[SOLVED] Partitioning/Dual Boot
Before I begin, let me get this out of the way: I am totally uninitiated in programming and anything that goes on in a computer beyond the GUI. I am, however, familiar with both Windows and Mac OS X.
My PC, which had been running XP Pro, crashed, and I don't have a repair disk, since it was bought used. First attempt at solving problem: use old XP Home disk, currently installed on another outdated pc. Note: this disk was actually a manufacturer's bundled disk, which ran a recovery operation similar to Windows System Restore, keeping user files intact, but uninstalling the OS, then installing Windows XP Home. Should be fine, right? The OS is repaired, my stuff is safe. No dice, no Certificate of Authenticity (not pirated, just lost the thing). New problem: instead of blue error screen, I get the Windows XP setup upon booting, which, since I lack the Certificate of Authenticity, is just as useless. Next possible solution: Switch to Linux! But, without removing the old data on the hard disk, since I actually have some nice stuff on there. So, using a MacBook Pro, I downloaded and burned a Knoppix live cd as a temporary solution. Easy enough. But, I need a more permanent option, and for this, I chose Linux Mint. Downloaded, burned, booted. Chose install on the desktop. All good until the partitioning issue came up. The hard disk is 500 gbs, apparently, and there are two filesystems on it, one, 262 gigs, 41 available, accessible from the file browser in both Knoppix and Linux Mint, NTFS filesystem. The other, 238 gigs, more nebulous. No filesystem type, not accessible from the file browser. I want to keep the old documents and settings folders from Windows, but XP Home can go; it's only halfway installed anyway. Tried Partition Logic, couldn't find the hard drive. :confused:
I can find the files I want, but I need a partition to move them to (I think?). That is, if I even want to move them. How much of a chance is there that, after moving them from Windows into Linux, they would be unusable? Is there any?
The 41 gigs available on the 262 gig filesystem should be enough to hold Linux Mint and all associated folders, but how do I separate that disk space from that filesystem and create a new partition?
Is the hard drive foobar?
What's a filesystem, anyway?
Should I just erase everything and start fresh with Linux, and, if so, is there a way to keep my stuff?
The filesystems are under the paths dev/sda1 and dev/sda5, if that signifies anything.
The PC is a Dell Dimension 4700, and has an Intel Pentium 4 processor. It's i686, i386 compatible (what are these things, comparable to amd64?). Found that out when I tried to boot amd64 version of Linux Mint.
Yes, I realize now that messing with this was beyond my capabilities. Hindsight is 20/20.
Thank you in advance for your response.