hard drive to be the component that gets killed by a failing power

Essentially, quite a lot of PCs, including many from major
manufacturers, are built on very cheap, inadequate power supplies that
cannot really, reliably deliver the voltage and current they're rated
for, into real loads.  When you either overstress them with additional
components, or with power-grid fluctuations, they malfunction and
destroy other equipment in the process of dying -- most often taking out
the hard drives on the way down.

This is why, on my own machines, if they don't already come with a beefy
power supply of a brand and type I have faith in, I do aftermarket
replacement, putting in one I do trust.

> So Central Computer a reasonable place?

Well, they're an excellent place to get _parts_.

That is, unlike your typical small, family-run, Taiwanese-staffed PC
shop, they actually bother to carry some inventory and offer you a
choice among brands and models that an informed person might actually
want to buy.  (I'm not saying they don't also offer crud.)  This is in 
contrast with, say, Fry's Electronics, which _seems_ from the sheer
quantity of merchandise as if it would offer a generous selection of
alternatives, but then you find that many of the offerings are really
bad house brands and off-brands.)

It has never occurred to me to take a computer there for repair and
diagnosis.  Except for laptops, I make a point of doing that myself.

> Is Intel worth an extra $100?

No, not as such.  Especially not from a Linux perspective, where by and
large all recent CPUs are so grossly overpowered for most needs that
differences among them don't matter.  XP is a great deal more

> They gave options between $600 and $700 for basically a new computer
> Quad core with 2 GB RAM and new 500 MB drive.

Fair disclosure:  I am not really current on the state of what's
available on the market, and what things are expected to cost.

However, there's something that's been true for at least a decade:
Individual components tend to be costly compared to the pricing you pay
for entire systems.

----- End forwarded message -----

----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> -----

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 17:41:23 -0700
From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
To: Paul Zander <paulz at ieee.org>
Subject: Re: Quick PC HW advice.

Quoting Paul Zander (paulz at ieee.org):

> Thanks for advice. Now a more detailed question: how to set up disk 
> partitions on new machine.

Paul --

Since the question you ask naturally calls for somewhat detailed
responses that many people can learn from (or argue with, or both), 
I would greatly prefer that the question and answer(s) be in a public 
LUG forum.  Perhaps you would consider posting your question to CABAL's 
general-discussion mailing list, "conspire at linuxmafia.com".  I notice
that your address is not yet subscribed, so you'd need to do that first.

See:  http://linuxmafia.com/mailman/listinfo/conspire

Partition layout has at times been a contentious topic, and there are
different schools of thought on issues involved (compounded by lack of
clarity in many online discussions about which of those concerns is
important).  Here is my friend Karsten M. Self's thoughts on the

"Partitioning Guidelines" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Admin/

----- End forwarded message -----

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