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.
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?
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.