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Partitions and Linux

HalifaxJ

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Mar 6, 2009
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Not sure if this is the right forum to ask, but I thought I'd give it a try...

I really want to get into Linux, but for now, since I'm using CAD and 3D software as well as the Adobe Suite, I still need my windows. This being said, I would like to partition my hard drive to have Linux installed. I already have windows Vista 32 installed, and would like to repartition for Linux. Is there a way to keep my V32 install?

Also, in a few months I'll install V64. How should I proceed? Will this involve reinstalling Linux or can I leave that partition alone and simply install V64?

The third option would be to install V64 and Linux (Fedora or Unbutu) from scratch. How should I proceed to do this?

Any experienced Linux users here?

One last question...can you access all files on a hard drive when booted in different partitions? For example, could I access a photograph that is saved in my C drive from Linux?

Cheers,

J
 

enaberif

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1) Use Gparted - but partitioning a drive with an OS can be VERY dangerous so backup ANY important data
2) Just remove the Windows partition and re-install
3) Install Ubuntu from the Live CD
4) Yes
5) Yes
 

Dwayne

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sswilson

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As ebanerif said though... be very leery about playing with the partitions unless you've got everything backed up.

It's been a year since I last did a dual boot / install linux onto a previous windows installation so things might have improved, but at that time, the default settings left very little room on the windows partition, and saying that the "user defined" partition manager wasn't intuitive would be a gross understatement.

I don't want to scare you away. It is doable, just be sure that you won't lose anything critical if it doesn't go as planned.
 

HalifaxJ

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What if I installed a second HD?

Well I have all my files backed up on my external.

J
 

Matt

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I would strongly recommend that you use the tools included with vista to resize your partition; in the past GParted would render vista partitions unusable and although this is probably fixed now it's better to stay on the safe side. This guide will steer you in the right direction: How to dual-boot Vista with Linux (Vista installed first) -- the step-by-step guide with screenshots If you look under the related how-tos there is also a guide to dual-booting with linux installed first; have a look at that if you want to install Vista x64 afterwards.

Although it's unlikely that you will lose your data during the process a backup would be a very good idea.

And yes, you will be able to access your windows partitions from ubuntu. There is also a driver that will let you access linux partitions from windows, although I can't remember what it is called.

EDIT: As Dwayne mentioned, the Wubi installer will let you install Ubuntu without partitioning your drive and you can even uninstall everything from Add/Remove programs. I've used it successfully in the past, it's quite nifty.
 
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enaberif

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What if I installed a second HD?

Well I have all my files backed up on my external.

J
Second hard drive I ALWAYS recommend for new linux users.

Its a lot easier to not mess something up as long as you pay attention to drive orders and you don't have to worry about possibly damaging your Windows data.

Then just download the Ubuntu live cd and boot it up and when you get to the menu choose install.

Be warned tho sometimes not always then when it installs the boot loader (Grub) it may not find your Windows partition so that can require a bit of tweaking.

Also NTFS file support has gotten better but its still one of those things of "be careful" if you want to write to the Windows disk.
 

HalifaxJ

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So once I have an extra HD, how should I proceed? Ultimately, I'm just trying to learn a bit of linux. If I can read and write from both OS, then I'll be happy.

J
 

enaberif

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So once I have an extra HD, how should I proceed? Ultimately, I'm just trying to learn a bit of linux. If I can read and write from both OS, then I'll be happy.

J
Well I say before you go all crazy just use a live cd of Ubuntu and see if it really is your thing. Will you feel comfortable using it day to day? Are you comfortable with the GUI?

Most people need a minimum of 30 days to give linux a full on try but most can get an idea how they'll feel after a couple of hours.
 

Matt

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If you have both drives connected boot up the ubuntu CD and run the installer, it should be able to automatically partition the drive for you and set up the bootloader. You might want to read a few installation guides just to get a feel for the process.

Also, if you're looking to learn about linux after you've got everything set up here's a few good sources: the ubuntu forums, people are really helpful there, the ubuntu wiki, and this podcast: Linux Reality Podcast. The podcast is no longer produced, but I found it to be a great way to learn about linux when I was starting out. The 100 episodes cover a wide variety of topics, from very basic things like useful applications and simple command line work all the way up to advanced topics like setting up a web server; I've been dual-booting linux for four years and I still refer back to episodes from this podcast. In fact, there's probably an episode about installing Ubuntu. :thumb:
 

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