I recently replaced and reloaded XP on a new HDD. When I partitioned it with XP, I didn't format the remaining volume before or after the NTFS partition.
I was under the impression the linux volume had to be formatted to the file system of your choice prior to loading. This would be a much easier (and less risky) procedure.
I have VM ware on a MAC to run windows and have not been too favorably impressed with the performance penalty so i thought I'd do this one as a dual boot. The other reason for dual boot is that I have a substantial investment in several software programs that run on XP...mostly geometry and cnc postprocessors and emulators. XP is always going to be with me.
I ran the Knoppix disk when my hdd crashed. It was pretty impressive and got me started reading. I'm ready to get off the Gates Plan.
I appreciate your input.