Note JUST before installing, you MUST defrag Windows.
Do you have access to a digital camera? I recommend next time you go for the install, when you get to the partitioning section, take a pix with the digital camera, and then post the image on an image paste site such as ImageBam - Fast, Free Image Hosting and Photo Sharing , and post the Link here, and ask for comments.
Note that a hard drive will allow a maximum of 4 primary partitions. Typically, an MS-Windows operating system should be in one of the first 3 primary partitions (usually the first). Often the 4th primary partition is an “extended” partition, where one can put many “logical” partitions in this “extended” partition. Linux will use both the primary partition and/or the logical partition as appropriate. MS-Windows typically wants to be in a primary partition.
Also note that the convention in Linux is to label hard drives as hda ( hard drive a ) or hdb ( hard drive b ), etc … and partitions inside the hard drive “a” as hda1, hda2, hda3, … etc …
Starting with openSUSE-10.3 (I think) a new package known as libata was used, where the names for hda, hdb, hdc … etc … were changed to sda, sdb, sdc … etc (ie change “h” to “s” ) .
Hence reference your:
50GB Disk C(Windows) >> 30 Free
100GB Disk D (stuff) >> 35 Free
its possible that Windows OS is sda1 and the “stuff” is either sdb1 (if a separate drive) or sda2 (if a separate partition).
openSUSE Linux will want to create 3 partitions for itself. One for a swap partition (very small - approximately equal to, or possibly double your PC’s RAM memory size), one for the / (root) partition where all the executables and libraries reside, and one for the /home where all the user data and user configuration information resides.
For example, you might see proposal for a:
/sda1 - windows c:
/sda2 - stuff
/sda4 - extended *
/sda5 - swap
/sda6 - /
/sda7 - /home
where the /sda4 might be the active partition.
But you need to give us that pix from your camera so we can do a quality check.
I suspect now, when your PC boots, the BIOS after it completes its tasks, then goes to the hard drive master boot record (MBR) which then directs execution to the C: (sda1) drive, which is likely the active partition.
openSUSE Linux will install a boot manager so that your PC gives you a choice to boot either Windoze or Linux and to do so, it will modify the MBR.
Most the time, IF things go well, openSUSE will replace the Windows code on the windows C: (sda) hard drive partition’s Master Boot Record (mbr) with generic mbr code, pointing to a Linux partition, where that Linux partition will be the active partition. That Linux partition will then allow the grub boot manager to run and give you a choice to boot Windows or Linux. This should all go automatic, but to be doubly sure, you could also take a pix of that grub boot proposal with your digital camera, and post that here also.
I’m no expert in this (others know a LOT more than I) but if you defrag before hand, and IF you have your father’s permission, this should go well. Ensure all important data of your father’s is backed up first. That is very important.