I have used the Lucid Lynx version of Linux (Ubuntu 10.4) and I have DUAL BOOTED my Asus Notebook (specs below) without a problem. This is WITHOUT having to do a partition move on my hard drive. The Linux version will then seamlessly dual boot right along side of Windows. Windows will be the PRIMARY OS where as a 30 second countdown timer will count down (if left unattended) to zero and boot to Windows OS.
Since you are running Windows 7 I would like to differ with dsenette a little by stating you CAN SHRINK YOUR PARTITION under Windows 7 by going to the Administrative Tools Under the Control Panel and selecting Computer Management => Disk Managment (Under Storage). Wait for the computer to calculate and load your system's disc and hard disk information and RIGHT-click on the "C" drive and select "Shrink Volume". It will calculate the MBs and tell you exactly how much you can shrink the volume by.
But... I STRONGLY WARN YOU THAT WINDOWS 7 TELLS ME DO NOT SHRINK THE VOLUME BEYOND THE POINT WHERE ANY UNMOVABLE FILES ARE LOCATED!
I do not know if the Shrink Volume option allocates the MBs up to the point where the unmovable files are or allows you to go further (I am thinking the primary option).
I have NEVER
used this option because I feel that since the format option has "caught up" to formatting the larger disk drives then unless your hard drive is a 1 TB (terabyte) or larger hard drive I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that drives DO NOT be partitioned. You see that since Vista (I believe), a single user OS will NOT read a COMBINED
hard drive threshold ABOVE 1 TB in FORMAT TOTAL
. This means that if you have a 1TB hard drive installed on a Windows Vista or a Windows 7 ( and I THINK, don't quote me for sure that this is for both 32-bit & 64-bit machines) PC then your computer will run stable because a 1TB hard drive FORMATS to an approximate 930GBs (NTFS) of usable hard drive space. This means that you have approximately 68GBs (NTFS) of breathable room where you can run smaller flash drives, SD cards, and other smaller hard drives, give or take.
I have tested this theory, and have read other forums on this "barrier" or "glass ceiling", myself on an ASUS notebook (again, my specs are below) and found it to be true to form. This theory was tested on both vaults and Seagate, Maxtor and Western Digital hard drives, internal (eSATA) and USB 2.0 drives and SD Flash card drives as well. For some reason or another reading multiple hard drives' combined usable space over 1TB in formatted total capacity will ONLY work when Windows 7 is running in SERVER mode, from what I read and from what I was told. This theory could change tomarrow, who knows....just my two-cents worth...
BTW...VAULTS are hard drives that are encrypted with an encryption software like TrueCrypt.org 's TrueCrypt 7.0
If I were you with that 160GB hard drive I would remove it, find out the brand name (Seagate, Western Digital), go out and purchase another (750GB; this way you can still use your 160GB hard drive) larger hard drive and then reformat that hard drive with Windows 7 and use your 160GB hard drive as a software repository. This is what i do and I do not store my user files on my drive C. I have an external hard drive that I carry all of my purchased, downloaded applications on as well as any ISOs that I created with ImgBurn
from my applications I have on CD/DVD format and keep them on a vault (encrypted hard drive). I am not saying you have to vault your hard drives but if you like using external hard drives it is a great idea because no one can access the information without the password or other security token.
If you must, however, partition your hard drive then I DO RECOMMEND going with dsenette's recommendation and using a third party partition program (and make SURE it is compatible with Seven).
I hope this helps....
Edited by Spirit Wolfe, 18 October 2010 - 08:59 PM.