Installing Linux Fedora Core 3 on a Dell Latitude 810m

Stephen got this March 2005, his successor to the 5000 (which we all got June 2000).
  1. the machine came up with /dev/sda (instead of /dev/hda), kind of odd....
  2. sda1=small Dell rescue, sda2=WinXP-Pro in a FAT32
  3. we decided to use parted, instead of FIPS (which now seems to be missing from the boot and rescue CDs we had) or PartitionMagic (our normal default, but we'd had to walk 10 steps to get it, i mean, after all, parted is a trusted tool, right?)
  4. before you read on, realize that using parted turned out to be a bad decision. I still don't know quite the full story, suffice to say seemingly parted did its job: the FAT32 was smaller, linux installed fine on the new partition, but WinXP didn't boot.....
  5. many days, boots and installs later in attempting to avoid wiping XP and the Dell rescue partition, we gave up, decided that parted had somehow trespassed on the XP data because it uses MB addresses instead of cylinders which XP expects, this is roughly how we got it back (along the way liberally saving mbr's in files on the Linux partition for rescue-ability using commands like
     	dd if=/dev/sda of=attempX.mbr bs=512 count=1
    Don't ask me to explain all of this.... I suspect the partition table wasn't in good order for the WinXP world, i.e. parted's use of LBA conflicted with XP's use of cylinders (CHS), as others have noted. If i do hear of a better procedure for this , i'll try and ammend this story.

running FC3

Have not tried much out yet: many things worked out of the box but the SXGA+ 1680x1050 screen did not (the ATI 600 video card is recognized), have not yet tried power management. Maybe one of these days we can say some useful things about this.
This page was last modified on 30-Mar-2005 by PJT.