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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).


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Old 03-05-2004, 05:52 PM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2004
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how to partition hard drive for dual boot xp-home and linux system

a couple of questions actually, i have a new toshiba satellite A45 and windows is already on the hard drive.

I'm planning on using a utility like partition magic (can anyone suggest a program? I haven't used anything but cfdisk which i don't think can resize without destroying data.) to carve off about 5 gigabytes off the end of my drive (which is 40 or so). Then i'll set up the boot and swap partitions as usual right?

My next question is whether or not i should create a third partition for my mp3 collection which i would like to be able to read and write to from either winblows or linux, and what type of filesystem should is use for that (i think that read/write capability for vfat has been built into the kernel for a while and is pretty stable, and i assume that winXP-home won't have trouble with it either, but again i am not sure).

if i follow that i'll have a 40 gigabyte drive that looks like this (i think):

5 gig primary, hda1, ntfs, windows
30 gig, hda2, vfat, mp3s and backups
4.5 gig, hda3, ext2, linux boot
.5 gig (logical), hda5, swap

or am i just over thinking this whole thing, maybe i should leave the files on a big windows partition and just use linux to read/write to it?

Finally (and least importantly, because i can find them on my own if need be) can anyone recommend some resources for finding drivers for new-ish hardware on laptopts?

thank you for your time,
Old 03-05-2004, 07:58 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2004
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I am a somewhat new Linux user too, but I will tell you my experience SO far.

1. Don't bother with Partition Magic. It's NOT nessesary. Most modern Linux distributions include a partion utility that works quite well by itself while you are installing Linux. You can set up EVERYTHING with it, including the swap partition and the boot.

2. Don't set up a separate partition for your mp3 for the main reason your XP might NOT be able to read it. I have never used XP so ic ant say but who really knows? Linux reads Windows' partitions with no problems whatsoever. Why complicate things? Start Linux, open up XMM jump to the Windoze partions, load the list and you are done..;-)

3. For newish hardware and laptops, why not try and test run KNOPPIX FIRST instead of commiting yourself to a specific Linux distribution and installing it on your hd? KNOPPIX runs off the CD-ROM and memory, and so far it has found pretty much everything on all the systems I have tested it on including sound cards and it even set up the network without even me asking it to do so! is the answer. D/l the .iso, burn it with Nero and you are all set.
Old 03-05-2004, 09:33 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: US
Distribution: Slackware 13, Ubuntu 9.04, Windows XP Pro
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I must agree with the above, especially about using Linux to read Windows partitions. Really, Linux has no problem reading windows files after the setup is done correctly
Old 03-06-2004, 05:16 AM   #4
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thanks for the input, my concern was whether linux would be able to write to the windows partition. Also, i'd rather not delete the entire drive when creating the partitions for linux and wasn't sure if there was software for it in the standard linux system.

Knoppix is a great idea, i hadn't heard of it before but its being downloaded as I write.

good day,

ps, as an addendum i found a utility on knoppix called ntfsresize that should solve my problem, thanks everyone.

Last edited by sabaki; 03-06-2004 at 06:44 AM.
Old 03-06-2004, 01:19 PM   #5
Registered: Jun 2003
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Linux can't write to NTFS in any meaningful way (as of 2.6 the driver can overwrite an existing file, but only with a file of the exact same size)

You really shouldn't have a problem with a fat32 partition to share between the two. Works great for me on 2000 and linux.
Old 03-06-2004, 02:10 PM   #6
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Qzukk: that was my concern, i have a large number of files moving across my system on a regular basis and i need to be able to read AND write to the section with both windows and linux, thanks for clarifying exactly what the kernel can do.

Last edited by sabaki; 03-06-2004 at 02:24 PM.


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