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ryoga August 8, 2002 12:07

linux question
I am a CFD person, but I have a "non-CFD" question, that hopefully someone can answer. I have a laptop that currently runs Windows XP. I want to make the laptop a dual-boot system that runs Red Hat Linux 7.3 as well. Unforutnately, the hard drive is an NTFS partition and thus FIPS cannot be used to partition the hard drive. I have heard that PartitionMagic from Power Quest can partition NTFS partitions. If the original partition is NTFS and it is partitioned (say with Partition Magic), are the resulting partitions all NTFS? If so, will I have to convert the partition onto which Linux will be installed into FAT32?

As a CFD person, I have to do quite a bit of code development and the Linux OS makes development convenient. However, I don't want to completely turn my laptop into a Linux workstation since there a few applications in windows that I find very useful.

andy August 8, 2002 13:14

Re: linux question
I installed linux on a laptop a few years ago and had a similar requirement to shrink an MS-partition and install a separate unix filesystem. I have only heard good things about partition magic but I have no direct experience with it. I used an early version of the program below:

and was careful to "defragment" the MS filesystem before editing the tables.

If you want to know more about laptops and linux:

If you wish to program on the laptop you should be aware that RedHat forked gcc with the release of version of 7.0 (I do not know why) and their first version ("gcc 2.96") was bad. Try searching google for "gcc 2.96 problem" to get a feel for the size of the problem (of course it was gcc and the authors of the open source programs that got most of the complaints and not RedHat. Remind you or any other suppliers of operating systems?).

If you want a reasonably stable and standard linux then Debian or Slackware are the two that are generally recommended. If you want a simpler, stable unix then FreeBSD is better in most respects but not all unfortunately.

Mayank Tyagi August 8, 2002 16:42

Re: linux question
Hi, I am planning on doing the same...I've windows XP on Laptop and I want a dual boot option with Linux Red-hat 7.3 I am considering "vmware" ( it allows you to switch between OS without actually rebooting it. Other options like win4lin and lindows may not support windows XP. I haven't done it yet...therefore take this advice with a word of caution!!! Mayank

matej August 9, 2002 03:57

Re: linux question

to answer your question about partition magic i do admit I did it, it worked, I did it twice. Oh mam, don't look at me this way :o). Yes. partition magic (last version) can work with NTFS, so you can make a partition, let's say FAT one, and than install linux on it. I've done it even on this terrible presario laptop and it's working. it is also reported that dual boot is paintful with XPs. I have not experienced the smallest problem. Only trick was to put lilo into MBR.

good luck,


ryoga August 9, 2002 12:57

Re: linux question
Thanks for all your suggestions... I appreciate it! ^_^


Rami August 11, 2002 02:32

Re: linux question
I also used PartitionMagin for the partition (Windows2000 and RedHat7.2) with no difficulty.

A word of caution on VmWare: you should be aware it is a VIRTUAL MACHINE, so it works much worse than two independent OS's. It also requires that you install another instance of the additional OS (Windows, say) in the host OS environment (RedHat in my case). Also, not everything is fully compatible: for instance, not all the devices are accessible in VmWare (I cannot use my CD burn within it). Another difficulty I experienced was that I cannot access the original standalone windows filesystem from VmWare, as that partition is not recognized by it.

Beside these, everything works reasonably well.

AJS August 12, 2002 12:47

Re: linux question
Just a suggestion, why dont you try cygwin.

Its a linux like shell that sits on windows, lets you run X and all programs from windows from inside cygwin. Pretty much anything you want to do on Linux, you can typically do on Cygwin. It also comes with ports of all the GNU programs, like emacs, xemacs, g* compilers etc. In fact, I am typing this mail in Netscape in Windows as I watch myu program compile on Cygwin. Its great and I recommend it very strongly.


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