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I have 1 hard drive with 2 partitions: C: and E:. Windows XP is installed on C, while E is used to store music, images, etc. I want to install Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit alongside Windows. I want to shrink the C partition to make room for Linux.

Do I have to create a /home partition, seeing that I already have E? If so, how big should it be?

Alternatively, could I set E (which is formatted in NTFS, by the way) to be /home without losing the data, i.e. without formatting it?

Also, what size would you recommend I make root, and where should I install the boot loader?

The following information should help:

    size    used    free    File system  
C   292GB   169GB   123GB   NTFS  
E   638GB   414GB   223GB   NTFS  

Those partitions take the whole disk.

Thank you.

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What I usually do in my dual-boot installations is to keep separate paritions for Windows and Linux, keeping also the /home folder inside the Linux partition as well. Then, I just symlink the folders in my personal folder to the ones located in the data (E:) partition. For Windows, I do the same: I keep my User folder inside the Windows partition and then I symlink the folders to point the data partition. This layout lets me quickly isolate data from the SOs in case any of them gets corrupted, infected, broken, unbootable, etc. If that happens, I only lose the application files and none of my personal ones.

  • So I'd only create the root and the swap partition, and if the installer asks where I wanna put/install /home, I select /, is that right? – joaouzae Oct 11 '16 at 19:11
  • Yep, put everything in / directory, don't split the hierarchy on the installer. Then, having the installed system running, use ln -s to create the symlinks (don't forget the -s switch, otherwise you'll have your files copied, not symlinked). On Windows, the equivalent tool is mklink (use /d switch if you're pointing to a folder, mklink always creates symlinks) – SonicARG Oct 13 '16 at 3:09
  • But what do I do about the bootloader? I saw here that if I choose the default location to install it, linux will ask me at boot time which operating system to boot (which is what I want). Do you know if that is True? – joaouzae Oct 13 '16 at 18:42
  • Yes, Ubuntu is bundled with GRUB bootloader, which will let you choose which OS to boot. GRUB is very customizable, but doing at hand can be very confusing and error prone; you can use (while running your local Ubuntu) Grub customizer to rearrange your menu, modify the timeout to boot the default OS, and some other neat things ;) I usually have Windows first, then Ubuntu, then the recovery options; and, if I don't touch any key, boot Windows after 30s. – SonicARG Oct 13 '16 at 23:20

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