My next challenge was to configure Windows 7 to share the drive with Linux and dual boot. I normally add a second drive but seeing as I have a 1 TB drive I chose to partition.
Windows 7 has added a a nice partitioning tool. In the past I had used the installer to do the partitioning. I was more nervous this time. I did some checking and some people said to let Windows do this. In the end I decieded that the worst thing would be that I would have no Windows on my hard drive.
This cheered me up and I clicked give me the spare space available on the drive, I was shocked because it reported about 450GB available. That did not seem right. So I did some checking and found that you need to go through a whole process of finding all the unmovable blocks. Partially due to the restore points automatically made on installation first use. So I turned off my restore points and then did a cleanup of unused files several iterations of this later I was at approx 800GB available.
I gave approx 130GB to the Windows partition and the rest I made blank.
I started to install OpenSuse 11.3 it started asking me all the questions then it gave a warning that the there could be an issue because I was starting the partition above 127GB into the disk. I did some checking and it appears this is a bios issue on older hardware and that is why it was only a warning.
Taking the safe road I repartitioned to give Windows 100GB.
The install went smooth after that my computer now dual boots both Windows 7 and for now Linux Mint 9.
This is What I learned from all this
1) Linux on a 2nd hard drive especially on an older computer is usually easier.
2) If your computer has 1 TB (or so) drive that was configured RAID from the vendor and will not boot a Linux disk then check the AHCI setting
3) When changing to AHCI from Raid. Backup all your data first because it will clean install Windows once it figures out you messed things up.
4) You have unmovable files because of the way Windows works and it sticks them in the middle of your disk.