John dingo at
Thu Feb 23 22:53:56 GMT 2006

MC wrote:
> Ok, I've installed red hat and mandrake in the past, like last year and the year before, and always there is a problem with what I am about to describe:
> 1. I have windows xp (with the software from the factory restore disk)
> 2. I want to partition my HD so I can have linux & xp
> 3. I partition and install (whether through the linux software or manually)
> 4. windows is no longer accessible
> Now, I want linux, I've destroyed my OS more than once to get it. Ubuntu live version has partitioning software that seems to show where the partition's data ends and free space 'begins', so I think i can just bring back the HD partition to the colored part. I dont want to backup my files either because it takes forever but also XP factory restore (which has extra software) would wipe out the linux install (i think)... so... basically, I want to keep my XP as is now, partition the drive, and install linux on it.
> If I must, I am willing to back up my personal files, partition, install linux, then factory restore (if can) on the other partition.
> Ok, i feel better.
A lot of people, like you, want to dual-boot Windows and Linux. Red Hat 
Linux has supported this for some years to my knowledge, and some of my 
earliest installs were dual-boot (with OS/2, not Windows), before 
Anaconda, the current Red Hat installer. Red Hat Linux is pretty ancient 
now, having been succeeded by Fedora Core (consumer-grade) and Red Hat 
Enterprise Linux, but both descendants work pretty much the same.

I don't recall that either has the ability to resize FAT partitions, and 
they most certainly do not resize NTFS.

SUSE does resize FAT and NTFS, and very nicely too. I have been known to 
boot a SUSE install disk just to resize a partition.

I believe Ubuntu does, but not having tried that I can't say how 
nicely/easily. Doubtless others will comment.

You haven't said whether your hardware is a laptop or a desktop 
computer. I'm pretty sure your Windows recovery CD would, given the 
chance, blow your Linux away: I suggest that you check that out soonest. 
Run ntbackup (Start/run/ntbackup or better, Start/runas/ntbackup (do you 
need to hold a shift key down when clicking start? do you need to click 
All Programs?) and backup your valuables properly before experimenting. 
You might (should) need to run ntbackup as an administrator, but you 
should not ordinarily use your computer as one.

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