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This is a discussion on Linux within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Ok. I'm really ready to get into Linux and all that cool stuff. I own a Dell Dimension 4300. It ...

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    Linux

    Ok. I'm really ready to get into Linux and all that cool stuff. I own a Dell Dimension 4300. It has no alterations on it. I run a cable modem and I have Windows XP home edition installed. I'm interested in getting a Linux system like Slackware or something like that and partioning it with my Windows. I'm not interested in Red Hat by the way. I'm a little lost once I get to the partioning part. What boot loader should I use? I need to have a safe startup because my dads work stuff is on this. So Windows needs to boot first. Is there anywhere where I can get good information on safe partioning for my computer? Thanks for your help guys!
    "When I die I want to pass peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather did, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car."

  2. #2
    ¡Amo fútbol!
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    Here's what I'd do...

    1) Back up dad's data just in case.
    2) Defragment Windows comp.
    3) Install Mandrake
    4) When it asks about the bootloader, put it on a floppy disk.
    5) Make a boot disk.


    Boom...You now have a magic system. To use linux, put the disk with the bootloader in (or even the boot disk).

  3. #3
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    damn... you make it sound like my sister could do it.

    To the OP, make sure you backup everything on your computer and get your dad's permission, because 6 chances out of 10, you will toast your XP drive without even trying. Especially if you've never partitioned a drive before and don't really understand how to do it.

    Oh, and skip step #2... that won't do you a lot of good, especially if you end up overwriting windows anyways.

    And I too would recommend Mandrake and the option of using a bootdisk to get to it.

  4. #4
    That Creepy Network Guy DeepBlackMagic's Avatar
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    OR you could NOT toast the XP drive (probablly running NTFS) Just go OBTAIN (the means i cannot say) a copy of Partition Magic, and simply RESIZE the partition winblows is on. Then when you go to install a good OS <shameless-plug>Like FREEBSD for example =P</shameless-plug> Just have the OS installer partition / format / use the unpartitioned space you just created from the unused part of the winblows drive. Good luck and happy OS replacement!

  5. #5
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    DO NOT use Partition Magic with XP... XP has a built in utility for this. (well... XP Pro does, I'm not sure about the Home version). It's in your administrator tools under disk management.

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    because 6 chances out of 10, you will toast your XP drive without even trying.
    With Mandrake/RedHat you would have to try to get that many.

    damn... you make it sound like my sister could do it.
    Yes, she could.

    And I too would recommend Mandrake and the option of using a bootdisk to get to it.
    RedHat has that too, just like alot olot of Distros with (GUI,/Real/Decent)Installs.

    DO NOT use Partition Magic
    Partition Magic doesnt do a great job, but it always works. If you play with your table it waste a mb here and a mb there. It make using a fdisk program look strange. No idea why they do that.

  7. #7
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mart_man00
    Partition Magic doesnt do a great job, but it always works.
    to say "always" is very dangerous my friend... and I've had it crash several times while trying to resize partitions on my own computer.

  8. #8
    That Creepy Network Guy DeepBlackMagic's Avatar
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    I have never once had a problem resizing a standard NTFS partition under 40 gig. While on the topic, if you try to repartition that space with partition magic u might get problems, however the installer for any descent OS will recognize a completely unpartitioned section of the drive and ask to be installed there =P

  9. #9
    plzduntlakliekthiskthx
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    Originally posted by ober5861
    DO NOT use Partition Magic with XP... XP has a built in utility for this. (well... XP Pro does, I'm not sure about the Home version). It's in your administrator tools under disk management.
    I don't think the Disk Management with XP Pro can resize existing partitions...

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    Where can I find disk managment. I didn't see it in control panel
    "When I die I want to pass peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather did, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car."

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    Computer Management under Administrative Tools.

    <edit>
    What a surprise, it doesnt see my ext3 partition

  12. #12
    That Creepy Network Guy DeepBlackMagic's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mart_man00
    ...What a surprise, it doesnt see my ext3 partition...
    This leads to another interesting situation. Winblows knows my hard drive is 40 gig. It also knows there is a nice 20 gig unpartitioned chunk of it. That unpartitioned chunk is infact UFS that my freebsd install lives on. Windows is at war with my poor bsd partition. They constantly fight, and winblows auctually asked me if i would like to format it to FAT32. Winblows thought it knew better than me how to use my drive. The second my OS decides its smarter than me is the second i dd /dev/zero to its whole slice. Why it thinks UFS isnt partitioned i will never know.

  13. #13
    Registered User FloatingPoint's Avatar
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    I had a close call w/ PMagic when trying to merge 2 ntfs partitions a few days ago...But it also has this undelete partition command that saved the day...

    Anyways, it's alwasy clever to have your *important* data backed up first...
    Come cast your shadow over me
    and I'll cast mine all over thee
    Take me away, into the shades
    where there is no light of day

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    "Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on FTP, and let the rest of the world mirror it."
    -- Linus Torvalds

  15. #15
    Registered User FloatingPoint's Avatar
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    Use CDRs or if you have spare h/disks, those might be useful too.
    Come cast your shadow over me
    and I'll cast mine all over thee
    Take me away, into the shades
    where there is no light of day

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