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problem installing Debian on dual boot with WinXP

Hi to Everyone,

I wish to install Linux on a computer where MSWIN XP is already running. I thought I would first resize (shrink) the windows partition so as to create free space for Linux install. I did that, using GParted. Problem is : at next step, when trying to install Ubuntu 10.10 with an iso CD, the install system does not see any useful partition. It only sees /dev/sda, while it should show /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2. Using "SystemRescueCD', I am able to mount both partitions and display their size using 'df', but the Ubuntu install system does not see them. Whether I format /dev/sda2 to ext2 or ntfs, or if I just leave the space without formating, the Ubuntu install CD does not see any suitable space for that purpose.

I came to wonder if, by any chance, my failure was due to that I did not create a partition table. The GParted iso CD offers this possibility, but then it warns you that creating a partition table will erase all data in all partitions..

So, maybe I should first create a backup of the MSWIN partition using Partimage, then run Gparted again and create a partition table, then install Ubuntu (if the iso CD finds what it needs once a new partition table is created), then restore the MSWIN saved partition... (or, maybe, the way around, that is, first restore MSWIN and install Ubuntu next)

Prior to attempting such a risky process, I wish I had hints from those who have already tested, since a number of questions still remain :

Is it allright to backup and restore a MSWIN partition ? Will the restored partition boot ? How about the MBR ? Shall I have to modify GRUB so that both systems work ?

Thanks in advance for your help

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