i want to have xp and linux on my computer currently i am running xp. i have a 100gb hd and have 80gb spare now my problem is there is no unallocated space on my drive to create a new place for linux is there a way to take out 40gb from my hard drive to use for linux?
xxXStylusXxx: i have a 100gb hd and have 80gb spare
That sounds like you have a single primary partition taking up the whole of the hdd and you're using 20GB of it?
Most Linux distros will want to create at least 2, but sometimes 3 partitions and will have a partitoning function built into the installer.
To make life easier (assuming your hdd is as I describe), the best thing to do is run a defrag on your existing partition (windows "drive") then use gparted to first shrink that partition to 60GB and second to create an extended partition taking up the remaining 40GB.
Now when you install Linux, the partitioner will read the disk layout and should propose to install whatever partitions it needs, using whatever filesystem the distro uses into that extended partition.
e.g. Suse 11.1 will want to create one "swap" partiton and then a "root" and "home" partition using ext3 filesystem, whereas the new Suse 11.2 will use ext4. Fedora doesn't use a separate "home" partition by default - but I always like to set one up anyway. If you know that befroehand you can always create the partitions up front and just point the installer to use them.
The installer process might be smart enough to do all this for you - Suse would but can't comment on Ubuntu (I see from your other post) - must check it out and see what al the fuss is about one day.
As for your other question I would guess Ubuntu uses GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) which in simple temrs will give you a menu at startup to choose whether you boot into your shiny new Linux or your trusty old XP. The install process should recognize the pre-existing OS and configure GRUB accordingly. GRUB is a hugely powerful and configurable little utility and you probably shouldn't change any default GRUB proposal until you undertand it.
Not sure which Linux distros would "wipe your hdd" as someone mentioned (unless you try and get creative during the installation without understanding anything!) but it goes without saying that you should make sure any important data is backed up off the mcahine before you start on this.
Most of the current crop of Linux distros pretty much hold your hand through the entire install process and deliver a very useable OS.
yeah soleil24 your right it is one primary partition taking it all up, i ended up using partition magic just because thats what came up first in a google search. now have 40g formated and ready to go, i read up on your link good help thanks, here goes...
snowkiwi, Linux print sub-system (CUPS) has pretty good support of many printers - whether it's an "issue" depends a lot on the printer and to an extent on the Linux distro you choose. HP unofficially supports Linux through the hplips project.
While Ubuntu will take care of a dual-boot (e.g. with XP) setup for you (in its own way), adding a Win7 triple-boot setup afterwards will take a bit of tweaking, espcially as the new Ubuntu release uses the as-yet unfinished "grub2"
Probably best to post a new thread in the Linux forum for + info on either of those.
Hmm..can you have windows vista home premium and XP or 2000 pro on same computer (need older version to run some softwear which is not supported in vista?) If possible..then how do I go about doing this? Seems like have to partition etc as above but is vista bit smarter or easier way of going around doing it or any programmes you can download which makes it easier. Any help would be appreciated
It seems best option for you as to not have much problem is to partition your hard drive so as not to complicate things. That if you have heaps of extra space. You can have windows partition as described (see post). Have heard, windows 7 disk management is good but have not tried it!
Install winXP, then Vista, then win7 in that order in separate partitions. This should recognize your older windows install. (win7 as your main OS)
If it won't recognize then. Download EasyBCD. This should fix your set-up.
If you would like to tinker you can play around with GRUB and GParted. Google and you shall find heaps of info as to how to use this tools.
If your problem with programs under winXP not running, win7 should be able to run these programs. ( have not tested it with games though - not a gamer).