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I am planning to leave Windows and get to Linux (yet do not know which one, but it is not the question).

I was using Windows 7, I have 2 partitions (C:198 GB, D:488 GB). And I have a lot of documents and projects in D:, which I do not want to lose.

Now I wonder, can I install Linux distribution without losing data from disk D:?

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There is no free space left, C: and D: cover the whole disk? – Hauke Laging May 10 '13 at 23:31
it is total memory, I have 109 GB free in C: and 63 GB in D: – Huseynxan May 10 '13 at 23:38
up vote 2 down vote accepted

At least some distros offer shrinking NTFS partitions during the Linux installation. Of course, this is possible with free space in that partition only. And you should run Windows' check disk tool immediately before.

There is always a risk when playing with file system structures and partition tables (you should "try" not to have a power outage then...) but this risk is rather low. Nonetheless: Assess the possible damage and make a backup in case of doubt. You should at least copy the most important data to C: before.

After shrinking the Windows partition one or more additional partitions are created. 10 GiB is enough for Linux itself. The demand for your $HOME space is quite different from user to user. Maybe you want to store most of your data on the NTFS partition for a while and thus need only little space on the Linux file systems.

It is (or was?) even possible to install Linux into a Windows file system but that is no fun.

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Once I have installed Ubuntu near my windows, and all the windows was destroyed, the weird part is windows and Ubuntu were in different NTFS partitions, So i guess Ubuntu does not recognize the partitions. But now, I want clarify everything before install. In D: i have 368 GB of DATA that i do not want to loose. what would you advise? – Huseynxan May 10 '13 at 23:46
@Huseynxan What do you think is my text under which you put this question if not an advice what to do...? If there is something you don't understand or something missing you want to know then you have to ask more precisely. Otherwise it's neither easy nor fun to help you. – Hauke Laging May 10 '13 at 23:52
I cant make backup, do not have place to store it(one Lap-Top with one HDD). So i can not experiment and risk. – Huseynxan May 10 '13 at 23:55
@Huseynxan if you can't backup stuff, then don't mess around with partitions until you have a means of backing up (external HDD, optical media, the cloud, another machine...). You're saving yourself a lot of trouble that way. – Renan May 10 '13 at 23:56
@Huseynxan Drive C: is not in danger (you can make a backup of the partition table to some external storage before). Doing this on a notebook has the advantage that you need not be afraid of power problems. But please mind that your disk can die any day even without you doing dangerous stuff. If you have valuable data then do make backups. Not to do this is inexcusable. – Hauke Laging May 11 '13 at 0:25

You should be able to, since gparted is able to resize NTFS partitions without much problem. But back up first (it's a good idea whenever you're working with partitions, in fact).

Ideally you'd shrink C: (where you have the most free space) and create your Linux partitions on the space you just freed.

NTFS partitions are supported on Linux without too much trouble.

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I do not have place to store backup files(one Lap-Top with one HDD) – Huseynxan May 10 '13 at 23:58
Then you shouldn't be doing partition work (even if software is flawless, you're never safe from a power surge or a hardware failure while you're partitioning) until you have a means of backing up files. – Renan May 11 '13 at 0:09

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