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Old 11-24-2006, 12:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Upgrading to partition.

Simple.

I will soon come to own two 500gig hard drives. the first will have Windows XP on it, and, i was wondering if i should take advantage of a fresh installation by partitioning it.

I've heard a few things about partitioning, basically i don't know how to do it outside of the 're-installing windows' operation.

so, lets start from there, i'am in the process of installing windows, and about time it comes to format my hard drive, where do i go from there?

Also, does partitioning a hard drive take up more space or something stupid like that?

To give you an idea of what i'am looking at for the first hard drive, is atleast 3 partitions.

1st - Windows XP & Light Programs - i.e, photoshop, bit torrent, limewire,hex workshop etc.

2nd - ubuntu for pc/64(haven't decided)

3rd - Media, things such as video and pictures

then the second hard drive will possibly be a storage and or game hard drive.

now, that is what i'am looking to do. If i partition my hard drive, will i be able to put the ubuntu os onto the 2nd partition like i want to? and if so, how will i access it?

Please take pity on me, i don't feel safe about experimenting yet.
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've always had very good luck using Partition Magic. A program like this lets you easily experiment with creating and resizing new partitions. If you look around you can probably find a relatively inexpensive older version that works fine for XP. The manual with the program should tell you everything you know about setting up new partitions.

I've had dual boot systems before with Ubuntu on one partition and XP on another. When you install Ubuntu it asks you if you want to use GRUB (the Linux bootloader). It will install GRUB on your MBR and automatically create a dual boot installation for you.

P.S. buycheapsoftware.com has an OEM version of partitionmagic 8 for $25.

Regards,

DeeJay
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Old 11-24-2006, 03:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading to partition.

Quote:
Originally posted by objecterror
so, lets start from there, i'am in the process of installing windows, and about time it comes to format my hard drive, where do i go from there?
Just use the Windows installer to create the Windows partition (as large as you want), and leave the rest of the space unpartitioned. You'll just partition it later. That's a good starting point.

Quote:
Also, does partitioning a hard drive take up more space or something stupid like that?
Nope, partition as much as you like. There may be a very small difference, because of the file tables, but it's completely unnoticeable (in the range of 1 or 2 MB).

Quote:
now, that is what i'am looking to do. If i partition my hard drive, will i be able to put the ubuntu os onto the 2nd partition like i want to? and if so, how will i access it?
Ok, if you do as I suggest, you'll first make a partition for Windows, and leave the rest unpartitioned. You then just reboot, stick in the Ubuntu CD-ROM, and pretty much do the same you did with Windows: with the Ubuntu installer, make a second partition and install Ubuntu there. Ubuntu will also need a separate small partition to act as swap space (1GB should be enough).

Now, as for the media partition, you have a dilemma here. You should know that Windows NTFS partitions can't be read or written from Ubuntu (well, it can be done, but it's a bit risky). A linux partition, on the other hand, CAN be read by Windows (and written into, if I remember correctly), but you must use a small third-party program to do it (which you can download). So overall, it's not a good idea to mix Windows and Linux file systems.

An alternative would be to use the FAT32 file system for this "media" partition. It's a bit outdated, but Windows and Linux can read and write it without any problems. You could think of this partition as a "bridge" between your Windows and Linux installs.

Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention that a FAT32 partition will be limited to 32GB in size, with a maximum individual file size of 4GB :/.
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Old 11-25-2006, 02:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you both for the information i'll be putting it to a document and using it in my steps towards experimenting with partitioning.

I will look into partitioning software, and, as far as the media dilemna is concerned i'am reading it as, i cannot swap files between os's. meaning what i use on ubuntu will stay there and what is on windows will stay there as well.

If i'am doing or saying anything incorrectly, please edit and tell me please.

So, this is how i understand what i need to do from both post:
Purchase partitioning software/partition with windows
From the point where I partition a space for windows i leave some space for ubuntu.

now, this is where i feel a bit hazy on things.

If my hard drive partition reads.
Partition A - Windows OS
Partition B - Ubuntu OS
Partition C - Media

Will Partition C be unable to be accessed while i'am in Ubuntu? And, if so, i wouldn't mind it.

Also, regarding all three partitions, i would like to give ubuntu say, 60 gigs if that makes sense.

Meaning, it would read like this:

Partition A - Windows OS
Partition C - Windows OS Media Folder
Partition B - Ubuntu

So, i would only use the C partition through windows, meaning i store and collect files there while Ubuntu is more or less seperate from everything else.

I hope i was clear enough.

The bridge example was alot of help and it helped me properly put into perspective the reality of partitioning.
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Old 11-25-2006, 11:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think that the type of formating for C: will determine whether or not it is usable in Linux. I seem to recall that Linux can read both FAT32 and NTFS. I believe I mounted my NTFS partition in Linux so it could be read (but not written to). But I like to idea in the post above to use FAT32 for your C partition.

The size of your Ubuntu partition depends on what you want to do with Linux. If you are just interested in web surfing and email, a really small partition will do (around 10 GB max). If you want to collect lots of images, music or videos, then maybe you need a bigger one.

Just makes sure you back up all your important files. As good as GRUB is, my experience with it is that you will eventually wind up with an unbootable system and have to reinstall windows or repair your MBR.

DeeJay
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Old 11-25-2006, 03:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, dmj94044, you're correct in that Ubuntu can read NTFS partitions. It's also possible (through a kernel recompilation apparently) to make it write into NTFS, but they say it's still experimental and not very reliable.

Now, concerning objecterror's post:

Quote:
Purchase partitioning software/partition with windows
You don't really need to purchase partitioning software. You can do all the partitioning and formatting from the OS installers (Windows or Ubuntu). You can also resize/delete/create partitions within the OS once it's installed (at least in Windows XP).

Quote:
Will Partition C be unable to be accessed while i'am in Ubuntu? And, if so, i wouldn't mind it.
It depends on the file system you format it with.

If you format partition C from Windows, you'll have trouble using it in Linux (ie: you'll be able to read it with a small tweak, but you won't be able to write into it).

If you format it from Ubuntu, you'll be able to read and write it from Windows only by using a third-party program you can download, but the regular Windows file explorer won't see it.

Here's a small step-by-step guide on what you can do:

1) Purchase new hard drive.
2) Insert the Windows CD and boot from it.
3) Use the Windows installer to create partition "C". This will be your Windows main partition. Leave the rest of the space as "unpartitioned".
4) Finish installing Windows on partition C.

5) Reboot, and boot from the Ubuntu CD.
6) From the Ubuntu installer, create your Linux partition. You'll also be asked to create a small "swap" partition (that is pretty much invisible).
7) The Ubuntu installer will also install "GRUB", which is a small boot program that will let you chose into which OS to boot when you turn the computer on. The options will be Linux or Windows, of course.
8) Finish installing Ubuntu.

9) When you have decided whether you want your "media" partition to be accessed from Windows or Linux, just boot into that OS and create the partition with the corresponding file system (NTFS, FAT32 or ext3).

You're done! Hope it was clear enough.
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Old 11-25-2006, 04:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That says it all. . . Kudos!
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It used to be more important to partition hd's and use something like 2-4 gigs for the OS only. Second partition for keeper programs and apps, and thoird (rest) for backups, downloads, storage. It made reinstalls (over C) a very simple matter...BUT XP DOES NOT reinstall on top of existing like 98/ME or earlier OS's did.

You MUST choose custom installs for all programs and specify D drive, and make sure the default save/download etc locations are to appropriate partitions. You can also save an image of fresh install(once updated) to make future reinstalls quicker, I'll burn to dvd-rw for that (allows one to keep changing when newere MS updates appear).

That said, I still partition much the same way, but besure to leave enough space on C drive to avoid having to resize. Even 10 gigs may be too small...many people will tell you to not partiton any more-but I do find for more organized use, having all apps/programs on one, the OS on its own , and a partitoon or two (not bad to separate into audio, imaging, games) if you really want to go all out with the second hard drive. Lately I've become fond of using a small but faster raptor as the OS drive with dedicated program/apps partition, and huge albeit slower SATA( or ide if you dont have serial) drives in RAID array for storage.

Just my two bits...
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