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I have Ubuntu 12.10 installed on HDD. Over the last 2 days I have been using Linux Mint on LiveCD and decided that that is what I want.

When I partition the hdd should it be in fat32? fat16? or one of the journaling file systems?

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Does Mint offer any "delete existing Linux installation" option? Perhaps you should stop by Mint's homepage, and check out their installation methods (maybe the LiveCD can't do as you want, but a DVD install can). – vonbrand Mar 7 '13 at 20:35
no.. I downloaded the iso file and burned it to dvd. – Corey Fairbanks Mar 7 '13 at 20:52
When I try to partition the hd I get this message: No root file system is defined. Please correct this from the partitioning menu. – Corey Fairbanks Mar 7 '13 at 20:53

No, you don't need to partition a HDD into FAT32/FAT16 for any Linux distro installation. You have to format your drive into Linux supportable file systems. i.e. ext2,ext3,ext4,btrfs,rieserfs etc.

As far as i remember you will have probably three options when you install Mint Linux to your hard disk. (the option could be different but the concept is same)

1) Use the entire drive:

This option will erase the entire drive and install your Mint Linux as a single OS.

2) Replace existing Linux Installation:

This option will replace your existing Linux partition (In this case it is Ubuntu Linux) and install the Mint Linux as you single OS.

3) Use Free Space:

If you have an unallocated space of required size then Mint Linux could be installed in an automated manner on that partition.

4) Manual/Side by Side with another OS:

This option will install Mint Linux as second OS on selected partition with your Ubuntu Linux as your first OS.

Manual or conventional installation of a Linux OS is very flexible, at the very least you need to have at least two partitions Root and Swap.

A basic procedure could be as follows:

1- Do a backup of your essential data.

2- Select a partition and make at least three partitions in the selected partition:

1st: Boot partition (512mb is enough) formatted in Linux supportable file system and mount it on /boot(mount point) (Optional)

2nd: Swap Partition (512mb is good) formatted in linux-swap file system and leave the mount point empty.

3rd: Root Partition (rest) formatted in Linux supportable file system and mount it on / (mount point).

Make sure that grub loader partition is set to your /dev/sda or /dev/hda not /dev/sdaX or /dev/hdaX where X is a number. After doing the aforementioned steps, install the OS.

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