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  1. #1

    Partitions for Install

    Hey All-

    Right now I'm running Win XP and planning on installing either the newest non-beta release of Mandriva or Ubunto (Probably going to flip a coin.. can't find any good articles on key differences, tried distrowatch) and was just curious what sort of partitions I should go into the installer with. Right now I have a C: system drive and a D: data drive for WinXP and am planning on partition magicing (tm) off some of the free space into E/F/G etc. for the Linux as I assume the Installers still only do destructive formatting? The last time I installed Linux it was something like Slackware 2.x 8 years ago so I am certainly a bit out of the loop.

    The main question is, should I just resize the D: drive and leave all the free space as a big chunk and let the installer do with it what it will? Or should I pre-partition it up into small pieces.. root, swap, etc. My intuition says the first option is the way to go.


  2. #2
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    Most installers can resize your existing partitions and offer you options to add partitions for Linux. If they detect an existing operating system, like Windows, they'll offer to install the bootloader so it gives you a choice of operating system to boot up.

    Now, do you actually have two different hard drives or are C: and D: actually partitions on one hard drive? From your comments, it sounds like you only have one hard drive.

    I'd recommend partitioning like this:

    hda1 (primary partition) Windows C: NTFS partition (leave as is)
    hda5 (extended partition) D:, reformat into FAT32 file system and shrink
    hda6 (extended partition) ~.5gigs Linux swap (swap file system)
    hda7 (extended partition) 5-6gigs Linux OS (ext3 file system)

    Most of your data files will be in hda5, using the FAT32 file system for maximum Windows/Linux compatability. If your D: is less than half full, then you'll be able to transfer the files around with a few resizing and copying steps.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

  3. #3
    Indeed I do have just 1 HDD.. luckily its 150 GB so I can fit 2 OSes on it pretty easily. What you have suggested seems like what I was thining of doing, resizing the D: data drive to make the linux drives. The one other question I would have is how important is the FAT32 instead of NTFS on the D: data drive? Can Linux not mount NTFS at all?

    Thanks again

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Peterborough, UK
    Linux can mount NTFS, but it can only read safely. I think writing /can/ be done, but is very, very risky.

    \"I am, after all,\" said Pooh, \"a bear of very little brain.\"
    MY PC: Athlon XP64 3000+ on a Asus K8V-X mobo w/1GB of non-descript RAM. AGP - GeForce 2 MX400. PCI - Creative Live! 5.1 soundcard. 140 GB and 120 GB SATA WD drives.

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