slampy, I used Gparted on an SL LiveDVD to partition a laptop with Windows XP and it worked a treat.
My laptop was delivered with a nominal 160 Gb HDD (149.05 Gb formatted), partitioned into three partitions: a hidden â€˜factory restoreâ€™ partition (3.90 Gb) for Windows XP; a C: drive (72.33 Gb) and a D: drive (72.82 Gb), with Windows XP installed on the C: drive. I decided to leave the hidden factory partition and C: drive as they were so that I could dual-boot with Windows XP and restore Windows XP to its original state in future if necessary, and to use the D: drive for SL. I therefore used GParted to partition the HDD as follows:
Partition, Filesystem, Mountpoint, Label, Size, Flags
/dev/sda1, fat32, /media/PQSERVICE, n/a, 3.90 Gb
/dev/sda2, fat32, /media/ACER, n/a, 72.33 Gb, boot, lba
/dev/sda3, ext3, /boot, /boot, 101.98 Mb
/dev/sda4, extended, 72.72 Gb
/dev/sda5, ext3, /home, /home, 54.17 Gb
/dev/sda6, ext3, /, /, 16.60 Gb
/dev/sda7, linux-swap, 1.95 Gb
The first and second partitions are exactly as they were when I bought the PC. I simply deleted the third partition (which was the D: drive in Windows XP) and re-partitioned it as one primary partition for /boot and one extended partition with three logical partitions, for /home, / and swap.
You can have a maximum of four primary partitions, of which one or more can be an extended partition containing logical partitions. Incidentally, Red Hat Linux 9 documentation states that there should be no more than 12 logical partitions per HDD in the case of Linux. I wanted /boot to be in a primary partition, so I had to create an extended partition to be able to fit in the other SL partitions (/, /home and swap). Note that /home is not mandatory: the recommended minimum number of Linux partitions is /boot, / and swap. However I wanted to have my data (word documents, pictures, music etc.) on a separate partition so that it would not be affected if I need to reinstall the other SL partitions for any reason (which I have had to do on a few occasions).
Note that the partition sizes are not exactly what I selected in GParted: I allowed GParted to round the sizes. For example, for /dev/sda3 I selected 100 Mb which GParted made 101.98 Mb, and for /dev/sda7 I selected 2000 Mb which GParted made 1.95 Gb.
I have read several contradictory guidelines for the size of the swap partition. The one I have adopted is from Red Hat Linux 9 documentation, which recommends that, if RAM size R <= 1 Gb then swap size S should be in the range R <= S <= 2R, and for R > 1 Gb, make S = 2 Gb. (I have noticed over the last few months that SL uses hardly any of this 2 Gb swap partition, so perhaps the recommendation usually given in Linux Format magazine would be better: 512 Mb maximum.)
The Red Hat Linux 9 documentation recommends a /boot partition of 100 Mb. I made the root partition (/) bigger than 10 Gb because I read in a review that SL 3.3 installed from the LiveDVD occupies nearly 10 Gb. So at least 10 Gb for this partition is needed, and I made it bigger to allow for future package installation (if I were doing it again I would make root 20 Gb as it is already 82% full with all the extra packages I have emerged since). Finally, I created a separate /home partition for all my documents, pictures, music, videos etc.
When you run the SL Installer on the LiveDVD (don't forget to run Update Installer first) you can set up SL to dual boot with Windows XP. This worked perfectly in my case.