Cue Ominous Music...
I'd prefer to use fdisk to create the partitions. You do not need PM, and since you have a working copy of linux, you will probably be better off with that. HOWEVER, and that's a big fat however, Mandrake comes with Diskdrake that makes partiitioning EVEN EASIER. I'd suggest to use that above and before all, and if all else fails, move onto fdisk, and finally, as a last stab... PM.
Here we go with fdisk instructions (since diskdrake is self explanatory):
where /dev/hdx is your device that will be partitioned (if you have 1 harddrive, it's /dev/hda)
Do this to each partition, if you don't know what partiitions you have you can:
fdisk -l /dev/hda
OR, once we have:
to show you the info.
Delete all your partitions, we will start from scratch...
Now, it's up to you, but I suggest making only 2 or 3 partitions MAX for windoze, 1 as NTFS for your base system, relatively small unless you are going to be using a lot of apps (I have mine at 4GB and that's plenty) the other as fat32 for ease of writing from linux, this one for sharing data between OS's and I'd make it fairly large.
How to make partitions?
With the "n" command in fdisk. Use sizes you are familiar with, I prefer the MB:
Should create you about a Gig partition, use that as your example.
After you've created the partitions you desire (which for me would be the 2 for windoze, and 2 for linux, 1 for / and 1 for swap, these will all be defined later) head back to the main menu in fdisk:
Command (m for help): m
a toggle a bootable flag
b edit bsd disklabel
c toggle the dos compatibility flag
d delete a partition
l list known partition types
m print this menu
n add a new partition
o create a new empty DOS partition table
p print the partition table
q quit without saving changes
s create a new empty Sun disklabel
t change a partition's system id
u change display/entry units
v verify the partition table
w write table to disk and exit
x extra functionality (experts only)
Command (m for help):
Make sure you are absolutely sure you are happy with what you've done (if not simply 'q' and nothing will change) then:
And fdisk will save the changes and quit.
fdisk -l /dev/hda
Make note of where everything is (/dev/hda1 /dev/hda2 and so on, BTW, max of 4 primary paritiitions, but if you are going to have more than 4 partitiions, max of 3 primary since one will be extended for the logicals) and then reboot.
During your XP install, which should be first, choose the correct partition, it's fairly straight forward assuming you have a specific filesize you are looking for, XP will find all your partitions, display their sizes, and then you can choose the one you've created and format it NTFS. Choose the other you've created and format it Fat32, leave the other 2 alone for now.
Finish up your install, then move onto Mandrake.
During the Mandrake install, be sure to set it up to recognize your NTFS/FAt32 partitions, but do not format them. This will be done with diskdrake during the install. You will also specify the 2 other partitions as your / and swap partition (choose advanced mode assuming you know a wee bit of what you are doing at this point). Be sure to choose the filesystem you want on them (I prefer ext3, and swap) and then also choose to format them, BUT NOT THE NTFS/FAT32..
Continue the install, everything should go honky dory, install LILO into the MBR when you get there, finish up the install, reboot and have fun.
Sizes suggestions (assuming a 40GB HD since you didn't specify, use percentages of this if you have different sizes):
Your windoze "C" drive: 4-6GB
windoze "D" drive: 20GB
/ on linux : remaining minus swap (~14-16GB)
swap on linux: Assuming 256 or more RAM, 256-512MB swap