Dec 20, 2009
This is not strictly a Linux question, although I am interested in any Linux cautions as to what to avoid that could impact my Linux on the computer in question. I have Linux (openSUSE-11.1) setup on dual boot with MS-Vista on a Dell Studio 1537 laptop. My wife is "fed up" with Vista, and has asked that I replace Vista with WinXP on this Laptop. I would like to do this over the Christmas holiday break. The laptop's 1 year support warrantee has expired. can someone explain to me the function of the two Dell /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2 partitions ?
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This laptop was purchased with MS Vista installed, with 3 primary partitions (small /dev/sda1 (called "Dell Utility" ),10GB /dev/sda2 (unknown - appears to be some sort of Dell backup/recovery partition ? ), /dev/sda3 (MS Vista which had the remainder of the 250GB drive, although I have subsequently reduced this to 69GB ).
Again, I note /dev/sda3 is the 69GB MS Vista partition (I reduced it to 69GB when I installed Linux (openSUSE-11.1)). I also believe it may be in /dev/sda3 where I should plan on installing winXP. Currently I have openSUSE-11.1 Linux in /dev/sda4 (divided into extended partitions, with /dev/sda5 (swap), /dev/sda6 (root), and /dev/sda7 (/home) for Linux and it works well. I plan to keep openSUSE-11.1 Linux when Vista is replaced by WinXP Can I remove and merge /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, and /dev/sda3 and replace them with one partition for WinXP ?
Or am I better OFF keeping /sdev/sda1 (Dell Utility) ? and am I better off to keep /dev/sda2 (some sort of Vista ?? recovery) ? and only put winXP on /dev/sda3 ? Aside from the MBR with Grub being destroyed (when I replace Vista with winXP) is there anything else I need to be careful of wrt keeping my openSUSE-11.1 Linux install on this laptop ?
I've also sent a slightly different version of this post as a question to the Dell Support mailing list. p.s. for information, here is some output from Linux commands showing the contents: