How to partition, install multiple operstion systems

so I get my t410 today. the hdd is 250g with three primary partitions:

  1. 1.17g 2) 221g win7os and 3) recovery 9.7g.
    I plan to install a windows vista, opensuse 11.2 and fedora 12(keeping win7)
    How can I do that? I know first to shrink the partition to make room. but i still don’t know exactly. say, i shrink win7os partition to 40g and create an extended partition of 221-40 =181g, and then add partiton /boot, /swap, /home, /… and a number of partitons for vista and a number of similar partitions for fedora. But I doubt I wouldn’t be able to install vista when opensuse installation is done…
    there’d be a way to do it. but considering there’re already three parimary partitoins, it looks a bit tricky
    Edit/Delete Message

Well you look like you are going to need to use a logical partition in this setup and reduce the Windows partition size just as you suggest. Before you should do anything, you would want to see how much you can shrink Windows. You do not need to get Windows as small as you suggest, though Windows may not offer that much anyway. Normally in Windows, you should uninstall anything you do not need, backup any data that can not be replaced, empty the trash and all other temp folders you can find. Windows has some functions to do this for you. For instance, the Windows tools option when you do a properties of any partition, offers some cleanup services. You can open Internet Explorer and clean out all temp web pages. Finally, do a defrag of the Windows partition. Reboot Windows when done.

After all of that, go to the Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management and finally Disk Management. Right Click your mouse over the Windows partition and pick shrink and see how much space you can take away from Windows. If you can get 40 to 50 GB, you will do just fine. Remember, you can use the Windows NTFS partition in SuSE to store data files there, so there is no need to keep large media or data files in the Linux partition.

During the openSUSE install, you are going to need to create a logical partition and then two logical drives inside, one for swap, 2 GB or so and the rest for openSUSE. You will need to load the Grub boot manager into the MBR (Master Boot Record). SuSE will create a Windows start option in the Grub Menu. Remember to back up Windows, or at least your important data elsewhere before you begin you openSUSE installation. I suggest you search around for Windows 7 and openSUSE to see what suggestions and problems have occurred. Be prepared before you start the openSUSE installation.

Thank You,

You need to boot a live CD and get us the result of this:

fdisk -l

The info you provided is fine - except it’s not much use really.

Being that this OP is just getting his PC in a few days, he is really at stage one. I would take care of Windows business first.

  1. obtain the PC.
  2. *** Make the recovery DVD’s first off! *** and keep them in a safe place.
  3. The 1.7gb first partition is just a console recovery primer that tests for a valid windows 7 and invokes recovery mode if it is not there.
  4. Next partition has his windows system
  5. last partition is the full recovery system which normally is moved to recovery DVD’s during the ‘make recovery DVD’s’

The OP must make sure to plan how he wants his system before playing with it. Some choices …

  1. Keep existing : Remove unwanted apps, clear all temp, defrag the system, reduce windows (resize) which because windows Vista and Windows 7 place a mfc as unmovable at about 50% of partition size will limit how small the partition can become. This is a great technique by which M$ can avoid being made to co exist with another OS. Consider how much space to allocate to recovery points (recovery points use and waste a lot of space) The last two systems I did allocated 20% of partition to recovery = 10 to 15 recovery points. To use the recovery points to recover your system you need to buy the Windows 7 ultimate so for most they are useless. Turn off recovery and remove all points.
    (optional) Use Windows to make an extended partition with at least 1 Windows/Linux shared partition formated NTFS, Leave rest as unallocated.
    Use either a LiveCD or Install DVD to Install openSUSE in unallocated free space.

*** This first method leaves the recovery mode available and Linux install will add this partition to the GRUB boot list. If you later accidentally select this partition during boot, It will replace GRUB, wipe the c: windows partition and the extended partitions and create a new factory c: partition and re-install Windows there. You should edit GRUB so that you can’t accidentally go here!

  1. Total New: Since you have the recovery DVD’s you can use either the DVD install or a LiveCD to Re-partition the whole drive as: 20GB min for Windows, xxGB for Windows/Linux Share, xxGB Linux /boot (opt), 2GB or more for Linux Swap, Balance for Linux root / just make sure that if using more than 4 partitions one must be made extended with logical drives defined to handle the additional ones.
    After the partitions are done, Install Windows from the DVD’s and then Install Linux from it’s DVD’s.

There are many more alternatives the OP can evaluate.

Thanks men.

I’m curious about the sequence of installation of os:
is it possible
win7 (preinstalled)> opensuse > vista > fedora
some aritcles suggest :“It’s typically easier to have all of your Windows partitions at the beginning of the drive and then your Linux partitions after them”. and this is the current layout on my hp laptop.

Typically - Yes. But not a prerequisite. But easier for the new user.

Don’t you think 2 x windows is over the top:)

You might be lucky to manage such a setup on One HD, it will depend on the win7 pre-installed.

I’m sure that your PC is already set up at this point, but for others who may read this…
As an alternative, you can use the Virtual Box program. Great Tool. :good: With VBox, under OpenSUSE… you can be running OpenSUSE Linux 11.3 as the base, and as long as your PC has the RAM- different Windows operating systems- each in their own window, all at the same time. I have it for Win7. The guest OSs are easy to back up and reuse (export - snapshot did not work for me) in event of trouble. In seamless mode (with the Guest Additions addon/prgm) the clipboard is shared between Linux and Windows. USB still seems to be a problem.
Guest_OSes - VirtualBox
Documentation - VirtualBox

One word of caution. Saved OSs (in their own file) can easily be 10G each. Good to know in advance.