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I am trying to set up dual boot with winxp and debian
I have a hard disk with winxp installed in the primary partition and an extended logical partition with nothing in it in which I want to install debian, I want to further repartition the logical partition so that I can make a sharded partition (so that both OSs can see it) and make a swap partition and a root partition a usr and a home.
A friend recommended that I use the new debian installer for the install, which Iíve tried but when it comes to the partitioning I am not sure what to do, I thought I could just repartition the logical one into the bits I need, but I don't seem to get that option or don't know how to do it, do I need to delete the partition and then use the free space generated from it to make the new partitions? wont it affect the ntfs partition if I do that? I am a bit scared about the whole partitioning business..
Its good to be scared about partitioning because there is always a risk of losing your data. Be sure to back up all the things you care about whenever you do anything major to your hard drive. If you haven't been keeping backups and you care about your stuff already yhere, start! Its only the smart ting to do!
Saying that, the answer is yes, you have it right. You'll have to delete the partition that's there and replace it with the new ones. Not a real big deal. I have installed an OS on various hard drives in my computer probably over 100 times and the only time I have overwritten something is when I did it on purpose. What partitioner are you using? cfdisk?(it would be command line but with a means of toggling between the choices with the arrow keys). The least scary thing to do would be to delete your extra formatted partition and make your shared partition first. Then, restart the installer and let Debian partition the remaining free space. Good luck. Come back if you need to.
I got the pc from someone else, it had already winxp installed and the extended logical partition when I got it. i dont have any of the install cds for winxp, but i would like to still be able to keep it. and yes, ive made backups of all important stuff i want to keep.
at first I tried to repartition with fdisk or cfdisk however neither of those commands are recognised, I downloaded fdisk.exe but then I get the message that says incorrect dos version, that is why I was wondering if i could just do the partitioning during the debian install as I dont have partition magic or none of the other programs and I cant seem to be able to do it thru the command line.
That's the place you'll find cfdisk. Its part of the Debian install. You'll get along fine with it. Its well layed out and logical and doesn't make changes until you tell it to "WRITE" the new partition table. It will confirm that you really mean it.
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
Watch it, because many of the newer XP systems toss garbage into the middle of your drive in order to prevent you from repartitioning it properly, and most Linux (mandrake, etc) repartitioners will error and offer you the choice to continue. As much as I hate to do so, I'd rather be on the safe side and use something like partition magic to partition the drive.
Oh, and it's important to remember, the XP license doesn't allow the transfer of OS from whoever used to own the computer to you. Whoever owned it was legally obligated to delete it from the system, as are you. Like it doesn't happen all the time, but it's something to think about. In fact, a good argument can be made that without piracy, MS would cease to exist as a powerful company. Myself, I cringe when I hear people talk about stealing license keys and so on. Not just because it's wrong. It's the thought that they feel they have to do that that makes me ache, when there's a perfectly good OS available with none of the restrictions/risks they put up with.
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
To let both OS's see it, you'll likely have to make it vfat. Good luck with security. I'd rather shave my face with a snowblower. Another reason MS is so great, it's ability to work with other filesystems...