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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Nondestructive Hard Disk Partitioning with FIPS

FIPS is a program designed to run under DOS or Windows in DOS mode. It will split an existing DOS partition into two partitions at the point you specify. You can then use the new partition it creates as the space for FreeBSD. Note that FIPS works only with DOS-style partitions (FAT16 or FAT32). FIPS will not work with Windows NT/2000 NTFS partitions, nor will it work with Linux EXT2FS partitions. If you happen to be running OS/2, FIPS will not work with HPFS partitions, either.

FIPS has a couple of limitations that you need to be aware of:

  • It cannot split an extended DOS partition—only a primary one. If you are like most people running Windows 95 OSR2 or Windows 98, this will not be a problem since you likely have one primary partition that takes up the entire disk.

  • You cannot currently have more than three partitions on your disk. FIPS creates a new primary partition with the free space it is assigned. Since you can only have four partition entries on a disk, you will need to have no more than three existing already.

If neither of the previous issues applies to you, and assuming you have made a backup, you are ready to begin the partitioning process.

Run Scandisk and Defragmenter

Before you use FIPS, you should run DOS or Windows Scandisk to fix any problems on the disk. After Scandisk has finished running, you will need to run the disk defragmenter.

FIPS needs contiguous free space at the end of the drive in order to split the partition. It cannot split before the last sector on the disk that contains data. Running the disk defragmenter moves all the data to the beginning of the disk without leaving holes in the middle.

Depending on the speed of your computer, the size of your hard disk, how fast the disk is, and how badly fragmented it is, the defragmentation process could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

Obtaining FIPS and Creating a Boot Disk

Once the defragmentation process is finished, you are ready to start FIPS. FIPS is located on the included CD in the TOOLS directory with the name FIPS.EXE. You will also want the files named RESTORRB.EXE and ERRORS.TXT. You can also download FIPS from the FreeBSD ftp server at ftp.freebsd.org or one of its mirror sites in the directory /pub/FreeBSD/tools/fips.exe. Also, you will want the files restorrb.exe and errors.txt from the same directory.

You should create a bootable floppy, and copy the three files mentioned previously to it. In DOS or Windows, you can create a bootable floppy from a DOS prompt with the command format a: /s, assuming that you have a blank floppy in drive a. Following is a sample procedure to create the boot disk:

C:\> format a: /s
Insert new diskette in drive A:
and press ENTER when ready...

Checking existing disk format.
Verifying 1.44M
Format complete.
System transferred

Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for none)?

    1,457,664 bytes total disk space
      388,608 bytes used by system
    1,069,056 bytes available on disk

        512 bytes in each allocation unit.
        2,088 allocation units available on disk.

Volume Serial Number is is 031B-0831

Format another (Y/N)?n

D:\>cd tools
D:\TOOLS>copy fips.exe a:
    1 file(s) copied
d:\TOOLS>copy restorerb.exe a:
    1 file(s) copied
D:\TOOLS>copy errors.txt a:
    1 file(S) copied

Once you have done this, reboot your system from the floppy you just created. After the system has finished booting, type fips at the DOS prompt to start the FIPS program.

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