3 How to Partition Your Hard Drive for Two or More Operating Systems - Brent's Place

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Security and Privacy Guide


Preparing Your Hard Drive for Two or More Operating Systems:

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To learn how best to install Windows or GNU/Linux, read the previous two sections on preparing for a Windows-only or GNU/Linux-only system. Then check out the following additional information.

If you want to read and write files to a Mac OS X partition from Windows, get MacDrive.

If you want to read and write files to a partition from both Windows and GNU/Linux, create a FAT32 partition. Or if you have Windows XP and only want to read the files from GNU/Linux, create an NTFS partition.

If you deal with sensitive data, I also strongly recommend installing each operating system on its own hard drive, so you can encrypt the whole hard drive. It'll not only make erasing or wiping files more secure, but also keep your private data from being accessed if someone steals your hard drive. And besides, encrypting a partition instead is less secure.

But if you have nothing on your hard drive you need or wish to keep private with encryption, or are satisfied with encrypting a partition, read Rad's Hard Drive Partitioning Strategies or check out the following dual boot partitioning guides. skip

Once you've finished creating and formatting the partitions, do a clean installation of the full version, not the upgrade version, of Windows 2000 or XP Professional, for best performance.

Paul Thurrott's Windows XP Pro Clean Installation Guide

Then be sure to create a disk image of your operating system partitions with one of the following disk imagers, to save your installations before they get messed up, and save time restoring them after they get messed up. (Restoring a disk image takes less time than reinstalling an operating system.) skip


Step 3 - Security Upgrade and Updates

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If you use Windows XP, and wish to continue using it - for XP Home, in spite of its security risks, be SURE to install Service Pack 2 (SP2), because it's NOT just another bunch of bug fixes and security updates. It's a crucial upgrade that'll fundamentally change how Windows XP handles security issues. So don't put it off! Do it as soon as possible! But seriously consider this first:

XP SP2 Gives Reasons to Switch to GNU/Linux

WARNING: Some people have lost their files after SP2 messed up their computer, so be SURE to back up all your files first. Also, some people's computers have become slow or even unusable, so you may not be at all happy with SP2. But if you can get it to work, you'll have made your computer more secure.

Note: Unless you have Broadband/DSL Internet access, it'll take a LONG time to download Service Pack 2. But you don't have to worry anymore about losing the download, if you get disconnected from the Internet. You can resume downloading once you're connected again. However, if you don't want to deal with that, you may order a free SP2 CD instead.

CAUTION: If you install SP2 in Windows' normal mode, the one that loads when you start your computer, it may be unable to copy certain files, or it may cause other problems. If it does, install SP2 in Safe Mode. (Press the F5 key repeatedly when starting or restarting your computer to load Windows in Safe Mode. If dual-booting, select Windows from the boot menu first. Then press the F5 key.)


Security and Privacy Guide


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