Hopelessly Lost -Please Help! [Solved]

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Hopelessly Lost -Please Help! [Solved]

Postby Redstorm » Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:41

Ok Guys, I am in a real fix here and need some help....

I am running a Dell XPS M1530 laptop with Core 2 Duo T9300 2.50 Ghz CPU's, 4 Gb RAM, GeForce 8600 Graphics, 320 Gig HDD
The Hard disk is partitioned to provide a partition for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Sabayon, Ubuntu and Mandriva, a 2Gig Linux swap file partition as well as two partitions for Data, one is formatted NTFS and the other FAT32. Both Windows partitions are of course NTFS and the linux partitions EXT3.

Issue 1

The other day I tried to use partition magic (withink Windoze) to resize the windows XP partition to make it larger as the XP partition (15Gb) was getting full and windoze was slowing down. Anyway, to cut a long story short, windows rebooted and started the disk operations. However it did not successfully complete. It did shrink the data drive by 3 Gigs and there is now a 3 gig free space on the drive, however it didnt succeed in adding this space to the C: drive. I have since read somewhere online that partition magic can create linux partitions but it cannot move or resize them. This explains the problem. Since this happened Windows XP has re mapped all my drives (partitions) This has brought with it a load of other problems, most of which I think I can fix by re-mapping the drives within windoze. However when I was trying to "fix" this yesteray with Partition Magic, somehow it seems to have overwritten the MBR and the laptop just didnt start at all, it didnt even load the bootloader and just left me with a GRUB command prompt from which I could do nothing. A Friend was going to "help" me fix this with some Windoze utilities, which I wasnt too keen on as I know that the bootloader in the windows C drive (primary partition) is infact linux and not microshaft so I didnt want to fix it using any windoze disks (It seems like tring to fix a ferrari with spare parts from a ford).

So I booted from the Sabayon live CD and using the "install to disk" option I was able to install/repair LILO or whatever the bootloader menu is without doint the whole sabayon install again. This allows me to boot sabayon and windows now but the ubuntu and mandriva options dont boot.

So here are my questions....

1. Can I use a Linux utility to assign the 3 gigs free space to my Windows C: drive safely? If so, How?

2. I note that in the BOOT folder there is a "menu.lst'" and a menu.lst.bak" file, is the BAK my backup of the old boot menu, or would it be the last one before my last successful one. i.e. can I just rename the bak as the lst file and will this fix my boot menu problems?

3. Completely unrelated to all of the above, since installing linux (all flavours) I notice the volume output from the soundcard is much lower under linux than it is under windoze. Is there a quick fix for this, like a parameter in a config file I can edit?

Thanks for reading my long post, I would really appreciate some help here guys. I am so desperate to get away from Windoze as much as I can but am finding Linux to be a slow learning curve. I just need a little boost up tp get started and help me on my way.

Thanks

Tom

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Re: Hopelessly Lost -Please Help!

Postby gallienus » Sat Nov 14, 2009 13:02

GParted is on the Sabayon live dvd try using that. I would read the docs for gparted before you start messing with it that way you'll know what it can and can't do. There is also SystemRescueCd that has a whole mess of utilities that are always good to have on hand just in case.
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Re: Hopelessly Lost -Please Help!

Postby Redstorm » Sat Nov 14, 2009 16:12

And for the sound problem, any ideas how to get more volume from my PC. Obviously windows is driving the sound card a t higher volumes than Linux, surely this must be down to a parameter in a config or driver file????

Any ideas where I can look?
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Re: Hopelessly Lost -Please Help!

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Sat Nov 14, 2009 16:22

Have you already run alsconf and alsamixer as root in a Konsole/Terminal window in order to configure SL for your sound card and adjust the individual channels? See also the following post which may be of help: Getting PulseAudio to cooperate.
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Re: Hopelessly Lost -Please Help!

Postby jovcek » Sat Nov 14, 2009 17:05

When it comes to disk management, I have always used GParted LIVE and have never had any problems, (it is not a guarantee), it is a live image CD that you boot from like any other GNU/Linux distro. It is actually just the tool you need for managing the disk(s). Nevertheless, there are other too. I will post links from Distrowatch so you can see how they look like and the links to download, and their homepages for more info:

Gparted: http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=gparted
SystemRescueCd: http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distri ... stemrescue
PartedMagic: http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distri ... artedmagic

Forget about the ones you used. :)
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Re: Hopelessly Lost -Please Help!

Postby Marius » Sun Nov 15, 2009 0:23

Redstorm wrote:And for the sound problem, any ideas how to get more volume from my PC. Obviously windows is driving the sound card a t higher volumes than Linux, surely this must be down to a parameter in a config or driver file????

Any ideas where I can look?


I am glad somebody brought this nasty problem up again. I experience exactly the same behavior: on Windows the same sound card produces a much higher volume output in all media players than on Sabayon. This completely spoils my experience of using any media players under Sabayon.

And, yes, all the volumes are at their MAX in alsamixer, players, and the GNOME volume control.

I use Sabayon 5.o/GNOME x86_64, and dmix:0 as the device for sound output (the Sabayon installer default, Internal Audio Digital Stereo (IEC958), by the way produces no sound, only dmix:0 does).

My system:
HP/Compaq Presario FS30US
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor TK-55
1.8 GHz, 1GB RAM
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Re: Hopelessly Lost -Please Help!

Postby gallienus » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:07

I'm not sure this applies to your problem but...After I installed rhythmbox I wasn't getting any sound so I opened pulseaudio volume control and under the configuration tab I set internal audio profile to Digital Stereo (IEC958) output + Analog Stereo Input and Analog Surround 7.1 Output, since I have a 7.1 logitech speaker set up.

So after you check the alasmixer settings like Fitzcarraldo said check that.
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Re: Hopelessly Lost -Please Help!

Postby Marius » Fri Nov 27, 2009 15:05

A follow up to my own post above

Today I installed VLC media plyer using equo. I was kind of forced to do that, in spite of the fact that under Sabayon 5.o, Totem and XBMC Media Center are more than capable playing all sorts of media, because another package I installed earlier today, AcetoneISO, asked me to choose a "default" media player from the list of three: Kaffeine, VLC, or Smplayer. Sabayon 5.0/GNOME has none of the above, so I decided to install VLC.

The freshly installed VLC played again at the maximum level well below the volume levels the same program plays on my Windows partition. In desperation I tried again to go and check all the audio options under GNOME, and I discovered while checking pavucontrol (Applications > Sound & Video > PulseAudio Volume Control > Output Devices) that the latter had the following settings:

dmix:0
Front Left 100%
Front Right 100%

Internal Audio Digital Stereo (IEC958)
Front Left 100%
Front Right 100%

Internal Audio Analog Stereo
Front Left 53%
Front Right 53%

At this point I increased the latter two to 100% and voilà: the volume in VLC increased considerably!

I swear that, when a few weeks ago I was struggling with sound --- right after I had installed Sabayon 5.o, every single video/audio player has been emiting sound neither through Internal Audio Analog Stereo, nor Internal Audio Digital Stereo (IEC958) --- only through dmix:0. And that I also checked, un-muted, and, if necessary, "maxed" the volume in every sound category in alsamixer and any other program I could find that had anything to do with audio.

I have to say that in the weeks following my Sabayon 5.o installation I upgraded hundreds of packages with equo and installed quite a few new. I am sure several had something to do audio devices.

After my unexpected discovery today I performed thorough checking of various combinations of media and players I have previously installed. There were clear differences in sound volume and quality but all of the players now play at more than acceptable volume levels, some even can play really loud (louder than in Windows).

Finally, I can enjoy listening to recordings and watching videos also in Sabayon. What a relief!

I hope my experience may help others overcome their problems with sound volume.
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