Sunday, October 12, 2008

Adding new partitions to EeePC 901

To get another Linux OS installed on my EeePC 901, I needed to add two new ext2 partitions to the 16 GB drive. So, I used Unetbootin to prepare the bootable USB key with Parted Magic installed on it. Note that Parted Magic didn't work for me on the EeePC due to the version of glibc being older than 2.4 so I had to do this on another computer.
To get the USB key to boot the steps are as follows:
1. Plug the key into the operating computer
2. Reboot and hold down the F2 key until you see the TTy1 screen show up
3. When the BIOS screen is available, tab over to Boot
4. Arrow down to Hard Disks -- now you should see two HDs followed by a USB Flash drive
5. Use the controls (the '+' sign) to move the USB Flash to first position
6. F10 to save and exit

Now you should be on your way to booting from the USB key
However, in my case at least, I kept getting kernel panics. The error given was

EXT2-fs error (device ram0): ext2-get-inode: unable to read inode block

In googling around, it seemed this problem may be due to ramdisk_size being too small.
So, on the next boot into Parted Magic, I used the Tab key to edit the default option. As it happens, the last entry in the command line was
ramdisk_size = 25000

So, I just changed this to 250000 and booted.
Now it started fine and I was able to use Gparted to generate the needed partitions on the 16 GB drive without any problems.
When booted back into Xandros, I found I was only able to mount one of the two new partitions. I posted to the forum about this and it turns out that even though the unmountable partition /dev/sdb3 had been generated in Gparted, it still needs to be created when back in Xandros.
I used the mknod command given in the post and this worked fine.

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