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"Help me, Obi-Wan" I want to upgrade my work PC (Dell Precision 670 Workstation) as dual-boot Kubuntu and XP Pro. I currently have 2xSATA drives (250 GB each), one is ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! conradinsf's Avatar
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    Fishing for ideas - Dual boot XP Linux (yet again) with a twist


    "Help me, Obi-Wan"

    I want to upgrade my work PC (Dell Precision 670 Workstation) as dual-boot Kubuntu and XP Pro. I currently have 2xSATA drives (250 GB each), one is the boot drive (unpartitioned, XP Pro SP2) and one is my data storage drive. I recently got two 1 TB SATA drives and would like to upgrade my system, especially for the storage drive (I will be transferring the data from my current 250 GB D drive to one of the new TB drives). I know I have room for at least 3 SATA drives in there, so I plan on having 1x250 GB plus 2x1 TB drives on it.

    Hereís where I am fishing for ideas. Should I partition my current boot drive (250 GB) for dual-boot with Linux (Kubuntu)? This way, I can use the TB drives purely for data storage. Or, should I partition a new TB drive for Linux (on maybe 75 GB partition) and split the remaining 900 GB for data storage? This way, I donít have to worry about partitioning the current boot drive for dual-boot. I am only considering this because as of this moment, I am only using 35 GB of the 250, and it would make some sense to just partition this drive and install Linux on it. I am only hesitant because I have no experience with any of the partition software out there, and I am afraid of damaging the current stable and functional XP Pro (plus the other programs) installed on it.

    I am somewhat of a newbie with linux in that I have installed Ubuntu on an aging desktop and Kubuntu on another aging PC at work, but have only used it to browse websites (email, google, myspace, etc.) and as a jukebox player for my mp3s.

    Although this is not too technical of a question, I would just like to know what folks would prefer to do, both from the experts and fellow newbies.

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Hi conradinsf, welcome to the forums.
    With that much HD space available, I would just take the easy route and Install Linux to a secondary HD (75GB is plenty) and use the rest for storage.
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  3. #3
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTbob View Post
    Hi conradinsf, welcome to the forums.
    With that much HD space available, I would just take the easy route and Install Linux to a secondary HD (75GB is plenty) and use the rest for storage.
    I tend to agree ... you can use the PartedMagic CD to partition the disc before you start the install. Generally speaking you want a root, home, and a swap partition. Then I would probably make an extended partition with the rest of the drive space ... that way if you decide you need to split your data or create additional partitions you can.

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    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan183 View Post
    you can use the PartedMagic CD to partition the disc before you start the install.
    Welcome to the forums, conradinsf!

    Yep, I agree with Jonathan's suggestion to use the PartedMagic LiveCD for your partitioning work because it makes simple work out of what can feel like a difficult/complex task.

    Have fun with your upgrade project...
    oz

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    Just Joined! conradinsf's Avatar
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    Please pardon this naive question, but if I use PartedMagic LiveCD, what types of partitions should I create? I've never used the manual partition option, only the Guided Install for Kubuntu on the entire drive, so I don't quite know which format types to create (ext2, ext3, etc.) I've searched many sites, and all these places tell me is that I should double the size of current memory for the linux-swap partition. If I use PartedMagic, I assume that I can use the Guided Install for one of the partitions that I created with PartedMagic. So I guess my question is what partitions and sizes should I create with PartedMagic? Let's say I want to create approximately 75 GB for Kubuntu, and the rest for storage. My workstation (dual Xeon 2.4 GHz processors) has 4 GB memory installed.

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    oz
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    The PartedMagic window looks like this:



    You can see the number and types of partitions on the drive. I like ext3 partitions for my own use, but others like other filesystems for various reasons. As for swap, I've got 1 GB of RAM, but only create a 512 MB swap partition, and it never gets touched by the system, but then I don't run lots of high memory intensive applications at once. I could effectively delete my swap partition because I don't really need it.
    oz

  8. #7
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conradinsf View Post
    Please pardon this naive question, but if I use PartedMagic LiveCD, what types of partitions should I create? I've never used the manual partition option, only the Guided Install for Kubuntu on the entire drive, so I don't quite know which format types to create (ext2, ext3, etc.) I've searched many sites, and all these places tell me is that I should double the size of current memory for the linux-swap partition. If I use PartedMagic, I assume that I can use the Guided Install for one of the partitions that I created with PartedMagic. So I guess my question is what partitions and sizes should I create with PartedMagic? Let's say I want to create approximately 75 GB for Kubuntu, and the rest for storage. My workstation (dual Xeon 2.4 GHz processors) has 4 GB memory installed.
    You should use ext3 for home and root partitions. You should be able to start with 30GB for root, 40GB for home ... i'm not sure about the swap size ... but I would have thought 4GB was more than enough (but check the website). Once you have the PartedMagic CD if you find you are short of space on one partition you can always adjust things.
    ... to be honest you are allocating as much space to a single OS as many people have total storage capacity.

  9. #8
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conradinsf View Post
    I assume that I can use the Guided Install for one of the partitions that I created with PartedMagic.
    If this is like Ubuntu you will not be able to use the guided install - but all you need to do is select your home, root & swap partitions and ensure you select format at least the root partition otherwise the installer is likely to throw up error messages.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Do you have blank HD? I would suggest you to boot up from PartedMagic LiveCD and execute fdisk -l command in its Terminal. Post output here.
    Lets check whats the partition structure of your HD right now.
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    Just Joined! conradinsf's Avatar
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    I do have a blank HD. Would I still need (or want) to boot up with PartedMagic if the drive is already blank? In other words, what are the advantages of PartedMagic if I can partition the HD when I install Kubuntu? Or, should I partition the HD with PartedMagic first (for simplicity's sake, let's say I will partition 1 TB HD down to 100 GB ext3 + 450 GB ntfs + 450 GB ntfs) and then do a guided install with Kubuntu on the 100 GB partition? Or even a manual install on the 100 GB partition to be able to change the linux-swap size?

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