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You can do so (to delete and create new partitions) by inserting a bootable Linux CD/DVD and making the necessary changes, using the GUI front end for the installation. After this, click next and wait for the partitions to be formatted etc. Then, just remove your CD/DVD from the drive. Do not allow the OS to be installed. I mean, you should be very quick to remove the CD/DVD before it shows the installation status.
I got it!!!
I used the Linux CD to re-install Linux on half of the total hard drive. Once the free space was opened up I tried the XP disc again and it worked! I guess it was freezing up due to no available disc space for install.
This is an easy way for you to fix your problem.
A: Download Ubuntu or PclinuxOS "Live CD" and boot from it.
Use the tool bar to find you hard drive tools and delete the all the partitions on hard drive.
Now shutdown and reboot with a Winblows CD that you have-and all is well.
Or: You could do what was suggested earlier and run vmware and install Winblows on that. That would be easy for the wife to use. All she do it turn that computer on and double click on the vmware icon.
Since you got the laptop for free you may want to max out the memory with an upgrade. Memory is really cheap these days.
My wife got a laptop from a friend who was given a new one for Christmas. This laptop has Linux installed on it but she wants Windows since she doesn't know anything about Linux. I tried putting in Windows XP install CD and rebooting.
Laptop boots, gives me message "Press any key to boot from CD" and after pressing a key, system flashes screen saying "Windows is checking your system configuration" and then appears to proceed but nothing happens. It freezes at this point every time I reboot.
I looked online and found a few suggestions about using fdisk to delete partition and re-create as a W95 FAT32 partition but system freezes at exact same point on reboot.
s.Any suggestions on what I can try now? Appears I have hit a roadblock and my brain is stumped. I am a relative newbie to Linux myself and can usually get it working on fresh installs but not installing over.
Don't press any key, just wait until the setup program start
My 2 cents: I always use Norton Partition Magic to get rid of unwanted partitions. As far as I remember, the XP installation disk has a partitioning tool (fdisk) as well, but the last time I tried an XP install over Linux, it didn't even recognize the partitions, seeing the hard drive as one great big empty disk. Could there be something wrong with the laptop's hard drive? And to check if the problem is with the XP installation disk, borrow/download another one?
What is the make and model of the laptop. Some laptops have issues with windows xp. This was a common issue back when windows xp was released and may require that you do a bios upgrade to resolve the issue. Note that I used to work for MS doing XP support when it was first released and problems such as this were common. I do not believe that this issue has anything to do with Linux being on the laptop.
Take care tho with Bios upgrades there was a Dell one around out the that liked to brick laptops I think it was the A3 bios from them but I am not %100 sure.
Unless you are experienced Linux user you have to install Windows first then Linux will compile with a dual boot option. ie you will get the choice when you logon- but ONLY if you have first partitioned your drive by creating an adequate C drive (eg 20gB of 40gB drive altho I have used 5 on smaller drives and leave the rest blank do not make a virtual D drive or anything!. Linux then uses the rest or as much as you want it to.
If you want to remove the Linux installation- which I think you have to do if you want Windows on, simply because there is no "white space" on the drive for the MS partition- and the windows CD can't do it as part of a notmal installation- I suggest clearing up the disk first as follows
In BIOS make sure your boot option will look on the CD drive first before booting from your HD- this is the default situation for laptop anyway
You need to find a way to the command line or the DOS prompt, call it what you will. Then you should type fdisk and follow the instructions to delete all partitions on your HD. For Linux these are usually Ext3. As you know windows will create fat32.
(I assume your Windows installation disk is bootable ie it isn't an old one requiring a floppy! Some of these disks are for upgrade from earlier windows versions. If you are really stuck- and this may be the blind leading the blind and you take advice from another newbie at your peril- I could send you the contents of an MS-dos W98 boot floppy. It only gives you DOS options but might be enough to prepare your system for a clean install, burn that to a CD and use it to boot to prompt, probably D: then use d:\fdisk and follow the instruction to delete all the partitions on your HD)
Hopefully someone will have found you a simpler solution by now. Lots of luck!
Another thing people overlook is the partition id.
When you run fdisk from linux, you can see the partition id's of the partitions. By default, linux assigns an id of 83. You need to change the partition id to c (i.e W95 FAT32 (LBA). Press t for type, then enter c for the new partition. Next enter w to make the changes, then q to exit.
Now you can run the install cd, and Xp should recognize a windows partition.
When you failed to install XP, most likely the partition id was still at 83 which cause XP not understand the hard drive/partition. I had a similar experience with windows 98. Once I changed the id to c, the windows installation went smoothly.