partitioning my windows drive

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partitioning my windows drive

Postby slampy » Fri Aug 10, 2007 20:43

I'm fairly new to this, but I have installed linux on an extra HDD before. this time I want to use my main drive which already has windows xp installed on it. how can I partition some space on my windows drive without messing up my windows installation, so that I can install sabayon on there, too? If I use Gparted, will that allow me to do such a thing without messing up my windows intsall?
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Postby davemc » Sat Aug 11, 2007 18:44

Gparted can do that via the "resize" option. BE WARNED however that this is not always 100% successful, although the odds are fairly good that you'll be ok. BACKUP your data prior to doing this.
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Postby soadrocksever » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:13

now you see, i was wondering this as well. i used Ubuntu before, and installed it along side my xp instullation. and it auto set the partions and everything. im having trouble installing sabayon on here, now though. i only have 22gb's free on my HDD right now and when installing and tried to use the auto partition option, it said i didnt have enough free space. so i ran the live cd, and tried to partition 7 gb's and it took FOREVER to do, infact, i let it sit for almost half an hour and it still didnt partition, and so i hit cancel, and confirmed w/ the warning, that i might have a disc error, and thankfully ididnt. but i would also like to find a good way to partition the HDD, and as i have all personal data backed up, id like to not format because i have all my settings ust how i like them etc etc.
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Postby wolfden » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:25

well for windows, one of my favorite apps for partioning is Partition Magic, no idea if they still make it or not.


There is also http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php if you're having problems

livecd of gparted, small download
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Postby soadrocksever » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:33

Thanks ill try that live distro of gparted
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Postby darkscot » Sun Aug 12, 2007 19:21

soadrocksever wrote:Thanks ill try that live distro of gparted

A better option is Parted Magic (http://partedmagic.com/) it is a collection of packages that includes Gparted. But it has some other useful applications included with it.
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Postby darkscot » Sun Aug 12, 2007 19:24

wolfden wrote:well for windows, one of my favorite apps for partioning is Partition Magic, no idea if they still make it or not.

Partition Magic is still around but now part of the Norton 'empire'. Version 8.0 is very buggy and if you get it you should upgrade it to 8.01 ASAP.
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Postby Fitzcarraldo » Sun Aug 12, 2007 22:50

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 ‘factory restore’ 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.
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Postby slampy » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:01

whoa, that's one lengthy explanation. well I'm so hesitant to do this because I've screwed up my xp install a couple times already, and I think it was due to grub. but that happened while dual booting from a second hdd. I need to read more about it and try it soon. also, do I always need a swap partition, I don't even know what that is. lol. still semi-new to linux :D
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Postby darkscot » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:33

slampy wrote: also, do I always need a swap partition, I don't even know what that is. lol. still semi-new to linux :D

There is a lot of argument about whether a swap partition is actually needed nowadays. Basically it is like virtual memory that Windows uses. In Windows automatically (unless you set it manually) adjusts the amount of disk space for virtual memory. This is used when your actual RAM is running low. A lot of people think that you don't need a swap partition becuase nowadays most PCs come with plenty of RAM and Linux is generally less memory hungry than Windows. However, having a swap partition certainly doesn't do any harm.

http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linu ... space.html

The above link is to the Redhat explanation of swap space. As Fitzcarraldo says, they recommend a 2GB maximum. The general advice is 512MB maximum and that is what I have always used.
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