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Old 10-18-2004, 09:38 PM   #1
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Question create partition when installing

I run Windows XP Home and I want to keep it, in a dual-boot with Linux.

My HD has two Windows partitions: C:, with nothing but the boot files, to boot into W XP

which is on the E: drive.

Both partitions are FAT32.

Drive C: has 9GB of free space.

When I install Linux, can Mandrake create a Linux partition in the empty space on C:?

Will I be able to dual-boot, i.e., into Linux or into W XP on the E: drive?

Can I copy data files from the W XP partition (E:, FAT32) to the Linux partition?
Old 10-19-2004, 09:31 AM   #2
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It might be different in your case, so keep your eyes open while doing it:

One of the parts of the install process is called "Partitioning". Mandrake 10 usually gives you the option to use some of the free space on your Windows partition. You can then use a slider to set the new size of your Windows partition. The rest will be used for Linux. It sometimes even asks you which partitions should be formatted. Usually it defaults to formatting the new Linux partitions, but I once almost lost my Windows data by having my Windows partition selected to be formatted - just keep your eyes and mind open and you shouldn't have a problem.

It gives you the option of using either Lilo or Grub as bootloaders (another process near the end of the installation). This will allow you to dual boot XP with Linux. Tip: Dont set anything here. Go with the default settings - they work the best.

Another tip: If this is your first experience with Linux installations, try doing it on a completely seperate hard drive. Once you want to get rid of it, its sometimes hard to get your Windows drive back to its original state - especially when using RedHat/Fedora.
Old 10-19-2004, 04:58 PM   #3
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In and of itself Linux does not "grab" free space for itself during the installation, away from your existing NTFS partitions.

There is a utility on the install CD which runs under DOS or Windows that will resize your existing partitions, taking away free space for a new partition onto which you can install Linux. (FIPS?)

Linux itself must boot from a Primary partition and given your configuration it may be forced to create EXTENDED partitions during the setup process.

You may have to help the installer along.

When you get to the partitioning click on ADVANCED and see check to be sure that it will be installing Linux on a PRIMARY partition.

If not, back up and use the gui to create a small /boot partition of about 32-64 megs which MUST be a primary one. Then let the partitioner allocate the remaining free space as needed.

As posted then go with the defaults for Lilo Grub.
Old 10-19-2004, 05:35 PM   #4
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Re: create partition when installing

Originally posted by Stranger 18
Can I copy data files from the W XP partition (E:, FAT32) to the Linux partition?
Yes, Linux can handle Fat32 (which it calls VFAT) partitions just as easily as ext2/3, ReiserFS, etc. You can read/write to and from these partitions within Linux just fine. In fact, I created a special VFAT partition which I mounted to a folder within my home directory to make file sharing between Windows and Linux easier. If you have an NTFS partition, it's more difficult. NTFS is only supported in Linux in read-only mode, so you can copy files from an NTFS partition to a VFAT, ext, etc. partition, but you can't copy files from within Linux to an NTFS partition. You also have to have a special driver to even be able to read from an NTFS partition, but I think most distros come with it standard. (I use Fedora, and it didn't come with driver)
Old 10-19-2004, 06:18 PM   #5
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Actually you can install the Captive NTFS drivers under Mandrake (the installation is quite easy) which gives you full READ/WRITE access to NTFS.

No need for VFAT partitions this way.


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