Problems with partitoning with a machine that has Windows 7

Working on getting a friend’s machine to have OpenSuSE Linux 13.2 installed on his HP Envy 6-1010us laptop. Had to use gparted to shrink his Win-7 partition as Linux wouldn’t do it claiming that the file system is inconsistent. Ran chkdsk under Windows 7 (Home Premium edition) and it reports that everything is fine. Under gparted the map of the disk is like this:
sda1 SYSTEM NTFS size: 199m, used 29.53m
sda2 Win-7 NTFS size: 243.99G, used 66.54G
unallocated size: 202.88G
sda3 Recovery NTFS, size: 18.59G, used: 16.5G
sda4 HP_Tools FAT32, size 103M, used 19.56m

When launching the Linux installer and gives the recommendation of how the disk is to be laid out: it wants to destroy the first two window partitions which I don’t wants as he wants to keep Windows 7 and do a dual boot.

What are your recommendations?

Assuming legacy partitioning, your problem is that the partition table is full.

I can’t tell you what to do, because it is your computer so you get to make the hard decisions.

If that were my computer, then:

  1. I would make a full backup of “/dev/sda4” (the HP partition or OEM partition);
  2. Next, I would delete that partition, and add an extended partition. The free space following “/dev/sda2” would be what goes into that extended partition.
  3. Now, with an extended partition, I would be able to create “/etc/sda5” etc. The installer will probably come up with reasonable suggestions.

You can have the installer change the size rather then zap the exiting windows partitions but it is far better/safer to do it from Windows and simply leave free space to install Linux into. Note the free space should be continuous ie not a block here and a block there

This is typical of HP with win7 on “legacy” partitioning, 4 primary partitions used.

With one of these partitions it is necessary to save the data and delete the partition, one of the 4 primary partitions needs to be an extended partition, so create an extended partition, in this extended partition you can put your linux partitions.

Use your favorite partitioning tool to do the above mentioned partitioning and create free space for Linux in the extended partition, allow the installer to make best use of that free space, or partition that space to suit your needs.

Just a FYI and especially since it looks like your allowed 4 primary partitions are used so may not allow creating an extended partition without significant changes (I don’t know about you, but I’m averse to making major changes to recovery related partitions like moving them out of a primary and into an extended partition).

I use a large version of what you likely have (HP Envy Touchsmart 17) and I decided to just buy myself a new HDD to swap in and out and buy a HD caddy on eBay for about $20. The “caddy” is actually just a metal frame that locks the HD into the correct position. This may have been an easier choice for me since my larger laptop has 2 drive bays whereas your smaller machine likely only has one.