Warning: This entry is the story of partitioning a disk.
I've recently moved offices within Sun and just got a new laptop. With a back-up work system, I figured it was a perfect time to go back to the Gateway desktop I've had in my office for some time and try to install Solaris on it.
As would be expected, we have weekly builds of Solaris here, and right across from my office, I can pick up the latest weekly build on a DVD. This seemed like a good place to start.
As a first step, I wondered if I should partition the hard disk on my Gateway machine which currently runs Windows. I didn't really need the Windows operating system any more. I don't use it for any application that would require it and all applications I run are either Java-based or available on Solaris, and I have used Open Office very successfully since 2003 to deal with MS Office based documents.
Nevertheless, I decided that the partitioning exercise was to be had not so much because I was interested in preserving my Windows files but because I wanted to see how easy it was to perform the task without paying for any software. James Liu had earlier mentioned QtParted tool available on Knoppix, which is a Linux OS possible to run from a CD. I had always wanted to use an open source partitioning facility, and this seemed like a good working choice. The alternative, of course, was just not to partition and install using the Solaris installation DVD.
When I was unable to produce my own working Knoppix CD, James kindly came to the rescue and gave me a working CD of Knoppix 5.1.1. James had burned this CD on Solaris. (The CD I had produced kept relegating me to a useless shell of Knoppix perhaps because I was producing it on a Windows XP system with a freeware CD image burner, probably not adequate for my purposes even at low burn speeds. There are commercial tools for burning CDs from CD images on Windows XP but I didn't want to use any of these.)
The Knoppix OS on the CD works really well. I was now able to load the OS and then run QtParted to resize the existing partition and "create" new ones, and then run QtParted to "commit" these changes. I used suggestions from Richard Friedman which worked really well.
It turns out that the Ferrari laptop on which Richard installed Solaris Express has a similar size of disk to the Gateway machine in my office. The only difference is that QtParted performed the job of disk partitioning in less than 20 minutes on my Gateway machine which compares very well with the 2 hours in the Ferrari experience. As always, we shouldn't compare apples and oranges. The higher speed for partitioning has to do with the two CPUs and the large RAM available on the Gateway box in my office.
More later ...