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what does this mean..? Does this mean that i dont need to change my 15 gig hd out of fat 32 file system and that linux will just auto go to this partition and just install it on here and change the file system to ext2 or w/e it is?
No - whatever's on there will get blown off by the formatting the install does - it'll set it to ext2,3,Reiser, whatever you want and the distro supports. Whatever is on there now doesn't matter. It's usually better to use the tools from the system you're going to be putting on than others, so use Linux for the Linux partition.
I'd be using PM to shrink the fat32, then use the free space for mandrake, the install will detect it fine. A small fat32 partition is good to have because while linux can read ntfs it cannot safely write to ntfs.
Yeah - this part is pretty easy. You'll stick in your install disk or whatever and click through some screens, probably. I mean, it's Mandrake. So you'll probably see something like
/dev/hda1 cylinder head sector 45GB fat32
/dev/hda2 cylinder head sector 15GB fat32
and it'll ask you where you want Linux. You know you want the 15 gigs, even if you don't know the structure of your disk, so say '/dev/hda2'. It'll probably say, 'Okay, what file system would you like?' And say you want journalling but want to be a bit conservative so you say 'ext 3'. And it'll say okay, format the partition, and start the install.
Don't make this too hard. Before you install you might be quaking in your boots but after it you'll probably say, "That was easy, what was I so worried about?" - Configuring the damn thing afterwards - that can be hard.
well with help... using partition magic i took my 15gig partition that was fat32 and made it into 14.5gig Linux ext2 and a 500mb swap space......... now when i install and it gets up to the partitioning prompt which option should i choose?
Will it give me an option to go right to that 14.5 gig hd i set up for linux?
When i tried this when my 15gig hd was still a fat32 filesystem it gave me maunal partition, erase everything, or use open space from windows but i didnt want it to do ne thing like partition it again or some shit..... do u kno what option i will get now and if so which i should choose for it
I don't know the Mandrake install that well but why don't you jsut leavethe 15GB drive with NIL, NADA, NOTHING, 100% 0 - nothingness. Remove all data partition information etc. Then when you get to the partition part of the setup just select to keep all existing partitions and install onto the free space.
This will create all neccessary partitions for you and should be error free.
Well... i put booted from the install disks to install mandrake and i got to the partitioning prompt i got 4 choices....
1) Erase Entire Disk
2) Use Existing Partitions
3) Use the free space on the windows partition
4) Custom disk partitioning
Im like 85% sure to do #2 but it would make me feel more comfortable knowing what you people think and if 2 is the right choice