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Alright, better safe than sorry is how im going. My knowledge is limited when it comes to many things on the computer. Have been using Windows my entire life and am just now starting to get into programming and such. But first I wanted to indulge my curiosity of Linux. Ive a few questions for those who are willing to respond:
The first being, i'm using windows xp currently, as previously stated, and wanted to know if its possible to partition my hard-drive and give linux a 25 gig section so that my computer is working with both Windows XP and Linux capabilities.
If so, how does one go about wiping a partitioned drive of any OS and installing Linux onto it? Ive downloaded Redhat as it seems to be popular and have a program thats more than capable of doing the partition but im not wanting to try it without more being 100% sure I can do something with it.
First of all, welcome and I wish you the best. As you start discovering Linux, the first thing you have to learn is that Linux Is Not Windows.
Before you start YAWDT (Yet Another Which Distro Thread) you'll want to check out LQ's Download Linux link (you can find it just to the right =>).
Most of us have those distros we love and hate. Don't be swayed by our opinions. Try them on your own and pick the one you want. I prefer Debian based distros, others do not. Don't let my, or anyone else's, prejudices make your decision for you. Most distros can be downloaded as Live CDs where you can boot directly from the CD and try it out before installing.
Google is your friend. Search for "Linux Windows dual boot" and I'll bet you find the answer to your question - lots of answers actually. It's been asked - and answered - a thousand times. The specifics depend on your hardware, your boot manager, and your distro. LQ is a great place to get specific answers to your specific questions.
Try several Live CDs. Pick a distro you want to try. Look up how to install it in a dual boot configuration. Have fun.
since you mentiond redhat ... can try centos or fedora instead and stick with it ... get some basic books , they dont really need to be linux or distro-based related ... and you also have the internet search(probably this one can gives you more) ...
//its really that simple ... no need to choose ... only makes you more confuse ...^_^
Thank you both very much. And my apologies for asking something thats been asked a million times over. Honestly ive been searching forums for hours and was gettin kinda lazy~ But again, thank you both for your help and kind response.
It's easy to partition your system. Anaconda (Fedora's installer) along with Ubiquity (Ubuntu's installer) offer clear ways to partition it. Just make sure to carefully read the instructions; I know I ran through the installation thinking I understood everything, but misinterpreted something and had ruined my HDD's partitions.
One very important thing: DEFRAGMENT XP'S DRIVES FIRST! Very important, partitions should not be messed with if they're fragmented.
I found I had to run XPs defragment tool twice in order to make it good enough to be able to shrink the XP partition and split it in two.
You can try a Linux Live CD first as well, to check that it recognize your devices properly. Lots of distros has good Live CDs these days. You can usually then click install somewhere on the LiveCD if you are happy with it.
Yeah, ive organized everything pretty well and defragged 3 times thus far. Im planning to use "Acronis Disk Director Suite" v 10. It seems like a good program and allows me to choose which OS to boot into as well when it starts up but who knows if itll be compatible.
Im still trying to figure out this live CD thing, but honestly, have no clue what im suppose to do. Its just all gotta be figured out I suppose.
I really appreciate the responses and tips. Its going to take a bit more reading to get it down without making some huge mistake. And youre probably right, Dragineez, ill probably learn more quickly if I learn to do it manually.
There is a linux boot CD called "System Rescue CD", which also has a partitioning tool qparted (or qtparted?). I used that many times with success to shrink xp partitions some years ago.
Of course checking for errors and defragmentation of the ntfs partition must be done previously on xp, because q(t)parted will not allow any modifications if there were errors, or it would not be able to resize, if the ntfs is fragmented.
Just to reiterate some of what has been mentioned:
gparted and qtparted are two of the most commonly used partioning tools in Linux. They have interfaces similar to Partion Magic in Windows. Both are easy to use, and can do everything you need to do with partitions, just like Windows tools. Most modern distros come with one or both.
Download or purchase a (some) Live-CD(s). Try Knoppix, PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu, SimplyMepis, Mandriva One, etc. Stick the CD in the drive, and boot the system. You will soon find yourself in a full Linux environment. These will not affect your current system on your hard drives at all (unless you tell them to). They will run a bit slower than a fully-installed version, because they are completely resident in memory. You can use them to see if you like the distro, and if it likes your machine. For instance, you may find that Ubuntu recognizes your internet connection, while Mandriva One doesn't, or vice-versa. Find one that works well for you, and then you can install it.
Either use a separate partitioning tool (gparted/qtparted) or use the installers partioning tool. (Not all distro installers include a partitioning tool.) Just remember that the last thing you do in Windows before installing is to defrag your hard drive. Then defrag it again, to be sure. Do not boot back into Windows until you have repartitioned, just to be safe.
Most distros will use either grub or lilo as a bootloader. You don't need to buy any fancy boot-manager program. When you install your distro, it will recognize your existing Windows partition(s), and set up the boot loader to give you the option of booting to that, as well as to Linux.
Again, welcome. And don't be afraid to ask questions.