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Re: Vendor Partitions

From: Henrik Treadup
Subject: Re: Vendor Partitions
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 18:09:39 +0100

On Thu, 31 Oct 2002 18:07:21 +1100
Andrew Clausen <address@hidden> wrote:
> There's a grand assumption there: the vendor disks aren't using Parted.
> I think Parted would be a good solution for them.  (Well, perhaps
> they need to run on Windows, but Parted could be ported quite cheaply
> to Windows, IMHO)

I don't think it is necessary to port parted. The vendor floppys I have run 
into have been
boot floppies running DOS. They could just as well be boot floppies running 

> >The internal format is irrelevant. I would never waste my time reverse 
> >engineering the 
> > format. 
> We might be able to get docs / help.

For backup purposes it wouldn't be necessary to know the internal format. Most 
partitions probably use a standard fs though. (Why reinvent the wheel?)

> > 1) I want to partition my harddrive (I don't want to destroy the VP) 
> > ...
> > To solve 1) you might have parted check to see if the drive has a VP. If it 
> > has do not wipe
> > the partition table and do not remove the VP.

> Do you mean with "mklabel"?  Couldn't the user just "rm" ?

Both. You would have to add protection to "rm" as well. 

The problem I want to solve is the following. In the RedHat/SuSE installers 
there is an option
"Use entire drive". At the moment this option wipes any vendor partitions. This 
a Bad Thing(TM). 

I guess all installer writers could write their own fixes for this (if you 
provide a way to
get a partitions partition code... ) or you could pool your efforts and 
implement it in parted.
I don't see a really clean way of doing it though :(

> > What I would like is something like
> > 
> > parted save-vendor-state /dev/hda ~/backup
> > parted restore-vendor-state ~/backup /dev/hda
> I think this is mostly a special case of partition imaging.
> What's a good UI for that?  (From within parted?)

Can't you just use cp. Hm... From the manual:
cp [from-device] from-minor to-minor 

Can't you copy a partition to a normal file with parted??? 

parted --script /dev/hda cp 1 /tmp/CompaqDiagnosticPartition
parted --script /dev/hda cp /tmp/CompaqDiagnosticPartition 1

would be really usefull. (It would require that a partition of the correct size 
has already
been created. ) I realise you couldn't have files named 1,2 etc. That isn't 
much of a
restriction though :) 

parted --script /dev/hda create/spawn [minor] /tmp/CompaqDiagnosticPartition 
start [end]

could both create a partition of the correct size and copy 
/tmp/CompaqDiagnosticPartition to it

> I should put all my rants on a website, shouldn't I?!


> I agree.  I'm trying to put everything into a box, to make some sense
> out of the mess.  But at the end of the day, it's still a mess, hehe.
> But, I think an approach of:
>  (1) put as much in the box as possible
>  (2) have an ugly fdisk-like UI for everything else
> Is a reasonable compromise

Couldn't you put most stuff in the box by just implementing mkpart for each of 
the partition

mkpart cdp1 could create a Compaq Diagnostic Partition
mkpartfs cdp1 could do the above and then create the correct fat filesystem.
If Compaq ever puts a diffrent fs on their diagnostic partition just bump the 
fstype to cdp2

Henrik Treadup -- address@hidden

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