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I have decided I would like to try a dual boot system on my old Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop, it has Windows XP installed and I want to run Peppermint4 alongside this, I have a live cd of Peppermint 4 and 40 GB of free space on HDD what is the next step?
Ensure that you have the right version of Peppermint.
Some distribution are available for 32-bit and 64-bit system architecture's:-
Reading the Peppermint documentation can put you at ease before you proceed with the installation process. In some ways reading the documentation will not only prepare you but you will be able to antisapate ahead of time what to expect-
Disable the paging file and defragment XP before resizing.
1: Right click My Computer => Properties => Advanced => Performance: Settings => Advanced => Virtual memory: Change => check No paging file => click Set => OK => OK => OK
Ok, an update, for some reason my system already had 4 primary partitions on the HDD, so after some thought I went for the idea of removing the Dell PC Restore, only to find that I wasn't able to do this by following Dells instructions as there was an unsupported partition next to it. Looks like I am left with gparted and deleting etc from there but I gather there is a chance I won't get XP to boot again after.
You might post an image of your gparted output or run the command: sudo fdisk -l(Lower case Letter L in the command) from the Peppermint disk and post it here. Are these all ntfs/windows partitions? I wouldn't expect xp to have that many so if they are data partitions you might back the data up before making any changes.
I have an XP with 9 partitions, with Slackware Linux 2.6.
I set it up with this procedure.
* Make sure you can boot an install Linux install CD. You will have to do this repeatedly
to use the Linux tools.
* Backup your windows data to some place off the system.
* Make sure you can reinstall any programs that you have added.
* Backup your windows checkpoint directory, these can be copied elsewhere and restored later. It is the best way to save registry information. If you have really old ones, they can be deleted to recover the space.
* DeFrag the window partition that is in daily use. Any new partitions will be taken from this space. Carefully examine how much of the partition is actually in use. The smallest this partition can be is this size plus about 20%.
* If you need more room for Linux then Delete stuff and DeFrag again. Or just buy a larger drive. Or install a second drive.
* Do not disturb the other strange partitions. They cannot be recreated as they are proprietary to the manufacturer. They are needed to reinstall special windows support for the hardware. You would not need to keep this if you could get an installation CD.
These can be copied by disk clone to another drive. The procedure for booting them is manufacturer proprietary, usually in the boot sector and/or BIOS, and thus the copy cannot be used directly. They cannot be moved as the security software very likely checks several things, like partition info, checksum, and unused sectors in the partition, to detect illegal copies. They generally do not check for drive id, so a clone will work.
* If you do not have enough space, get a larger drive and clone the existing drive to it.
The extra space will be a new large partition. Then you can save your old drive as backup.
* With windows fdisk, copy down by hand (to paper) the existing partition table. Copy down all the numbers. You may need to restore any or all of it. Put this copy somewhere safe.
* Do not change the existing partition order, sizes, nor field entries. You only can split the windows main partition (data, the largest) to get space. The procedure to activate a restore partition may depend on its position in the partition table.
* If you must, use GNU Parted (or one of the variations) to split the large windows partition into multiple partitions (described below). Only do this on the DeFrag partition
* With windows fdisk, create an extension partition and put the last existing partition in it. Then you will have 3 main partitions and one extension partition.
This partition must have the same sector start (and other info) as you wrote down.
* With Linux fdisk, create a Linux extension partition. As a Linux extension partition it will be ignored by windows. All the new linux partitions will be in the extension partitions. This will be the space split off from the main windows partition.
* Do a chkdisk on your windows partition. If it fails then you can panic, and investigate how good your backup copies were. You can undo the partitions back to what they were, but one file will have been corrupted by the new extension partition. Nothing else will have been touched yet.
* Create a Linux Swap partition (Swap filesystem).
* Create your Linux Swap partition filesystem.
This will overwrite that portion of the drive.
* Create a Linux data partition (probably ext2, or can use ext3, ext4).
* Create your Linux partition filesystem.
This will overwrite that portion of the drive.
* As part of Linux install, install the boot manager. I use LILO which works fine.
Answer the questions.
* If you forgot to add the Windows partition boot when the question was asked, then do this now. Make sure the settings are correct for windows. For XP it is simple.
* Check that your dual boot works. Use the Linux installation boot disk to adjust LILO (or whatever bootloader you installed) until you get it right.
* If windows will not boot, check that the windows partition is the one and only partition marked as bootable.
* Write down you new partition table (on paper) and put it with the original partition table. Do not lose these as they are useful to restore a corrupted partition table.
sda3 is an Extended partition which contains one logical partition, sda5 which shows as type:
dd Hidden CTOS Memdump?
sda4 shows as type:
db Digital Research CP/M, Concurrent CP/M, Concurrent DOS
db CTOS (Convergent Technologies OS -Unisys)
That doesn't look like anything you would expect with xp. CP/M was the most popular operating system on personal/home computers in the 1970's. I'm not sure why that would show in fdisk, unless someone was messing with really old software on this computer. There could be other explanations but I don't know what.
You could probably safely delete sda3 and sda4 but even combining them will only give you about 7GB.