Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to install a second OS on my Development Laptop so I can Play around with the new Lab Mananger in TFS 2010. (It uses Hyper V and needs to be install on actual hardware to be able to use it (ie can't use a VM).)

I don't really know how to go about doing this. I only have one Hardrive. Will I need to partition my hard drive?

The most important question is: can I do all this with out endangering my first Operating System? This is my work Laptop and my employer would not be happy if I messed up my dev machine.

Any ideas on how to get to the point where I can install the OS? (ie free software to do the partition, risk analysis etc.) (NOTE: I already know how to install the OS once I get to that point.)

I don't know what this should be tagged, so if you have any suggestions leave them as comments (or just re-tag).

share|improve this question

migrated from Nov 6 '09 at 3:45

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Put in a Linux CD, open gparted. – Zifre Jun 13 '09 at 19:22
Safest would be to install to an external drive (using esata,firewire or usb). Use bios boot menu to choose. Then you dont need to mess with your main driva at all. – Joakim Elofsson Jun 13 '09 at 19:32

yes, you have partition your hard drive. use GParted to do this (a free linux-based live-CD tool -

repartitioning on-the-fly is always dangerous for the existing file system, you can't do anything to guarantee that it will go okay. but this tool does a good job doing it. and when you're installing new OS, it's just up to you that you don't mess up with formatting your existing system drive/partition..

good luck :)

share|improve this answer
Technically, gparted is a program, not a live CD (although there are live CDs built specifically for gparted). – Zifre Jun 13 '09 at 19:25
live-cd tool, where tool == program :) – zappan Jun 13 '09 at 19:27
this tool does not support NTFS (or at least the feature matrix does not show ntfs) – Vaccano Jun 13 '09 at 19:43
i've managed NTFS partitions with it, but don't move it if it shows i think 1 MB free at the beginning (i had an issue, it doesn't mess-up data, but had to chkdisk it from a windows installation to restore some boot data, after that old windows booted ok). just shrink the partition at the end-side and make new partition after shrinked one. i usually do it in two steps - shrink, apply. create new in the freed space, apply. once more - no guarantee when repartitioning 'on-the-fly', back up data and be prepared for system reinstall in the worst scenario – zappan Jun 13 '09 at 21:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I ended up using partition magic. There were a few bumps, but over all it worked out fine.

share|improve this answer

If it's a work laptop and this is not a work project, I recommend that you DO NOT DO IT. Just boot off a liveCD, e.g. Knoppix or Ubuntu.

Otherwise zappan's answer is pretty good. Main deficiency is this warning: BACK UP YOUR CURRENT PARTITION BEFORE YOU CHANGE ANYTHING ON THE HARD DISK. It is possible for partitioning to lose all your data, and if you haven't backed up you'll be humiliated instead of embarassed when you go to your employer's IT department to ask for a re-image.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .