You are in for a fun and frustrating ride. Welcome to a world of computing where you are forced to learn long before your system crashing forces you to learn. I love it.
I currently have winXP home on C:,D: is created free space for installing FC5,and E: is another NTFS partition for my winXP.All these are partitioned on a single SATA hard disk.
Here is a first difference between Windows and UNIX/Linux: the filesystem hierarchy. Linux doesn't use the C:, D:, etc. for volume identification as Windows does. It only has one hierarchy, starting from root, also called /. Read the post by AwesomeMachine in this thread for more info:
You might also have a look at this thread to learn more about partitioning:
1)will there be any problems to this configuration?
You will want to delete the D: partition, since FC5 won't work well on a partition created by Windows. You'll likely understand why if you read the above threads.
2)how to manual install fc5 on D: by using commands instead and what are the commands(I have no idea yet on the command lines that linux has and thought of getting books to read up on it)?
I think it is a misconception to manually install. How do you mean? I have never installed FC5, but I'm quite sure its installer (such as when run from a CD) is far better than a "manual install." As a joke: The best manual install is where you read the manual before installing.
As for Linux commands, there is no need to buy a book yet. There are plenty of online resources and documentation in Linux itself to get your started. You'll post to find out more later, I'm sure. Focus first on the installation.
3)I understand that Grub will have to replace the window bootloader at mbr to allow for dual boot with winXP.How to configure it to use the win bootloader instead if possible?
Here is an example:
(See my notes below first though.)
4)If I decide to remove FC5 afterwards will it affect my winXP bootup as I assume Grub will be affected?If it is affected I understand we can fixed it by using fdisk or fixmbr?
It depends on whether Grub or NTLDR (Window's boot loader) is installed in the MBR. You can have it either way. If Grub is installed in the MBR, then it is responsible for launching Windows. Its second stage, however, will live in one of the Linux partitions, so if you delete that partition, of course Grub cannot start Windows. But you are going to make backups of the MBR anyway, so don't worry about that.
5)Any other advices for configurations?I am currently keen on exploring linux as i've heard of its capabilities and hope u guys out there can provide me with good starting points.
I will edit a post I just used to reply to another thread here to match it to your questions. I'll keep it simple, if you don't understand just ask.
Windows is already installed, so the first step is to backup the Master Boot Record (MBR) and partition table. If you don't do this, you must perform the sacred rituals to appease the Multi-Boot Installation Gods. There are several tools available, one tool that has many many such useful utilities is:
(scroll down or search for Partition Tools)
You would use your current Windows installation to burn an Ultimate Boot CD, and you can use this to start your computer from the CD only, without installing anything. It has lots of great utilities, including one for saving and restoring the MBR and partition table. Grub and NTLDR are examples of boot loaders that live in the MBR. The partition table contains the information about what partition is installed where on your hard-drive.
If you don't like the looks of Ultimate Boot CD, google: save restore mbr partition table
Just make sure you don't decide to skip backing up the MBR and partition table. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the MBIGs.
Now that your MBR and partition table are safely backed up, so that you can easily restore them if they get destroyed on your hard-drive, you can continue with installation. Estimate your disk usage, and plan your partitions.
You have already done this, but are you aware of all the issues? Essentially, you need to consider how many partitions will you need, how big should they be and what goes on each one. There is also the detail of what filesystem to use for each partition. Here are some things to consider:
* Making an NTFS data partition for WinXP, so that you can put all your valuable data on a partition separate from the Windows system and applications. Apparently, this is your E: drive. The advantage if it, as you probably know, is that if Windows crashes, you can reinstall Windows (after saving your MBR and partition table, of course, since a new Windows installation will overwrite the MBR) without losing any valuable data. This also makes it easier to manage your data.
* Consider making a small /boot partition, and figure out whether the 1024-cylinder boot limit
affects you, as this will affect where you should put it. If you have a recent motherboard, you are probably safe from this problem.
* You will want a separate partition for swap. It is much more efficient than using a swap image. In other words, as an absolute minimum you will want two partitions for Linux: one for swap and one for the system installation, programs and user data.
* You will want to share other partitions if possible. You might consider making an appropriately sized FAT32 partition to share data between both operating systems, since Linux cannot write well to NTFS.
* The Linux filesystem? There is ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, XFS, and whatever else. I don't know what all FC5 supports.
* If you have two hard-disks, you get more space, but it also makes multi-booting slightly more complicated. I like keeping Windows and Linux on separate drives, and using the extra space on both drives to back up data.
Once you have determined the number and size of partitions, you will need to carry out the partitioning. If you need to resize Windows partitions, do that first, using a good utility to resize it. There are various ones: look again at the Ultimate Boot CD. For example, version 1.3.4 of Partition Resizer appears to be able to resize NTFS partitions. (Another valuable warning: be absolutely sure to have all your valuable data backed up before resizing. I recently got bit by this and had to rescue my data.) Now you are ready to install FC5. Read its installation instructions or manual first. You will learn and save yourself headaches.
At this point, you can follow the "Dual-Boot Linux and Windows 2000/Windows XP with GRUB HOWTO" article I linked above.
As a last step, once everything is installed and you are a happy camper, backup your MBR and partition table again, to protect yourself from future mischief. You should do this everytime you create new partitions or change your MBR.
Have fun, make backups first, and be patient.
Coffee and sympathy help.