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I would like to install Linux besides my Windows 98 partition on an old laptop, but unfortunately the laptop is formatted with only one large partition. win98 doesen't offer to resize the partition with the system on it, so the easiest way would be to start a live-CD and resize the partition.

Ubuntu doesen't offer to resize partitions with data on it. Which distro would offer that option during install?

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Any Gparted (e.g. – Zoredache Mar 25 '13 at 17:54
And Ubuntu has GParted too. – gronostaj Mar 25 '13 at 17:58
Are you sure Ubuntu doesn't offer this? Its been a few years but it did last time I checked. – terdon Mar 25 '13 at 17:58
It doesen't while the installation routine. But when I start it completely from CD (try without installation) there it is. thx – rubo77 Mar 25 '13 at 18:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can resize partitions with data on it from Ubuntu live CD as far as I know, since it uses GParted to do the resizing. What you cannot do is resize mounted partitions, so make sure you don't open anything on the Windows partition when on the Live CD. To be sure you can issue

sudo fdisk -l

To list all your partitions. Find the Windows 98 one and then

sudo umount -f /Volumes/Partition_Name

For instance, if Windows 98 (FAT32 or NTFS probably) is at /dev/sda5 you should use that instead of /Volumes/Partition_name

After that just open GParted on the Ubuntu live CD or download GParted live CD and boot it up. There are a lot of guides online on how to resize partitions with GParted. Here's a quick one.

But be careful. Before resizing the partition you should make a backup of any important data you might have on the Windows 98 partition, as well as have an installation CD in case Windows doesn't boot up after the resize - it'll probably just do a check on the filesystem and boot up normally, but better safe than sorry. Doing a defrag might be a good idea since it's an old OS but it might not be necessary.

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thx. And, sure I backupped all important stuff ;) I will try Lubutu now (on that old laptop with 256 MB Ram) – rubo77 Mar 25 '13 at 18:25

First of all, create backups of all your usefull files from Windows to an external storage medium.

Then make sure you have enough free space to install ubuntu. Ubuntu recommends 5 GB but i would suggest you have 10 GB. You will need the extra space to install additinal software.

The third step will be to defrag your Windows system (Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System tools, if i remember correctly). This will put all your data at the beginning of the windows partition.

Now you can download Puppy linux, burn it to CD and boot your pc from it. Use gparted to resize your windows partition.

After that, you can install any distro you can on that old pc of yours! :)

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