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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Question Help with dual boot partition map

    I have a 2 year old ThinkPad T42 laptop model 2379DWU. I have decided to replace the 40 GB hard drive with a new 100 GB hard drive.

    I will be running the IBM Rescue and Recovery / Product Recovery disks on my new hardrive in order to reinstall Windows XP.

    I believe that the recovery disks will also create a 4GB partition for an IBM Rescue and Recovery area and the rest of the drive will be a NTFS partition with Windows XP installed back to the state it was when it was shipped from the factory.

    I plan on using GParted to re-size the NTFS partition but here is where I need help.

    First Question:
    I have read about the BIOS 1024 cylinder limit. In order to use GRUB or Lilo to dual boot, the /boot partition needs to be below the 1024 cylinder. How can I do this with the IBM recovery area taking up 4GB and XP taking up several more GB?

    I was thinking of giving XP 15 to 20 GB unless I can map the Documents and Settings directory to another partition. Is this possible with XP?

    How can I tell if my BIOS has the 1024 cylinder limitation?

    Second question:
    How big should my /swap partition be?

    I have read that I should double my RAM and since I have 2 GB of RAM I would think that I should allocate 4GB to swap. But then I also read that Linux can only use 128MB of swap space and the rest is wasted.

    The rest of the drive needs to allow sharing of files between Windows XP and Linux so I will be creating a FAT32 partition.

    Can anyone recommend a partition map to make best use of my 100GB hard drive and still be able to dual boot and share files with XP?

    I havenít decide which Linux distribution I will install yet but am evaluating Open SUSE, Kubuntu, Fedora and Mandriva in case the distribution choice makes a difference in how I should partition. I will be using it for java web development and personal use.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  2. #2
    SuperMod (Back again) devils casper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Chandigarh, India
    in Linux, you can create /boot partition above 1024 cylinder limit. during installation/creation, sometimes installer pop up a warning message. nothing to worry... go ahead.
    you can shrink NTFS partition through GParted.
    SWAP... you already have 2GB RAM. no need to create SWAP partition. RAM is more than enough.

    Best partition Structure ?
    20 GB for Windows
    two 25 GB FAT32 partitions. one for Docs, backups etc and other for Entertainment.. songs, movies, games etc...
    rest for Linux 30 GB... actually partition structure depends on your needs...
    shrink NTFS, create FAT32 partition and leave rest space as 'Unpartitioned/free'. install Linux in that free space. you can create separate /home partition too. again... depends on you. Dual boot is default. Let installer do whatever it wants boot loader section. you have to take care of only one thing.... select 'unpartitioned free' space for Linux install.

    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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