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partitioning a hardware RAID



To all:  I am a redhat LINUX newbie, and our hardware person has just
installed
5 identical new RAID5 drives plus one hot spare (for a total of 7,
counting the
original drive also) onto a Dell 2650 computer
running Red Hat Enterprise WS 3.  The RAID installation apparently went
fine,
and the Dell machine boots and Linux runs on it just like it always has.


"fdisk -l" tells me that I have the following device:

Disk /dev/sda:  733.4 GB, 733468426240 bytes
255 heads, 63 sector/track, 89172 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device    Boot     Start       End      Blocks     Id       System

/dev/sda1              1        5       40131      de      Dell Utility
/dev/sda2   *          6       18      104422+     83      Linux
/dev/sda3             19    17580   141066765      83      Linux
/dev/sda4          17581    17834     2040255       f      Win95 Ext'd
(LBA)
/dev/sda5          17581    17834     2040223+     82      Linux swap


The size of the device in GB is about what I expected, so I think the
hardware
is set up okay and Linux recognizes it correctly.  

I have been asked to add one new partition to this "drive" that uses all
of
the free space.  If I understand correctly, I need to add a new
partition,
/dev/sda6, starting at 17835 and ending at 89172 with Id = 83 and System
=
Linux, and should be able to use fdisk to do that.  I think I understand
fdisk well enough to do this.  However, I still have a couple of
questions:

1.  Do I need to reboot the system into "rescue" mode to do this?  Can't
    I just use fdisk on a running machine as long as I don't mess up the
    existing partitions?  Various documents I find about adding
partitions
    suggest that I must boot into rescue mode to use fdisk for this.

    (I have a rescue disk, but when I boot from it, even though I
specify
    "linux rescue" at the boot prompt, the system eventually end up
going 
    into runlevel 5.  I can't figure out how to prevent this.)

2.  My reading of the table above indicates that the swap partition
overlaps
    with the extended partition.  Am I interpreting this correctly?  If
I am,
    is this arrangement normal?  Is it desirable?  Does it cause any
potential 
    problems?

I would appreciate any suggestions, help, corrections, or clarifications
to
my understanding of these concepts.  Thanks!

-  Warren Lamboy  


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