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2. Installation Options

Linux and Windows 95™ can get along quite well on the same hard disk. You can also install Linux onto a separate hard disk on the same machine. If you have the money to spare to get a second hard disk, go ahead and do that. Although it is safe and reliable to run Windows 95™ and Linux on the same hard disk, it is safer to have a second disk. Since I am a poor student (and so are most of the people I know), we are stuck with one large disk.

Your hard disk may look like this:

        +---------------------------------
C:      |  800M.... 4.2 Gig?
        |
        +---------------------------------

Windows 95™, MS-Office™, Qmodem Pro™, and whatever DOS/Windows software you have only take up around 800M + Swap (this is a big, sarcastic assumption)! You probably do not want to lose all the software you've spent a lot of time configuring and installing, so you don't want to delete this partition and start all over again.

2.1. I Have This Partition I Want to Spare!

Don't lose hope. There is a program called FIPS, which can re-partition your hard disk without destroying data. HOWEVER, make sure before you use it, that you defrag your hard disk (with the optimum defrag method). Use the defrag that came with Windows 95™, and use it in the GUI--otherwise you will loose your long file names. After you have run defrag, run FIPS and make your disk look something like the following:

             +-------------------------------------
C:           | This is your FAT/VFAT/Win95 partition
800M         |
             +------------------------------------
???          | This is empty space.
             |
             +----------------------------------

FIPS can be found at your favorite Linux FTP sites (http://sunsite.unc.edu, http://tsx-11.mit.edu, ftp.redhat.com) usually in the /pub/utils/msdos directory. If you have a CD for Linux, there is usually a \utils\msdos or \utils directory that has FIPS in it as well.

2.2. What Is This 528M 1024th Cylinder Stuff?

What exactly is the 1024th cylinder? Simply put, it is where IDE ends and EIDE begins--that's the 528M "mark" on your hard disk. Some machines used to have problems reading hard disks larger than 528M. Sometimes, those machines wouldn't let you boot another OS from a partition that started after the 1024th cylinder. Most machines no longer have this limitation. (This used to be a BIG deal.)