Installing Linux on an Existing Windows System

If you are installing SUSE for the first time on a system that already contains an operating system, such as Windows, that you want to preserve, and if the disk or Windows partition in that system has sufficient free space to install SUSE Linux, the SUSE installer will propose an instant solution by resizing your existing Windows partition and automatically creating appropriate swap and root partitions. If this is the case, installation proceeds normally after the partition has been resized, and the SUSE installer also sets up the correct GRUB or LILO settings to enable you to choose between operating systems at boot time.

i- ■ i■ . Before installing Linux on a system where any version of Windows is already

W n . i-.-.,". \s installed, always boot the system into Windows and run the Windows Disk Defragmenter software to pack your Windows data into the Windows partition(s) as efficiently as possible. This makes it easier for tools such as the SUSE installer (discussed in this section) or parted (discussed in the next section) to resize an existing disk as efficiently as possible.

If you do not have sufficient free space to install SUSE Linux and YaST cannot automatically resize your existing operating system partition(s), you have the following alternatives:

■ Add another disk to your system and install SUSE there.

■ Reuse an existing Windows partition after manually moving the data from that partition into another Windows partition. To move data from one Windows partition to another, you must boot Windows and then drag and drop files and folders from one partition to another. For example, you can consolidate the data from any Windows partition other than your C: drive to the C: drive. You cannot use this method to move the contents of your Windows boot drive to another partition and subsequently expect your system to be bootable because you must also move hidden files that cannot be selected for drag and drop. Also, any applications that were directly installed on the Windows partition that you are clearing out may no longer function correctly because of internal references to the partition's drive letter.

■ Abort the SUSE install process, remove the installation media, and reboot into your other operating system. You must then free up sufficient disk space and clean up the organization of your operating system's partition(s) using a utility such as Windows' Disk Defragmenter. If there is sufficient unused space on your Windows partition after this cleanup, you should then be able to restart the SUSE installation process and let YaST select appropriate partitioning and resizing values for you.

These are really your only options for installing Linux to the hard disk on an existing Windows system where sufficient space to install Linux is not available or cannot be reclaimed from your Windows partitions by the SUSE install process.

You could, of course, consider installing Linux into a virtual machine on a Windows system using VMWare, Virtual PC, or some other virtualization software for Windows.

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