"Guaranteed" Safe Paritioning?
Having had a bad experience in the past with a reformatted hard drive, I could really use some help on getting a dual boot system set up.
I have an HP system that is in 2 partitions: my regular C drive (106 GB, 59.7 GB used) and my D drive, a Recovery Partition (5.54 GB).
Is there any kind of program for Windows that will partition my C drive safely, "guaranteed?" I realize that it probably can't be guaranteed, but is there a program that would do it right every time, as long as you follow the instructions (instead of it being a luck-of-the-draw thing)?
I'm hoping to install Mepis alongside my XP installation (which I would be happy to remove, except that my tech-illiterate parents use this comp as well, so I certainly don't want to mess up Windows!)...is Mepis well-suited to dual-booting? Or is there another distro that will set up a dual-boot system "guaranteed?"
Another thing: since I probably can't install Linux in a dual-boot without some risk, is there some way that I can back up my hard drive completely? The Recovery Partition is very helpful, but it makes things into the way the computer first was. Can I do something so that I could restore it the way it is right now?
I've also heard about Topologilinux, which is able to set up Linux without messing with partitions...would that be a good idea?