Wednesday, December 31

Shuffling OSs...

Having discovered that

a) I like Breezy, but not to the point of replacing my tweaked Xandros Easy Mode
b) I don't use WinXP on my Eee all that much... or even at all
c) Part of the reason I like Breeezy is that it's snappy, running in RAM
d) Part of the reason I don't use WinXP is that it's slooow running of a class 2 SD card

I decided to do the only "logical" thing; move WinXP to the faster Cruzer USB stick, move Breezy to the SD card and hopefully not break too many things in the process.

This was going to be a case of musical chairs with OSs and USB sticks... I'll move WinXP from the SD card to my TwinMOS USB stick, then move Breezy from my Cruzer to the SD card and then finally move WinXP from the TwinMOS to the Cruzer.

Before even starting I had prepared both the sticks on my desktop with the Hitachi Microdrive Filter Drivers to make them bootable.

Step zero was - as always - to make a backup. As usuall, I strongly recomend eeeBackup - it simply works. While I didn't need it this time around, I still wouldn't done without... better safe than sorry

First thing to do was to boot up my Eee, plug in the SD card, the Cruzer and the TwinMOS and make a note of what drive paths each is assigned by Xandros.

- /dev/sdb1 is my SDcard - with WinXP
- /dev/sdc1 is my Cruzer - with Breeezy
- /dev/sdd1 is my TwinMOS - empty

My next step was to unmount them all! Using the command "sudo umount" three times took care of that problem with ease.

Time for GParted to do it's magic. Based on what I did when I first installed WinXP to the SD card, I knew my life would be simpler if all the partitions were the same size. The nice thing is that GParted runs nicely under Xandros, so I simply fired it up and got to work.

The SD card (sdb) was the smallest at 1898Mb, so I told GParted to reduce my Cruzer (sdc) and TwinMOS (sdd) to the same size. And off course, since everything had gone so well up to this point, things didnt go so well... The Cruzer didn't want to be reduced in size - the otherwise excelent software don't like Fat16 partitions, and thats excatly what I had onthe Cruzer.

Nil desperandium... after all, Breezy is made to be portable and easy to install - so I decided to press on with moving the WinXP installation. Opening a new session in my consolle, I used "sudo fdisk -l" to reverify which disk was disk, and then took the plunge with "sudo dd if=/dev/sdb1 of=/dev/sdd1", followed by "sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=512 count=1"

Now, if you know Linux command better than I do, you will realise that this copied everything - kitchen sink and all - from the SD card to my TwinMOS card, thus getting one third of the way along. Next move was simple - after I realised that the only 'tweaks' I had made to my Breeezy install was adding AdBlock to FireFox - was to resize the TwinMOS to fit the Cruzer, and then simply do "sudo dd if=/dev/sdd1 of=/dev/sdc1", followed by "sudo dd if=/dev/sdd of=/dev/sdc bs=512 count=1"

More than halfway there - all that was left was to format the SD card and the TwinMOS to clean up, and install Breeezy on the SD card as outlined in one of my previous posts. Mission accomplised - the card boots Breeezy like a dream, and WinXP boots of the USB stick. I'll time the boot of both later, but WinXP at leasts feels snappier than it did.

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