ok, i am reading up as much as i can on this, but while i'm at it i might as well see if any of you guys have a solution for my situation.
using partition magic 8, i created some new partitions for RedHat 9. as you can see in the two screencaps, the partitions i created are in EXT3 file system and linux 'swap' on the second hdd.
ok, i can't post url's yet cause i am a no0b with <5 posts, but i put said screencaps in my sig. that should work. and it will be easy to understand what i am blabbering about with the pictures to go with the story
now, when i am installing redhat, it offers automatic partitioning, where it can a)delete all current partitions b)delete all current linux partitions and c) just use the free space available.
i installed it this morning with the free space option (after creating a 10 gig partition, failing to install it there, deleting the partition - therefore making it 10 gig of 'free space' and then, yeah, installing it to the free space, BUT windows disk managment then doesn't recognize whats on that partition and Partition Magic claimed that the entire 120 gig drive was "bad".
partition magic also tells me that if i partition and install linux using the manual 'disk druid', that (again) windows won't recognize what is on the partition :/
i wasn't really happy about this.
sooooo,, i now have done what i said in the first paragraph here. but i cant install without grief.
grief such as... when i try to install automatically, it tells me that i haven't created a /boot partition. grief like even when it did install i didn't get any boot options at start up. (i have since fixed this by installing Powerquest Boot Magic). and another , non-related bit of grief, RH9 does auto detect my crappy Dell-Creative-OEM-Soundblaster Live Value-Crap, but i don't hear any test sound, so it says i wont have sound on the system. what good is a system without sound???
basically, what i want (in my perfect world) is to have WinXP Pro and RedHat 9 installed in a duel boot situation where i can access my files with both of the operating systems. i would like sound, but that, i guess, can be dealt with later. and umm... i dunno. i'm a no0b. i want to learn how to use Linux and i happen to have RH9 right here.
the system is a Dell Dimension 4550 currently running XP Pro with 768 Mb DDR-SDRAM, a 120 gig Western Digital HDD (7200rpm 8mb cache), a 20 gig WD HDD (5400rpm 2mb cache), NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 420. i dunno if this is much use, but anyway.
if anyone could possible have some advice for me, it'd be very much appreciated. thanks