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If your hard drive doesn't have any free (i.e. unpartitioned) space, then you will need to make room for Linux. You'll need software that can resize partitions, I think some distros may come with said software (but I don't know which do and which do not).
After that, you'll need to download ISO images for your chosen distribution and burn them to CDs (as images, not regular files), or otherwise obtain CDs for that distribution.
Boot from the first CD (make sure your CD or DVD drive is set as the first boot device beforehand) and proceed with the installation. You should be asked if you want to add an entry for Windows to the bootloader, but if not, this is relatively straightforward to do afterwards.
this all depends on how big your harddrive is. first load windows and defrag it. this will make sure all data is at the begining. when you go to install mandriva it will give you an option for partitions. choose custom partitioning. from there i usually cut the windows partition in half. i then auto allocate the remaining partitions(usually makes them journalism). the bootload will be installed at the end of your install. when you boot your computer you will have a list of option.
linux, safemode, windows. you just select windows or linux and the boot process begins.
Ok. But then I can create a ext3 then. Because the program Im using is able to do that
Let the Mandriva installer handle that. All you need to do is load your Mandriva disc, let it resize the windows partition. Once thats done it will create linux partitions (you can configure the sizes as you wish) in the free space created, format them and install Linux.
I tell you how I did this: I had win xp under win xp with Partition Magic8 I cretaed a linux swap (850MB) after the windows partitions and then a 10 GB partition ext2 for linux after the swap partition (you should use reisefs or ext3 they are better than ext2) (don´t use bootmagic from PM) After all this is done insert the installatio cd (dvd) from you linux distro and restart the PC! Make sure youre pc can boot from cd! After the installer is loadet it will check your hard drive for avaible partitions it will give you the options to create new partitions or use the existing one(s), choose the second one (the existing partitions opton) and just foloww the instructions! when you get to the part where the bootloader installation is done chosse ¨lilo graphic¨ on the ¨hda¨ (MBR) it will automaticly detect your windows! Here you can configure also how much time should lilo wait for the os selection before loading the default one whitch is the first one from the list, you could also change the list (I don´t recomand this if your to newbie) after the installation is complete restart your pc after removing any media from your drive! You should get a blue screen whith the list of os from your drive it shold look like this if you did´nt change anythig in the list:
choose the one you whish! Have fun!