I have a new Dell that I'm setting up as a dual boot system, Windows 7 and Ubuntu linux. I have a few questions on how to optimize the set up of partitions. 500GB hard drive.
I've written the recovery disks and confirmed that they bring the system back to out of box state. The disk has 3 partitions; a small 41MB (FAT), a Recovery partition, and the main C: partition. I first used the Disk Management tool to reduce the size of the main C: partition. Using the linux gparted tool I then deleted the Recovery partition and added the space to the main C: partition. Then used the Windows 7 installation disk (asked for and received from Dell) to install Windows 7. This leaves me with the small FAT partition and an extended partition. I'm now considering having a larger partition formatted NTFS that can be accessed by linux and Windows. Question: Can I delete the small FAT partition? I've read that there may be important files in there. If deleting it disables Windows, I assume I can always go back and install again. If I can delete that small partition, I would then consider making a larger one that sits between the C: and linux partitions. I say this because I assume that to be accessible to both OS it must reside between them. But perhaps not. Lastly, for the linux end, is there a preference for which partition should be the final primary? root (/), swap? I believe all can be logical, but wonder if there can be something gained by setting one (or two of the four) to primary. I anticipate setting up root (/), swap, /boot, and /home partitions under the extended for linux.