I am a happy camper today. See, I’ve got this great notebook computer – an eMachines M5310 (it appears that said machine is no longer for sale, in favour of the new M5312, which seems to be the same machine with a larger hard drive). It’s a great computer, but it comes with WinXP. Now, I hate WinXP, but it does offer me a very convenient way to get photos off my digital cameras (I’ve never been able to get either of my cameras or my flash card readers to work reliably in Linux.) Unfortunately, I need the notebook to be a Linux box for work. The machine came with a 40G drive, which I was going to dual boot, but I was afraid I’d smoke the existing partition if I tried Partition Magic or some similar software, so I bought a 60G drive and swapped it for the one in the machine. I then used the eMachines “rescue” cds to restore the original software to the machine. Turns out, it’s a 3 cd ghost image that just gets restored to the drive. So now I’ve got a 60G NTFS partition on the drive. Great. Exactly what I didn’t need. I don’t have Partition Magic, and I didn’t want to shell out big coin (hey, I’m self-employed so $69.95 USD is big coing right now) and buy it for what would be (I hope) one use. Fortunately I found the System Rescue CD, which is a Gentoo Linux based Linux boot disc that comes with a whole host of great system tools like the excellent QtParted. QtParted is a partition editor that groks all kinds of partitions including NTFS5, the WinXP variant. So now, I have a 25G WinXP partition (more than enough to process my digital photos, and even enough room for a game or two) and a 30-something gig partition that’s just waiting for a Gentoo install. Cheers to Gentoo, System Rescue CD and QtParted crews for making my life just that tiny bit easier.

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