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Old 05-14-2004, 09:16 PM   #1
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Partitioning Issues - trying to install Mandrake 9.2 on WinXP box

I'm trying to install Mandrake 9.2 on my 2 year old WinXP box and I seem to have run into a brick wall during disk partitioning phase. My 100+ GB hd is essentially one large NTFS partition and Mandrake installer does not let me resize it the way I want it. I can only shave off around 1.5 GB of the end of the drive and allocate linux partitions there - but after a 3 way split there is not much space there for anything.

No matter what I do I cannot size down my windows partition beyond certain treshold. I tried expert setup, and all kind of things but I can never get enough space. And I know that there is TONS of free space avaliable - XP along with all the apps, and all my crap takes up less than 30 GB - so there's still at least 70 GB to play with.

I went back into windows and did a hard forced defrag. That seemed to clean up the drive preaty nicely yet Mandrake installer still refused to size the partition appropriately.

I really don't know what to do now. The windows GUI defrag app seems to be showing me that all my files are densly packed in the beggining portions of the drive, the pagefile is somewhat in the middle, and there are "unmovable" system files scattered throughout the drive. Especially near its end I can see a cluster of evil looking files. Still, I have no idea what these are and windows defrag refuses to touch them.

So, my question is - could this wierd clump of system files near the end of my drive is the reason why Mandrake is reluctant to decrese the windows partition size by more than about 1 GB?

If yes, is there any way around this? I know that clean swipe of the drive and new instalation of windows, followed by mandrake would probably solve my problems... But I would rather avoid such drastic solutions. Are there any good apps out there that could deal with that kind of hard defrag problems?

And if this is not the reason why Mandrake is not resizing the partition, any idea what am I doing wrong?

I'm using:

Windows XP Home
Mandrake 9.2

My HD size is exactly: 119,998,607,360 bytes

The partition structure right now is:

31 MB EISA partition
110.21 GB NTFS
1.55 GB Unalocated (created by Mandrake)

I'm using only 34.4 GB on the NTFS partition, and have 75.7 GB of free space - but I can't claim that space for linux partitions. Mandrake refuses to shrink the NTFS - the 1.55 GB is all I can get. And after a 3 way split (/ ~ and swap) that is hardly enough space to install anything. KDA and GNOME alone take up over half of that space...
Old 05-14-2004, 09:32 PM   #2
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NTFS sucks.

I'm not sure if mandrake installer can resize the ntfs partition.
Still, you can modify the partition atleast by using partition magic. There might be other tools also. The basic problem is that the fs format in NTFS is proprietary and undocumented..
Old 05-14-2004, 09:33 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: tonawanda, NY
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Need to check your disk in windows..

To see if it is a 'basic' or 'dynamic' disk.

Right click on 'my computer', click on 'manage' Click on 'Disk Management'

Right click on the hard drive and click on properties. You should be told whether is 'basic' or 'dynamic'

Basic disks are normal partitions.

Dynamic disks, MS makes one huge partition for the entire drive, then divides the partition into 'volumes' that almost look like partitions.

If the drive is 'dynamic' you are basically out of luck. The only way to go back is to wipe out the drive and start again (there is an option to 'revert to basic disk' but don't click it. It will wipe out all your data.

If it is 'basic', then you are in luck. You need something like Partition Magic version 7 or later and using that you can resize your partitions to something more normal.

Hope this helps
Old 05-14-2004, 09:57 PM   #4
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I think I am good - I do not see anything saying "dynamic" around here. Basically this is the setup:

Unnamed EISA partition - Layout: Partition, Type: Basic, Filesystem: FAT
C: System Partition - Layout: Partition, Type: Basic, Filesystem: NTFS

So I'm guessing these are not dynamic. I'll give the Partition Magic a try...

Thanks - this is really helpfull.

Old 05-15-2004, 05:56 PM   #5
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: tonawanda, NY
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Yup, they are basic...

You are good to go on that. I used PM v 7 on my XP machine and it works great
Old 05-16-2004, 09:32 AM   #6
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I tried pm7 but I all I got was non-functional demo version which did not commit changes to the disk...

Can you please point me to an actual functional trial version? All I keep finding is the demo releases and they are no help. I really do not feel like paying $70 for a tool I'm going to use every once in a blue moon.

Thanks for the help!
Old 05-16-2004, 11:48 AM   #7
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Options besides PM there are the ntfsprogs which includes a NTFS partition resizer.
Old 09-02-2004, 06:41 PM   #8
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Get Mandrake 10, in expert mode it will resize the NTFS partition to the size that you want, then "go back" and then select use free disk space. It worked for me.


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