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Iíve read the HOWTOs below to setup a dual-boot config with WinXP Home SP2 & SuSE 9.1 Pro . http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Multiboot-with-GRUB.html http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Partition/index.html I want to split the disk like this: 10MB ...
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    Dual Boot XP/SuSE Linux, FDISK question


    Iíve read the HOWTOs below to setup a dual-boot config with WinXP Home SP2 & SuSE 9.1 Pro.

    http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Multiboot-with-GRUB.html
    http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Partition/index.html

    I want to split the disk like this:

    10MB to boot WinXP, (FAT16)
    30GB WinXP, (NTFS)
    20GB Linux, (Linux)
    1GB Linux Swap, (Linux)
    29GB Shared Music, (FAT32)?

    I have some questions before I roll up my sleevesÖ

    Should I partition the drive beforeI install Linux? If so, can I use FDISK from XPís recovery console to do this? Or should I partition the drive from within Linux after installaion? Iíve read both HOWTOs a few times and Iím confused

    Iím not installing DOS or Win98 so I wonít need the Windows 98 emergency disk & the DOS bootable disks, right?

    Does anyone happen to know an easy way to convert the block size into MB to calculate the size of each partiton?

    Whatís the best way forward? Thanks in advance everyone

  2. #2
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Re: Dual Boot XP/SuSE Linux, FDISK question

    Quote Originally Posted by ece30675
    I want to split the disk like this:

    10MB to boot WinXP, (FAT16)
    30GB WinXP, (NTFS)
    20GB Linux, (Linux)
    1GB Linux Swap, (Linux)
    29GB Shared Music, (FAT32)?
    Ok, well I've set up a multiboot drive with XP and SuSE 9.1 Pro before, and I have a few questions of my own for you. Why are you making a separate XP boot partition? Is that what it says in the HOW-TOs? I've never found the need for a boot partition in XP, much less a FAT16-formatted one. DOS used FAT16, if I'm not mistaken.

    It is probably a good idea to make any partitions you plan on sharing FAT32, since that's easily readable/writable by Linux and XP. That much I agree with.

    Should I partition the drive beforeI install Linux? If so, can I use FDISK from XPís recovery console to do this?
    I usually partition my drive by hand using cfdisk in Linux before I install XP. XP likes to be installed first, but the FDISK program does not support Linux file systems (ext2/3, reiserfs) as far as I know, so here's what I'd do:

    Boot the XP disc and partition your NTFS partition with it. Install XP onto that. Then boot into SuSE and use their auto-partitioner to partition the extra space. You may need to fiddle with it a bit to get the partitions the sizes and formats you want, but it's doable.

    Iím not installing DOS or Win98 so I wonít need the Windows 98 emergency disk & the DOS bootable disks, right?
    Correct. A lot of the HOW-TOs I find on Linux topics these days are a little long in the tooth, and aren't necessarily relevant to today's systems.

    Does anyone happen to know an easy way to convert the block size into MB to calculate the size of each partiton?
    I'm not sure what you mean here. Are you talking about when you're partitioning and it asks you what size to make the partition? Usually you can just put a "M" after the amount and it will translate it for you, for instance:

    Code:
    1024M
    For one GB. Hope that helps.
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    Thanks for the swift repsonse

    (I have the confidence to take the plunge now!)

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    I have a question:

    ... Then boot into SuSE and use their auto-partitioner to partition the extra space. You may need to fiddle with it a bit to get the partitions the sizes and formats you want, but it's doable...
    Should I create an extended partition to hold the other 3 partitions (Shared, Linux, Linux Swap)?

    Is the Linux Swap space allocated during installation?

    Also what swap size do you suggest? I have 768MB/400MHz DDR RAM (1*512, 1*256), Athlon XP 2.4GHz CPU.

    Thanks again

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Honestly, I was never too clear on the difference between Primary and Extended partitions. I make all my partitions primary.

    I'm not sure what you mean by allocating swap space. You'll need to set up a swap partition along with your other partitions and set the type as "swap". If you mean FORMATTING, yes, all that is done by the installer.

    The swap size generally depends on your system RAM, there are even some schools of thought that say swap isn't even needed anymore. For a PC with 768MB, you probably won't need more than 500MB. I've run SuSE on as small as 128MB swap on a machine with 1GB of RAM..
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    With that much of RAM, you won't need a swap partition unless your installation insists that you have one. The thumb rule for swap size is that it should be five times the amount of RAM you have. I had a swap partition though I have 512 mb of RAM. I later deleted it and had no hassles. Issuing the command free at the cli showed zero utilization of the swap space while I had the swap partition.
    You may like to doublecheck this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linuxfordummies
    The thumb rule for swap size is that it should be five times the amount of RAM you have.
    Wow. I've heard twice the RAM at *most*. Five times? That would mean for a 1GB RAM machine i'd have a 5GB swap? Sorry, that's just overkill. Swap is only used when your system memory runs out, and since I have yet to have used even half of 1GB of RAM with any of my systems, I don't see an advantage in having more than 500MB.
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    If the total number of partitions you plan to have exceeds four (which is the maximum number of primary partitions allowed), then you will need to create an extended partition and subdivide it into more partitions.
    For more information on partition types you may find this link useful
    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/...titions-c.html

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    The rule for swap=5x RAM is only for small amounts of RAM. With enough RAM, as I mentioned, you don't need a swap partition. It would obviously be ridiculous to have a swap of 2.5 gb or 5 gb!!

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    My apologies.
    I was quoting the figure for swap that I remembered from a Linux book (Beginning RedHat Linux 9). I just checked again and it says the swap size should be about 2.5 times the RAM (not 5 times as I had said by mistake).

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