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I've set up a Linux server that I spent a lot of time on. Now that said Linux server will be used less frequently, I'd like to partition the hard drive, so that I may install Windows Server on it, for a dual boot setup.

The hard drive does have some things on it, but it's a 500GB model, with about 400GB remaining.

In Windows, this is possible - I can, using Disk Management, shrink an oversized HDD, even the Windows drive itself (though it will have shrinking limits, naturally), and create a new partition, which I install another OS on (during boot).

One hard drive, two Operating systems.

I'm wondering if this is possible with Fedora.

I basically want to do the same thing - split the hard drive into two 250GB sized partitions, one with Fedora and everything I set up on it, and the other, empty. Then I am to install Windows on the latter, and supposedly be able to choose what OS to use on boot-up.

How do I do this? I'm not a Linux pro, so I'd prefer using a GUI, but I'm no stranger to using the CLI - though errors stump me.


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3 Answers 3

Very doable. There are a number of partitioning applications for linux, with gparted being first that comes to mind. This will allow you to reduce your linux partition enough so that you can fit windows on the remaining space on the disk.

You'll want to set the file system on the windows partition to NTFS.

Also look into grub to setup the boot choices:

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Definitely get gparted. It'll let you do all sorts of exciting things with your partitions.

yum install gparted

Once it's up and running, you'll want to take a look at how your disk is currently partitioned. Most likely it's got more than one partition. Most linux install guis will create a separate swap partition on your drive. Regardless, open it up and take a look. If you want to see your disks partitions via the command line, you can use:

fdisk -l

Using gparted, you'll want to shrink the (probably) ext4 partition that Fedora is installed on. gparted is smart and will take care of resizing the file system for you. Once that's done, create a new partition in the now-empty space. Make sure it's NTFS. Then just boot up your windows install disk and install to the new NTFS partition.

Depending on how windows behaves, it'll most likely overwrite your MBR (Master Boot Record) and windows will boot next time you restart. That's just fine. At this point, you have both operating systems installed, you just need to fix the booting. Follow this guide here and you should be good to.

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Very sorry for the late reply, but it appears GParted isn't quite as easy as I though. From what I can tell, I can't resize / create new partitions when my current (and only) partition is mounted. It would appear I need to burn a Live CD/DVD of Gparted, or is there another way to do it while logged in Linux? Thanks. – zack_falcon Mar 3 '14 at 2:28
@zach You can't modify partitions when the disk is mounted. You'll need to boot from a live cd/usb in order to work with your entire drive. There is a gparted live disk here. Gparted is also installed by default on many Linux live cds. Sorry, forgot to mention that! – Carrot Mar 3 '14 at 18:35
It's okay, I figured it out. What I can't figure out is how to resize the partition. There are two partitions already, one 500MB used as Boot, and the rest used by Linux. The latter can't be resized for some reason. – zack_falcon Mar 4 '14 at 1:12
Are you sure you booted off of an external device? Make sure you're really in the liveCD/liveUSB environment. Once you're sure you're running off a USB or CD, you'll want to unmount the linux partition. Some distros automatically mount any devices they find so you can browse them. You can't modify it in gparted if it's mounted. – Carrot Mar 5 '14 at 7:17
I burned the gparted.iso to another CD, ran it at boot time, and selected the CD as the environment to load; got a new GUI to boot. The drive is already unmounted - it's just that it's only the left part (500MB, Boot drive) that I can resize. The right part (450GB, Linux + Files) is untouchable. – zack_falcon Mar 6 '14 at 9:21

simply download live fedora usb, boot it and run gparted from it.

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