Tidying up XP's Partitions

Converting from FAT to NTFS

NTFS in general is a better idea for a native Windows partition. Especially with professional. In order to convert the FAT partition, you should open up a command prompt (underneath accessories menu). At the command prompt, type the following command: convert c: /fs:ntfs /v Ask it not to dismount the volume (mount - strangely UNIX like wording :-)), but get it to convert the partition at next reboot.

Reboot, and then just wait and let it do its stuff. My machine rebooted twice while doing the conversion, so don't panic if you think it's rebooting too often. It will also display messages about performing disk checks. Just wait these out.

Adding in a shared data partition

I like to have a partition where both Windows and Linux can play. If I find that the SoftModem is the only option I have to get access to the Internet, then this area provides a very convenient way of transferring files.

If you have followed the previous information, then the machine will have two partitions, C and D. D has been created automatically. This can be confirmed by going to the Disk Management tool. To find this, bring up a Windows Explorer (Windows Key and E). Then right click on 'My Computer' and select 'Manage'. This will bring up the Computer Management Tool. Once you have this tool up, select Disk Management under the Storage node in the tree view.

The D partition is FAT32, which is okay, but it is far too large, and it is on an extended partition. In order to change this to a 2GB FAT32 primary partition. The current D partition must be removed. This can be done by firstly deleting the logical D drive (a right click on the D picture is easiest). Once the drive has been deleted, then the partition can be deleted (right click on the area again).

A new partition can now be created by right clicking on the unallocated block of the disk. My preference is for a primary partition, the size is also set here. I had already decided on a 2GB shared partition. Go on to select the drive letter (D is the obvious choice), the File System (FAT32), and enter a volume label (Shared is a good option). Once you have completed this, the partition and drive are created. However, there is no feedback that this is happening, other than the drive light. After a while, the partition display will show you that it is formatting the drive. Once this is done, then the XP partitioning is complete.

Do not attempt to create any partitions for Linux at this stage; use the Linux tools for this.