Tried to install RedHat 8.0. I'm running kind of a complicated installation already, with Win2K with NTFS on a RAID 0 array (disk D), and Win98 with FAT32 on an an ordinary ATA HDD (disk C). There's about 6 gigs left on the HDD, so I thought I'd put Linux on it to play with.
RedHat detected mouse, video card, monitor, fine. Now to partition the drive. Did I want to do it 'automatically', use Disk Druid, or fdisk?
I didn't trust 'automatic', and fdisk is ugly, so let's go with Disk Druid.
Cascades of error messages. Okay, fine, reboot.
MBR on the C: HDD is okay, I think, but it can't find the Win2K installation. It thinks that D: is a CD-ROM with no media in the drives.
And I've done this before, installed Linux into disks with pre-existing OS's, without problems. I know fairly well what the issues are. And I wasn't going to touch the RAID anyway, I was only going to format part of C:. And if it screwed up, who cares, I didn't really care about the Win98 installation on C: anyway. What the hell was Disk Druid doing, going anywhere near the RAID?
Understand, I never told Disk Druid to repartition. Or to do anything except start up. It somehow munged the partition info on the RAID all by itself, which is really, really hostile behavior. Why the hell was it doing anything except reading? Partitioning an drive with existing OS's is tricky, and any software that tries it ought to give the user plenty of warning before it does anything. Fuck Disk Druid.
And fuck me, I suck. I back up, but not religiously, and my last backup was over a month ago. I haven't lost that much, but it's annoying. And I've lost the last month or so of email. I've lost the source for my Utena music video, which isn't really that bad, because it wasn't that great anyway. But it's elementary that you ought to back up before messing with your partitions, and I didn't. But I'd messed with partitions, and installed Linux several times before, and there were never any problems...
I've got one trick left to try: I'm going to make an NTFS partition on the RAID, not format it or reinstall, then reboot, and see if the MBR on C: recognizes the OS.