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f10 liveinstall cd trashed my main fc5

My inexperience on installs really demonstrated
I managed to completely fubar my main fc5 on sda1
using an f10 live/install cd
I was able to recover w a backup fc5copy....see below

summary of f10liveinstall  from memory, not sure of all steps
--the livecd itself saw usb   as sda? just like knoppix?
--it had a confusing double menu for choice of disk
   --on 2nd half i clicked on sdc6 (ie sdb6)
   --but on 1st half it rqrd something to click  sda,b, or c
     -- i may well have left this as sdb(ie sda)?
--then its response listed something re LVM
   and a separate   /boot partn?, evidently no choice

-- i tried to back out before any changes commited,
      did it twice or more,
  could easily have made mistake/confused installer

then viewing system from knoppix cd
(here seen from reboot into my backup fc5copy)
[root bootp ~]# df -kh
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb6             7.7G  5.6G  1.8G  77% /
tmpfs                1014M     0 1014M   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda1             190M  5.6M  175M   4% /mnt/sda1 <<only 190M???
[root bootp ~]# pwd
nothing in sda1 except lost+found, 
my entire orig sda1  my mainfc5 wiped out

at some point after this
i did the mbr reinstall as per kyle rankin apr09LJ 
 using dd and my mbrbackup on usb
then fdisk -l looked normal
[root bootp ~]# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 36.7 GB, 36703934464 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4462 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1        2676    21494938+  83  Linux
/dev/sda2            2677        3163     3911827+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3            3164        4462    10434217+  83  Linux

21G  size for sda1
but the df results say only 190M, a strong indication fubard.

i finally was able to boot into my fc5copy on sdb6
by first installing into mbr of sda
in knoppix cd
  root (hd1,5)
  setup (hd0)

(this didnt work if usbexternal connected, seen as sda in knoppix
 then:  root (hd2,5)  setup (hd1)  did say succeeded
 but trying to boot wo knoppix  ends w GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB

my questions re liveinstall cd
--i was trying to use _only_ sdb6, (which i backed out of)
  but livecd also did something evidently wiping sda1
  do i need to have available more than one partition for livecd?

--livecd seems to leave no choice by LVM-- can i choose no LVM?
--maybe livecd also trying to setup separate boot partn, not sure.
   again, can i choose no LVM?

--re my apparently fubared sda1:  just reformat? or no need?
  can i reuse it for other stuff?   what size is it?
  I dont understand how
fdisk shows sda size 21G  but df has 190M??????

all in all this was very frustrating, but
--at least i have a working fc5 with
    only a few months of data files gone bc not backed up
--before i finally recovered my fc5 copy on sdb6
    i learned i could chroot to it off of the knoppixcd;
    this was useful, took notes running emacs in that chroot.
--i did get practice using my mbrbackup
    and also practice knoppixcd to recover (did i need both?)

question re knoppix cd (i know, this is OT for fedoralist)
-- this is a purchased cd,
    it appears limited, comes up as "microknoppix"
    eg neither  gpart nor gparted available
--are there more complete versions?
  --the f10 liveinstall cd now has me scared off,
    but in its liveonly aspects does it have gparted, gpart?

comments, advice all appreciated

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