I just read the redhat 9.0 installation guide and it says that I need a non-destructive repartition tool to not to delete anything.I only want to do a drive defragmenting and then install redhat on d drive without having to delete anything or as the manual says , creating a totally new set of partitions from d drive...sorry for the disturbance i'm causing in the linux geeks forum but i know what I want.

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I am assuming you want to run a dual boot. Going off the information you posted I will be making some assumptions to answer. If any of the assumptions are wrong, please let me know and I will revise the answer for you:

If you are going to wipe the drive (D, which I assume is your slave IDE) and install the OS, all you need to do is boot into RedHat 9 and use Disk Druid on /dev/hdb (or whatever partition converts to your "D" drive). Just uncheck your /dev/hda (or whatever partition converts to your "C" drives) so it won't get formatted and/or modified.

The best way to go is to have Red Hat do the boot loader. Use lilo or grub (your choice), and be sure to make an extra boot entry for your Windows (which is what I assume is on your C drive) partition.

This may provide more assistance:


Yes I want to dual-boot.I went through the graphical installation process and here's where I got stuck:

hda1 | hda5
4871Mb | 14598MB

Hard drives
/dev/hda/ file system:vfat size: 4871MB start:1 end:622

dev/hda2 extended 14598 start:622 end: 2482
/dev/hda5 file system:vfat size:14598 start: 622 end: 2482

This screen came up and i cliked on edit.I got two options:
1.Format using something and 2.leave unchanged

The problem is , the process asked me to " mount " if i leave data unchanged ( i assumed that wouldn't delete anything ).

I had many options like /usr,/swap,/root...i don't know which one should I choose first.

my ddr ram is 512 mb and i think if i leave my swap partition as 512 mb,that will not cause any problem.So I need help about choosing how to mount and what mount is , when will I make the swap and root partition,and why I'm seeing hda5 coming out from hda2 when C drive is my main drive from where xp boots and d drive is the other physical drive containing 6 gig of free space.Should I click on hda5 or hda2 and then go for mounting ?

Just curious, is this a one drive or two system?

If it's one drive as two partitions, you may want to look into something like partition magic. The only way a dual boot will work without reformatting your drive is to either use a program like partition magic, or to wipe the drive and use Red Hat's partitioning program on install to create a vfat partition and a linux partition.

You could use loadlin or something like that, but you will greatly hinder your performance of Linux by using it on a Vfat system and not giving Linux it's own partition.

If you have two physical drives, you should see something like hdb or hdc, but hda1,hda2,hda3,etc... should only be multiple partitions for the primary drive under normal circumstances.

While you are at it, check out the Red Hat manual, here is the reference to their section on how to dual boot:


For information on how to use LoadLin, check here:


Excerpt from Red Hat 9 manual:

G.1. Allocating Disk Space for Linux

[img]http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-9-Manual/install-guide/stylesheet-images/warning.png[/img]Warning Remember to back up all important information before reconfiguring your hard drive. Reconfiguring your hard drive can result in the loss of data if you are not extremely careful. Additionally, be sure to create a boot diskette for both operating systems in case the boot loader fails to recognize either of them.

If you already have Windows installed on your system, you must have free hard drive space available on which to install Red Hat Linux. Your choices are as follows:

  • Add a new hard drive.
  • Use an existing hard drive or partition.
  • Create a new partition.

For all three options, be aware that the BIOS in some older systems cannot access more than the first 1024 cylinders on a hard drive. If this is the case, the /boot Linux partition must be located on the first 1024 cylinders of your hard drive to boot Linux.

G.1.1. Add a New Hard Drive

The simplest way to make room for Red Hat Linux is to add a new hard drive to the computer and then install Red Hat Linux on that drive. For example, if you add a second IDE hard drive to the computer, the Red Hat Linux installation program will recognize it as hdb and the existing drive (the one used by Windows) as hda. (For SCSI hard drives, the newly installed Red Hat Linux hard drive would be recognized as sdb and the other hard drive as sda.)

If you choose to install a new hard drive for Linux, all you need to do is start the Red Hat Linux installation program. After starting the Red Hat Linux installation program, just make sure you choose to install Linux on the newly installed hard drive (such as hdb or sdb) rather than the hard drive used by Windows.

G.1.2. Use an Existing Hard Drive or Partition

Another way to make room for Linux is to use a hard drive or disk partition that is currently being used by Windows. For example, suppose that Windows Explorer shows two hard drives, C: and D:. This could indicate either that the computer has two hard drives, or a single hard drive with two partitions. In either case (assuming the hard drive has enough disk space), you can install Red Hat Linux on the hard drive or disk partition that Windows recognizes as D:.

[img]http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-9-Manual/install-guide/stylesheet-images/note.png[/img]Note Windows uses letters to refer to removable drives (for example, a ZIP drive) and network storage (virtual drives) as well as for local hard drive space; you cannot install Linux on a removable or network drive.

This choice is available to you only if the computer has two or more hard drives or disk partitions.

If a local Windows partition is available in which you want to install Linux, complete the following steps:

  1. Copy all data you want to save from the selected hard drive or partition (D: in this example) to another location.
  2. Start the Red Hat Linux installation program and tell it to install in the designated drive or partition in this example, in the hard drive or partition that Windows designates as D:. Note that Red Hat Linux distinguishes between hard drives and disk partitions. Thus:
    • If C: and D: on this computer refer to two separate hard drives, the installation program will recognize them as hda and hdb (IDE) or sda and sdb (SCSI). Tell the installation program to install on hdb or sdb.
    • If C: and D: refer to partitions on a single drive, the installation program will recognize them as hda1 and hda2 (or sda1 and sda2). During the partitioning phase of the Red Hat Linux installation, delete the second partition (hda2 or sda2), then partition the unallocated free space. You do not have to delete the second partition prior to starting the Red Hat Linux installation.

G.1.3. Create a New Partition

The third way to make room for Linux is to create a new partition for Red Hat Linux on the hard drive being used by the other operating system. If Windows Explorer shows only one hard drive ("C:"), and you do not want to add a new hard drive, you must partition the drive. After partitioning, Windows Explorer will see a smaller C: drive; and, when you run the Red Hat Linux installation program, you can partition the remainder of the drive for Linux.

A number of non-destructive third-party partitioning programs are available for the Windows operating system. If you choose to use one of these, consult their documentation.

For instructions on how to partition with parted, a program that is included with Red Hat Linux, refer to Section G.3 Partitioning with parted.

Just a word of advice, get Fedora. I believe Red Hat will stop supporting Red Hat 9 in April, which means you will lose all support (program updates and such) in that time period. They are switching to Fedora for their desktop environment.

Fedora: http://fedora.redhat.com/

However, if you do install Red Hat 9, don't panic! Fedora upgrades from Red Hat 8/9 with ease without deleting any settings.

If you have two physical drives, you should see something like hdb or hdc, but hda1,hda2,hda3,etc... should only be multiple partitions for the primary drive under normal circumstances.

yes I meant to drives not two hard drives.

Let's start, in Fdisk type p at the prompt and you will see the current partition table. Type d and select the partition you want to delete which in this case would be /dev/hda2 (just type 2) type p again and you will see the change reflected in the partition table

oops...they are talking about deleting a partition again ! Are you sure the partition magic software should be available in markets ?

to wipe the drive and use Red Hat's partitioning program on install to create a vfat partition and a linux partition.

what did you mean by wiping the drive ?When I choosed custom type installation and disk druid instead of automatic installation ,I had two options like format or leave unchanged when I cliked on edit.And at that time , I had some other options like /usr ,/swap and some others to " mount "..will it work ? the box asks to " mount " a value and some options like /usr,/swap,/root etc

if i decide to format , should i keep nc5 in d drive too or copy and paste in c drive ? my questions i,is nc5 necessary if i'm on xp ?

I just read the redhat 9.0 installation guide and it says that I need a non-destructive repartition tool to not to delete anything.I only want to do a drive defragmenting and then install redhat on d drive without having to delete anything or as the manual says , creating a totally new set of partitions from d drive...sorry for the disturbance i'm causing in the linux geeks forum but i know what I want.

It's relatively easy, since you have vFAT on drive C:. Use QTPartEd to create a new partition on your C: drive, after scanning and defragmenting the drive fully. QTPartEd is a free utility available and on and useable from the Knoppix CD. You can find detailed usage instructions on Knoppix.net. No matter which Linux distro you wind up installing, Knoppix is still a useful tool.

Partition Magic:

Organize Your Data
Partitioning allows you to manage your hard drive more efficiently. Your computer views each partition as a separate hard drive, automatically giving it a drive letter, allowing you to conveniently organize your hard drive and maximize the performance of your system. Dividing your hard drive into separate partitions plays an essential role in maintaining your computer-preventing conflicts, protecting data, improving efficiency, and increasing performance. PowerQuest's award-winning PartitionMagic allows you to separate data files, operating systems, applications, games, and downloads by creating and resizing partitions quickly and easily, without reformatting your hard drive or harming your data.

BootMagic, included with PartitionMagic, enables you to safely load and run multiple operating systems (OSes) on the same computer without conflict. Test a new OS without giving up the stability of the OS you are currently using. PartitionMagic also includes PQBoot, which enables you to select which OS to run on your next reboot while running in Windows.


Description: QTParted is a Partition Magic clone written in C++ using the Qt toolkit.


Partition Magic is worth the money if you are new to partitioning and want to be sure your data will be safe. If you are experienced then go with QParted. It just depends on how important your data is. I have seen people do devestating things with QParted due to lack of experience, but I have never seen a negative reaction with Partition Magic. This is coming from someone partial to open-source software alternatives that are usually just as good as the original, but if your new to this I would have to suggest Partition Magic - just one man's opinion ;-)

Not to mention you would have to load a Linux boot or otherwise just to get to it, since there dooes not seem to be any Windows binaries (none that I could find any). If your new to this and are having trouble understanding how to do a dual boot, you may have a much greater amount of difficulty loading Knoppix (easy to use when the basics are understood, don't get me wrong) or another distro boot or 'rescue' just to partition.

In a sense, partition magic is easy to install and 'newbie proof' compared to most other tools I have found.

Ok I just finished downloading power quest partition magic 7.0 demo.It asked me to create two rescue discs I didn't do anything.If there's anyone experiences in using this software,help.

Really good program. I have version 8 though, and it's a lot better than 7. You can edit your partitions from the windows program, then restart your computer, and it will do the actually repartitioning for you before it loads Windows back up.

But if you have a clean hard drive or want to erase everything on the drive, create the rescue disks. Next time you want to repartition something, pop them in your floppy drive and boot off of them. A DOS program will show up letting you configure your partitions and do it from outside of Windows or Linux or whatever OS you happen to be running. (Also helpful if you're not yet running an OS but about to run an operating system setup program)

I played with a couple of editions of Mandrake Linux some time ago. The DiskDrake partitioning tool featured a nice graphic interface that made it really easy to set up the drive the way I wanted it and it didn't destroy any of my existing win 98 partition i had at the time.

The cavet was that it strongly recomended that you defrag your hard drive under windows before proceding. Doing that in the case of win 98 shoved all of the data to the "front" of the drive leaving the "back" of the drive empty and ready to be partitioned off.

DiskDrake also has a simple one button solution to setting a basic system up with the recomended "system" (ok i'm rusty on my terms here) swap, and usr partition sizes automaticly set for you which you can fine tune after the fact if you wish.

DiskDrake comes as part of the Mandrake package and I imagine that it could be downloaded by itself as well.

I'm trying to get some space off my d drive and add that amount to the c drive but failing.There's a man with a hammer standing at the bottom of the interface asking whether to "resize" a partition or not.I didn't choose that.I choosd -> operations -> resize.I resized from d and made a new (f) partition consisting of 164.7mb of space just to merge with the c drive.I tried to make the new partition as fat,fat32,logical and primary but when I try to merge that drive with my c drive,i don't see the f drive available.Is there any other way to increase the size of my c drive ? If I click the hammer person and enter my desired c drive size , it works.Inside partition magic i see the drive size as par my wish but from my computer,the size hasn't changed at all.when i try to get out of partition magic a message asks me to finish the pending work.If i click on yes a message says im using the evaluation version of partition magic 7.0 and that's it no change.I'm really poor what should I do now ?

Let BIG"B" jump in here for a sec. A few questions and suggestions.
1) What kind of installation method will you be taking

  • ISO Image from HDD?
  • ISO Image from Disk?
  • FTP installation?

I would use FIPS Version 2.0
FIPS is a program for non-destructive splitting of harddisk partitions.
(Easy Suggestion) Reinstall windows and create a seperate partition for *nix with windows. 5-6 Gig if your wanting to just play around.

Or you could download the disk images for Partition Magic 8.0 here:


Extract that file, and you'll have 2 new files, which are the self-extracting disk images.

Ok.If I delete the d partition and install linux in there,what should be the file system ? fat32/ext3/ext2?

Will I be able to see my d drive's linux files while operating in windows ?

the partitions needed:-

1./ -1gig
2./boot - 300 mb
3./swap - 512mb ( 512mb ram)
4./dev -don't know ( do I really need to make that partition ?)
5./usr - don't know ( Do I really need to make that partition?)

answer me this question then I'll format the d partition...

If you're installing Linux, the filesystem choices are either ext2, ext3, or ReiserFS. FAT32 is WINDOWS ONLY.

The only partitions you *should* need to create are / and /swap. The other directories are normally created by the install, unless you're installing one of the BSD's or some other flavor of UNIX, which mounts them on slices (partitions in Linux.)

If you are looking to access files on your Linux partition while using Windows, you'll need a third-party utility to do this. You can, however, read and write files to your Windows partitions while in Linux if your Windows filesystem is FAT32. If you use NTFS, then you'll have READ-ONLY access to your Windows files (well, OK, you technically _can_ write to NTFS from Linux, but it's not advised, as you can hose your Windows install.)

As far as the layout you want for your Linux partitions, your /swap partition should be roughly 1 1/2 times the amount of your physical RAM. That being said, if you're installing RedHat, I believe it will automatically suggest the sizes for the needed partitions. I could be wrong on this, since I've never installed RedHat. I know that Slackware, Debian, and FreeBSD offer suggestions on the partition sizes.

In summation, the only partitions you should have to create would be / and /swap, and it is recommended that you do this from within the RedHat installation, as opposed to using Partition Magic to do this. If you do it yourself, create the /swap partition FIRST, and make sure to create it at the END of the logical drive.

Good Luck!

Oh, here's a link to an online version of Linux Unleashed! that might offer some help:

and it is recommended that you do this from within the RedHat installation, as opposed to using Partition Magic to do this. If you do it yourself, create the /swap partition FIRST, and make sure to create it at the END of the logical drive.

Well its been years since I have dual-booted windows/RH.
During most installations *nix will ask you at the begining if you want to

  • Install over existing partitions

  • Install on available partitioned space.

Partition magic gives you choices on which type of space is needed. Choose the one for *nix. It will ask you if the partitioned space is for NT or *nix atleast the full version does.

(suggestion)That way its all cut and dry and you wont get all confused with

  • primary partition

  • extended partitions
  • logical
  • cyclinders
  • blah blah blah...

So I would suggest for a new *nix user to either create the partitions inside of windows during install or with a partition tool.

I would either use the Linux partitioning tool inside setup (i.e. Disk Druid) or Partition Magic. It's okay to create partitions during Windows 2000/XP setup but I would not create or modify any partitions while inside Windows. (I guess I just don't trust it with so many other processes running at the same time as hard drive maintenance)

I dunno about your Redhat but Fedora 1 which is similar comes with FIPS for partitionsing

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