Can not install RHEL 7 on disk with existing partitions

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Can not install RHEL 7 on disk with existing paritions. Menus for old paritions are grayed out. Can not select mount points for existing paritions. Can not delete them and create new ones. Menus say I can but installer says there is a partition error. It shows me a complicated menu that warns be what is about to happen and asks me to accept the changes. It does not seem to accept "accept" as an answer. Booting to the recovery mode on the USB drive and manually deleting all paritions is not a practical solution.

You have to assume that someone who is doing manual partitioning knows what he is doing. Provide a simple tool during install so that the drive can be fully paritioned and formatted. Do not try so hard to make tools that protect use from our own mistakes. In the case of the parition tool, it is too complicated for a common user to use so don't assume that the persion using it is an idiot. The common user does know hardware and doesn't want to know it. He expects security questions during the install and everything else should be defaults. A competent operator will backup anything before doing a new OS install. He needs the details and doesn't need an installer that tells him he can't do what he has done for 20 years.


Can you give more details?

Are the partitions on the disk Linux partitions you want to re-use? eg. /home? or are they from another OS?

Is the goal to delete the partitions are re-use the space, or to mount the partitions in the new install?

Are you running RHEL 7 Beta or RHEL 7 RC?

I did manage to get it to work. It needed a bios partition. It seemed that I had to free it and create a new one. I do not know. I tried many things so I am not clear what ultimately made it work.

My history with installed does back to the 90s

  1. text based, tedious and need to be an expert
  2. gui's makes easier, on reinstall partition labels show where they were mounted before (improvement)
  3. partitions get UUID, gui shows drive numbers instead of mount lavels (worse)
  4. (since Fedora 18?) shows previous fedora install. Wants to do new install on other partitions. Unclear how to tell new install how to use old partitions. New requirement for bios partition not clearly presented. When failure to proceed is because there is no bios partition, no explaination is given, just a whine about there being some error but no help for how to resolve. (much worse).

Wish list:
1. Default configuration should put /var and /home on separate partitions. If installer sees these on separate partitions then it should provide an option to use them.
2. It should not be neccessary to manuall move partitions from an old installation to a new one. I do not know if I am typical but I never put more than one OS on a hard drive (execpt for VMs and that don't count). Hard drives are cheap so I put one and only one OS per drive. When I upgrade, I reformat and replace the root partition which cleans /etc and /usr. I also reformat and clean /var. I never keep anything that I want long term in /var that includes web sites (/var/www) and databases so that I can always discard /var on an update. This prevents propagating problems from one release to the next. On my systems, each release stands on its own. I would like the parition tool to recognize the existing partition scheme and provide a simple choice to reuse it. The only questions I want to answer are whether a particular partition should be reformatted.
3. I do not have much experience with the live iso's so maybe they already do this. The installer has way too intimidating for newbies. I am an engineer so I am used to complexity. The average user and the user's that Fedora needs to connect to long term are overwhelmed by the install process. They need an installer that does not ask any technical questions at all. They just want to plug it in and turn it on and it should just work like their TV just works. Maybe it should be an Entertainment release since these people typically do email, web surfing, write letters, play games and not much else.

Hi Roger, thanks for the detailed feedback. Definitely with you on a lot of these points!