Originally Posted by Nubijean
move existing Win98 elsewhere on disk and install a later Windoze version.
Sounds a bit crowded for adding both Linux and a later Windows version.
What later Windows version? Can you still get 2000 and is it enough better than 98 to be worth the trouble? That machine sounds seriously under configured for XP, and I assume you're not even thinking about Vista.
Moving the Win98 partition on an old system is more trouble than just shrinking it and there is no reason I can think of that you would want to go to that extra trouble.
The partitioning software on most Linux LiveCD's can try to shrink a Windows partition. I've seen it fail, but don't recall seeing any reports of it failing destructively and its failures for me were never destructive.
I don't recall what defrag tools are even likely to be available for win98. For newer Windows systems, I've found it helpful to defrag the partition within Windows before shrinking it from within the Linux liveCD. When doing that, I've never seen a failure in the shrink operation.