Repartition your hard drive

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Preparations

Repartitioning (except for MS Vista or Windows 7)

  1. Click "Run GParted" from MEPIS Install, or start it via MEPIS Menu -> System -> Filesystem -> GParted, or simply right-click on the desktop, chose "Run Command" (shortcut: Alt+F2) and type gparted. Alternatively, if for some reasons GParted doesn't work right from the LiveCD, then download from the GParted download page, burn a CD as an ISO, and boot into it. You can also try a similar program QTParted that's also available in MEPIS, a good terminal utility is cfdisk.
  2. In GParted select the drive then select the partition. Note that you only resize the partition where MEPIS itself is installed by using one of the Live-CDs. [Read this carefully: You will probably NOT be able to re-size (shrink) a Windows-XP/NTFS partition using GParted! Try Partition-Magic, etc, for that. See the discussion http://mepislovers.org/forums/showthread.php?t=3856 for more details.]
  3. Right-click on the partition and select "Resize". Choose the new size of the partition. The free space that will remain will be used for MEPIS installation; make sure the "free space after" resizing is larger than 2.5 GB for 32 bit SimplyMEPIS and larger than 3GB for 64 bit SimplyMEPIS. Click "OK".
  4. Right-click on the "free" partition and select "Create".
  5. Select Partition Type: linux-swap. Select size: 128MB if you have small disk space, 512MB to 1GB if you have plenty of space (more than 1GB is probably wasteful). Click "OK".
  6. Right-click on the "free" partition and select "Create".
  7. Select Ext3 and use the 100% of unallocated space. Click "OK".
  8. Click on the disk icon or go to File -> Commit, respond "Yes" to the dialog. GParted will now repartition your drive; at the end you should get a message that the operation was completed successfully.

Resizing a drive with MS Vista or Windows 7

MS Vista and Windows 7 now have basic partition re-sizing abilities in the Disk Management Console and you would be well advised to use this to alter install partitions. Right click on the partition to be altered and select 'Shrink Volume' - more here The basic procedure from that link (labels vary slightly in W 7):

  • Start button > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools
  • Double-clicking Computer Management, provide password if asked.
  • In the Navigation pane, under Storage, click Disk Management.
  • Right-click the volume you want to shrink, and then click Shrink Volume.
  • Follow the instructions on your screen.

Links

Bear in mind that many new PCs come with an additional hidden repair partition to enable restoration of damaged operating system, used in conjunction with a restore CD. It is possible that the Grub boot loader installed by Mepis may point to this rather than the Vista (or other Windows) operating system partition.

Also some new Intel-MBO netbooks (such as the Samsung N210) arrive set up for dual-booting between Windows 7 and HYPERSPACE. HYPERSPACE is a Linux-based operating system which offers quick access to certain online facilities, but it is incompatible with the GRUB bootloader used by normal Linux distributions, such as Mepis. Thus, in preparing to install Mepis so as to dual-boot with Windows, one should (in Windows) uninstall HYPERSPACE before proceeding with the Mepis installation.

Additional Info

  • You can't create more than 4 primary partitions; To make more partitions, instead of the last Primary Partition, create an Extended Partition in all the remaining free space available. Within that Extended Partition you can add many more Logical Partitions.
  • Make sure when you create a Logical Partition you leave space for the rest of the Logical Partitions that you plan to create.
  • Depending on version, in Linux filesystem reckoning, the first partition on the first IDE drive will be hda1, the second, hda2, etc. or sda1, sda2, etc. If you have 3 Primary Partitions and make the fourth an Extended Partition, the next visible Logical Partition will be hda5, then hda6, etc. In your installed MEPIS filesystem, "hda4" will not appear, since it is the "container" for all the subsequent Logical Partitions.
  • Linux Partitions: A Primer
  • Pictorial guide
  • Parted Magic live CD partitioning tool (successor to GParted Live CD)
  • You can backup using K3b on the Live CD if you boot with Fromiso cheatcode. (Before resizing partitions, reboot without this cheatcode.)

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