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I am running a Dell 4500S machine with windows XP home installed and I wanted to put linux on my machine. I would prefer to boot linux from my external USB hard drive but I dont know if this is possible. If it isnt possible, then how can I install linux on my main hard drive without losing any of the data i currently have on it?

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Last Post by JR85023
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find a program called Partition Magic, using the free space on your hardrive create a partition for linux that will be later repartioned into diffrent sections. Then when it comes to the linux setup, install linux on that partition and your set.

heres a visual depiction of what the partioning might look like:

Before:

Before Install, After First Partion:

After linux Install, Repartitioning the Empty Partition Space:
[-/root][/home][swap]

Notice how you took the free space from your hardrive and created an empty partiton, then while installing Linux you used the empty partition you created to break into smaller sections.

Hope that helps, Linux will manage the booting between windows and linux.

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You might not want to install it to an external drive because when you install linux it will install LILO. LILO is used to to select the operating system you want to boot off from. You can get around and not install LILO but then you will need a floppy to boot up to get to linux, which makes it a pain unless you dont mind. Check out this site, it is for a linux that runs completely from a CD, so no install is required. http://www.knoppix.net/

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