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Splitting a partition

Not sure if this is the right forum, but I think it is relevent.

For a while, I have had two computers; one with Windows XP and one with Linux. The Linux computer has had a HDD failure, but I was thinking of getting rid of it anyway, since it is so outdated. I have plans to give it to someone else who will use it as salvage. I then want to put Linux on the other machine without touching Windows or my Files.

Anyway, I have a 115 GB hardrive on my currently Windows-based machine. There are two partitions which are each exactly half of the HDD; one which holds the Windows installation plus a few large programs, and another which holds all of my files, games, and more programs. The Windows partition has 32.7 GB free space which I would like to install Linux on. They are both NTFS.

What I would like to have is 3 partitions; one NTFS for Windows, another FAT32 for Linux, and the partition with the files games and programs, but converted to FAT32. Very importantly, I do not want to touch any of my existing files. I believe it is possible to resize my Windows partition and also that I may convert my files partition to FAT32 without data loss. Also, I am not sure about swap space for Linux, because I have never dealt very much with anything except actually using Linux, so I may have to have a partition for swap space, but I don't know.

My question is: How may I resize my Windows XP partition without data loss, convert my files partition to NTFS, and then install Linux on the free space left from resizing the Windows partition?

Again, I don't want to have to reinstall anything or lose any of my files and programs.

If anyone could help me with this, I would hugely appreciate it.
I may be off here, but I'm not sure that there is a way to resize a formated partition without reformating it. That being said, I'm not very confident that what you're thinking of is possible. Maybe a program like this can help, I have no idea. I really don't think windows has the right options to do it though.
7tools wrote:
- Resizing partitions with data (FAT16/32/32x, NTFS, Ext2/3 FS Reiser FS)
- Data-loss protection against power-failure during partition resize and conversion.
- Convert NTFS <-> FAT16/32

I think that will do the trick. Thanks. Wink

By the way, quote was from product description on their site.

I will look in to this. Again, thanks.
Hi. You can use either Partition Manager like mschnell said or Partition Magic to split your partitions. Which distro are you planning on installing? I will recommend you atleast deallocate 10 GB of space from your main partition(i.e. from C drive). As far as the swap partition goes, the amount you should dedicate for it is: Total amount of physical ram * 2. That is, if you have 256 MB of physical RAM then you should create a swap partition of 512 MB in size. Its possible to convert NTFS partitions to FAT32 using 3rd party tools but because I never did this, I am not sure which tools you can use. I think its possible to convert them back to FAT32 by using both Partition Magic and Manager. Hope this helps you...
Ok, thanks. I am going to install several different distros (not at the same time) to see which one I like best, because I have only used SuSe, Slackware, and SLAX. Thanks to both of you.
Instead of re-partitionnig, another option is to use VMWARE.
They just released a free version of what they call VM Server. Download and install that, and you can create a virtual linux machine. The major constraint becomes memory because now your running windows AND linux.
Also, VM Server is in beta mode right now, but it's worked well for me so far.

Another thing I really like about it is that you can play with a CD distribution without ever having to burn a CD, it can boot straight from an iso image.
I have tried VMware and Win4Lin and several other virtualization programs. The only one I like is virtual CD drives, because it takes no RAM and makes CDs run craploads faster. So I'll pass on VMware, but thanks for your input.
actually there is a way to do that without shelling out a dime.

some linux distros are kind enough to add the functionality of resizing windows partitions non-destrcutively.

an exaple is Mandrake linux.

heres what i do;

even if i'm no installing Mandrake i first boot the PC with mandrake's disk 1 and get to the point of resizing the hard dirve's partition, after i have resized the parttions and created linux partitions i turn off the computer and boot the linux distro i want to install.

and for converting your FAT32 partitions to NTFS;
in windows XP open a command line console

click start>run and tyupe cmd hit enter

on the console windows type

convert X: /FS:NTFS

thats it the next time you boot to windows there will be a disk check and then the conversion will start

hope this helps

you could also try rescues disks, like Trinity Rescue Kit, that you can boot from a cd and run qtparted. It's free an works pretty well.
Hey thanks, both of you. I've already resized and converted my partitions, but I looked into what you said, ezekiel, and Debian comes with a tool for resizing partitions on the install disk. I wish I had known that a while ago...
Billy Hill
I recently used Partlogic from Visopsys. Download the ISO, burn it to a CD, then boot the machine with the CD. It will bring up a rough windows GUI to allow you to create new partitions from existing space, or resized existing partitions.

Works great.

Partition Logic is a free hard disk partitioning and data management tool. It can create, delete, format, defragment, resize, and move partitions and modify their attributes. It can copy entire hard disks from one to another.

Partition Logic is free software, based on the Visopsys operating system. It boots from a CD or floppy disk and runs as a standalone system, independent of your regular operating system. It is intended to become a free alternative to such commercial programs as Partition Magic, Drive Image, and Norton Ghost..
Just be very careful when resizing partitions that you don't wipe the worng one Very Happy
try norton partition manager, i think it's called something like that
QTParted can resize partitions. I think also supports NTFS. But it is always a good idea to backup your files before such an activity.
Does anyone know by chance how to combine two NTFS partitions? I have a 200GB hard drive which when I first installed windows accidentally only partitioned 134GB of it. After installing windows I have partitioned the remaining space into a separte partition, but I'd like to combine them, into a single 200GB partition. Any help would be appreciated.
just give a try to partition magic

also linux doesn't use fat 32 system

it uses EFS filesystem

you can resize the partitons and tranfer your data on the other partition
if you ahve space

then convert each of them to fat 32

for swap space you need double of your RAM size
i.e . for 256 mb ram allocate 512mb swap
i think that all question can answer by norton partition magic 8.
i have use it to resize my main NTFS partition many time that not lose data.
i recomend to take your data to another partition that not program partition .
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