Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3337 mails)

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RE: [SLE] Direction needed
  • From: Cleary_Mike@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 15:36:56 -0400
  • Message-id: <D5A2CF52D21E8341B5CF28700364E8B205BF7510@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


-----Original Message-----
From: mlist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:mlist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 2:24 PM
To: dennis.tuchler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; suse-linux-e@xxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [SLE] Direction needed

Dennis J. Tuchler [mailto:dennis.tuchler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]

> A friend of mine has a computer loaded with M$ Windows.
> She would like to try Linux but does not know how much
> room to make on the disk by partitioning (and whether
> SuSE will do the job for her or whether she should use
> Partition Magic). Where is there a guide that I can
> give her that will answer her questions?

YaST can do partitioning and formatting and stuff,
where there's an existing unused partition or unused
unassigned space, but I don't think you'd want to
try shrinking an existing Windows partition that way.
Since she already has only Windows on the computer,
we can assume that all hard disk space is alloted.

She would need something like Partition Magic to
shrink the existing Windows partition without
disturbing what's already there, and leave
room for the new OS. (Probably want to clean up
and de-frag before using Partition Magic...)
After that, YaST can have its way with the new,
empty partition during installation, and it will
be very polite about the existing Windows partition.

Perhaps a live-CD Linux would provide an equivalent
service without it having to already be on the hard disk?

However, you didn't specify a laptop, so I'll assume
she has a desktop/tower of some kind. If there's room
for another hard disk, it would make sense to add one
for exclusive use by Linux. Hard disks are cheap. It
takes between five minutes and two hours to install
one... five minutes if she has the HD and cables
and any mounting rails that are required... two hours
if she has to go to the computer store to purchase a
piece... :-)
In other words, no big deal.
The only caveat is to open the computer _before_
the trip to buy the hard disk, to see what flavor
is already in place (IDE, SATA, SCSI...) and whether
there are sufficient free connectors on the HD data
cable and the power-supply cable... and whether the
bay, into which a new drive will go, is 3.5 or 5.25
inches (i.e., will some kind of mounting bracket
be needed... they're cheap, too, just a couple of

I've installed small drives using nylon cable ties
when there wasn't a good ready-made location with
screw-holes and such), and encountered no problems...
but that's me...

Once she has it in place, she can install whatever
she likes on the second drive without any need to
disturb a working Windows setup. All that changes is
what's in the boot sector of the primary drive.

If your friend later decides that she doesn't like
Linux, she just reformats that second disk and has
a ton(ne) of extra room for her Windows stuff.

The boot-loader chain can be adjusted to put Windows
first, with no delay, so it's basically unnoticable.


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I highly recommend the option Kevin proposed. I have had hard drives go
bad before, and if both OS's are on one drive, you lose everything. If
only one goes bad, you can always boot up the other to use the internet,
get your email, etc. It's pretty rare, but it only takes once....
Just my 0.02.


A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse.

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