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After some kind advice from the forum, I have realized that partitioning is the way to go, but, its not easy to do it. I went to a partitioning website, and printed their tutorial, which I had in front of me as I rebooted from my floppy startup disk. I went to fdisk, and followed their instructions exactly regarding deleting the old partitions, creating a new primary, extended, and logical partitions, and even verified this was successful on the display option. I then exitted from fdisk, and typed format c: at the A command prompt, and got the horrible abort, retry, failure error message. After some struggling, with Caps, spaces, etc. I realized the A prompt was not going to let me format the new partitions, which is a necessary step to installing freeware linux. Besides, I want to partition anyway, there are many reasons why it is desirable.
Anybody got any ideas on how to get past this nasty problem. More than one website I have checked since, seems to handle this matter of factly, they seem to imply that typing format c: and hitting enter should work.
One other thing, I also discovered that my Windows Me recovery disk, is not going to let me keep the new partitions anyway, on use, it will put the partitions back the old way. I can think of some general ideas to prevent this, but only very vaguely, such as disabling its autorun feature, or creating an altered recovery disk on a CDRW, or creating an image of the already installed windows on CDRW, (I had to reinstall to post this thread).
All good ideas appreciated. Thank you for your kind patience.
Never had ME but yes a recovery disk will reinstall the OS, partitions and everything just like it was when you purchased the PC.
Install ME then resize the partition to create some empty space. Then create the other partitions for linux. For resizing use Partition Magic if you can get a copy, DOS app called fips or a linux app called GNU parted.
With DOS fdisk you need to reboot the PC before you can use the format command. If the ME fdisk and format commands are giving you problems then goto to www.bootdisk.comand download a Win98 boot disk.
I'm not familar with freeware linux distro. Can you post a site so we can look at the install instructions?
Thank you for your reply, and the strategy I did not know existed, that one could actually change partitions with Windows running. I will soon be typing fips and gnu parted in my explorer search boxes.
As for the Linux freeware. I lost the links after the last windows reinstall, (several of those the last few days). I have already downloaded a knoppix file for CD, only one CD needed! But I had trouble with the burning software. I made a CDR, but it seems to be useless. Anyway, it doesn't seem hard to download freeware from knoppix, or its links, or Mandrake. I have not tried Suse yet, but they probably have it too.
Anyway, I need to get the partitioning problem licked first, I think, before making the attempt on Linux!
Even just a partitioning success would please me tremendously. Anything to try and defeat the recovery disk as it is, (and Bill Gates). You can be sure I'll be threading the Forum if I do...plus an affero, if I can figure out THAT!.....
aaa, thank you! this idea that I can change partitions while Windows continues to be installed, is a new one, which you and michaelk have kindly suggested. You can be sure that I will be typing gnu parted in my Explorer search boxes, and that if I'm successful, even with just partitioning, I will tell the forum. As for affero, I haven t figured out how to pay them yet, not a matter of money or amount, but more the payment tool. I don't like Paypal for various reasons.
It would mean a lot to me just to be able to repartition. I have a theory it would help utilities tremendously, especially the slower ones, like defrag and scandisk.