Installing SUSE 11.4 64 bit on External Hard Disk to Replace 11.2 64 bit on Internal Hard Disk

I have a Dell Dimension C521 (AMD AthlonX2) with a 160 GB internal HDD
and 3 GB RAM.  The system has dual iboot for Windows Vista Home Premium
and SUSE 11.2 64 bit.  Recently I added an external Hard Disk (Seagate
GoFlex ITB capacity).  I wish to uninstall the 11.2 and install 11.4 on
the external drive.  There are additional instructions for installing
11.4 on an external disk. 

a)  Will it be possible to uninstall the 11.2 as 11.4 is being
installed, leaving the space on the internal disk free for re-allocation
to Windows,
b)  Or should I first uninstall 11.2 repair the Windows installation
and then install 11.4 afresh.
c)  What are the implications if 11.4 is installed as direct
replacement of 11.2 on the internal disk and it is allocated additional
space on the external disk.

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/15/2011 9:46:03 AM
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Hi, 

if you install the 11.4 on the external disk only, then the 11.2 on the
internal disk will not be touched by the install (other than, perhaps,
the grub loader).

You can thus install 11.4 on the external drive whilst leaving 11.2
intact on the internal drive - should anything go wrong during the
installation, you still have the old 11.2 as it was.

Once you have 11.4 installed and working to your satisfaction, you
could delete the 11.2 and then do with the free space as you see fit.

If you install 11.4 on the internal disk, you could either have it
replace the old 11.2 (possibly keeping the /home directory) or have it
installed besides the other two OSes (space permitting). As usual,
before installing anything, make sure your data is safely backed up
somewhere.

When installing, the installer will ask you where and how to install
11.4, you can then direct it what to do :install on the internal,
external or even both (you could have / on the internal drive and /home
on the external drive etc...).

HTH

Lenwolf


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lenwolf
9/15/2011 10:16:03 AM
Dear Lenwolf,

Thanks.  That clears up a few doubts.  I do not have space on the
internal disk for both 11.4 and 11.2 or even enough for a full 11.4
install.  So it has to go to the external disk.

Grub at the moment is on the internal disk.  If I install 11.4 on the
external disk, if I am correct, I will be asked if I wish to
reinstall/install  Grub and if so where?  If I select to install it on
the external disk as advised in the installation instructions it will
automatically be removed from the internal disk.  Is that assumption
correct?

Next is the tricky issue.  With the Grub on the external drive, what
happens if the external drive is not switched on or connected and the PC
is booted.  Will it find the Vista partition and boot into Windows or
will it ask for a bootable disk?  Also the installation instructions are
very clear about accidently unplugging or disconnecting the external
drive while the PC is running.  Obviously, it means while the OS is
Linux.  I have some windows partitions too on the external disk and the
“remove device safely” instructions apply!

Thanks again,

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/16/2011 9:36:02 AM
Hi,

> 
> Grub at the moment is on the internal disk.  If I install 11.4 on the
> external disk, if I am correct, I will be asked if I wish to
> reinstall/install  Grub and if so where?  If I select to install it on
> the external disk as advised in the installation instructions it will
> automatically be removed from the internal disk.  Is that assumption
> correct?
> 
No, I don't think so. I don't believe that it will be automatically put
on the external disk, or if you put it there, it might automatically
delete the one on the internal disk, but I might be wrong. Anyway,
during install, you can tell it to install grub on the external disk.

> 
> Next is the tricky issue.  With the Grub on the external drive, what
> happens if the external drive is not switched on or connected and the PC
> is booted.  Will it find the Vista partition and boot into Windows or
> will it ask for a bootable disk? 
> 

Ok, your situation right now is that grub from 11.2  is on the internal
disk, right?
I would suggest that you keep it on the internal disk but let it add
the 11.4 you're installing to its menu. That way it will continue to
boot from the internal disk and offer you windows & Opensuse(11.2 +
11.4, or only 11.4 if you decide to remove 11.2).

Also, if I were you, I'd download the supergrub/rescatux disk ('Super
Grub Disk' (http://www.supergrubdisk.org/)) & burn it to a CD before
installation of 11.4. With it you'll be able to repair any grub errors,
if need be.

> 
> Also the installation instructions are very clear about accidently
> unplugging or disconnecting the external drive while the PC is running. 
> Obviously, it means while the OS is Linux.  I have some windows
> partitions too on the external disk and the “remove device safely”
> instructions apply!
> 
Well yes, cedrtainly!

HTH

Lenwolf


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lenwolf
9/16/2011 10:26:03 AM
Dear Lenwolf,

Re Grub location :  The way I understand it, when Linux is installed 
on an existing dual boot, it asks whether the earlier installation of
Linux is to be over written or the new installation is to be made in
unallocated available space.  In the first case the older bootloader is
over written, deleted or even if it exists the pointer to it is removed.
In the latter case the user is asked if grub should be written: if yes,
a fresh Grub is written and activated.  If not, nothing is done and the
user has to boot into the earlier linux installation and update the grub
to add the newer installtion.  I suppose if the new bootloader is
written in the same partition the first one would get
overwritten/deleted.  What happens to the old file if the new file is
written on another partition?

	My existing set up indicates stage 1.5, which I undersatnd means that
the grub menu.lst file is also in the very first partition along withthe
MBR?  That is what worries me!

Re Booting with External Hard Disk not connected : It appears that with
the Grub on the external disk the system will not boot at all (even into
Windows) and probably ask for a bootable disk/device.  Your advice to
keep the Grub on the internal disk seems the best option.  A small
partition could be there for this purpose only.  That way even if the
external disk is not connected the system will be able to boot into
Windows.

Re Rescue : I have just down loaded Rescatux and burnt the CD.  Need to
test it before going ahead.  I also have Gparted CD and Dell Rescue DVD.

Thanks,

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/17/2011 11:06:02 AM
PrakashC;2384975 Wrote: 
> 
> 
> 	My existing set up indicates stage 1.5, which I undersatnd means that
> the grub menu.lst file is also in the very first partition along withthe
> MBR?  That is what worries me!
> 

No, definitely not. The menu.lst file is in your /boot/grub directory
on the installed 11.2 (and if you install 11.4, also there). That could
be on any partition in the drive, it doesn't have to be in the first
one, nor in the be with the MBR (which is the first one).
You could do worse than read this 'GNU GRUB - Wikipedia, the free
encyclopedia' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_GRUB)....



> 
> Re Booting with External Hard Disk not connected : It appears that with
> the Grub on the external disk the system will not boot at all (even into
> Windows) and probably ask for a bootable disk/device.  Your advice to
> keep the Grub on the internal disk seems the best option.  A small
> partition could be there for this purpose only.  That way even if the
> external disk is not connected the system will be able to boot into
> Windows.
> 

Yes, that's the way I'd do it.

HTH

Lenwolf


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lenwolf
9/17/2011 11:56:03 AM
After a quick read I'd say that this is likely going to bring some
trouble.... 

If you remove 11.2, you may end up with an unbootable Windos. 

I would 'dd' the entire 11.2 install over to the external disk, incl.
/home. Then perform the 11.4 install on the external drive, reusing the
partitioning (/home can be resized afterwards), thus overwriting  only
the 11.2 "/" with a new 11.4 "/".


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- ASUS K70IO laptop, GT120M-1GB, 4 GB, 64 GB SSD,  openSUSE Tumbleweed
- KDE4 - GNOME3

ANYTHING THAT CAN GO WRONG.... WILL TEACH US

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Knurpht
9/17/2011 12:56:02 PM
Dear Knurpht,

I will need somewhat more detailed guidance!  Especially how to “dd
the entire 11.2 install over to the external disk”.  What happens to
the space the 11.2 was on, does it become unallocated?

And will this solve my requirement to be able to boot into Windows even
with the external drive disconnected?  Is having the boot partition of
11.4 on the internal not feasible or advisable?

Thanks,

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/17/2011 2:06:03 PM
So, installing openSUSE on an external hard disk works just fine.  If
you can set your boot drive to the external hard disk, everything needed
to boot openSUSE 11.4 can be placed on that disk while keeping your
internal disk just as it is and working like it always did.  It will be
up to you, looking at the boot options, to make sure you are not modify
the internal drive, but make all changes to the external hard drive.  I
do this all of the time.  Here is more info on such a install:

Each hard drive can have up to four PRIMARY partitions, any of which
could be marked active and bootable. No matter what you might hear, only
one of the first four primary partitions can be booted from. That means
you can boot from Primary partitions 1, 2, 3 or 4 and that is all. In
order to boot openSUSE, you must load openSUSE and the grub boot loader
into one of the first four partitions. Or, your second choice is to load
the grub boot loader into the MBR (Master Boot Record) at the start of
the disk. The MBR can be blank, like a new disk, it can contain a
Windows partition booting code or generic booting code to boot the
active partition 1, 2, 3, or 4. Or, as stated before, it can contain the
grub boot loader. Why load grub into the MBR then? You do this so that
you can "boot" openSUSE from a logical partition, numbered 5 or higher,
which is not normally possible. In order to have more than four
partitions, one of them (and only one can be assigned as extended) must
be a extended partition. It is called an Extended Primary Partition, a
container partition, it can be any one of the first four and it can
contain one or more logical partitions within. Anytime you see partition
numbers 5, 6 or higher for instance, they can only occur inside of the
one and only Extended Primary partition you could have.

What does openSUSE want as far as partitions? It needs at minimum a
SWAP partition and a "/" partition where all of your software is loaded.
Further, it is recommended you create a separate /home partition, which
makes it easier to upgrade or reload openSUSE without losing all of your
settings. So, that is three more partitions you must add to what you
have now, if installing on a drive with Windows. What must you do to
load and boot openSUSE from an external hard drive? Number one, you must
be able to select your external hard drive as the boot drive in your
BIOS setup. Number two, you need to make sure that the external hard
drive, perhaps /dev/sdb, is listed as the first hard drive in your grub
device.map file and listed as drive hd0. I always suggest that you do
not load grub into the MBR, but rather into the openSUSE "/" root
primary partition which means a primary number of 1, 2, 3 or 4. If
number one is used, then that will be out. You will mark the openSUSE
partition as active for booting and finally you must load generic
booting code into the MBR so that it will boot the openSUSE partition. I
suggest a partition like this:

0. /dev/sdb, Load MBR with generic booting code
1. /dev/sdb1, Primary SWAP (4 GB)
2. /dev/sdb2, Primary EXT4 "/" openSUSE Partition Marked Active for
booting (80-120 GB)
3. /dev/sdb3, Primary EXT4 "/home" Your main home directory (Rest of
the disk)

Thank You,


-- 
Remember that little in Life is certain, including any advice you may
get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - Use openSUSE because a PC is a
terrible thing to waste!
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jdmcdaniel3
9/17/2011 2:26:02 PM
Dear jdmcdaniel3,

It appears that you are suggesting use of System Setup (Press F2 while
booting) and select/change sequence in which the system will search for
bootable device when switching from one OS to another.  No doubt it will
work.  But my requirements are slightly different.

The existing HDDs partition details (Gparted) on my system are as
follows :

	Internal HDD 160 GB
dev		File Sys	Label			Size		Used		Flag

/dev/sda1	Fat 16		Dell Utility		39.19 MiB	7.07 MiB	diag
/dev/sda2	ntfs		Recovery		10 GiB		5.28 GiB	boot
	(sda2 shows up as F: drive in Windows)
/dev/sda3	ntfs		OS			69.86 GiB
	(sda3 shows up as C: drive in Windows)
/dev/sda4	extended				69.11 GiB			lba
/dev/sda5	ntfs		New Volume 1	21.41 GiB
/dev/sda6	ntfs		New Volume 2	21.41 GiB
unallocated						7.46 GiB
/dev/sda7	linux swap				1.39 GiB
/dev/sda8	ext4					7.82 GiB
/dev/sda9	ext3					11.06 GiB
	(sda7 to sda9 were created while installing SUSE 11.2 64 bit)
unallocated						7.72 MiB
unallocated						1.89 MiB

	External HDD Seagate GoFlex 1 TB

dev		File Sys	Label			Size		Used		Flag

/dev/sdb1	ntfs		Free Agent Go Flex	232.9 GiB
/dev/sdb2	ntfs		New Volume 3	232.94 GiB
unallocated						1 MiB
/dev/sdb3	ntfs		New Volume 4	229.27 GiB
unallocated						236.41 GiB

sda1, a FAT 16 partition has the files autoexec.bat, config.sys,
command.com and Dellboot.exe.  It runs the Dell system check utilities. 
I can boot into this partition through Grub.
sda2 is ntfs and has the file bootmgr and folder boot.  I am not able
to boot into it through Grub!
sda3 is the Windows C: drive and boots Vista and contains the file
bootmgr and folder boot.
The system can boot from an USB device.

For the above reasons I have to use the internal drive for Windows. 
Initially I could afford to allocate about 20 GiB for Linux.  But as
data, especially photos accumulated, I decided to add an external HDD. 
External since Dell Dimension C521 does not have space or slot for a
second HDD!

A proper install of SUSE 11.4 (64) requires more space than available
on internal disk and so it is to be installed on the external and
allocated 236 GiB.  But a major part of this disk nearly 700 GiB again
goes to Windows.  By the way I am putting Linux at the end of the Drive,
beyond 690 GiB.

I am also chary of entering system set up as a routine.

Hence my call for guidance.  I'll sum it up as follows :

a) Eventually my system will have dual boot  - Windows Vista and SUSE
11.4 (64).  I may think of upgrading to Windows 7 in future.
b) Existing space used by SUSE 11.2 on internal disk to be freed and
allocated to Windows.  SUSE 11.4 to be on external disk only.
c) How do I go about achieving the above in the safest and simplest
manner?  I wish to avoid having to recover access to Windows Vista.
d) Where should Grub be placed – separate small partition on internal
disk or on external disk ?

Thanks

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/18/2011 5:56:02 PM
Hello PrakashC and thanks for taking the time to answer back.  It is
very much appreciated.  Let me say that while you can select the boot
drive on many BIOS setups at boot time, I am suggesting you go into BIOS
setup and set your external drive as the boot drive.  Then, your
external drive is booted from and controls the entire loading process. 
If for any reason you remove your external hard drive, on most system,
the boot process will go with the next hard drive in sequence.  And
since you have loaded openSUSE and the Grub bootloader on this external
hard drive, you have not modified the internal drive in any way.  If the
external drive is removed, you boot from the internal drive.  There are
many reasons why such a setup would be desirable.  Here are some that
come to mind:

1. No modifications to the Internal hard drive, it still is able to
boot as always.
2. With Windows, it is best to leave it unmodifed.  This allows the
easy installation of Service Packs and permits Windows included backup
programs to work.
3. Failure of the External Hard drive or its format does not corrupt
the Windows disk.
4. If you change your mind about using openSUSE, just unplug the
external hard drive.
5. I use this method on my work laptop.  My work laptop is not modified
in any way.  My personal files and openSUSE all exist on the external
hard drive drive.  And these 2.5" disks are small, powered from the USB
port and now up to 1 TB these days.

And of course, I think it is fun getting this to work.  In fact, it is
the reason I started using openSUSE way back at version 10.0 as SuSE was
the first distro I got to work this way.

Thank You,


-- 
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get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - Use openSUSE because a PC is a
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jdmcdaniel3
9/18/2011 9:56:02 PM
Knurpht;2384988 Wrote: 
> I would 'dd' the entire 11.2 install over to the external disk, incl.
> /home. Then perform the 11.4 install on the external drive, reusing the
> partitioning (/home can be resized afterwards), thus overwriting  only
> the 11.2 "/" with a new 11.4 "/".

I just caught on to the dd command!  That would be fine if the external
disk was new, without any data.  I have Windows partitions on it!!

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/20/2011 1:36:03 PM
Dear  jdmcdaniel3,

	I think I am getting the hang of it!  After reading your post, I went
through the OpenSUSE-Reference all over again. Let me summarise my
understanding :

1.	I can set the booting sequence in BIOS through the Setup to USB
Device, Internal Hard Disk and finally the DVD/CD Drive.  The external
disk  has to be made bootable.  In case the external disk is not
connected or switched off the system will try the internal disk and boot
off it.

2.	OpenSUSE recommendation in respect of partitions includes that in
case the disk has other OS, the Linux partions should preferably be the
last and should not sit between partions allotted to another OS.  I may
therefore keep the first three partitions for Windows and have the last
partition as extended containing the Open SUSE.  The external disk is to
be made bootable through Windows and then OpenSUSE 11.4 installed so
that the MBR of external disk is modified by the new install leaving the
internal disk as it is!  Of course when installing 11.4 I have to change
booting sequence to first try the DVD drive!  If I boot now with the
external disk switched off I get the old Grub and options.  Is this
assumption correct? 

3.	I can then boot into 11.2 and repair/restore the internal disk MBR
to its Windows settings. Reboot to 11.4 and add the old 11.2 install to
the new Grub on external disk if I wish to retain it or delete the
partitions for reallotment to Windows.

4.	Booting off the internal disk takes me to Windows and plugging
in/switching on the external drive after booting makes the Windows
partions on external disk available!

	Please examine and let me know if there is any flaw in the logic.

	I very much appreciate the help and advice.  Thanks!

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/21/2011 5:26:04 AM
All sounds good except that the internal drive must have a generic MBR
and the boot flag must be set to the Windows partition. The generic MBR
uses the boot flag the grub MBR does not. If you have a Windows disk you
should be able to "repair" the MBR thus putting a generic code in the
internal drive MBR. This assumes you installed 11.2 using defaults which
will put grub MBR on the drive. You may have to Edit the
/boot/grub/menu.lst file to get all the OS to boot. Also you need to
decide which Linux will control the boot off of the external. You can do
all the MBR repair with the Super Grub disk, I believe, if you don't
have a Windows disk.


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gogalthorp
9/21/2011 6:06:02 AM
Dear gogalthorp,  jdmcdaniel3, Knurpht, Lenwolf 

Yes, I do have the Windows re-intallation/rescue disk.  There is also a
mbr_backup file under /boot in the 11.2 installation and that too (if in
good order!) should enable 11.2 to restore the generic MBR.

The external disk already has its generic/Windows MBR.  I do not intend
to put any other OS (except OpenSUSE 11.4) on it. The 11.4 installation
process should make the disk bootable.  I only  need to ensure that the
11.4 installation does not affect the MBR or the existing Grub for 11.2
on the internal disk.  Guidiance in this regard is requested.  Will the
booting sequence during installation set as - First DVD drive, Second
External HDD on USB and lastly Internal HDD - do the trick?

Thanks,

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/22/2011 5:16:02 AM
> Dear gogalthorp,  jdmcdaniel3, Knurpht, Lenwolf 
> 
> Yes, I do have the Windows re-intallation/rescue disk.  There is also a
> mbr_backup file under /boot in the 11.2 installation and that too (if
> in  good order!) should enable 11.2 to restore the generic MBR.
> 
> The external disk already has its generic/Windows MBR.  I do not intend
> to put any other OS (except OpenSUSE 11.4) on it. The 11.4 installation
> process should make the disk bootable.  I only  need to ensure that the
> 11.4 installation does not affect the MBR or the existing Grub for 11.2
> on the internal disk.  Guidiance in this regard is requested.  Will the
> booting sequence during installation set as - First DVD drive, Second 
> External HDD on USB and lastly Internal HDD - do the trick?
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> PrakashC 				

The boot order you specify sounds correct.  When installing openSUSE
11.4 onto the External Hard drive, pay close attention to the *Booting*
section of the Installer as to the location of the Grub Boot loader (MRR
or / partition), the target disk like /dev/sdb and the proposed boot
order like sdb, sda for instance.  This determines what is being written
to and where and what drive is designated as hd0 from the device.map
file and in the grub menu.lst file.

Thank You,


-- 
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get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - My software never has bugs. It
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jdmcdaniel3
9/22/2011 11:16:03 AM
Dear jdmcdaniel3,

I am practically ready to jump in/ proceed with the installation. I
have also read the article "/SDB:Installation_on_external_hard_drive".

Only one doubt remains - which disk MBR will be changed internal or
external.  My aim is to boot off the external disk and the MBR on it
should point to the Grub of the new installation.  The MBR on the
internal disk should remain untouched, and also the existing Grub on the
internal disk

Any check point to confirm this before committing install?

Thanks,

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/24/2011 2:56:03 PM
> Dear jdmcdaniel3,
> 
> I am practically ready to jump in/ proceed with the installation. I
> have  also read the article "/SDB:Installation_on_external_hard_drive".
> 
> Only one doubt remains - which disk MBR will be changed internal or 
> external.  My aim is to boot off the external disk and the MBR on it 
> should point to the Grub of the new installation.  The MBR on the 
> internal disk should remain untouched, and also the existing Grub on the
> internal disk
> 
> Any check point to confirm this before committing install?
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> PrakashC                 

So when your desire is to not modify the Internal Hard drive, you would
only modify the External MBR and not the internal one.  As specified
before, placing Grub into the MBR (of an internal or external hard
drive) allows the "booting" of openSUSE from Logical Partitions 5 and
higher.  Strickly speaking, you can only boot from Primary Partitions 1,
2, 3 and 4, but if Grub is loaded into the MBR, openSUSE can be loaded
into ANY partition and still boot your system.  Generic booting code
loaded into the MBR is better when dual booting with Windows, but only
matters IF Windows and openSUSE are located on the same hard drive.  If
you really leave the internal hard drive untouched,  you can load Grub
anywhere you like on the external hard drive and putting it into the MBR
of the external hard drive can provide more booting options.  Finally,
one thing many may miss is that the MBR of an External Hard Drive, when
purchased new will be BLANK with no code contained there at all!  So,
you must on purpose elect to place generic booting code into the MBR or
load Grub into the MBR of the External Hard Drive.  Deciding to load
nothing there will not work properly.

Thank You,


-- 
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get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - My software never has bugs. It
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jdmcdaniel3
9/24/2011 3:16:02 PM
You can chose which disk in the installers partition scheme expert mode.
By default I think the MBR of the current boot drive is selected. But is
good to check this before committing.


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gogalthorp
9/24/2011 3:16:02 PM
Dear jdmcdaniel3, gogalthorp,

I started off with the installation reached the stage of final check. 
I aimed to install the 11.4 on the extended partition on the external
disk, leaving the existing 11.2 installtion on the internal disk
unchanged. I tried it with the booting sequence in BIOS set to first the
DVD drive, second external HDD (as USB device) and last the internal
HDD.  My findings are :

a) Selected Fresh install option.
b) The install program detects the 11.2 system  and the space available
on the ext HDD and proposes a partitioning plan using the existing 11.2
created swap partition.  Even if custom partitioning is called up and a
new swap partition created on the ext HDD, the installtion retains the
proposal to use the existing/old swap and there is no place to change
this.
c) The booting options do not include booting to the existing 11.2
installation.  I suppose this could be added in the change section.
d) The booting details show placing Grub(new) on the ext HDD as desired
but is not clear if the old Grub will be retained on the internal disk.
This could be worked around by keeping a copy of the files in another
place and later restoring these.
e) And the proposal retains write the grub (stage 1) to the MBR of the
int HDD.  Again there is no option at any stage which could direct the
install to write to MBR of ext HDD.

The external HDD came with some proprietory programs on it and
therefore it must have been partioned and formatted with a MBR in place.
Currently that MBR does not contain a pointer to load an OS i.e. if I
make it the first device in the booting sequence, the system comes to an
halt.  It does not go on to the next device in sequence or ask for a
bootable disk.

I had 3 primary partions for Windows on the Ext. HDD and so the intall
wass restricted to creating an extended partition in the remaining
unallocated space.  I deleted one to leave only two primary partitions
for Windows and hoped the install would suggest putting a small boot
partition as the third primary partition and (hopefully) offer to write
to the Ex. HDD MBR.  Nothing doing, the proposal remained to create an
extended (now third) partion) with further logical partitions  and to
write to MBR of Int. HDD.

There appears no simple way to be able to boot off either of the HDDs,
unless the ext. HDD is dedicated to SUSE.

By the way I recollect that in version 10, it was possible to install
both Gnome and KDE desktops and select one while logging in.  Any idea
if that can still be done?

Thanks, especially for the patient consideration to a puzzled penguin,

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/25/2011 4:06:02 PM
> Dear jdmcdaniel3, gogalthorp,
> 
> I started off with the installation reached the stage of final check. 
> I  aimed to install the 11.4 on the extended partition on the external 
> disk, leaving the existing 11.2 installation on the internal disk 
> unchanged. I tried it with the booting sequence in BIOS set to first the
> DVD drive, second external HDD (as USB device) and last the internal 
> HDD.  My findings are :
> 
> This Sounds Correct!
> 
> a) Selected Fresh install option.
> b) The install program detects the 11.2 system  and the space available
> on the ext HDD and proposes a partitioning plan using the existing 11.2
> created swap partition.  Even if custom partitioning is called up and a
> new swap partition created on the ext HDD, the installtion retains the 
> proposal to use the existing/old swap and there is no place to change 
> this.
> 
> Having more than one swap is OK.  Basically, any existing swap
> partition can have a mount point called swap.  Remove the swap mount
> point of existing swap partitions and they will not be used.
> 
> c) The booting options do not include booting to the existing 11.2 
> installation.  I suppose this could be added in the change section.
> 
> To boot an existing openSUSE partition you can add it in later.  Make
> sure the internal drive is added to the /boot/grub/device.map as hd1. 
> You can then mount the old openSUSE 11.2 partition, copy the old
> existing /boot/grub/menu.lst entry that start openSUSE 11.2 and add it
> to your new /boot/grub/menu.lst file but change any hd0 to hd1 and it
> should work as before.  One issue you have is any modification of the
> kernel while running openSUSE 11.2 will not make its way to the new
> /boot/grub/menu.lst installed with the new openSUSE, but be made to the
> old.  That is why some suggest you use the same chainloading command to
> start openSUSE 11.2 as you would use to run Windows, loading grub a
> second time and being presented with a second grub menu.
> 
> d) The booting details show placing Grub(new) on the ext HDD as desired
> but is not clear if the old Grub will be retained on the internal disk.
> This could be worked around by keeping a copy of the files in another 
> place and later restoring these.
> 
> If you do not load or modifing the internal hard drive, all will be
> just as it was before the new install on the external hard drive.
> 
> e) And the proposal retains write the grub (stage 1) to the MBR of the 
> int HDD.  Again there is no option at any stage which could direct the 
> install to write to MBR of ext HDD.
> 
> You must modify the booting section so that it only writes to the
> external hared drive and not the internal one.  You can set this to work
> as required. 
> 
> The external HDD came with some proprietary programs on it and
> therefore  it must have been partitioned and formatted with a MBR in
> place.   Currently that MBR does not contain a pointer to load an OS
> i.e. if I  make it the first device in the booting sequence, the system
> comes to an  halt.  It does not go on to the next device in sequence or
> ask for a  bootable disk.
> 
> Normally the MBR is blank on new hard drive unless the actually came
> with some sort of booting OS.  So, you must place either generic booting
> code or the grub boot loader into the external MBR.  AND, if you see
> that this is pointing to the external, it is not writing to the
> internal.  Grub or generic boot code will only be written to one hard
> disk per install.  Make sure it is the external one. 
> 
> I had 3 primary partitions for Windows on the Ext. HDD and so the
> install  was restricted to creating an extended partition in the
> remaining  unallocated space.  I deleted one to leave only two primary
> partitions  for Windows and hoped the install would suggest putting a
> small boot  partition as the third primary partition and (hopefully)
> offer to write  to the Ex. HDD MBR.  Nothing doing, the proposal
> remained to create an  extended (now third) partion) with further
> logical partitions  and to  write to MBR of Int. HDD.
> 
> Consider that you can download a LiveCD or even a disk like GParted,
> boot from the disk, create the exact partition setup on the external
> hard disk that you want (less installing grub), using EXT4 partitions
> for / & /home with swap and then when you install openSUSE  11.4, pick
> custom partitioning, elect to just mount the partitions you want and
> this method can be much safer way to do partitioning.   The install will
> protest about not formatting the partitions, but a blank partition works
> just fine.  Please refer back to my original partitioning suggestions on
> what openSUSE requires. 
> 
> There appears no simple way to be able to boot off either of the HDDs,
> unless the ext. HDD is dedicated to SUSE.
> 
> Only one hard drive can be set as the boot drive.  You can use the
> openSUSE grub boot menu to start Windows and run openSUSE 11,2 from a
> single menu on the external hard drive.
> 
> By the way I recollect that in version 10, it was possible to install 
> both Gnome and KDE desktops and select one while logging in.  Any idea 
> if that can still be done?
> 
> The openSUSE login menu allows you to change the default desktop from
> the Session Menu.  IF you have more than one desktop install, you can
> select which one to use there as your default.  You must keep using the
> openSUSE default login screen to have this option to change the desktop
> to be used.
> 
> Thanks, especially for the patient consideration to a puzzled penguin,
> 
> PrakashC                 

I hope these answers will be helpful to you.

Thank You,


-- 
Remember that little in Life is certain, including any advice you may
get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - Programmers are just tools used
for converting caffeine into code.
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jdmcdaniel3
9/25/2011 6:26:02 PM
Dear jdmcdaniel3,

Ran through the installation.  The results :

A) Existing installations of Windows Vista and OpenSUSE 11.2 working
fine!  Booting of the internal HDD same as earlier. Just as I desired.
B)   (i) The 11.4 installation wrote to the MBR of external HDD OK.
(ii)  When booting off the ext. HDD I get the message
(hd1,2)/message file not found and then  non graphical menu comes on
offering the choices I had specified in new menu.lst.
(iii) Selecting either 11.4 main or failsafe option, the screen
goes blank and nothing happens!
(iv) Selecting Windows shows I have not identified hard disk of
Windows partition correctly.

The errors require corrections in the /boot/grub/device.map  and the
menu.lst.  Since I can boot into 11.2, can I safely access and correct
the files in /boot of 11.4 installation.  Or should I use the Rescue
option on the Installation Disk?  This presents me with a text login,
which does not accept the password I specified while installing 11.4. 
Does it have standard/preset password?

Thank you,

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/28/2011 2:46:02 PM
> The errors require corrections in the /boot/grub/device.map  and the 
> menu.lst.  Since I can boot into 11.2, can I safely access and correct 
> the files in /boot of 11.4 installation.  Or should I use the Rescue 
> option on the Installation Disk?  This presents me with a text login, 
> which does not accept the password I specified while installing 11.4.  
> Does it have standard/preset password?

Yes, it is OK to edit the openSUSE device.map and menu.lst files.  So,
what happened was that you did not modify the disk order that was shown
in the installation section.  Again, what ever hard disk you boot from
IS hd0, not hd1.  The message you get when trying to boot openSUSE 11.4
from the external hard drive of (hd1,2)/message indicates the device.map
and menu.lst files say the external hard drive is hd1 and not hd0.  You
would need to modify all hd1's to hd0's and all hd0's to hd1's.  Imagine
how confusing this sounds.  You might try changing hd0's to hdx first,
then change hd1's to hd0's and finally hdx's to hd1's.  At least it is a
plan I might try.  Again, openSUSE will not normally guess HD0 correctly
when you boot from a CD or DVD and you must on purpose modify the
default hard disk boot order in the install section.  This original
guessed boot order is what determines HD0 and HD1 entries in the
menu.lst and device.map files which has to be changed.  The whole issue
is really caused by the Grub Legacy boot loader and its insistence of
sticking with old logical disk names of HDx.

Thank You,


-- 
Remember that little in Life is certain, including any advice you may
get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - Programmers are just tools used
for converting caffeine into code.
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jdmcdaniel3
9/28/2011 10:46:02 PM
Dear jdmcdaniel3,

With the knowledge that the int. HDD was safe, I could dare to
experiment with the 11.4 installation.  Tried editing the device.map and
menulst files and was able to get the starting boot menu OK.  The
problem remained that I could boot into failsafe mode but not into the
main. I therefore tried a complete reinstall.  The unexpected events had
occurred the first time and were repeated as follows.

a) The install went through OK and in the end was the message rebooting
in xx secs. OK till now.
b) The shut down started and the last on the screen I could make out
was about finding a linux terminal and the computer froze!There was no
message to remove the installation disk etc.
c) Had to power off manually.  On restarting got the starting menu from
boot OK.  Selected main default option and the OS started loading
showing progress by means of the line.  
d) About the point when the log in screen comes on the screen darkened
and the commands being executed were seen.  The last line I was able to
make out was about finding a linux terminal and the screen blacked out
and the system hung.  I removed the installation DVD at this point.
e) Manually powered off and restarted this time choosing the failsafe
option.  The process in "c" above was repeated.
f) Then the automatic configuration started and installation was
completed and I was able to log in.
g) Now, I can boot into the fail safe mode (and Windows) but not into
Main default.  The menulst file is as follows:

# Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Fri Sep 30 15:40:00 IST 2011
# THIS FILE WILL BE PARTIALLY OVERWRITTEN by perl-Bootloader
# Configure custom boot parameters for updated kernels in
/etc/sysconfig/bootloader

default 0
timeout 12
gfxmenu (hd0,5)/boot/message
##YaST - activate

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name:
linux###
title Desktop -- openSUSE 11.4 - 2.6.37.6-0.7
root (hd0,5)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.37.6-0.7-desktop
root=/dev/disk/by-id/usb-Seagate_FA_GoFlex_Desk_NA0J4GKP-0:0-part6
resume=/dev/disk/by-id/usb-Seagate_FA_GoFlex_Desk_NA0J4GKP-0:0-part5
splash=silent quiet showopts vga=0x31a
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.37.6-0.7-desktop

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name:
failsafe###
title Failsafe -- openSUSE 11.4 - 2.6.37.6-0.7
root (hd0,5)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.37.6-0.7-desktop
root=/dev/disk/by-id/usb-Seagate_FA_GoFlex_Desk_NA0J4GKP-0:0-part6
showopts apm=off noresume edd=off powersaved=off nohz=off highres=off
processor.max_cstate=1 nomodeset x11failsafe vga=0x31a
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.37.6-0.7-desktop

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows
3###
title windows 3 (Dell Utilities)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows
4###
title windows 4 (Restore)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
rootnoverify (hd1,1)
makeactive
chainloader +1

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows
5###
title windows 5 (Vista Home Premium)
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
rootnoverify (hd1,2)
makeactive
chainloader +1

How do I find out whats wrong and correct it?

Thanks,

PrakashC


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PrakashC
9/30/2011 1:56:03 PM
I would add in the kernel load option nomodeset as shown below.


Code:
--------------------
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
  title Desktop -- openSUSE 11.4 - 2.6.37.6-0.7
  root (hd0,5)
  kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.37.6-0.7-desktop  root=/dev/disk/by-id/usb-Seagate_FA_GoFlex_Desk_NA0J4GKP-0:0-part6  resume=/dev/disk/by-id/usb-Seagate_FA_GoFlex_Desk_NA0J4GKP-0:0-part5  splash=silent quiet *nomodeset* showopts vga=0x31a
  initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.37.6-0.7-desktop
--------------------


I put it in bold, but it will not really be bold.

Thank You,


-- 
Remember that little in Life is certain, including any advice you may
get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - Programmers are just tools used
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jdmcdaniel3
10/1/2011 12:16:10 AM
Dear jdmcdaniel3,

THANKS ! nomodeset did the trick.  I did not have any such problem with
11.2 on the same hardware.  What could be the possible reason?  I can
only make out that the screen resolution is set at only 800x600 and
cannot be improved (monitor not recognised).

Thanks once again.

PrakashC


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PrakashC
10/1/2011 6:36:02 AM
> Dear jdmcdaniel3,
> 
> THANKS ! nomodeset did the trick.  I did not have any such problem with
> 11.2 on the same hardware.  What could be the possible reason?  I can 
> only make out that the screen resolution is set at only 800x600 and 
> cannot be improved (monitor not recognised).
> 
> Thanks once again.
> 
> PrakashC                 

Wow, after all of these many message some sort of success.  I must now
ask if you know what kind of video card (GPU chipset) you are using? 
Most likely, if it is nVIDIA or AMD (not to be confused with the CPU
type of AMD or Intel) you may need to load the proprietary video driver.
I can point the way for nVIDIA, but I am not an expert on AMD.

Thank You,


-- 
Remember that little in Life is certain, including any advice you may
get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - Programmers are just tools used
for converting caffeine into code.
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jdmcdaniel3
10/1/2011 2:26:02 PM
Dear jdmcdaniel3,

The data in re multimedia hardware is as follows:

{Multimedia

Video Card - NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE 
Video Card Chip Type GeForce 6150 LE 
Video Card Memory 64.00 MB 
Video Card BIOS Version 5.51.28.42.0 
Driver Provider NVIDIA 
Driver Version 8.17.12.7533, 5-20-2011 

Display - DELL SE177FP (Dell SE177FP) 
Mode 1280 x 1024 (32-bit) (60 Hz) 
Preferred Mode 1280 x 1024 (60 Hz) 
Manufacturer Dell Computer Corp. 
Serial Number JT8907690V5S 
Manufacture Date Week 23, Year 2007 
Signal Type Analog 

Sound Card - VF0640 Live! Cam Socialize 
Driver Provider Microsoft 
Driver Version 6.0.6002.18005, 6-21-2006 

Sound Card - High Definition Audio Device 
Driver Provider Microsoft 
Driver Version 6.0.6002.18005, 6-21-2006 }

I am getting 1280x1024 resolution in failsafe mode but it shows a 76 Hz
frequency.  While in normal mode (nomodeset) it is 800x640 (60Hz).  The
message is monitor not recognised in the tool to set monitor resolution,
but the hardware scan recognises the monitor as Dell model SE177FP
correctly.

And I had installed both Gnome and KDE Desktops, though the install was
done under Gnome.  How do I activate the requisite menu at the log in
screen stage.

PrakashC


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PrakashC
10/2/2011 6:56:02 AM
According to the nVIDIA web site a Video Card - NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE
can load the very latest video driver from nVIDIA.  Have a look at a
couple of blogs I have on loading the nVIDIA driver the hard way.

'Installing the nVIDIA Video Driver the Hard Way - Blogs - openSUSE
Forums' (http://tinyurl.com/6kfle7e)

<and>

'LNVHW - Load NVIDIA (driver the) Hard Way from runlevel 3 - Version
1.10 - Blogs - openSUSE Forums' (http://tinyurl.com/64vvyj5)

It is my opinion, it would be best to install the nVIDIA proprietary
video driver and loading it the hard way, but there is also the
repository method which you might want to look at as well and a 1-Click
method I can not recommend.  Here is that link on those subjects:

'SDB:NVIDIA drivers - openSUSE'
(http://en.opensuse.org//SDB:NVIDIA_drivers)

Thank You,


-- 
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get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

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jdmcdaniel3
10/2/2011 8:36:06 PM
Dear jdmcdaniel3,

I just followed the instructions and ran lnvhw.  The available
resolutions are all there and working!  Thanks!

I now am looking for "howto directions" for getting the options in
login screen to select desired Desktop i.e. Gnome or KDE.

PrakashC


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PrakashC
10/3/2011 5:36:03 PM
At the bottom of the login screen you will see 2 menus there you can
chose which DE to start.


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gogalthorp
10/3/2011 9:16:02 PM
> Dear jdmcdaniel3,
> 
> I just followed the instructions and ran lnvhw.  The available
> resolutions are all there and working!  Thanks!
> 
> I now am looking for "howto directions" for getting the options in
> login screen to select desired Desktop i.e. Gnome or KDE.
> 
> PrakashC                 

Gosh, we have come so far to be sure.  First, you need to keep the
standard openSUSE login menu because it provides the way to switch
desktops.  It is possible to change the login menu to the KDE or GNOME
default, but that causes a loss of ability to switch desktops.  With the
standard openSUSE login, look to the bottom left for *Session Type*. 
There are several bullets there you can select that represent the
installed desktops on your system.  Be aware that switching back and
forth can create some odd issues and so its best to stick with your
favorite.  I never had a problem I could not over come and its not
fatal, but desktop settings can be changed when switching back forth. 
Some settings that might change are not apparent to you where you put
them back to what you had before.  I always load several desktops, but
it lets me use apps intended for say Gnome while using KDE and this
works very well, I just don't switch back and forth unless I am having
some sort of issue with my selected desktop.

Thank You,


-- 
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get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - Programmers are just tools used
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jdmcdaniel3
10/3/2011 10:36:03 PM
Dear jdmcdaniel3, gogalthorp,

I may not have been clear in stating the matter.  At the login screen,
which is SUSE as installed,  get the choice to log into the users
created.  There is no other text or icon on the main screen.  There is
an icon at the extreme left on the panel/bar at the bottom which shows
the shut down/reboot options..  I have not changed anything!

While installing I selected Gnome as the desktop.  Then in the final
check I added the KDE desktop.  Both desktops are there.  Could it be
that when KDE is selected during installation the login presents the
choice?  I do recall in version 10.x there was an applet in KDE which
allowed one to switch desktops, but not in Gnome.

PrakashC


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PrakashC
10/4/2011 9:36:02 AM
> Dear jdmcdaniel3, gogalthorp,
> 
> I may not have been clear in stating the matter.  At the login screen, 
> which is SUSE as installed,  get the choice to log into the users 
> created.  There is no other text or icon on the main screen.  There is 
> an icon at the extreme left on the panel/bar at the bottom which shows 
> the shut down/reboot options..  I have not changed anything!
> 
> While installing I selected Gnome as the desktop.  Then in the final 
> check I added the KDE desktop.  Both desktops are there.  Could it be 
> that when KDE is selected during installation the login presents the 
> choice?  I do recall in version 10.x there was an applet in KDE which 
> allowed one to switch desktops, but not in Gnome.
> 
> PrakashC 

So, normally, the option called *Session Type  *is always located on
the bottom left corner of the screen.  I would ask just how you
installed KDE?  Did you use the patterns choice in YaST Software
Management?  If not, this is what you do:

Open YaST / Software / Software Management - Select the View Button on
the top left and pick Patterns. Now, you will see several Patterns
listed and you want to select:


Code:
--------------------
       Graphical Environment
  
  [X] KDE4 Desktop Environment
  [X] KDE4 Base System
--------------------


Then Press the Accept button on the bottom right and allow these
applications to install. 

Thank You,


-- 
Remember that little in Life is certain, including any advice you may
get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - Programmers are just tools used
for converting caffeine into code.
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0
jdmcdaniel3
10/4/2011 11:16:02 AM
Dear jdmcdanile3,

Checked and found both Patterns installed.  Tried to see if I could
reload these, but could not find requisite option.  However, when I
logged out EUREKA! there were additional icons on the panel for
switching desktops, keyboards and language!  And these worked.

Thanks to everybody and the forum!!

PrakashC


-- 
PrakashC
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0
PrakashC
10/4/2011 5:06:02 PM
> Dear jdmcdanile3,
> 
> Checked and found both Patterns installed.  Tried to see if I could 
> reload these, but could not find requisite option.  However, when I 
> logged out EUREKA! there were additional icons on the panel for 
> switching desktops, keyboards and language!  And these worked.
> 
> Thanks to everybody and the forum!!
> 
> PrakashC                 

Yea!  Success at last on all counts.  That is such good news.  Anyway,
if you have any other problems, just let us know and perhaps it will not
take 30 something plus messages to get you fixed up.

Thank You,


-- 
Remember that little in Life is certain, including any advice you may
get from me, you poor soul, but at least I am trying to help.

:)Its James again from Austin Texas - Programmers are just tools used
for converting caffeine into code.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
jdmcdaniel3's Profile: http://forums.opensuse.org/member.php?userid=43440
View this thread: http://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php?t=465297

0
jdmcdaniel3
10/4/2011 8:56:02 PM
Reply:

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