You didn't try to just create a partition when windows had claimed the entire drive did you???? You may have hosed everything if that is the case.
You really haven't provided enough information. One thing many of the Linux users simply assume is that anyone attempting installs has some knowledge of administrative tasks. We assume a fairly high skill level on the part of the user.
How technically proficient are you?
Do you really understand partitions and filesystems?
Do you understand what is happening at a hardware level when you do anything?
What third-party utilities do you have available to you? Example: Partition Magic; Ghost; Acronis TrueImage (the best for the money); Others. "Bogus" copies of utilities may or may not have full functionality; it is best not to trust them unless you really know it is a good copy.
These things are very important.
It is not Linux snobbery, really. Generally, if a person is interested in Linux: they have a tendancy to be what is known as a "power user"--which is someone who has spent a lot of time figuring out the internals of windows so that they can manipulate and repair a windows installation instead of simply re-installing it. Most Linux users have a much higher proficiency with MS products than those people on the phone who supposedly are "support technicians" at microsoft.
They have a tendancy to be irritable people who don't want to re-install every fricking time windows develops a problem, or people who are naturally inclined to "hack", or people who have a tendancy to be a little sloppy as far as backing up inportant files on their home machine and had to learn forensics to recover information--or--a combination of the three. (Like me; and add administrator training to that as well. I am not the lone ranger in this, just like auto-mechanics, adminstrators have a tendancy to have "buggered-up" machines at home.)
It is no big deal if you aren't a "power user"; you just have to let people know exactly what your skill level happens to be.
For the least problems with the installation of any O.S.
Step 1) Defrag the windows partition(s). This puts all of the files at the beginning of the partition. Then use a utility to resize the partition(s) to a smaller size more appropriate to the O.S. and thereby freeing up space on the drive.
Step 2) De-allocate the unused space using an appropriate utility. Most O.S.-es prefer to install on unallocated space, it is safer. This means that after SAFELY RESIZING the partitions already on the drive, you leave the freed-up space unpartitioned and let the install program set-up the partition structure it likes and the filesystem which is most likely to suceed for the installation.
Step 3) Read up on kernel boot parameters which are likely to be needed for the configuration of equipment on your machine. Example: You have a CD-ROM(or CD "burner")AND a DVD-ROM(or DVD "burner"). Other hardware combinations (and "combo-drives") can be a problem. Most people can just simply put the CD in the CD drive and it will work--but there are a few machines and hardware set-ups that can be a problem.
/****Linux will not tolerate bad jumper settings on the drives--if someone installed a drive and didn't set everything up right Linux will "burp". Also, I have had Western Digital drives which had corrosion on the jumper/pins (this was on older hardware) and reported false settings; if the jumpers and drive locations on the cables are found to be correct, pull the jumpers off and put them back on.
Older WD drives also may be a problem if jumpers are set and it is by itself on the cable, in that case: set the jumper to a "neutral" position as defined by WD on their support site.****/
It is perfectly okay to leave the installation with the default partition. With Linux, as you learn more, you can do anything you wish with the partition layout WITHOUT a re-install.
/**I am bummed about RH dropping support for home-users, as their KickStart program is a really powerful and practical tool. It allowed a completely customized installation, with all of the updates and the importation of settings, the backed up /home/name-of-user, and /root directories--as partitions even if they weren't to begin with, and all the scripts you care to write--including custom partition creation. Because you set it up specifically for the equipment you are targetting for install, it would hammer it in as fast as it could copy the files from the CDs or network. Kickstart was way too cool, but it only worked with the RedHat installer. (*BTW, the same thing can be done with windows (using unattended.cif and OEM.inf), but it is much more of a pain in the butt.*)**/
/***As a linux user with lots of practice, I can do all of this using the free tools provided with linux. If you are a casual windows user--don't even attempt it--you will end up having to re-install both Windows and Linux.
If things are already hosed up, but not completely broken: use the "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard" in windows to back up all of your stuff located in the standard locations--and then manually back up the stuff you may have scattered all over your desktop and extra partitions (other "lettered drives" like "D:\".) This will make it possible to re-install without losing your favorites, mail, stuff in "My Documents" and your desktop settings. If you don't have a CD-burner you have to set it up to use a trunk-full of floppies. BTW: If you have to re-install windows, install windows first, then update it--then install Linux. Windows overwrites the Master Boot Record in the very beginning of the drive. If you have to re-install the windows O.S. AFTER installing Linux--look up the usage for the dd utility and practice it--use dd to make a copy of the MBR (Master Boot Record) to a floppy then have the linux install disk or a rescue CD handy so you can restore the MBR afterwards using dd--this saves you a lot of time.
If this stuff sounds unfamiliar to you, or it sounds "kind of scary"--STOP! Do a search on google for Linux User Groups or LUGS for the town or region in which you live. Then, after finding a local group--most of them have a web-site or newsgroup in which you can ask for help, or when they are having the next "install-fest". Linux User Groups have a tendancy to be filled with people who truly want to get you "addicted" to Linux. Most likely, you will get "hands on" help.
Last edited by Eqwatz; 01-15-2004 at 10:57 AM.