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Old 01-11-2005, 05:54 AM   #1
SadPenguin
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Libranet 2.8.1
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Partitioning Dell HD for dual-boot


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?

Thanks,

John
 
Old 01-11-2005, 06:00 AM   #2
scuzzman
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I'm unsure about the 55 MB partition, but everything else look good!
 
Old 01-11-2005, 07:25 AM   #3
Hangdog42
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A gig of swap seems a bit large, but to an extent it depends on how heavily you are going to use the machine. I know the 2X rule, but with 512 MB of RAM, you probably aren't going to need that much swap. My personal take is that the 2X rule applies up to about 512 MB of swap, and that is pretty much my ceiling.
 
Old 06-26-2005, 02:25 PM   #4
glsen_az
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Distribution: XUbuntu 12.10, Smoothwall 3
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Partitioning Dell HD for Dual Boot

I'm in a similar situation: Dell Inspiron 5150, 60 Gb HD. I ran the latest Knoppix (ver. 3.9) and QPartEd
reported that the hard disk is partitioned in the following manner with the order in the partition table
represented:

1) HDC1 FAT16 = 47.03Mb with 32.17Mb used
2) HDC2 NTFS = 52.34Gb (showing as 46.10Gb used - not acurate)
3) HDC3 FAT32 = Dell Restore 3.50Gb with 2.77Gb used
4) HDC-1 free = 7.84 Mb at end of partition table

I'm a bit confused about what is necessary/required for a dual-boot system. I have a Dell Restore CD --
so I would think it's OK to trash the Dell Restore partition and have the 3.50Gb and the 7.84 "free"
partitions available at the end of the drive table. Then I would think I could shrink down the NTFS (XP)
partition and add a nice chunk of FAT32 for file/data sharing (iTunes purchased/DRM-encoded music, my
own MP3s, OpenOffice.org files, Mozilla Thunderbird profile/email messages.)

Of course, it's very important to use the Windows XP disk defragment to make sure there is no fragmentation
before re-partitioning for the Linux install -- showing no RED stripes (fragmented areas) in the window.

I'm shooting for SuSE 9.3 Pro to be the primary OS and have WinXP-SP2 sitting hopefully mostly unused.
I am still researching about going the CodeWeaver Crossover Office route (or WINE/whatever it's called now)
to run the Windows-specific apps (iTunes) and other media apps if I can't get their equivalents to work in Linux
(QuickTime files, Windows Media Play files.) If Crossover Office works, then I can seriously consider removing XP
completely from the drive and only install the Windows apps mentioned above.

Anyone else have any success with this scenario? Any thoughts or warnings?

-*-Bill
 
  


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