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I have Windows 7, and I created a partition of forty gigabytes to install Debian on. However, I'm a bit scared about my data being messed up. The partition is ...
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    Installing to an Existing Partition


    I have Windows 7, and I created a partition of forty gigabytes to install Debian on. However, I'm a bit scared about my data being messed up. The partition is completely empty. Will installing Debian onto this empty partition mess up any of my data? I'm sort of confused, by the Debian install guide.

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    oz
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    Welcome to the forums!

    The Debian installer shouldn't touch your other partitions unless you instruct it to do so. Just watch carefully that you are putting Debian where you want it. You might also want to create a SWAP partition unless you have lots of RAM, and a /home partition isn't a bad idea, although it's not required. The 40 GB partition is big enough to be broken down into root, swap, and home partitions should you want to do it that way.
    oz

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    I decided that I'm going to install some other distribution, more suited for a noob like me, but thanks. I assume it's the same for other installers?

    What is a SWAP partititon, and all that?

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    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBrykein View Post
    I decided that I'm going to install some other distribution, more suited for a noob like me, but thanks. I assume it's the same for other installers?

    What is a SWAP partititon, and all that?
    Yes, it will be basically the same with other distros when it comes to partitions and installers.

    SWAP is for those times you don't have enough system RAM but the system needs more memory. It starts using the hard disk. If you have 2 GB of RAM or more, you might not need SWAP, either. It just depends on how much memory you use with your computing habits.

    /home is where your personal settings are configured and stored. The advantage to having a separate /home partition is that you can often upgrade without losing your configurations.
    oz

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    I have exactly two GB of RAM.

    If I install Linux on a partition, would that effect performance on the other side?

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    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBrykein View Post
    I have exactly two GB of RAM.

    If I install Linux on a partition, would that effect performance on the other side?
    Note that some distros might require a SWAP partition or file, but I'm not sure which ones that would be. Any that require it probably won't allow you to complete the installation without it. If you have plenty of disk space, it might be easier to go ahead and create the SWAP partition and move on.

    What you do with Linux shouldn't impact a Windows install unless you accidentally delete Windows.
    oz

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    How do I create a SWAP partition? And, what does it do exactly?

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    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBrykein View Post
    How do I create a SWAP partition? And, what does it do exactly?
    I'm not sure which distro you are considering, but this primer about SWAP applies to all distros and it should answer any questions that you might have about swap space:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq
    oz

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    oz
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    One easy way to work with partitions is to download and burn the Parted Magic ISO file to disk and then use it as a liveCD to manipulate your partitions:

    Parted Magic News

    It can easily handle partitioning chores and it has lots of other utilities that come in handy for Linux or Windows machines. It will also give you some experience at burning an ISO file to disk as an image:

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/ins...ll-cd-dvd.html

    Once you have your partitions setup the way you want them, you can direct the installer of the distro that you choose to use the partitions that you've already created for the Linux install.
    oz

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    If I download the Ubuntu installer, can I still install it specifically to the partition? Or do I have to have a CD for that?

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