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I am wanting to dual boot Mandrake 10 and WinXP. I attempted to use SystemRescueCD, but it could not find my keymap. I went to the website, and it looks like you must have linux in order to create your own, so that program was a deadend.
Im thinking of using Partition Magic. Anybody have any experience w/ it? Should i try to use something else?
As I have to maintain a windows XP install (my partner. She refuses to learn anything else as she's a teacher and that's what they've got in school), I do all my partitioning with PM 8 and it's always worked fine.
My partition scheme is currently this:
As I don't know your knowledge level, I'll explain it as I would have understood it.
The distro that I've currently got installed is gentoo. It mounts the /boot and when the system is running unmounts it. My swap is about 1.5 gig's, but only because I followed the wisdom of having twice the amount of installed memory (currently 768 megs of ram).
There's no hda4 as such, because it's an extended logical partition, which is split into the root and home partitions.
Now I should also point out that with PM 8, I've also had it with 2 different distro's, which isn't a problem. That's just an issue of how you set up your bootloader (and which one you use. I've mainly had lilo, but with the current install of gentoo I managed to get my head round the slightly different naming conventions used by grub).
My gentoo, currently, won't boot, because I've managed to screw it up (try as I might, I can't work out how to repair it and as gentoo takes so long to install - I'm just waiting for a mandrake 10 official powerpack dvd to arrive).
When the mandrake arrives, I was thinking about repartitioning so I could have more than one distro to play with, but I'll probably install the spare hard drive that I've got in my office drawer and set that up for a second distro instead, that way I've only to worry about the bootloader which will stay on the first hard drive.
As for you dual booting, if you just have the one hard drive, you would probably want to have just the one partition. That's how I had mandrake running for nearly 2 years. And it worked fine.
There's lots of bits of wisdom out there, as to how you'd want to have things setup, partition wise, but the only downside of having just the one partition is that if you have to re-install while you are on the "learning curve roller coaster" is that you loose any stuff you've setup/installed to personalise. In theory at least, if you had a separate /home as well, that could prevent you loosing stuff like that (plus e-mail address books etc etc), but of course, you can screw up a /home partition as well, so it's up to you.
Hope this helps.
p.s. if your copy of partition magic works like mine then when you repartition, it will probably only offer you the ability to set the partitions as ext2 or ext3 file format's, I always set ext3 (sorry you'll have to read up on the differences). When you do the install, you can change things if you want, of late, I've taken to using ReiserFS format - the stuff I can find seems to indicate that I'm better off using it.
I've used an older version of Partition Magic before and have had good results. I understand that you want to get to a dual boot system with Windows XP and Mandrake installed, but what is your current situation? Are you completely reinstalling everything or do you have Windows XP installed and want to add Mandrake? Are you splitting a large drive into several partitions? If you have Windows XP installed on one large partition and want to split that into several partitions you will need to run defrag or another program to unfragment and consolidate the data on your drive. Otherwise you run the risk of losing some data.
It depends on what you want to do, but my first hard drive (the spare in the office drawer) was a 40 gig model.
When the pc arrived, for some reason it already 3 partitions. The main xp one, a recovery one and another that I don't remember what it was called, but it (the third one) didn't have anything on it so that's where I stuck mandrake (in truth I tried SuSE first, but didn't like it).
If I remember correctly, I just made it so it had 2 partitions, one for xp and the other for mandrake. Don't forget that in my case I'm talking about a desktop pc, not a laptop.
As wmakowski says, run the defrag, and/or the disk clean up utility (both may be best), then use partition magic to make the linux partition (again, you can probably do this from the mandrake install, it's got lot's of stuff to make the newbie life easier, but it may be more straight forward to use PM). I seem to remember that I had it set so it was 50/50 which worked fine.
You may want to download knoppix. It's a "live CD" distro that run's from the cdrom/dvdrom drive and doesn't put anything on your hard drive. It's a good one to try as a tester, because one of the stongest things about knoppix is their hardware detection. If the laptop works with knoppix, then you will probably have few or no prob's installing mandrake (acutally you can install knoppix to the hard drive as well, but if I understand it correctly, there's currently no GUI (graphical user interface i.e desktop) to install it like that so you'd have to have some prior knowledge).
There's also this and this that I found with a quick google. Probably worth reading up a little, because while there SHOULDN'T be a problem, you never know and of course "forewarned, is forearmed".
One thing that I will remind you about. Modem's. Lot's of the "designed for windows" type system's have what's known as a "winmodem" to connect to the internet. They aren't proper modems, they're basically software that act's as a modem through connectors on the back of the pc. A fair number of winmodem's can be made to run under linux, but there's some that can't. Obviously that's if you use dial up. Otherwise it'd mean an external modem (again, check it's not a winmodem). But if you connect as a LAN, or with cable or something (mine is a "half a meg" ADSL) then there shouldn't be to much of a problem - but as long as the install goes smoothly (which it probably will), then it's only a case of having the inconvenience of booting between windows and linux until you've got things sorted. A bit of a pain, but not insurpassable.
Sorry if this sound's a bit daunting, but really it's not as bad as it seems. The one thing to remember is don't panic, if you think you've screwed things up, you can always just re-install the mandrake over and over again, until you get it as you want it. Plus, you should be able to boot from the first disc, and if you're really worried, when you get the prompt asking about booting, you just type "rescue" (no quotes), and follow the instructions to re-install the windows bootloader, you'd then have mandrake inthere, but you'd only be able to boot windows, you can do the same to re-install the linux bootloader.
Oh, and a thing that I picked up from a mag, before I had mandy 9.1, said that when you get to the package selection screen, just select all the stuff down the left and only kde and/or gnome from the right. It worked brilliantly for me. But further to that, if you want the latest/fastest (IMO) kernel (2.6 series), don't check the box for LSB, because at the moment, as I understand it, the 2.6 kernel series isn't "Linux Standard Base" compliant. This isn't a problem (well it shouldn't be, but who can tell without trying).
Again, hope this helps
p.s. Re the swap, with 512 in the laptop, I'd try without, unless it's a mega high end unit and you want to try graphic's intensive applications, then I'd say do it. At worst, it'd be a waste of disc space (and as you're limited to the 40 gig hdd, then you'd have a 1 gig swap, using the double the ram "rule of thumb").
There is a Linux Partition HOWTO document at The Linux Documentation Project website - http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Partition/index.html that you might find interesting. They talk about setting up swap partitions, but in the end pretty much say the standard consulting answer "it depends". As bigjohn was saying it really depends on what you want to do. If you are going to run graphic intensive applications it might be worth adding a swap partition.
However, 512MB is a decent amount of RAM IMO and I would try running without it and see how things go. The double the RAM for swap size rule of thumb is probably outdated with machines that have a lot of RAM. One of my machines has a max of 128MB RAM and I set it up with a 128MB swap. Never had a problem with it. So when it comes to swap it really is up to how you feel at the time. It's kind of like those cellular phone ads that have you guess how many minutes you are going to use. Too much swap will be a waste, but those overage charges oww!
I left 10 gig unallocated, and then installed Mdk. I have no idea what it did, because during the install, it disabled my touchpad clicking, leaving me w/ the awkward buttons. I accidently hit next twice at one point, preventing me from making any changes to the partitions they had in the default. Whatever it did, it worked, and i still have XP so im happy. I think i saw it say "formatting hd5" and "hd7." Cant remember for sure though.
If you want to follow the install through, just re-install it again. It should only take you about the half hour (without installing updates that is).
You could take a few notes if you wanted.
10 gig's isn't too bad (IMO), but if you installed everything, you'd find that it would take up maybe as much as 4 gig's (maybe a bit less, the 4 gig thing is a pretty wide ball park).
My current hard drive is 120 gig's and I've only got 20 gig's available to windows. So if you wanted, you could probably get away with the same - Up to you.
the formatting hda5 and 7 thing, well I'd look at your partition table because that suggest's that there's lot's of bit's there.
If, for example, you have xp and mandrake with a separate /root and /home, it'd be something like
hda2=/root (or mandrake, whatever you've called it)
or if you've made a swap partition, hda2, 3 and 4 may be /swap, /root and /home you'd probably only have 5, 6 and 7 if you've made one of the first four partitions an extended one (rather than a primary one).
But if you've got things working ok then this is just stuff to look into in the future.