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i am trying to install debian 2.0 but as soon as i get to initialize swap partition screen i get an error reading: "FATAL ERROR: BAD PARTITION".
It wont recongnize my partition and i dont know what to do....I am also running windows xp FAT32 and maybe it might have something to do with it but not sure.

Also another question....can you boot up linux with CD or flash drive since i dont have a floppy drive on my laptop and dont really want to boot up from harddisk.

Can anybody help?....

What you're looking for is a Live Distro. Since you're using/intrested in Debian, check out

Knoppix is a live Debian distro (SID) that you can run off the CD, or (if you choose) install to your HD.

As for that error message, can I assume that you did not resize the WindowsXP partition, to leave some unallocated space for linux?

Get Partition Magic 8 and resize your windows partition to leave atleast 3 gigs for linux. Then apply, restart, and pop in your linux disk.

If you want to install Knoppix to the HDD, just do "sudo knx-hdinstall" in a terminal/console window. Then make a swap parition (twice the size of your ram), and make the rest a linux parition. Set linux to be Bootable, write, and quit. Then it'll install it for you.
What did you use to create the partitions you wanted to install Debian to? And what partitions did you create?
i already allocated space for the linux partition....i got 5 gigs unused space...the rest is windows xp. So when i boot up with CD it goes to installation but stuffs up at the "initialize swap partition screen " this point it should run cfdisk and create ext2 and ext3 partitions but cfdisk wont recognize my disk and cant go futher.
What kind of drive is it, and how big is it?

i already allocated space for the linux partition

Can you please describe how the partitions are set up on your HDD currently?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but did you make the entire 5 gigs be your linux partition? Please be sure that you have unallocated space for your swap partition as well. (If you have 6 gigs total, you may with to have 5500mb for linux, and 500mb for linux swap).

Or did you use a 3rd party app to create the linux partitions for you?
40gig ST94011A disk

i meant that i had only 1 partition on disk 35gigs its FAT32 and its got windows xp on it
5gigs is unallocated so i want to use 4gigs for linux partition and 1gig for swap.

I tried something different yesterday.....i used third party software(masterbooter) to create linux and swap soon as i created them i rebooted and it started to boot up windows xp which was fine but before it had a chance to get to the "welcome" screen it rebooted by itself so i couldnt even start windows and it kept doing it.....the third party software mustve changed the mbr or something......anyways i went to boot up with debian cd and go thru installation and it did recognize my linux and swap partitions.
I'm glad to hear that. Looking back, you said Debian 2? That's a bit old, which might be a problem (maybe you got a buggy release). The newest version is Debian 3.

After you install a bootmanager with Debian, you'll be able to enter WinXP (if it's an MBR problem).

Best of luck!
Also a problem is drives of that size ... a newer distro is definately going to be required.

I would recommend trying the debain sarge installer...if you want debian.

(or mandrake 9.2 or 10)
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