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I'm new on this forum. Maybe many times newbies like me have asked the same question. If so just give me the link.
I have read tutorials and I'm almost ready, but still I have a question.
I used Partition Magic and created a new logical drive L. I want to install new OS on it. I don't want to lose any data and I want to keep my Windows XP with all the pirated software . So what to do? Should I mark "manually edit partition table"? what after that? I understand Linux uses different notations for partitions.
Right Now I have logical drives C, D, L and CD drive E.
Thanks a lot
I used Partition Magic and created a new logical drive L.
Format it as ext2 or give it a label like "INSTALLHERE". Now when you boot your installer CD, in the (graphical) partition manager section it will probably stick out like a sore thumb between those VFAT partitions ;-p
Yes, select manual partitioning or the installer will use all of the disk - that's not what you want to happen.
You'd better use at least two partitions for Ubuntu. While windows places its virtual memory on the same partition as the operating system, most Linux users prefer to place it on a separate partition (virtual memory is called "swap space" in the Linux world). That partition can be quite small: twice the size of your RAM with a maximum of 2GB. You can also make a separate partition for your "home" directory, which is where all your personal files are stored. This has one big advantage: if you ever need to reinstall, you can reformat only the operating system partition (=root partition, also written as /) and leave the home partition untouched. In other words, minimal risk of losing your files. If you make a separate home partition, you / partition should be made 6 or 10 GB large (10 if you intend to add a lot of software). If you use only swap and root partitions, you needn't bother with figures and you can use all the space that is available.
By the way, you won't be able to use the logical partition you already created. Windows partitions are so different from Linux that you have to format them with a non-windows filesystem(not fat32, not ntfs) such as ext3. Just delete your new partition before you start installing. The installer will give you an opportunity to divide the empty space into partitions and to put a filesystem on them (swap for the swap file, ext3 for the rest). After that, you still have to "mount" your partitions: select the partition that you intend to use as root and give it the mountpoint "/", for the swap partition swap and for the partition that will be your home partition "/home".
EDIT: Okay, apparently I was beaten to the finish typing up the reply; this mentions many of the same things the previous poster did, so I apologize for repetitiveness.
You are correct in selecting "Manually edit partition table," and then mount what you call the L: drive as root and don't mount any of the other drives. You will need to that partition for an appropriate file system; ext3 is the most reliable and noob friendly if something goes wrong but not the fastest. If you want to use other filesystems, you should do your research on them. Note that Linux uses the physical device for the hard drive, appended with a number for the partition to refer to disks instead of A:, B:, etc. So to remember which partition it is, I would look at the partitions in PartitionMagic and write down the size that corresponds to each one (assuming you didn't make everything equal sized). For example, your C: partition, if it is the first BIOS partition and on the first ATA hard drive on the primary IDE channel will show up as hda1. You don't have to worry about this nomenclature if you just remember how big each partition is. Also note that when you reformat for Linux, the L: drive will disappear in Windows because Windows cannot natively read any Linux file system.
Depending on how much RAM you have, you probably want to create a swap partition (swap = virtual memory). You can do that in partition magic, and while manually editing partition table, assign swap accordingly.
Note: since you've done all your work in PartitionMagic, you don't need to actually edit the partition table in that interface; just assign your partitions to appropriate mount points; the "L: drive" (showing up as hdX or sdX) as root (/) and swap as swap.
If you want to access your Windows partitions from Ubuntu, you can read the multitude of HOWTOs. Nowadays, you can even write with ntfs-3g!
When installing ubuntu onto an XP-box recently, I just kept hitting 'next'. It simply repartitioned ntfs hdd in a reasonable way, and installed everything. In the boot menu I could choose whether to run ubuntu or xp.
Well, actually you cannot just hit 'next'. A few questions like your user name and password require a meaningful input. But all the technical stuff was done automagically.