formatting just the Linux portion of Dual Boot system
I have a dual-boot system (Windows XP Professional and Madrake Linux). Now, I want to completely erase (format) the Linux portion and install latest Debian Linux. I have a the required Debian installation CDs. But, I do not know if I can accomplish what I want. If I try to format, will it format the entire hard-disk (including the Windows portion)?
If there is a neat way to just format my Linux partition and install Debian in that partition, please let me know the procedure.
Linux installation programs read the disk partition table from the disk drive and thus are aware of your XP partition(s) and your existing Linux partitions (so, no, it's not going to willy-nilly format the entire drive).
Although I do not know how Debian does this, I would expect it to display the partitions for you, let you assign given file systems (/, /opt, /home, /usr, etc.) and would ask you whether you want that partition formatted and what type of file system you want to use (Reiser and the like) for every mounted file system.
You can always abort if you don't agree with what the installation is asking you if it's OK to proceed with a given step...
I trust that by the "latest" Debian release, you mean Etch Beta3. If not get it at the link. Assuming you have a broadband connection, you only need the 100MB Netinstall .iso
For the best Debian experience, do not install Sarge.
I have the Debian 3.1r2 stable release - "Sarge".
After Googling for some knowledge, here is what I find:
-- I think I can go ahead and use my CDs to format my Linux partition and install Debian.
-- Since I have 10 GB for Linux, I can partition it the following way:
-- / -> 4 GB
-- /home -> 5 GB
-- /swap -> 1024 MB (I have 512 MB RAM).
I shall Google more and ensure that I don't get into any nasty surprises...
Well, You better control your partitions with linux, using cfdisk, or fdisk.
Just type "cfdisk", then choose your linux partition, and with the arrows point at "delete".
Then, point at "write", and then reboot with your installation disk and install.
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