I've just taken delivery of a new entry-level Dell Dimension 3000 (specs set out at end of message) and am planning to install a dual-boot system with Windows XP and Libranet 2.8.1 (but soon to upgrade to 3.0, hopefully!). Libranet will be my primary OS used 95% of the time: I'll only be using XP when absolutely forced to (eg my cable telephone provider requires me to use a Windows PC to set up a dial-up
internet account, would you believe, and also I need Windows for remote access to my work system via Citrix).
According to the XP disk management utility, the hard drive is currently partitioned as follows:
- 55 MB FAT (48 MB free), no drive letter, EISA configuration
- 33.69 GB NTFS (29.62 GB free), C:\, System
- 3.49 GB FAT32 (1.74 free), no drive letter, Unknown Partition (this is apparently for the PC Restore utility supplied by Dell)
I'd like to get rid of the 55 MB and 3.49 GB partitions altogether and reinstall Windows XP on as small a partition as possible (within reason!), with a small-ish shared files partition mainly for transferring files from the XP side of the system to the Linux side (I doubt I'll be genuinely "sharing" many files between the two). I'd also like to set up a separate /home partition.
My main use of the system is home/office use - word processing, email/internet, some basic web development (including some use of the GIMP), that sort of thing. Probably also some (legal!) music downloading/burning CDs etc. Not planning to use it for gaming, or for watching DVDs. That said, I tend to be relatively demanding on memory, as I like to have lots of applications open at once and to flick between them quite a lot.
As a first guess, was thinking along the lines of the following:
- 6 GB Windows XP partition (NTFS)
- 2 GB shared files partition (FAT(?))
- ~10 GB root partition for installing Linux?
- ~20 GB /home partition?
- maybe 1 GB swap (i.e. 2x RAM)? Or is that a bit much?
So in summary my questions are:
a. Am I safe to delete those two extra partitions currently on the hard drive? I gather the only downside is taking longer to restore the PC to its factory settings in future, which I can live with.
b. Any suggestions on the planned partition scheme set out above?