In the section “Preparing to Use Linux and Microsoft Windows Together” earlier in this chapter, I discuss why you might need to set aside disk space for Linux on a computer that’s already running Windows. The techniques I cover here assume you’ve found free space that you can give to Linux after you resize your partitions. If you’re installing on a fresh, additional hard drive, are wiping out a whole hard drive to give it over to Linux, or already have a chunk of unallocated/free space bigger than 10GB, skip ahead to the section “Double-Checking Hardware Compatibility,” later in this chapter.
If the thought of changing anything on your Windows drive makes you queasy, a cheap, additional hard drive can be worth its weight in gold.
Perhaps the easiest way to adjust your existing partitions is through the use of a commercial program such as Partition Magic. Partition Magic enables you to view the partition information for your hard drive(s). You can also use this utility to resize, move, and add partitions. If all you want to do is resize, however, you don’t have to go out and buy software just to get that done. Instead, you can download a free tool to do the job for you (see the next section for how to do so).
No tool is perfect. ...