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Thread: partitioning

  1. #1


    I have a 300GB hard drive, currently with Windows XP HE installed on the main partition. I have a utility partition, sized at 10~GB, which comes standard on HP computers.

    What I want to do is install Linux and have two operating systems on my computer (XP would be the main one, but I want Linux too.)
    If my utility partition were bigger (at least 40GB) I would simply reformat that partition and install Linux....

    However, like I said, I only have 10GB of hard drive space on my D: drive (utility partition).

    Therefore, I think what I have to do is reformat my entire hard drive and repartition the existing space. I would probably give the C: drive (with XP) 200GB, D: (with Linux) 50GB, and give E: (backup of XP) the remainder.

    The problem is that I've never reformatted and then repartitioned (in other words, reallocating space and changing the partition size). If someone could please walk me through how to do this, I would appreciate it greatly.

  2. #2


    I think you want to leave the 10GB HP partition alone. That is where I beleive they store the factory image for you to do restores.

    I would put in the XP cd and boot from it. Delete the partition (C) and then recreate it in a smaller size, then create another partition so that you end up with 3 partitions. C for windows, D for HP, E for Linux or whatever. Install XP into the C partition, get it all patched, etc. and then put in the linux CD and have it install on the empty partition. It should alter the boot.ini so that when you boot up it gives you the choice as to which OS you want to boot into.

    The other thing I think you could do is use partition magic to resize the C Drive and then create another partition for your linux OS. This would avoid the formatting and need to reinstall everything that is currently on the C Drive.

    Hopefully others will confirm or set you straight.

  3. #3


    What he said. You can resize the existing Windows partition instead of deleting it then having to repartition and reinstall everything.

    You can do this with commercially available tools such as Symantec's Partition Magic, but you can also do it by using a free software tool such as GParted -- just go to where it says "LiveCD", download the ISO and burn it.

  4. #4


    All of this is mostly unnecessary, though, since the installer on most user-friendly GNU/Linux distributions will offer to take care of repartitioning for you. The installer will normally detect the existing Windows partition, and ask you what you want to do (resize it to have Windows and GNU/Linux side by side, delete it to have only GNU/Linux, etc). This is true of Ubuntu, for example, which is incidentally the distribution I'd recommend if you're new to GNU/Linux.

  5. #5


    I'll chime in with one last thing about formatting. It's never a bad thing to do (a fresh install of windows), especially if the drive has been used for quite a bit of time and has had different things installed and unstalled.

    PM, or as Capi said with the Linux installer is definately the easiest way to accomplish what you want.

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