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Re: Dual boot GNU and Windows 7

From: Felix Miata
Subject: Re: Dual boot GNU and Windows 7
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:51:15 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (OS/2; Warp 4.5; rv:2.0b8pre) Gecko/20101030 SeaMonkey/2.1b2pre

On 2011/03/26 16:52 (GMT) Sebastian Tennant composed:

 I remember reading a while back that resizing Windows Vista partitions with
 Gparted can make it unbootable (XP should be fine though). Not sure if that
 is still the case, or what is the deal for Windows 7.

Funny, I just read something similar.  As a result I thought I'd try resizing
using Windows' own disk tool and this is what it tells me:

  "You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are

        Total size before shrink: 431938 MB
  Size of available shrink space: 201358 MB
         Total size after shrink: 230580 MB

Can you believe it!

The 35 GB of data actually on the disk is somehow distributed over 230 GB of
disk space in such a way that none of the remaining 195 GB of empty space can
be used for anything else.  How brain-damaged is that!

Sure. You'd think the built in tool would be smart enough to handle them, but that's Windows!

Invariably on a newish system the only files responsible for the obstacle are the huge paging file and the also huge hibernation file. You can shrink, eliminate or move them via system settings before starting the Vista resizing tool, and may not even need to go to that much trouble if you boot into safe mode (almost like single user, with no daemons running) to perform the resize operation. Safe mode prevents the multitude of automatic start on boot programs that litter the system tray and steal so much RAM. Also not having all their DLLs in RAM means they aren't locked open files either.

If not using Windows' built in resizer, you can simply delete those two (huge) "unmovable" files by mounting the WINSYS partition after booting the Linux system you run GPartEd from prior to actually starting GPartEd.

More for multibooters to consider is that historically, it's inevitable that Windows will eventually need re-installing. So, to prevent damaging Linux when that time does come, read before planning further. In particular, note that Windows' boot loader can start Grub, which means in part that Grub need not be the primary boot loader.

My normal procedure for setting up multiboot with Windows is to obtain the OEM installation (_not_ recovery) media first, then wipe completely and partition fully for both Windows and however many partitions I need for other, then install Windows from the _installation_ media, then install whatever else needs installing. In large part I do this to:

1-give the precious (usually faster) front of disk space to a swap partition and Linux system partition(s) 2-segregate Windows data on a separate much larger partition from system and programs, so that data is not lost through virus or trojan corruption or common user re-installation blundering 3-keep the (logical) WinSYS partition as small as practical (as little as 3G for W2K, 6G for WXP, considerably more for Vista & 7) 4-after completely installing and customizing Windows and Windows apps, clone the WinSYS partition to a twin partition at or near end of disk, so that when Windows inevitably needs to be re-installed, all I need to do is clone the clone back to the original space
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata  ***

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