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I am getting ready to Install OpenSuse 10.3 but I still have to do somethings and would like to ask someone else's opinion on how to go about doing it.

First, I need to partition my hard drive. Currently I have 74.52 GB partition with Windows XP With that has 77%, 57.60 GB free space. I would like to ask, what program do you recommend using to partition it (I want it to be free) How many partitions should I make (do I have to do the swap, root, etc. or should I let the Installation CD do it all for me). Should I split the partition in half to get about two 37.26 GB partitions or should I wait and see if I like Linux and if I do resize them.

Second, I looked on the website and it said it would be best not to download the ISO from the internet browser. Is this okay if I check the md5sums. Also what speed would you recommend to burn the ISO to the disk (I am using CDBurnerXP and it only lets me do 16x so if I should go slower, what program would you recommend).

Lastly, Do you think I should back up my data before I do anything? I have never backed up my data before and was wondering if I do the partitions correct and do everything right I have nothing to worry about.

Thanks a whole lot. As you can tell by the name. I am a big noob.
SuSE comes with ntfsresize. All you need to do is shrink your XP partition and let the installer do the rest.
You can download from the browser.
Do not worry about burning speed.
Yes backup your personal data. I assume you have all of the installation disks for XP and any and all applications installed so you really do not need to backup this stuff up. Something bad can always happen so its better to be safe than sorry. Computers fail, if you are not backing up important data then now is a good time to start.
Thanks a whole lot just a little more...

So are you saying that the xp partition will be shrunk in the installer or are you saying I need to shrink it first and let it set up the formats and other partitions

With the backing up. Would you recommend just putting it on my second hard drive I use rarely if at all. That is what I have been doing for my music.

Another question I haven't asked yet. Is it possible to change my root password after awhile. I usually like to change my passwords around every 6 months just for extra safety.

Thanks in advance. I think this is all I will need to know for my installation.
SuSE has a program called ntfsresize that will shrink your existing NTFS partition. I have not played with SuSE in a long time so I'm not sure how the installer works
anymore. However you can also use a liveCD such as knoppix that will also shrink your NTFS partition prior to installing.

Yes it is possible to change your passwords anytime.

As a first timer I would save your data to something other then an internal hard drive. Since you are unfamiliar with linux or how the installer works it is easy
to delete an existing partition.
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