If you already have Windows installed on your system, you must have free hard drive space available on which to install Red Hat Linux. Your choices are as follows:
Add a new hard drive.
Use an existing hard drive or partition.
Create a new partition.
For all three options, be aware that the BIOS in some older systems cannot access more than the first 1024 cylinders on a hard drive. If this is the case, the /boot Linux partition must be located on the first 1024 cylinders of your hard drive to boot Linux.
Remember to back up all important information before reconfiguring your hard drive. Reconfiguring your hard drive can result in the loss of data if you are not extremely careful. Additionally, be sure to create a boot disk for both operating systems in case the boot loader fails to recognize either of them.
The simplest way to make room for Red Hat Linux is to add a new hard drive to the computer and then install Red Hat Linux on that drive. For example, if you add a second IDE hard drive to the computer, the Red Hat Linux installation program will recognize it as hdb and the existing drive (the one used by Windows) as hda. (For SCSI hard drives, the newly installed Red Hat Linux hard drive would be recognized as sdb and the other hard drive as sda.)
If you choose to install a new hard drive for Linux, all you need to do is start the Red Hat Linux installation program. After starting the Red Hat Linux installation program, just make sure you choose to install Linux on the newly installed hard drive (such as hdb or sdb) rather than the hard drive used by Windows.
Another way to make room for Linux is to use a hard drive or disk partition that is currently being used by Windows. For example, suppose that Windows Explorer shows two hard drives, C: and D:. This could indicate either that the computer has two hard drives, or a single hard drive with two partitions.
In either case (assuming the hard drive has enough disk space), you can install Red Hat Linux on the hard drive or disk partition that Windows recognizes as D:.
Windows uses letters to refer to removable drives (for example, a Zip drive) and network storage (virtual drives) as well as for local hard drive space; you cannot install Linux on a removable or network drive.
This choice is available to you only if the computer has two or more hard drives or disk partitions.
If a local Windows partition is available in which you want to install Linux, follow these steps:
Copy all data you want to save from the selected hard drive or partition (D: in this example) to another location.
Start the Red Hat Linux installation program and tell it to install Linux in the designated drive or partition; in this example, in the hard drive or partition that Windows designates as D:.
Note that Linux distinguishes between hard drives and disk partitions. Thus:
If C: and D: on this computer refer to two separate hard drives, the installation program will recognize them as hda and hdb (IDE) or sda and sdb (SCSI). Tell the installation program to install on hdb or sdb.
If C: and D: refer to partitions on a single drive, the installation program will recognize them as hda1 and hda2 (or sda1 and sda2 for SCSI). During the partitioning phase of the Red Hat Linux installation, delete the second partition (hda2 or sda2) and then partition the unallocated free space for Linux. You do not have to delete the second partition prior to starting the Red Hat Linux installation.
The third way to make room for Linux is to create a new partition for Red Hat Linux on the hard drive being used by the other operating system. If Windows Explorer shows only one hard drive (C:), and you do not want to add a new hard drive, you must partition the drive. After partitioning, Windows Explorer will see a smaller C: drive; and, when you run the Red Hat Linux installation program, you can partition the remainder of the drive for Linux.
Make sure to leave Windows enough room on your Windows partition to function properly.
You can use a destructive partitioning program, such as fdisk, to divide the hard drive, but doing so will require you to reinstall Windows. (This is probably not your best option.)
A number of non-destructive third-party partitioning programs are available for the Windows operating system. If you choose to use one of these, consult their documentation.
For instructions on how to partition with FIPS, a program that is on the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM #1, refer to the “Partitioning with FIPS” section later in this chapter.