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disk partitioning problems

Hi There,
As a new Linux enthusiast, I am trying to configure and install Debian Linux on my PC, and I am having problems partitioning my new hard drive for this. I would be reallly grateful for some advice. The new disk is approx 40 GB, and I have tried lots of things. What I don't understand from all the literature I have been reading is how to partition the drive. I thought I should make a DOS primary partition of say 40% of the total disk space for use with Windows 98. Should I then create another DOS partition in which to install Linux, or have the Linux installation process create a new partition in the remaining space? Right now I get an error message saying that the primary partition table is corrupted, when I try to partition the disk in the Linux installation process. I have no data on the new drive, and am a little stuck! Any ideas would be very welcome.
Duncan Smith

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