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I want to set up a dual boot system with FC6 and XP. I already have Windows XP and want to leave it as is. I have been reading on how to do this, and thought the FC6 installer would partition for me. I downloaded 1st ISO disk for FC6(I want to do the network install so I do not need to download all ISO, correct?), but when I boot computer with it and get to part on partitioning, it says I do not have available space to create a new partition. I have 1 ntfs partition (hda1) on there. If I choose "remove all partitions on selected drives and create default layout" I will be wiping out Windows, correct? Where do I go from here? Thanks for any help you can offer!
hmmm. how big is the hard drive that you're trying to install to? and how much free space is there on the disk? a typical "full" linux install nowadays needs about 5gigs+. you might be out of room! :-(
ps yes, if you select "remove all partitions" you will wipe out windows
The idea is that you free up some space before you start the install. One handy application is Gparted: it can shrink partitions (that would be the ntfs partition in your case), grow partitions, create new ones, move existing ones, etc. Gparted is part of the Knoppix liveCd but it can also be downloaded separately as a Gparted liveCD (50MB or something like that). Then you simply burn the iso to disk and use that to cut a slice off your XP partition. It is advisable that you first defrag at least once and that you run an error check - the more you can move its files to the left, the safer. Then slip in the cd and set to work: select the partition, choose "resize" and indicate its new size (this uses MB - remember that 1GB=1024MB). If you resize too abruptly (say from 250GB to only 50) gparted may give an error message; in that case, you need to resize in steps. Also make sure you don't make the partition smaller than what it contains; leave a safe margin.
While you're at it, you can already prepare the fedora partitions. Right-click on the unallocated space and make the partition as large as you want. Unless you have 2GB of RAM or more, you need to begin by making a swap partition which is twice the size of your amount of RAM; format as linux-swap. The rest is up to you: you can make one large partition for the rest, or you can make two: one that will contain the system files (the / partition) and one that will contain your personal files (the /home partition). The advantage of keeping those apart is that your personal files will be safe if you need to reinstall for some reason: you can tell the installer to format and reinstall only / - if you have only one partition, you'll have to wipe everything. I recommend formatting those partitions as ext3. Depending on your needs, / should be 7 to 16GB. Of course, you can also do the partitioning while installing.
Net install should be OK providing your NIC is supported; but most are nowadays so I say just go ahead.
Edit: so you do have free space then? I didn't infer that from your first post.
Edit2: what do you mean by "free"? Do you mean unused space on the ntfs partition? That doesn't count. Free here means absolutely free: no filesystem (such as ntfs) whatsoever - an unused, blank part of the disk.
Edit3: hehe, it must seem as if I can't make up my mind on this. I'd just like to add that since you have limited space, you can simply skip the separate home partition part and use your ntfs partition to store/read your personal files. Linux can do that and, frankly, it's quite convenient: your data will then be accessible from both OSes.
i think they meant free on the ntfs partition. I agree completely with jay73, go and get the Gparted live cd and create a linux partition first. although, i'm kinda surprised fedora couldn't do that for you. :-( oh well. this works too!
Well, it appears the "free space" is on the ntfs partition. I have less than a gig of unused disk space otherwise. Do you know if I can move the unused space from the partition out to create a new one? And how would I go about "simply skip the separate home partition part and use your ntfs partition to store/read your personal files."
For some reason I thought when I saw there was 20GB available I would be able to do this without a problem. Anyway, thanks for your help.
This is what gparted if for - resize the NTFS partition. Move the right hand boundary to the left till you get the free space you want.
Contrary to the above advice, I'd just leave it unallocated, and allow the installer to deal with it. KISS works best when you're new to something.
Later when you feel more comfortable with Linux you can adjust if needed.
There is a difference between "free" space (as in unused) vs "free" space (as in unallocated). To illustrate the difference, suppose you have a 40G drive -- if you've got one single partition defined that's 25G in size, then you have 15G of unallocated space. Within the 25G partition, let's suppose you are only using 15G. In that scenario, you've got 10G of unused space. "Unused" vs "unallocated" is an important difference, and in order to install Linux on your box, you need unallocated space.
Most likely, the partition allocated to Windows occupies all 37G. What you want to do is to shrink the size of that Windows partition, thus freeing up space into which you can install Linux. Fortunately that's pretty easy to do:
1. In Windows, run a defrag first, this frees up the amount of contiguous free space
2. Check out a utility such as BootIT NG, which I'd recommend. It's an excellent utility to perform resizing work. Note: it's available for a free trial download as well.
3. Decide how much space you want to allocate to Windows, and how much you want to give Linux
4. Resize your partitions in accordance with the above.
Gparted is giving me only a tiny range between min size and max size (like min 37,200, max 37,680) so it will not allow me to shrink the partition more than some MB's. I don't know it will not let me push into all that free space??? Have you come across this before?
Thank you so much J.W. for that explanation! Although I had the gist of it, to read it so clearly really helps straighten things out. If BootIT NG will be better for resizing, I will look into that next.
Yes, you can resize the NTFS partition and keep all your personal data on it.
1) defrag from windows
2) Right click on the box that says either "/dev/sda1" or "/dev/hda1"
3) click "resize/move"
4) resize the partition to about 30720 MB
5) Click "Resize/Move"
6) Right click on the new "Unallocated Space"
7) Select "New"
8) On the filetype, select Ext3
9) resize it to about 7168 MB
10) Click on "Add"
11) rightClick the last bit of unallocated space
12) Select "New"
13) On the type, select swap, and click "add"
14) Up on the toolbar at the top, click the little checkmark. That will apply all the changes.
Once in the installer, you should make the "/" partition on hda2(or sda2). Swap space should be hda3(sda3).
It may ask you about how you want to mount the windows partition (hda1/sda1), just mount it at /media/windows
Once fedora is installed, create a folder on /media/windows called "data" or whatever, and just save your files there. that way you can get to the data from either windows or linux!
Gparted is giving me only a tiny range between min size and max size (like min 37,200, max 37,680) so it will not allow me to shrink the partition more than some MB's.
Gparted uses another utility (ntfsresize) to do the actual work. It won't proceed if it finds inconsistencies in the partition - this may mean actual errors, or just logical inconsistencies.
The recommendation is to force a chkdsk from XP - I do all my resizing manually rather than with any of the GUIs so I can see all the error messages. Not sure if gparted presents them to you or not.
Maybe one of the other suggestions will work better, although I'd have my doubts if a chkdsk is needed.
I have seen situations where an NTFS partition cannot be resized at all - even after multiple runs of chkdsk.