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The Windows Disk Management Utility
My first step is to create some free space on the disk drive. Most of the major Linux installers are able to do this automatically if you let them, but I am a bit of a control freak (or a bit paranoid, depending on how you look at it), so I prefer to set up the disk exactly the way I want it in advance.
The most obvious way to free up some space is to reduce the size of the Windows C: partition. To do that, I could have used either the Windows Disk Management utility, or one of the Linux disk/partition manager programs such as gparted which I will show later as a typical example for Linux.
The Windows 8 Disk Management program can be reached through Control Panel / System and Security / Create and Format Hard Disk Partitions.
The display will be as shown above, but with the Windows C: partition filling all of the space between the EFI Boot partition and the Recovery partition.
I selected the C: partition by clicking on it in the partition list or in the graphic partition display, then went to the menu bar and choose Action / All Tasks / Shrink Volume. The program will take a bit of time to figure out how much it can shrink (this has something to do with "unmoveable files"), and it will then let you either accept the maximum shrink, or select some smaller value.
It will then take just a few minutes to actually shrink the partition, and the display will end up looking like the one above.
The Linux gparted Disk Partitioning Utility
The Linux gparted utility is one of the common alternatives for disk and partition management. It is included on a lot of Live CD/USB distributions, such as Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, and openSuSE.
It can be found through the menus, generally under "Administration" or some such, or by typing it in the menu/application search box.
The display is shown above, with the Windows C: partition already reduced. If I had wanted to reduce the partition, I'd just select it in the list or graphic, and then click the Resize/Move button on the icon bar.
That will pop up a window where you can enter the new size. Once the disk layout looks like the one shown above, you are ready to install openSuSE (or any of the most popular Linux distributions), as the installer will automatically allocate the necessary partitions for swap, root and home.
However, as I mentioned previously, I am a bit of a control freak, and I prefer to create the Linux partitions manually. So I take one more step with gparted.
gparted display after creating Linux partitions
Here I have created a linux-swap partition and an empty ext2 partition - the specific file system type is not important at this point, because it will be reformatted when the Linux root is installed to it. Now the disk is laid out the way I want it, and I am ready to boot the openSuSE Live USB.