5 - Make room for Linux
After shrinking the windows partition to make space for Mepis, you can add 2 or more Linux partitions for your new OS.
There are a few considerations you must keep in mind here. The example in this picture shows the simplest possible layout as is common to XP and earlier Windows systems, with only one OS partition. Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems by default have 2 partitions, one small System Reserved boot partition and a large partition for the Operating System. Even if you have XP, your computer manufacturer may have included a recovery and/or utility partition most commonly found at the end of the drive. If you want to keep this intact, first shrink the OS partition, then move the remaining partition to the left, up against the shrunken OS partition, then create your next partition.
- You have a good backup before you start
- You have spent the time to properly prepare your windows system by removing all unnecessary files
- You have defragmented all of your Windows partitions twice and have made no changes since the defrag
- Hard disks can only have 4 primary partitions. If you need more, the last primary partition you create and every partition thereafter must be an extended partition
- Shrinking Windows partitions can take time, do not under any circumstances cancel the operation once it has started or you will lose data, and most likely the Windows OS too
- After modifying a Windows partition using Open Source tools, the partition is flagged as requiring a disk check, this is normal and not an indication that the partitioner damaged your system. Expect Windows to run chkdsk next time it starts
- You are absolutely sure that you a very good backup before you start
- You take all responsibility for your actions
- If you break it, you get to keep both pieces