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When re-sizing the Windows XP main C partition during a live CD Linux install, with the NTFS type file system, which distro will work best and safely preserve my XP C partition ? The hard drive is a 200 GB, with about 13-14 GB used by windows, and I will shrink to no smaller than near 60 GB, and I did run the chkdsk tool and the defragmentor.
Anytime you go messing with partitions, you should make a backup of anything you don't want to loose. If you don't, and if anything goes wrong and you loose data or make your OS non-bootable, you have no one to blame for your failure.
Having given fair warning, most, if not all, distros have the same set of command-line partitioning tools: fdisk, cfdisk, gparted. With your liveCD booted up, you can read the man pages for the tools (and start them up to have a look as you read the man page, but not actually do anything). Then choose the one that seems easiest to use.
The distro you choose to install may also have a graphical partitioning tool. Check the main menu. It would probably be under System, Utilities, or Control Center.
Whenever I'm doing partition work (resizing, creating, etc.) I like to boot SystemRescueCd and run gparted - as bigrigdriver said, BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP first, but I've never had a problem using it, and in fact the last 2 times I've gotten a laptop I've done pretty much what you're doing.
Sounds helpful then, thanks. And will a 2nd Linux installation over-wright the GRUB boot loader, since I do have Ubuntu 7.10 on a external SATA hard drive dual booting with the Windows XP ? I ask this because the computer will not boot up with the external SATA drive turned off and unpluged, so that it is dependent now on that drive due to how and where grub installed.