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Used the DVD I created to start the installation of openSUSE. Ive partitioned 20 gigs for the installation so that I can work from both Windows and Linux on the same computer. However, during the installation it seems it wants to compress the entire harddrive from 111 gigs to 88gigs. Not to mention format the entire thing. Is there any way to get around this and install it into the part of the harddrive iv set aside for it? or can I merge the partitions back together in windows, reboot and start the installation again and be able to partition and install from there without affecting Windows?
I think you've made a mistake, but I'm just not clear enough from what you have written to be sure what mistake I think you've made.
-You presumably have (at least) one windows partition, something your windows system considers to be C:. You may also have others as D:, etc and maybe even some unassigned partitions.
-Presumably, then you have some space. You may not have started with this free space, but by defragmenting your last windows partition and/or using previously unused windows space, you have ended up with this free space.
This free space is likely to be the 20 gigs to which you refer, and your target is to get a Linux installation into exactly those 20 Gigs. I'm also of the impression that you don't want to do anything fancy with partitioning schemes and just have an as-simple-as-I-can-get-it installation.
I'd still be advising that you should use two partitions for your Linux install: One for swap and one for everything else. It may be technically possible to get away without using one for swap, but I'm not sure its desirable.
To do this, you want to divide up the 20 G into, say 19G for 'everything else' and 1G for swap. (There is potentially a minor complication here if this scheme takes you beyond a total of four partitions - this probably isn't true in your case, but if it were, you would have to define your fourth partition as a container (extended) partition and put all the other partitions as virtual partitions within that - not at all difficult, and I don't think it applies to you).
Then, and this is the important bit, you need to ensure that the big partition, the 19 G in this example, is allocated to the mount point "/" and the smaller partition (1G) is given the type "swap". Note that you are doing two slightly different things here; defining that a partition uses the type (format) swap implies to most installers that the purpose for which the partition will be used is as a 'swap file'; defining a partition as "/" only tells the system the "mount point". In addition for the "/" partition you have to tell the system what format to use; don't get hung up about this, but ext3 and reiser are both good choices, both supported by SuSE. Ext2 is quite a good choice, but has a disadvantage which I'll go into if you want the techie info.
The techies out there will tell you that there are other partitioning schemes that have advantages on down the line (& this is not what I'd do myself, but my circumstances are different), but for initial experiments this should be enough.
So, if you've got this right, SuSE will try to install everything into the partition "/", the root of the filesystem. Any sign of SuSE trying to do something else and you should worry. I'm thinking that in your initial attempt, something about the definition of this "/" partition had gone awry. Maybe you had defined the big partition as " ", which is possible and would really give the installer a hard time. Probably, it should stop with an error message if you try that, but it might try to suggest that you do something slightly bizarre as a 'workable alternative'.
Thank you for your reply, Salasi. The mistake I made was, apparently, looking at the whole process way too simplistically. You are right, and everything assumed was correct. Its my first time messing with anything at this magnitude. So, to be honest, ive apparently no idea what im doing.
My main drive, c:, houses the main bulk of memory on my hard drive. Along with my windows XP Operating System. I had went ahead and partitioned c: to create D:. A drive with 20 gigs so that I could, hopefully, install Linux, run it, and learn it. The experience of doing it all was a plus too. I then created the openSUSE 10.2 install DVD and attempted to install, hoping that it would give me the ability to install on the D: Drive. Its when the Installation decided it wanted to format my C: drive that I had more to do. I have currently merged the entire thing back together into one drive, C:. So I apologize for being so vague in my questions. I tried to do this simplemindedly and almost really screwed up.
So, what ive gathered from your response is that first I need to partition my C: drive into 2 others. One drive being 19, the other being 1. Then I need to designate the 19 gigs as the mount point with "/" and the 1 gig as the "swap" ?
I guess my question is: How do I designate either to be "/" or "swap"? I dont know their true significance and have no idea how to edit the partitioned sections in that way.
Again, thank you very much for the response and the time you took to write it.