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Okay so I am currently installing Ubuntu and preparing my partitions. However, I am unsure how to proceed with making my partitions. So far, my Windows partition takes up the ...
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  1. #11
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    Okay so I am currently installing Ubuntu and preparing my partitions. However, I am unsure how to proceed with making my partitions.

    So far, my Windows partition takes up the entire hard drive. Can someone explain to me what this means?

    I see:

    /dev/sda
    -- /dev/sda1 1.5 GB
    -- /dev/sda2 231.4 GB

    What exactly is the sda, sda1 and sda2 and why do I have two partitions? I assumed Windows Vista itself took up the entire hard drive. Do I need the sda1 partition? Will resizing the Vista partition delete any of my programs on it?

  2. #12
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post
    I'm not too sure about the ntfs-3g reference. I've had a HDD completely go corrupt after writing to NTFS because of it.

    To be on the safe side; I keep a fat32 partition open so Windows and Linux can chat back and forth without any potential harm.
    I have not encountered problems with ntfs-3g ... and used fat32 partitions to share data before hearing about the ntfs-3g driver. I find I use Windows less and less so have most of the data on my main system on ext3 partitions anyway. Actually Windows does not see critical data at all ... but thats another story.

  3. #13
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarehunter View Post
    Okay so I am currently installing Ubuntu and preparing my partitions. However, I am unsure how to proceed with making my partitions.

    So far, my Windows partition takes up the entire hard drive. Can someone explain to me what this means?

    I see:

    /dev/sda
    -- /dev/sda1 1.5 GB
    -- /dev/sda2 231.4 GB

    What exactly is the sda, sda1 and sda2 and why do I have two partitions? I assumed Windows Vista itself took up the entire hard drive. Do I need the sda1 partition? Will resizing the Vista partition delete any of my programs on it?
    Open a terminal and post the output of
    sudo fdisk -l

    you will probably find that your two partitions are either
    a) recovery partition from PC vendor + Vista partition
    or
    b) Vista partition + data partition setup by PC vendor

    ... before doing anything with partitions backup critical data ... unless you corrupt partitions data and programs should be retained after resize.

    Ed: sda is the first hard drive of the system, sda1 is the first partition, sda2 is the second partition etc.
    I suggest for the moment you keep sda1 and sda2, but resize sda2 to make space for Linux.

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  5. #14
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    Here is the result of: sudo fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x3d5cf79c

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 192 1536000 27 Unknown
    Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
    /dev/sda2 * 192 30402 242661376 7 HPFS/NTFS

    So, I should keep sda1 and sda2 and simply partition sda2 for Windows (ntfs) partition, Linux (ntfs) partition, home partition (where I store my shared files) and a swap partition?

  6. #15
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarehunter View Post
    So, I should keep sda1 and sda2 and simply partition sda2 for Windows (ntfs) partition, Linux (ntfs) partition, home partition (where I store my shared files) and a swap partition?
    What I would do is shrink sda2, and allow for about 30 or 40 gig. Plenty of room that way for Ubuntu. Linux partitions will be (typically) ext3, not ntfs. You can actuallty just split the difference for your root partition (/) and home partition (/home). How much RAM is installed on your machine? Like Jonathan said, with 2 gigs or more, you probably won't really need a swap partition. But if you decide to use it, 1 gig should do you quite nicely.
    Jay

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  7. #16
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    I have 3 gigs of RAM. I guess I don't need a swap partition but should I have one? If I can have one less partition that would be nice unless I should have one for convenience.

    So I guess I'll go ahead and shrink sda2 for Windows, then leave about 10 GB for the Ubuntu partition using ext3 and have about 50 GB for my home partition where I store all my documents, pics and music.

  8. #17
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    As far as SWAP goes, let me ask this:
    What do you plan on doing in Linux? If you're gonna be running compiling programs, scientific number-crunching apps... use at least 1 1/2 - 2 gigs for SWAP. If you plan on web surfing, media playback or things like that then you might not need it.

    I happen to have a Fedora 10 install on a laptop with 2 gigs RAM. I play some games, I watch DVD's. I don't use SWAP and have never ran out of memory. If you are in doubt, you could go ahead and make a 1 gig SWAP, and if you don't need it just get rid of it later.
    Jay

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  9. #18
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarehunter View Post
    Here is the result of: sudo fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x3d5cf79c

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 192 1536000 27 Unknown
    Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
    /dev/sda2 * 192 30402 242661376 7 HPFS/NTFS

    So, I should keep sda1 and sda2 and simply partition sda2 for Windows (ntfs) partition, Linux (ntfs) partition, home partition (where I store my shared files) and a swap partition?
    Looks like sda1 is a recovery or utility partition from system provider. I would retain this, and shrink sda2 to make room for Linux. Suggest partition layout:-
    sda1 (retain existing size)
    sda2 (shrink to make space for Linux and data partition)
    sda3 Ubuntu root (ext3 format 20GB)
    sda4 (extended partition containing logical partitions sda5, sda6, sda7 using the rest of the disk space)
    sda5 Ubuntu home partition (ext3 format 20GB or more)
    sda6 linux swap (swap format 1GB maximum normally but you will need to make this 3GB to use suspend to disk)
    sda7 data partition to share data between Windows and Linux (either ntfs or fat32 format).

    How large you make the data partition and shrink Windows is up to you. I found problems with large fat32 partitions which is one reason I started using ntfs for data partitions.

    If you intend sharing all data on a data partition the need for a home partition is limited, and 5GB should be more than sufficient for this.

    I got Ubuntu to run in a 5GB partition but if this is going to be your main OS I suggest you make the root partition about 20GB (and expect to use around 10GB by the time you have all software you want installed).

    These are just my suggested layout - others will offer different layout, there is no right or wrong way of partitioning. One key message ... backup critical data before you start changing partitions

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