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I have a C and D drive, the D drive is a seperate HD from C, and has no essential files for running windows. I want to format the D Drive and eventually install some version of linux to it. Is it possible to just format it and leave it there until I want to install linux?

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Last Post by DMR
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It's possible to remove all partitions from it and leave it for the Linux install routine to partition it with the native partition type for Linux. In fact, that's probably the best way to approach things.

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In Windows XP, right-click 'My Computer' and choose 'Manage'. Click on disk management in the left panel.


Then right-click on each partition of the drive you wish to leave free and choose 'Delete logical drive' or 'Delete partition' as appropriate. That will leave the drive as unpartitioned space.

The install routine of any reputable Linux distribution will allow you to create a partition for the installation using unpartitioned space, create it in the file format of your choice, and create the multi-boot setup for you. The procedures to follow for the installation will depend on the installation you choose, and you can get assistance with the procedure from our Linux forum section.

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So if I formatted it then I should delete the partition anyway?

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Depends on the Linux distribution you plan to use, and whether or not you wish to share files between Windows and Linux. If you plan to share files then you need a partition type which your Windows version can access. That's either FAT32, or for recent and reputable Linux distros NTFS.

Otherwise you can let Linux use its native partition type.

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If you plan to share files then you need a partition type which your Windows version can access. That's either FAT32, or for recent and reputable Linux distros NTFS.

A good point.

You'll find that being able to share files between Windows and Linux is a pretty handy thing on a dual-boot machine, and since Windows doesn't recognize Linux-formatted partitions, you should make a FAT32 "shared" partition of adequate size on the D drive, and leave the rest of the space blank/unallocated for the Linux install.

I suggest the FAT32 format because Linux can work with the FAT32 format just as well as it works with its own formats (ext3, ext2, reiserfs, etc.). Full support for NTFS, on the other hand, is fairly new. Linux can reliably read from NTFS partitions, but the ability to write to NTFS is not officially stable yet.

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