(very OT) Ideal partition schemes (history of partitioning)

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Mon Aug 31 16:24:47 UTC 2020

On Mon, 31 Aug 2020 07:49:21 +0000, Thomas Mueller wrote:
> from Polytropon (excerpt):
> > On Sun, 30 Aug 2020 22:12:10 +0000, Thomas Mueller wrote:
> > > from Polytropon (excerpt):
> > > > Most multi-OS settings seem to work best with BIOS + MBR.
> > > > Boot selection can either happen using a PF key at system
> > > > startup, if it's more than one disk, or you have a separate
> > > > software solution, like GRUB or FreeBSD's boot manager, if
> > > > all systems are on one and the same disk.
> > > How is that?  It seems to me that GPT would be practically
> > > the only way for multi-OS.
> > I've been running multi-boot system even before GPT existed,
> > and so have many others. With MBR and the restriction with
> > only up to 4 "DOS primary partitions", it could be a bit
> > complicated, but using "DOS extended partitions" and the
> > "logical volumes" inside them could help. For example, I
> > once had an experimental system with DOS, OS/2, and Linux.
> > If I remember correctly, there were 3 primary partitions:
> > #1 for GRUB, #2 for DOS, #3 for OS/2; then one extended
> > partition where the Linux filesystems were included in.
> > Later I removed Linux and installed FreeBSD, using the
> > 4th entry as primary partition #4, and inside it, regular
> > FreeBSD labels. But that was many years ago, and time had
> > some undesired effects on my memory... :-)
> I used to run IBM OS/2, from 1.3 to Warp 4, until one single-digit
> day in April 2001, when the two-hard-drives setup crashed, trashing
> my data.

I also had such kind of experience once with a OS/2 install:
The install went as planned, to a secondary disk, leaving the
primary disk for DOS aside (and having boot selection in BIOS
simply by turning off disk 1), but after the system rebooted,
something happened to disk 1: C: was D:, D: was E:, E: was F:,
F: was gone, and the original C:'s content therefore had vanished
entirely. With manual and pen and paper and handheld calculator,
and the help of a homemade "rescue floppy" with Norton Disk Editor (DISKEDIT.EXE), I was finally able to reconstruct disk 1's
partition table as it was before, and C: was back, no data loss.
System rebooted - everything as before. That of course was at
a time where the name "Norton" was not associated with "The
Yellow Plague"... ;-)

The cool thing about OS/2 was that you could use the CD from
DOS and generate install floppies in case the intended machine
didn't have a CD drive (or one that wasn't supported); for
booting OS/2's install CD, you needed two floppies: "Start
Disk" and "Disk 1 for CD install", those came with the CD
in a cardboard box, and as I said, if you needed further
floppies, you could easily generate them from DOS.

> I used Lilo as my boot manager in those days, main OS then being
> Linux Slackware. 

Yes! LILO was it at that time, not GRUB. Also Slackware
was my first Linux, which I used for a long time; it came
with a PC magazine, 2 CDs in a jewel case. And of course:
Yes, I still have those. :-)

> I was able to boot FreeBSD 8.2 from Lilo, as far as I remember.

At that time, I used FreeBSD 4 (transition from S.u.S.E.-Linux
to FreeBSD as primary workstation OS).

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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