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Well I'm not new to Linux, inexperinced yes. I downloaded Mandrake when it was that some time ago, had it on my other computer, when I installed it it used the free space and created its own partitions and left XP alone, it did a real good job. I still have it but it has verry limited OEM support.
Currently I am downloading Suse 10.0 the free version, not the OSS version, anyway it says it has great OEM support so I chose it, but what I can't find out is will it give me the option upon install to use free space and leave XP alone and create a boot manager to choose which OS to boot into? This is going on a Dell (sorry please don't pick on me for the Dell word) Inspiron 1200 laptop running XP. it has a 40Gb HDD and about 21GB unused. I really like the feel of SUSE better then Mandrake, and I like the hardware support, I'm also on a WI-FI LAN. The reason I need to keep XP is due to the fact that I just spent $113.00 on PSP X and I really do not want to loose using it. Well Anyway if more info is needed please let me know, BTW I am certified in computer IT so I can understand the big words. Thanks for the help
Yes you can definitely install SUSE alongside XP and a GRUB boot manager to choose which one to boot. You can even resize an NTFS partition to make space for SUSE if you need to - you haven't said how your hard drive is partitioned.
Dell in all their wisdom did the drive this way
16MB FAT| 36GB NTFS C: | 2.89GB Rec
Well I recieved all the apps on CD and I got 2 copies, exact same thing, of the OS on two CD's So I changed the boot order to boot from CD not HDD then followed Dell's instructions to delete the 2.89GB partition, the problem is is that when it removed it it left that 2.89GB in FAT32, I cannot access it or DOD it, I can see it and I can recover the files, but other then that it is a waist land. The 16MB partition has to stay as long as I use this computer. Dell thought it was best to put hardware drivers there not in the OS, go fig. anyway my drive now looks this
16MB FAT | 37GB NTFS
So since I can't use the 3GB and I don't want to part with the funds for Partition Magic, I will put Linux on it and run two OS's I like Linux better then XP so it will solve several issues. anyway if you need more info let me know. Oh I had to leave the house today and the laptop went into sleep mode and my download stopped at 651MB and since I was using firefox downloader it will not resume, so I start over and this time disable the sleep mode.
As far as I am concern you can boot as many DOS, Windows, Linux, BSD and Solaris if you can install in the 40Gb hard disk. The problem is to find the order of execution that requires the minimum amount of work. Laptop users have a huge disadvantage that they seldom have a bootable floppy drive and so doing rescuing work is a pain in the arxe.
I would say upfront that you probably need another Linux Live CD from either Slax, Damn Small Linux or Puppy for rescuing work should your Suse becomes unbootable. Suse has a facility to rescue itself without doing a re-install but an indepenedent Live CD is easier.
You also need an installation CD off Win2k, XP home or XP Pro for restoring the MBR of XP. M$ has a common MBR for all DOS and Windows and a bootable floppy would have be sufficient but you have a laptop. Any time if you can't boot up XP you can boot the installation CD, drop into recovery console and type fixmbr. That will always get your XP back at the expense of overwriting Linux boot -loader in the MBR.
I would give Suse 10Gb and another 1Gb for the swap partition. You have to resize the NTFS partition to create the two above extra partitions.
Partitioning scheme in Linux uses hda for the first IDE disk and your current 2 partition should be called /dev/hda1 and /dev/hda2.
A preferred method for a Linux installation is to have the partitions ready before the installation. In this respect you can run the Live CD's cfdisk program to do the partitioning after the NTFS partition has been resized. Thereafter you install Suse into the 10Gb partition.
Although optional but it may be useful if you have a big Fat32 partition acting as a neutral ground for both XP and Suse, as Linux read but not write on a NTFS partition. FAT32 can be read and written by both. Your 1st FAT16 is too small for such a purpose. The optional Fat32 partition causes the number of partitions to exceed 4 and so you must use logical partitions. I would use all three as logical partitions hda5, hda6 and hda7 with size of 1, 10 and 5Gb respectively. hda5 for swap, hda6 as Suse and hda7 for personal data.
When you install Suse its installer will check every partition for a boot-loader and include the partition for booting if it has one inside. Thus after installation Suse and XP will be bootable by the boot loader you chose for the MBR. Grub is simpler so it is a better choice.
I have left out the instruction of how to resize your NTFS partition. Partition Magic is the one I use in XP. I seldom use the equivalent in Linux and can't advise. But reading your post I would like to point out that Linux cannot be accommodated "inside" a NTFS partition (Type 7). It must be residing in its own type 83 partition.
I agree with saikee on the partition size. 3GB for SUSE doesn't give you much to play with. NTFS resizing can be done by the YaST installer, however you need to backup your data (as always) and defragment your Windows drive first.
Yast in Suse will do it but to me the best way is to have the partitions ready, regard yourself as the expert (to the installer) and tell the installer to use the specified partitions.
Many installers are utterly confusing in partitioning during installation and ask stupid question like if you like to wipe clean the entire disk for its installtion. You may laugh at this but you can also be asked questions that you can't understand too but have to press a key, hoping your valuable data would not be accidentally destroyed.
Suse also has a problem seemingly forcing you to install itself at the last partition of the hard disk.
Ok I finished Downloading Suse 10.0, I have tried partition logic to create a partition but it only reads the free space as 7MB and It will not let me partition the NTFS partition. So I tried to install it in hopes of it giving the option to install to free space. The Welcome menu comes up then I get the option to boot from CD, install, install safemode. I tried to install and it went to the screen with the icons on it, the HDD icon, all the way up to a computer icon. when it got to the computer icon I left it for about 40min and never got anything, so checking details it said install failed.
So this is going to sounf dumb, but what am I missing. With mandrake after checking system it gave me an option menu as to where to install. Can someone please tell me what option to choose, install, install safemode, boot from CD. and what to look for as it installs, better yet direct me to a site that will walk me through it. I Googled it but can't find anything.
7Mb isn't big enough for any system to get in! You are equivalent pushing an elephant into a tea cup!
Suse 10 needs at least 5Gb and another 1Gb for swap. You should obtain the space by "resize the NTFS partition the greedy XP residing in. I normally give between 15 to 25Gb to a XP, which on its own seldom exceeds 8Gb.
Partition magic can alter the NTFS partition. That is what people bought it for.
If your hard disk is full of data then you have to move the information out to create space for the additional installlation.
The knoppix live CD has a program on it called qtparted. It is a graphical frontend to a variety of partition tools such as ntfsresize (which can alter the size of an NTFS partition). It is a lot like partition magic. ntfsresize is probably what mandrake used. It is supposed to be safe, but I wouldn't trust it if I didn't have data backed up.
Also, as a mater of logistics, I would have grub install to the partition that holds /boot, as opposed to the mbr, and change the active partition to that one. It's a matter of preference, but I find that Windows and Linux play nicer when there are problems this way.
Ok How do you spell dummy, "PONEYBOY" I figured out my error, repartitioned the HDD gave Linux 17GB and got it installed. Up and running. BUT (you knew there was a but) It will not connect to my LAN, server is running XP, on DSL. The computer Linux is on is Dell Inspiron 1200 Laptop. It has a NIC PCMCIA Dell Card. When I auto detect through Network it pickes it up, however YaST does not. I tried manuall and no way. So if you guys have any ideas chime in.
BTWRouter is D-Link