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Old 11-02-2004, 08:26 AM   #1
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Unhappy Help ! This partition thing scares me !

Hello everbody, after suffering for long enough with Windows XP I have decided to take the plunge and got myself a copy of Linux Mandrake 10.0.

the whole thing scares the hell out of me but I forged ahead anyway and loaded up the disk last night. It was all going well until I got to the parition section. I asked Linux to partition the disk for me so that I could dual boot Windows but it would only allocate 350mb of space for me. This was not enough to install everthing I wanted so I panicked and reset my computer!!

Can anybody help me with this problem?

I have a 20GB hard drive and Windows tells me that 13.5GB is free.

Now when I try to install again, Linux tells me that there is no free space on my hard drive !!

Old 11-02-2004, 08:55 AM   #2
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Well...Linux needs free space outside existing partitions. In your case I think that the space is on WIndows partition, right? You need a program to resize it. Mandrake installer has such tool build-in, I think, but it looks it failed. Try again after you run scandisk and defrag on Windows. Should be able to get more space. And make a backup copy of your most important files (not because the operation is dangerous, but when dealing with partitions there's always risk).
Old 11-02-2004, 08:57 AM   #3
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'don't panic!'

That 350MB 'free' space on your primary drive is the slack space left over after installing XP, which defaults to using the entire disk for itself when you install it. Hence Linux tells you there is only 350MB 'free' space available. it does not count the space that is free within your Windows XP installation. (XP's partition)

So, what you need to do is resize your Windows XP partition to make free space for Linux. I'd recommend freeing up about 5 to 7GB for Linux so you can play around a bit and still have plenty of room to use in both OS's.
For resizing NTFS partitions I can recommend Partition Magic, but I believe Mandrake 10 is also up to the job, although I didn't try it so I can't tell you how safe it is.

BACK UP YOUR DATA BEFORE YOU RESIZE PARTITIONS. be warned, although in my own experience i've never had any data loss due to resizing or moving partitions it is possible that something can go horribly wrong, and then you will have nothing.
Old 11-02-2004, 09:17 AM   #4
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Many, many thanks for your advise. At least I have not done anthing tooo bad ... !!!

Will the installer resize my windows parition for me? I don't think I saw that option.

Anyway, I will defrag and scan disk tonight as suggested and try the install again. I think the problem I have now is that I already have a partition of 350mb so that now can't be changed ??

Perhaps I shouldn't be let loose with this kind of program
Old 11-02-2004, 10:44 AM   #5
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I would recommend Partition Magic as well. It is a really good program, and will allow you to see all of the partitions you have.

Just take it easy, realize this isn't going to be a one hour project, and read up on all the topics before taking a furthur step. The new distros really take a lot of the guesswork out of partitioning. Here's a quick overview of what to do:

Windows: Disk Cleanup to free up space
Download/Install Partition Magic 8
If a Linux partition was created, delete
Resize Windows partition, creating 5+ gig unpartitioned space
Make sure Windows Partition is OK by booting to it
Boot to Mandrake CD and install to free space (should not show 7-8 gig)


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