I've recently become interested in trying out Linux for the first time, however, I don't think I wanna go through the process of formatting and getting rid of WinXP from my system simply because I don't have the time, and also, I'm too addicted to gaming. So basically my question is this:
Is there some way to install Linux for a dual boot, without formatting my current OS? And also, is it possible to do so if you don't have any partitions?
Linux has never been the bad OS that considers itself alone, it has several options to boot :
-it installs a little boot screen on the mbr (master boot record) which gives you the choice between linux/windows (you'll have to configure the default system). But it isn't really the best choice because windows can rewrite it's mbr (e.g. after an update).
-you can take a floppydisk or a cd-r (a floppy disk will be largely enough) and write the linux mbr on it.
-you do them both and keep the disk in case of (useless because you can boot with the installation disk in case of, but you're free to it, of course)
Anyway, the best thing to do, is to try to download one of the new versions you can find for free over the internet, read the setup instructions and then run it you can easely unistall linux (but why would you do that anyway, hu ?) with de fdisk command.
good luck and don't forget to check your hardware before going any further
you may want to get a cheap harddrive (around 10-20GB) and designate it as the slave. Then install Mandrake/Suse/Fedora or whatever on that drive and use GRUB as the bootloader. When you start up it will ask you which OS you want to boot. As a beginner I like this way better than dualbooting on a logical partition.
maybe resizing a master is costless anyway, maybe he doesn't like linux and has spend 25$ for an old thing, that's maybe not the best way to proceed (of course, if you have an old computer you're tired of, you can install the hdd as a slave on your new one, just for the fun of trying linux), but I don't know what your system is and if it can support a 2nd hdd.