I'm new to this forum so I just wanted to introduce myself and ask a few questions. I've never used Linux before and I'd like to try it out. I bought myself a 80 GB HDD that would be Linux-only. The other HDD has Windows XP on it.
I've done some searching on the Internet and most web sites recommend Mandriva as a good Linux distribution for beginners, so I got it burned on a DVD. Now, I'm concerned about preparing my hard drives for Linux installation. The new HDD is brand new, I haven't partitioned it yet. Being on this forum longer than me, you guys probably know what problems beginners encounter the most - so, if you have any tips to share, I'd greatly appreciate it.
From what I've read, Linux requires several partitions. On the Linux HDD, I'd also like have one additional (FAT32?) partition for sharing files between Windows and Linux, and that's pretty much what I need. How should I make these partitions? Before installing or during the installation? (Note that I have absolutely no experience with the installer.) If before installing, with what tool? How many partitions do you recommend I should make?