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Old 07-23-2005, 03:44 PM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2005
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installing linux, PartionMagic

Here's my situation:

I used PartitionMagic to partition my hard drive on my Windows machine. I installed Linux, so that I had a dual boot system. Things worked for about two weeks. Then the hard drive broke and I had to have it replaced. I then used BootMagic again to partition my hard drive. After this, I was unable to start my machine and I had to reinstall the operating system.

Questions :
Note: I'm very much a beginner...

Does PartitionMagic work? It seems to have given me trouble, maybe because I don't know what I'm doing.

When using PartitionMagic, where should you put the partition for Linux with respect to the partition with Windows? Is it necessary to have a Swap partition too? What is a Swap partition?

Is it safer to just install a new hard drive and then install Linux on that hard drive?
Would I need to use something like PartitionMagic to set up Linux on a new hard drive, so that I could have a dual boot machine.

Old 07-23-2005, 04:16 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Chicago
Distribution: Lenny & Xp
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Magic partition works just fine, but you may find it a bit eaiser to just install windows first and then load the linux distro second: In most cases the linux distro will add windows to either lilo or grub for you.
Old 07-23-2005, 04:23 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Latvia, Riga
Distribution: Gentoo
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You can install your Linux without using any partitioning tools. You can partition your drive during the installation.
If your mother board supports it your can place your partitions in any order. If your mother board is rather old, then you can't boot only within first 1024 cylinders (i think it's about 8.5 GB).
Swap partition it's like a swap file in Windows. When there is a need to free your RAM, operating system stores RAM content in swap file or swap drive. It is recommended to create swap partition twice greater then your RAM size, e.g. if you've got 256 MB of RAM then you should create 512 MB swap partition. It's also recommended to place it some where in the beginning of your hard drive.
On my old machine i had first Linux partition, then swap partition and Windows partition in the end of the drive. Of cause you can do it in other way!
Old 07-23-2005, 07:15 PM   #4
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04, Experimenting with others
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My suggestion would be not trying to setup the Linux partitions with Partition Magic; I would resize the Windows partition, then run the Linux install; I believe all modern distros have enough of a partition manager to create what it needs, even if it can't resize what's there. But you'll need enough unpartitioned free space on your hard drive to do that.

Also, most modern Windows XP machines (well, many at least) have NTFS partitions; while it's better than the FAT32 alternative (what Windows 98 & family used), it's not as well supported; few distros are going to have built in support for resizing NTFS partitions without wiping everything out (actually, that's a big deal of Mandriva Linux - it's DiskDrake partitioning program can use NTFS).

Also, if you get into a problem with booting, you'll want a bootable partition manager disk. Partition Magic might have one, I've never dealt with that program personally. My suggestion would be a program called BootIt NG, from Terabyte Unlimited (; technically it's shareware, but it never expires and it lets you move, resize, and copy your partitions; it also will rebuild the MBR for you.


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