I want to install pclinux on its own. I currently dual boot with win7. However, I havea further 2 partitions on the drive which I want to keep. Could someone please give me a step-by-step procedure for formatting and installing without affecting the other 2 partitions.
The following is an outline of a procedure for the paranoid!
1.) Boot a liveCD and make a copy of fdisk -l
output to somewhere other than the disk you are working on (as outlined in an earlier post for example).
2.) Mount the partitions and find the two you want to keep by checking their content , note down on paper their device names, for example /dev/sda3 and /dev/sda4 (note that if any are /dev/sda5 or above you need to also keep the extended partition, fdisk -l output or gpartrd will tell you which is the extended)
3.) On that disk only, (in this case /dev/sda) unmount the partitions and delete all except the the partitions in the above step using fdisk, gparted or other.
4.) Now reboot the liveCD (just to ensure the changes have been applied), mount and check the data in the partitions from step 2.
If you can't mount one of these partitions and read it's data (you won't read data from the extended of course), you can still repair your previous partition table with fdisk using the info gained from step 1...even if you didn't use step 1. you could still repair it with TestDisk. (bringing it back to its original 'glory' with your data (and windows) intact.
5.) If all went well you should now have some free space to install Linux, and your data intact. As long as you use only that free space for the install, your data should be safe.
How you use that free space depends on how much there is, where it is, which partitions have been deleted and which remain, how you intend to use the system, and other factors.
Or you could just give us fdisk -l