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I've read a lot of message boards, and call me stupid, but can someone simply answer the following:
I've got a laptop with XP(home) installed using NTFS. I've got 17Gig HDD free (out of 30) and want to install Mandrake 8.1 (for e.g).
Now, am I able to do a simple install off a CD which will let me modify the existing single partition so Linux can have 13 Gig and let windows have the rest?
As XP was preinstalled, there's no CD to re-install because it's not allowed, I have an image though if all fails and I really must use windows by itself.
You mentioned partitioning the hard drive, 1 part for linux, 1 part for winders using partition magic or something, am I able to do this partitioning from within the linux setup, or does it have to be done before the setup starts?
The best way to accomplish your task, is to do what I did.
1. Get a copy of Partition Magic 7 (previous versions cannot work with the new version of NTFS that comes with XP).
2. Reduce the size of the one partition on your system to make room for all the new partitions.
3. Create an extended partition in the empty space (all your new partitions will be logical partitions inside of this partition)
4. Create a FAT32 partition to use for sharing files between the OSs. This is very useful. Linux is able to mount your NTFS (XP) partition read-only, so you can read and copy files from this partition, but a FAT32 partition can be easily used by both OSs.
5. Create some linux partitions. This can be done during your Mandrake installation process if you like, though I would recommend doing this ahead of time. If you choose to do this during the installation, you can have Mandrake automatically determine a simple partioning solution for you. I like to create one partition for swap (~128 MB or so), one for /, and one for /home. I usually don't do this, but it's not a bad idea to create a small /boot partition as well. (The /home partition is a must, because you can save all your work here and the next time you install linux -- new version, upgrade -- just format every linux partition but this one.
6. Install Mandrake 8.1!
7. Mandrake will hook you up with a nice boot manager (graphical lilo) so you can choose your OS at bootup. (btw, it will label your XP installation as NT.)
I hope you're as happy with your dual boot system as I am with my multiboot configuration (I have a Mandrake/Win98/WinXP system and a Mandrake/Win2k/WinXP system. Both use the graphical lilo boot loader and run without a hitch!).
Can you recommend what size I should make /boot, and /?
I've got 12 Gig (round abouts) to use for linux and I'll probably do something like this:
/swap : 128mb
/home : 8000mb
/usr : 4000mb
/boot : ?
/ : ??
Thanks again : )
I'm downloading trial partition magic 7 now.
I haven't used it before, only fdisk and I dont' want to use that !
Only myself using.
You've said you wouldn't have a /usr partition, but in the previous email said that most programs install there?
I'm assuming you can install anywhere you like though?
Remember, I'm used to windows installing where it likes, and I have to change it as necessary....