Some beginner help with partitioning please.

Hey all

Im new to Linux and am trying to create dual boot system with XP and opensuse. I understand that partioning my drive divides it up, but thats where my knowledge ends, so maybe someone would be kind enough to help me out.

I have XP installed and defragged and checked the drive.

Ive run Gparted off a live CD as outlined in several tutorials, but I dont really understand the graphical interpretation that comes up. In the bar at the top, is the yellow area the section of the drive already used by XP? Am I supposed to partion the area that would contain XP? Will Opensuse be installed in the area marked hda1, or in “unallocated space”, or where? Or am I supposed to create 2 seperate green boxes, 1 for xp, another one for opensuse, and have no “unallocated” space?

Basically I dont understand that bar graph at the top of Gparted and how it relates to dividing up my hard drive, and whether I should be dividing into that “yellow” space.

Since you’re new I’ll start this way.
First I hope you haven’t done any partitioning yet as once done is done. That said your question is the yellow area the section of the drive already used by XP? short answer yes.
Am I supposed to partion the area that would contain XP? No
Yes Opensuse will go into the unallocated space.
Now for you I’d STRONGLY ADVISE, if so far all you’ve done is defrag with no attempts at partitioning, is this.
When you start the installation & you get to the partitioning part IIRC, you’ll be presented with a recommended partition set up.
It’ll look something like this (in my example an 80G HDD)
/dev/sda1 NTFS 27.6G
/dev/sda2 swap 1.5G
/dev/sda4 ext4 24.4G home

That’s not exact but it’ll have stuff like that in it. You’ll have the option to accept that or try to set up your own partitions.
At this juncture in your Linux journey just accept the default that the installer gives you.
You shouldn’t lose any data from the XP side & the Opensuse side will be empty & ready to go.
You’ll learn about more about partitions as you grow in Linux,right now just get yourself going.
We’re here & we’re a good bunch of guys.
Finally, krizman Welcome to OpenSuse & its forum!

You can watch these in VLC
Default Install.mpeg.rar - Windows Live

Default Install.mpeg.rar - Windows Live

And a slide show
11.2 Slideshow Images - Windows Live

Typically it will be
windows - ntfs

that doesn’t show the extended partition

Thanks for the replies and the welcome.

I havent done any partioning yet.

So your recommendation is to just skip using the gparted software altogether, and just install opensuse from the dvd and allow it to do its default partition. Will this still allow me to boot XP if I choose?

There needs to be sufficient free (unpartitioned) space on the drive. If so just install. Verify the partitioning scheme before continuing with the install.

Note anytime you make major changes you should always backup important data.

If the current Windows is taking up all the drive that partition must be resized to free up space. The installer will do it but not automagicly you will need to tell it. Better though is to use another program like gparted to resize and/or move existing partitions. And yes this is a scary thing. Did I mention it is good to backup??

Basically, yes. BUT
Backup personal data
Then defrag windows
Then boot from the dvd and let it do it’s thing

You should be able to boot windows after, BUT it can happen that you can’t. But don’t panic! Windows will still be there. Just post a question here. We can help

Alright so I just ran the DVD and let it do its default partitioning, and everything is running great!

I can load windows, I can load opensuse…I got my network running…seems to be going real smooth.

Thanks also for outlining what the gparted graph represented, even though I didnt use it, it was bothering me not knowing what it was representing and what you were actually resizing…

Looking forward to leaving Windows for good.

Good news and well done.
Thanks for filling us in.

Too late now, but doesn’t XP have its own partitioner that will safely shrink the partition, leaving unallocated space for opensuse?

Partitioning is an important aspect of Linux business. I suggest that you plug in a USB memory stick and learn by patitioning it in different ways, including creating an NTFS partition, an extended partition and an encrypted partition. Do it in Yast for the beginning.