Partitioning Help


my girlfriend wants to install openSUSE on her laptop.
The only problem is that it contains a hidden Windows install partition that she doesn’t want to lose in case she wants to switch it back to Windows at some point.
What settings should we select during installation to make sure that the Windows partition remains?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

openSuSE should detect it, I have a hidden reinstallation partition for my vista system, openSuSE spotted it and called it windows 1 & windows 2 in the grub boot loader config.

It should be ok for you, I would start the install and let openSuSE choose the partition settings and then just before you install take a look at the boot loader settings which will be displayed before you and see if windows is in there If not, just abort and nothing will be altered on your machine

Thanks for your fast reply.
I think we might as well wait until openSUSE 11.0 comes out and try it then :rolleyes:
Roll on the 19th!

Thanks again

Waiting for 11.0 is likely a good idea, especially if you are trying to preserve the hidden Windows install partition. openSUSE-10.3 CD/DVD has a bug in its repair installed system, and if you did have to use the “hidden Windows install partition” to restore Windows, you might have difficulty getting SuSE back to boot, due to the 10.3 CD/DVD bug.

Hopefully 11.0 won’t have that problem.

You may find our openSUSE-11.0 installation stickie has some helpful information, to ease the install:
NEWBIES - Suse-11.0 Pre-installation – PLEASE READ - openSUSE Forums

Don’t forget to defrag your Windows just before installing openSUSE.

I don’t think I will be able to defrag it first. The partition is a sort of read only device used to reinstall Windows on the laptop without the use of a disk.
We aren’t bothered about keeping the current Windows install, only the installation partition if that makes sense :rolleyes:

How big is the hard drive on this laptop? There is a paid for MS-Windows licence, … why not keep it (and the recovery partition) and do a dual (or tri) boot? You can make openSUSE the default boot, and have Windows and the recovery partition as alternative boots.

My 82 year-old mother’s PC in Canada (which I maintain here from Europe via the internet (with ssh, vnc, nx)) tri-boots to WinME, WinXP, openSUSE-10.2. In fact, we carved her relatively small hard drive into 6 partitions, of which she can boot to three (winME, winXP, and / ):

  • winME
  • winXP
  • data exchange/storage partition (vfat)
  • linux swap (for openSUSE-10.2)
  • / (for openSUSE-10.2)
  • /home (for openSUSE-10.2)

Why keep 3 boot partitions?

Consider this, my mother (who now prefers openSUSE-10.2) used to love winME. … It took her a long time to grow out of it. So we ensured she had no concerns about losing it. All the family (except me) use WinXP, so we put a boot partition of winXP for them when they visit. …

Now reference the laptop in your post, if later, after openSUSE is up and running well, you can enlist some guidance from users on this forum, and wipe the Windows partition, changing it to a “data” partition, giving it a mount point under openSUSE. It will then appear almost seemless in the openSUSE (linux is mostly different from windows in this regard). … And, if there are internet or other problems with openSUSE during the first few months, your girlfriend can immediately boot to windows.


I tried to install several (3) linux distributions (suse 11, ubuntu, suse x86) and every time I’ve got a message, could not find root partition. What could it be? What should I do?
thanks, Andras.

Firstly - You should have started a New Thread. And given us more information. Your comments don’t make much sense:

I tried to install several (3) linux distributions (suse 11, ubuntu, suse x86)

You 3 linux installations - OK. And you are a NOOB to this? So why jump in at the deep end?

Tell us all about your Installed OS’s incl. Windows if you have that too. Number of HD’s. The more info the better.

HI! I’m absolute new with Linux and with forums too.
I have a Win XP SP3 on my first HD (80- 50+30 GB) with two partitions. I would install Linux on my second HD (200GB) and I accepted the partitioning offered by Linux. With open suse live cd installation it could not find root partition, with open suse dvd install could not create grub also ???

Here is a guide for 2 HD’s
Partitioning/Install Guide - openSUSE Forums

thank you!!!

I’d like to jump in on this thread to ask for advice on the subject of partitioning as well. I have a dual-boot machine (WinXPP and OSUSE 10.2) to which I recently added a larger SATA drive. The original drive was 150 GB and I “cloned” it to a 500 GB drive.

The old disk had been set to allocate 75 GB to Win and 75 to SUSE. When I used the utility to clone the drive, I allocated 300 GB for the Windows partition, leaving 200 GB for Linux. I knew in advance that the utility was not going to change the size of the Linux partitions for me, but I assumed I could do this from within Linux.

Now that I have verified everything is in place and working properly for both OS, I would like to expand the Linux file system to take advantage of the extra space. The YAST partition manager recognizes the drive, 300 GB windows partition, Linux boot, Linux swap and Linux EXT3 partitions, same size as on the old disk, plus an “extended” partition that I think is the space I would like to occupy with Linux.

But as I am not a Linux expert, I thought I might ask for advice on how to proceed. Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you.


go to a terminal and become su

fdisk -l

paste here