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First, thanks for the help getting me started. After searching in the help files for a while I couldn't find the answer.

I am trying to install Ubuntu in a dual boot environment along side win xp. I have two hds, one with xp on it and the second, a 120g, is mainly used as additional storage space. The second drive is where I would like to install Ubuntu. I would also like to be able to use that second drive for storage after the ubuntu install. Right now it has files on it but they can be moved/deleted. If my searching is correct, I need to create a / partition, a swap partition, a /home partition, and then a final partition for data for both xp and ubuntu to see.

Am I correct in the above reasoning and what sizes should I use? Its my understanding I should use FAT to format the data storage space that both OS will use, correct? Thanks again.

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You're asking a lot of questions, but I will try to fit all the answers into one.

Do you need a / (root) partition? Yes.
Do you need a /home partition? No. You may create one, but I don't see a requirement for one (from what you've written).
Do you need a swap partition? No, this is not strictly needed, but I would suggest that you make one.
Do you need a final partition for data for both XP and Ubuntu to see? This is not required if all you need is to be able to share files between the two operating systems. Ubuntu comes with a fine NTFS driver that will allow you to read and write from the partition Windows XP is installed on. If you would like to share data between the two on the second drive, then yes this is needed.

Should the data partition be formatted FAT? You might as well format it NTFS, as it allows for larger individual files and can works fine from Ubuntu.

What sizes should you use? This one is rather hard. I'd make the swap partition about the same size as the amount of memory the machine has. If making the data partition, you will need to decide how much space you want to reserve for both operating systems. You can make your root partition (in this case your only 'linux only' partition) as little as 10GB (even smaller if you want), but I'd recommend at least 20 or 30. It really depends on your needs.

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