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I am a little confused, do I partition the hard drive into 2 parts BEFORE I install windows, and then Linux? Or do I partition the hard drive as one drive and install windows then install linux? Having a hard time clarifying.
You will let Linux partition the drive for itself if your using distros like Mandrake RedHat and a lot of the other ones, or it will guide you though the partition process durring installation.

What you need to do is install windows first, but leave enough room for linux. So say you have a 80 GB drive, install windows on say 40 gigs, install linux on 20 gigs and leave 20 gigs in the middle (fat32) to share files between. Just an idea. But what ever you decide to do, install windows first leaving space for linux, than install linux and partition as you go.
You see that's what confuses me. This is a laptop install, one hard drive 40MB. I partition the hard drive using 100% of it's capacity, format it then install windows, then put in the linux disc and it will let me resize the partition to fix in linux? Or do I originally partition the hard drive 75% for windows and the do a separate partition of 25% for linux? I am very new at this kind of installation and appreciate your help.
It is very simple...what you need to do is..just install windows on your 75% of space and leave 25% space for Linux.
I think Mandrake is the only distro that comes standard with a tool to resize existing partitions. If you already have an existing windows partition that is 100% of the disk space, and you aren't willing to wipe the drive completely and start over, you can look into re-sizing it. But if you are setting them both up from scratch at the same time, do windows first, and only tell it to install on a part of the disk, leaving the rest emty, to be filled later by linux.
Also, if you've already got windows up and running, and need to split its partition, Partition Magic can do that. That's what I had to do.
Thank you for your help. I am writing this message from my freshly installed dual boot laptop. Win2k and Mandrake 10. It really was easy. Now I can continue learning how linux works. Thanks again.
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