Upgrading a laptop with a new drive for installing Solaris 10 - Solaris

This is a discussion on Upgrading a laptop with a new drive for installing Solaris 10 - Solaris ; I recently upgraded my Dell Inspiron 9300 laptop's drive from 60GB to 80GB. My laptop had the XP MCE 2005 installed and I didn't want to resize the current partition to make room for a full Solaris install. I had ...

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Thread: Upgrading a laptop with a new drive for installing Solaris 10

  1. Upgrading a laptop with a new drive for installing Solaris 10

    I recently upgraded my Dell Inspiron 9300 laptop's drive from 60GB to
    80GB. My laptop had the XP MCE 2005 installed and I didn't want to
    resize the current partition to make room for a full Solaris install.

    I had installed Solaris 10 in the ~5GB Dell Recovery partition to see if
    it would run. Solaris "User Software" installed OK and ran CDE just
    fine. I didn't try the JAVA Desktop/GNOME. The problems I had upgrading
    would NOT have happened if I had not installed Solaris before upgrading!

    I used APRICORN's "ez upgrade kit" which contained a USB enclosure for a
    2.5" drive and cloning software to transfer the current disk's structure
    and data to a user-supplied new drive.

    The procedure was-
    1. Perform a Defragment of the current drive, and in my case I also ran
    a virus checker, a spyware checker, and a register cleanup program
    BEFORE the Defragment.

    2. Perform a FULL BACKUP to a CD/DVD. In my case I didn't backup
    Solaris-since I was going to install the developer software anyway.

    3. Install your new drive in the supplied USB external enclosure.

    4. Plug in the USB drive and boot the EZ GIG II software from the
    CD.(Press F12 during boot to select the CDROM device-the boot selection
    only changes to the CDROM for the current session and reverts to the HD
    for the next boot)

    5. Copy the current drive to the USB drive. The GUI screens allow you to
    change the partition sizes if you wish-but since it didn't know what a
    Solaris partition even was, I don't think that would have worked. I left
    the XP partition the same. There is no provision to just clone part of a
    drive-you have to clone the whole thing. It copied the Solaris
    partition and the unallocated space using a sector-by-sector copy. It
    took over 2.5 hours to copy the entire 60GB disk to the 80GB disk.

    6. Swap the two drives, but don't plug the old drive into the USB port
    to reformat it UNTIL the new drive proves to be working correctly!

    *PROBLEMS!* I had a problem booting from the newly cloned drive! (I
    *may* have made some type of error when I stopped and powered down the
    laptop to swap the drives, and the EZ GIG II software may very well work
    as described.)

    The GRUB boot hung at the word GRUB. The Solaris partition was the
    active partition when I started. I tried using the XP release disk to
    bring up recovery mode, but all the DISKPART command would do in that
    mode was allow me to create or delete partitions, not change the active
    partition. Some recovery mode!!

    I started the Solaris install from DVD and stopped it after it got to
    the disk layout stuff, opened a new terminal window, and ran
    format->fdisk to set the XP partition as active, created the NEW Solaris
    partition and a fat32 partition at the end, then rebooted to see if XP
    was OK before I reinstalled Solaris. I am very comfortable working with
    and recovery of Solaris, but Windows OS's are not very flexible and
    because it's a moving target, even M$ doesn't know how it works...

    I did not try to use the published procedures to recover or
    rebuild/install GRUB or the bootblk, because of my reinstall. In two or
    three months I may be replacing my 80GB with a 120GB drive and will be
    able to try it then, as well as trying to recover Solaris if it happens
    again. (I like the idea of the USB-powered drives for backups while on
    the road, and an extra one with my TV recordings to watch while
    traveling is appealing to me since most current TV programming sucks!)

    Anyway, if I had known I would have problems with the GRUB boot, I would
    have made the XP partition active before cloning. (Hind site is 20/20?)
    This is like I used to do on my older windows systems using two disk
    drives and keeping a spare, preloaded Solaris system available for
    testing. Just set the Solaris disk to activate cross-booting...

    I found the procedure for changing or modifying files systems using the
    XP Pro GUI tool, but with my XP MCE I had to use a different path to get
    to the tool. I don't know if XP Home uses one or the other, or even has
    the tool. In a different thread, I posted how to format a new FAT32
    partition using the GUI. I'll show it again now, but remember the path
    to get to the tool may be a little different. (I haven't installed Pro
    on the triple-boot system I'm building yet, and don't have access to the
    Home version I built for my brother right now-sorry)

    To change, format, or modify a filesystem in using the XP GUI tool
    (format in this example):

    1. Start->Control Panel->Performance and Maintainence->Computer
    Management (Again-the path for XP MCE VS Pro/Home versions may differ)

    2. Then select Disk Management on the left side. The display will change
    to a GUI display on the right side. Each disk will be displayed as a
    horizontal picture, with each partition or unallocated space displayed.

    3. Right click in the fat32 partition, and from the drop-down menu
    select format. A pop-up window will open for you to select the format
    type and parameters. Format the partition and make whatever changes you
    need to. (READ the caution below before trying this!)

    *CAUTION* You can perform several other functions in the drop-down menu,
    some of which could get you into trouble! If you change the "Active"
    partition-you must use the DISKPART command to undo the change. (The
    procedure to make Solaris the active partition again follows below.)

    The drop-down menu (from above) allows you to change other things
    including setting the selected partition as active. I used this to set
    the XP partition as active, which allows me to skip the GRUB boot for an
    extended period of time. HOWEVER, to enable the GRUB boot/menu you must
    use the Command prompt and the diskpart program.

    At the Command Prompt window: [My comments are in brackets]
    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600] [? XP-MCE 2005 SP2]
    (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

    C:\Documents and Settings\Gary>cd c:\


    Microsoft DiskPart version 5.1.3565

    Copyright (C) 1999-2003 Microsoft Corporation.
    On computer: DCTGWIFI

    DISKPART> select disk=0 [If you have more than 1 disk, "list disk"]
    [and find the disk you want to select]
    Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

    DISKPART> list partition

    Partition ### Type Size Offset
    ------------- ---------------- ------- -------
    Partition 1 OEM 55 MB 32 KB [Dell stuff??]
    Partition 2 Primary 51 GB 55 MB [XP]
    Partition 3 Unknown 19 GB 51 GB [Solaris 10]
    Partition 4 Extended 4376 MB 70 GB [My fat32 part.]
    Partition 5 Logical 4376 MB 70 GB [SAME partition,]
    [the Logical Drive]
    DISKPART> select partition=3 [Solaris/GRUB]

    Partition 3 is now the selected partition.


    DiskPart marked the current partition as active.


    Leaving Diskpart...

    Note: The Logical Drive displays as another partition (5) in DISKPART,
    which is not like the old Windows fdisk program.

    Using the above procedures, you can upgrade and boot XP to verify the
    cloning worked and didn't break anything, before trying to boot Solaris.
    The old disk will still be there to recover with, and you can use the
    Solaris CD/DVD to recover/repair it's partition if needed.


  2. Re: Upgrading a laptop with a new drive for installing Solaris 10

    I just received an email and the writer suggested that when I was in the
    recovery mode of XP, if I had deleted the "active" Solaris partition, XP
    would have made the first bootable partition the active partition. I
    never thought about that! It might have worked. Of course, if I HAD
    really wanted to recover the Solaris partition, it would not be a viable
    plan, but I guess I SHOULD have tried it THIS time.

    The writer has not posted his reply yet, but because he could be right,
    I posted it for him. Perhaps he doesn't want his name in print? (Does he
    work for M$? :-)


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